And welcome to another NutsPR Spotlight interview!
This month’s guest is someone who shares my passion for social media and building relationships.
I met him, how else, than on social media.
What most got my attention was the fact that even though he had hundreds of thousand of followers at the time, he took the time to answer every single tweet and social media post.
He was actively engaging with his community.
Might sound like common sense to you, but years ago social media was used as a promotional channel by brands and individuals alike.
There were just a few really interested in building relationships and caring for their community.
Aaron is one of them.
Ladies and gents, today I have the pleasure to introduce to you, Aaron Lee.
When did you know social media was what you wanted to do?
In the beginning, social media was never something I thought I would be doing or wanted to do. Back then, people were blogging full-time, and social media was not something people could do for a living. Social media was very much experimental at that point.
However, the first time someone responded to me on Twitter, I knew this was a game-changer. This was my ‘eureka’ moment.
Since I come from a small city, being able to connect with someone I don’t know from another part of the world, in REAL TIME, was mind-blowing.
At that point, the closest thing I had to social media was a spammy Myspace page and a Friendster account.
I knew I had to focus on building relationships because I wanted to connect and learn from others. I knew I could learn from experienced people using social media, instead of books and Google.
Whenever I had a question and asked someone, I received personalized responses. That’s how I learned.
Doing this helped me learn quickly. My network was growing rapidly by the day too.
The next thing I know, people started coming to me for advice on how I did it, and a few even hired me to help them. That’s when I knew I had to continue developing the relationships on social media and work towards doing this for a living.
It was something I wanted to do as I LOVE every single minute of it. Everything else came naturally, and I’m blessed to be able to do this for the past eight years.
How does teaching your team help you learn? How do you like to learn?
I have learned that, although I can be a good teacher, I am a much better student.
As an introvert, I could say I’m gifted with excellent listening skills. This has allowed me to focus on absorbing what people were teaching.
Before a student can become a teacher, he must first be a good student.
People always say I’m good at explaining things in layman’s terms and they love that about me. But that’s just how I learned, and therefore that’s how I teach.
The best part about teaching is I am still constantly learning from feedbacks and questions. These questions lead to deeper thoughts and push me to learn more.
What piece of advice do you have for anyone heading into the reality of social media?
A piece of advice I got from my grandma is “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today.”
Start developing relationships early on social media even if you don’t know where you’re heading.
Focus on putting the effort to get to know like-minded people and building your expertise while diving into social media.
Why? When the time comes, and you need help, you’ll be able to ask for help from those people whom you’ve talked to months before.
That’s how I was able to get a job months before leaving university and how I’m able to get freelance jobs.
What would you like to change in social media as an industry and think it can be accomplished this year?
I would focus more on data analytics and the use of social media management platforms to build efficiency.
Social media has matured. It’s time to get down and dirty and show that building a community is worth the time.
What’s next for Aaron Lee?
That’s an excellent question, one I ask myself daily. It’s hard to say where I’ll end up in the long term but I am excited about where I am currently headed.
I was recently hired to be the Regional Manager of APAC at Agorapulse, a social media management platform, by Emeric Ernoult.
I’ve known Emeric back from when I did a freelance job as a community manager for an event company. Emeric was tweeting to this company, and I was the one responding.
At Agorapulse I enjoy trying to figure out how to solve questions to support and be a part of their sales team led by Jenny Brennan whom I’ve known for YEARS (see? focusing on relationships early is great).
Every day is a different adventure there, and I’m always learning something new from the team.
While I don’t know what’s next for Aaron Lee, I do know this is something I enjoy doing and will be able to wake up doing.
Want to know more about Aaron? Connect with him on his blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.