We sat down with Lisa Zimmer, MillerCoors' Social Media and Beer Culture Specialist, to talk about her role at Tenth and Blake and being authentic in social media. Lisa's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2011.
Lisa Zimmer is all about being authentic.
As a part of the beer education team at MillerCoors' craft and import division, Tenth and Blake, Lisa helps corporate teams touch, taste, smell, and experience beer. She's started home brewing classes in the office, implemented their “Brewers Unleashed” program, and was named a “Beer Innovator” by All About Beer Magazine.
She's also on Twitter making friends and advocates for MillerCoors just by being herself.
“It's a weirdly specific job that's sort of grown around me,” Lisa says.
She says it came about when the Tenth and Blake division was formed. Lisa was using social heavily to learn more about the beer industry, and her online presence caught leadership's attention.
“They realized that we probably need that in this division to give it a little personality and behind-the-curtain access to people who think we're just a big company.”
That means using her personal account to reach out to partners and consumers, being the face of Tenth and Blake online, and most of all, making real connections.
Lisa's role can get kind of personal, but she's not concerned.
“I'm still tweeting about the cute guy that talked to me by the mailboxes or what happened on Mad Men last night. It's not really a plan for me to be authentic and tweet about my personal life, it just sort of worked out that way,” she explains.
“On paper, it sounds a little strange, like I'm opening up myself to critique or people taking advantage of that information. But I've always maintained that my parents follow me on Twitter — I'm not sharing anything that I would be embarrassed to share otherwise.”
She says the most important parts of her job are the in-person conversations that come from getting to know someone in social.
“If I have an opportunity to meet with somebody in the industry and talk with them live, I'm giving them a connection that they may have only had through press releases before,” says Lisa.
“When someone can sit down with you, put a face to a company that they don't know a lot about, and realize, ‘Woah, this person is who I thought they were, and my mind's completely blown,' that feels really important.”
Her litmus test for real connections is simple: “Would I still be friends with these people if I left the industry?” For Lisa, that answer always has to be “yes.”
Another way she stays authentic: Staying out of the metrics.
With social media responsibilities making up about 30 percent of her job, Lisa works primarily on the @TenthandBlake corporate social presence and in tandem with their internal digital team and outside agencies that create content and manage the social presences for brands like Crispin Cider, Blue Moon, and Leinenkugel. And while she contributes to content reviews, shares concerns on social with the right teams, and supports digital, Lisa doesn't worry too much about data.
“Part of my role in creating a really authentic voice is that I stay removed from those things,” she explains.
“I'm not going to worry if I have 2,500 followers or look at huge data feeds of likes, retweets, and virality because I don't think it's going to help me manage the conversations I have any differently. The whole point is that I'm a real person that works here that you'd like to hang out with.”