It all started with a Rob Thomas fan club.
SocialMedia.org member Morgan Greco says when she was 14, she taught herself HTML and marketing strategies to start her own fan club for the Matchbox Twenty singer. She built sites on AngelFire and GeoCities, gathered fan art, put up flyers and posters at concerts, and built an email newsletter.
But Morgan says she wasn't just an obsessed fan girl. She also worked directly with Rob Thomas to do interviews and put on contests and sweepstakes. She was attracted to the tech, the community, and the creativity.
“I was interested in things like IM, AngelFire, and Geocities because those were the tools I used before social media to talk to other people and find a creative outlet,” she explains.
As A+E Networks' Senior Director of Social Media and Fan Engagement, Morgan turned her love of entertainment and social media into a career.
In college, Morgan majored in marketing and minored in information sciences, technology, and telecommunications. “At the time, it was a like getting a social media degree that didn't really exist yet,” she says.
Now, she leads organic and paid social strategy for A&E, History, and H2 — channels with shows ranging from Duck Dynasty and Storage Wars to Vikings and Ancient Aliens. Her team of seven handles daily community management, platform posting for contests and sweepstakes, and training talent for social campaigns like Q&A's.
With about 80 social presences for a variety of shows and channels, it can be difficult to balance the wide range of audiences.
We're constantly shifting our mindset to determine which audience will engage with what platform.
But Morgan says that's what makes her job exciting.
“We could be working on a Facebook campaign, and the next minute we could be working on something on Twitter or Tumblr for a different show, and that's exciting,” she shares.
“We're constantly shifting our mindset to determine which audience will engage with what platform. So there's something to be said about the flexibility that's needed as a social media marketer.”
“The biggest challenge is keeping up with people's viewing habits and the shifting landscape of TV.”
According to Morgan, since people are watching TV wherever, whenever they want now, it's difficult to get viewers to engage at the right times.
“Because we are such an always-on and always-there platform, it's a unique challenge to use the platform to try and drive that fear of missing out that drives live viewing,” she says.
It helps that Morgan's team stays central within the organization.
A+E Networks' social teams work across departments: legal for approvals, press to stay aligned with messaging, creative for gathering assets, brand strategy for paid promotions, and programming to support the shows.
“It's really fun to talk to so many people within the organization as well as outside of the organization — to have our ear to the ground and see what our fans are saying and give the company insight.”
Morgan looks forward to seeing how drastically the landscape will change in the next few years.
“When I was 14, I was posting fan art, talking to fans on a daily basis on the internet, and doing interviews with celebrities. Those types of things haven't changed in terms of tactics,” Morgan says.
“It's just the means in which we do them that's changed. I was using AngelFire or Geocities to post my messages back then, now I'm using Twitter or Facebook. We've seen a lot change in the past 15 years, and it's really exciting to think in three years things will be completely different.”