Redwoods

Here at Social Tribe, we believe in the importance of building lasting relationships – whether it’s within our team or with our clients. That’s why we’ve carefully cultivated our amazing team to be filled with people who share our core values and are ready to be your social engagement partners. In this series, we’ll share our team’s passions and work to give you a glimpse into the people you’ll be working with. It’s time to #MeetYourTribe.

Hi, I’m Stacey…

I live in San Francisco. When we meet in person one day, you’ll likely see me carrying my reusable cup. As an Account Director at Social Tribe, I will be leading creative teams and partnering with clients. I plan to deliver outstanding experiences by listening for opportunities to align with customer and brand goals. I especially value working to help teams empower every member to contribute.

While I may be one of the newest members of Social Tribe, it feels like I have been taking steps in this direction my whole career. I met Megan and Tatiana at Social Media Marketing World in 2017. The conversation started when they saw me bust out my reusable cup at the bar at one of the events.

I told them about my personal journey and how I went from advocating for wildlife and ancient forests to championing great brands that stand for something.

Early Roots

In college, I fell in love with ecology, the newest of the sciences. I attended Humboldt State University, one of the best wildlife and resource management schools in the country. I loved having the wild Pacific ocean at my doorstep and the redwood forests in my backyard. Learning to look at whole landscapes, I saw how the loss of keystone species has cascade effects on entire ecosystems. This led me to take my first steps in advocacy when I joined the movement to save the last ancient redwoods.

Our volunteer group tried everything from organized constituent lobby visits to bring together key stakeholders. Through this journey, I learned that to protect the species and habitat, we had to shift public opinion.

The trouble was, often we were terrible at it. We could cite all the impressive stats proving our case, but that didn’t matter to the public. I then started using the same techniques that I use today working with brands: working directly with consumers. 

The Rise of the Empowered Consumer

I learned about the power of tribes. Uniting around a common cause organically brings us into a tribe. My organizing experience taught me about what motivates advocacy and how the market of public opinion works.

Utilizing this knowledge, I worked on a new kind of campaign at the Rainforest Action Network where we bypassed Washington and went straight to consumers. Many of them wanted to save the ancient forests, so we began an educational campaign. We showed consumers that their demand for unsustainable old-growth wood products was driving the destruction. This led to one of the world’s largest lumber suppliers becoming a global leader in sustainability in wood purchasing and renewables. 

The Power of Purpose

I began to see that our power as consumers was even greater than our political power. It would take both to survive the environmental crisis we face. I made a personal commitment to reduce my own demand for disposables. I started by carrying a reusable cup, silverware, and water bottle.

Around this time, I read Seth Godin’s book Tribes. He demonstrated that powerful groups were self-organizing around shared interests. The book revealed a future I aspired to be part of. I became infatuated with technology. I embraced the internet and newly forming social networks. At the California League of Conservation Voters, I taught myself how to manage their website. I got help from the vibrant tribe of San Francisco Women on the Web, an early message board that empowered women getting into tech.

From Organizing People to Pixels

Building sites for non-profit organizations led to starting my own website development and marketing agency. I enjoyed empowering artists, organizations, and businesses to start online conversations. My clients relied on me to recommend website hosting and related services. Early on, one of the original disruptor brands was GoDaddy. GoDaddy entered the market for domain registration at a tenth of the market price, so everyone used them.

But GoDaddy apparently never read Seth Godin. They quickly became one of the most hated brands because of things like their deceptive fine print, horrific user interfaces, sexually exploitive advertising, and support of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA), which threatened consumers’ freedom of speech and activity on the internet. Needless to say, I joined other web pros that avoided using the company.

Meanwhile, I had decided I wanted to get more involved in brand advocacy. I saw an emerging world of brands having conversations with customers instead of shouting at them through ads. I moved into an account manager position at a cutting edge SaaS startup. It was the first to create a system to help brands mobilize their satisfied customers, called brand advocates.

So it was a twist of fate when GoDaddy became an account of mine.

The Best Advocate is a Former Detractor

I’ll never forget the sinking feeling in my stomach when I was first asked to take on the GoDaddy account. To overcome negative brand sentiment, I was to mobilize brand advocates on social media to recommend a company I hated.

Luckily, this was part of a massive turnaround moment for the company as a new CEO came in to change their ways. I worked with advocates to generate goodwill online and watched as the brand slowly improved products and their reputation.

A former detractor, I was the perfect person to help them parse negative sentiment from online conversations. I worked to build out their social listening and customer experience programs to inspire history-making brand decisions. We built closed-loop processes using the Net Promoter Score to identify the most important product and service issues to improve. We also grew our own network of micro-influencers that included employees.

The Tribe of Purpose-Centered Social Media Geeks

As part of that program, I began building my own influence. I started speaking at social media conferences like the one where I first met Megan and Tatiana. I even got to speak on the same stage as my hero Seth Godin at Digital Summit, Denver in 2018.

My talks tend to focus on stories. I talk about how brand advocates and micro-influencers are inspired to promote brands, motivated by a shared purpose. I share how social listening can guide customer experience and brand activism.

I’m passionate about advocating for the planet, and I still carry reusables with me as a daily practice. I make sure to get out from behind the screen and take time in nature. On my off time, my husband and I hike and explore California’s wilderness, from Shasta to the Mojave. We attend summer festivals and campouts where friends sit around and play music.

I feel that this all led to me joining Social Tribe. Since meeting Megan and Tatiana, I’ve been impressed with the Social Tribe campaigns I’ve heard about. When I saw they had an opening, I knew I had to apply. I was on a camping trip, stopping at Lovers’ Leap in the High Sierra. Luckily I had a signal. I applied from my campsite.

Once I started chatting with the team, it became clear to me that our approaches align exactly. Social media, influencer, and content marketing can intertwine to establish B2B tech brands as leaders in very crowded spaces. Purpose-centered brands and campaigns inspire advocacy and loyalty. I’ve seen this on campaigns I’ve worked on. I’m impacted by it myself, and I am so inspired to find a tribe where these bold truths are self-evident.