Kelly Ann Collins

Co-founder at Kittr. Founder at Vult Lab

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 14, 2017

Discussion

Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
Hi - I’m Kelly Ann Collins, the founder of Vult Lab, where I works with startups, nonprofits, influencers and companies on their social media strategy. I am also the co-founder of Kittr, where we are building social media tools, which people are saying will "revolutionize" the way people use social media. Throughout my career, I’ve worked on projects involving hundreds of awesome companies and orgs, including some you might know—like Jamba Juice, United Nations, Steve Case’s Revolution, Conservation International, Starbucks, HP, Adobe, Peter Gabriel's The Toolbox, Disney and Prince William's Royal Foundation. I also founded a pop-politics blog with 3 million readers a month. I am so excited to be here today. Ask me anything! **EDIT** Thank you for all of your questions, everyone! And thank you so much, Product Hunt, for inviting me to do this live chat! If anyone has additional questions, feel free to tweet me via @itskac!
Tiffany Yu@imtiffanyyu · CEO & Founder, Diversability
What do you think are the biggest differences between social media strategy for a company vs. personal brand? Any pro tips for building/managing either?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@imtiffanyyu Hey there! There are similarities -- but it's all about the tone and voice. But, you still want to make sure you have a strategy for both. For example, if you are just getting started and building a personal brand, you will want to pick a few different topics as theme (say, work life, family life and a hobby, like yoga), then you will work on building out each of these topics by posting on a regular basis. If you are building a company brand, you will want to do the same. Share a few topics (say global dev, nutrition and health) and then work in promos. When you are a company, you will probably have more things to sell. So, you will want to balance that out with non sales-y content. For personal, you will have your own voice -- maybe it's serious, fun, maybe some humor in there. For a company, it's similar, but probably more authoritative. Or, if you are a brand, like, a toy store ... you might also have a fun voice. :)
Tiffany Yu@imtiffanyyu · CEO & Founder, Diversability
@itskac Thank you!
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
Thank you for all of your questions, everyone! And thank you so much, Product Hunt, for inviting me to do this live chat! If anyone has additional questions, feel free to tweet me via @itskac!
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
What social media strategy advice do you give to your startup clients that others might find counter intuitive or at least surprising? 🤔
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@nivo0o0 Usually, when I start advising a startup, they are surprised when I tell them to STOP promoting their product 24/7. Social media isn't about sell, sell, sell in people's faces all day. You have to give your community useful content that helps them. You have to engage. Social media is not one-sided. So, I always get big surprised faces when I tell them that they should only be pushing their products a few times a week versus all day, every day. I always say that walking into a social network is like walking into a party. Nobody would talk to you if you just went around the room being, like, "Hey, I am so great." 😀 They would be, like, "Uh, what's up with that guy?" 😀
jerod moore@jollymonatx · Co-Founder goKittr & Coffee hunter
😻 or ☕ ?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@jollymonatx Haha! Cats or coffee? Can cats take away a caffeine headache? 😀
Seth Williams@sethbwilliams · Designer, Product Hunt
How can startups better use social (without spending money) to get early traction for their business / product?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@sethbwilliams Startups can better use social (without spending money) to get early traction for their business / product by building it before they need it. Before we launched Kittr we started building a community of people that loved social media and, well, cats. :) Build it before you need it. Don't wait. You can start building your community before you launch. Start posting about things that are of interest -- and will pull in -- people that will love your service or product. Read more here! :) https://medium.com/kittr/to-hash...
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey! If you had to swap lives with a tech CEO for one week, who would it be and why?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@bentossell If I had to swap lives with one tech CEO? Definitely Mark Zuckerberg. Why? So I could transfer his money into my bank account. Oh, and I would roll back the new Messenger update. 😂
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
@itskac haha... I ask this question to every LIVE guest and this was a great answer!
Chad Whitaker@chadwhitaker · Product Designer at Product Hunt 👋
Hey Kelly! How did you achieve 3 million readers to your blog?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@chadwhitaker Hey! How did I get 3 million readers? Well, it took a village, of course, lots of networking, making connections, etc. Just like building any community, you have to GIVE as much as you GET. I had a solid team, and we were on top of everything happening in pop-politics. A celebrity couldn't walk out of a DC airport without running into one of our photographers who would hand them a card and help set up an interview to chat about their cause. We interviewed 900+ celebs and influencers. We also traveled nonstop. Presidential campaign trail, etc. We also had White House access. So, we gave the insider look at WH events. So, I like to say omnipresence ... being everywhere. If there was something cool happening, we were there. Also, awesome SEO!
Adam Revetta@arrev · Founder, CollaborDate & ScareHunt
Also - if startup founders had to focus on ~1 social media site/app to get the most bang for their buck, which would you recommend and why? Thanks @itskac !
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@arrev For organic reach and growth, you can't beat Twitter. To get the most bang for your buck, go with Twitter. Instagram is good for organic reach, too, but if you are looking for press and thought leader exposure, Twitter's the spot.
Bradley Jones@indiaccelerates · COO, the House of M
In the 15 years you have been involved in the dynamic world of digital/social media, how has the landscape changed and do you think it is easier or more difficult for a business to have their message heard?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@indiaccelerates Hey! Now, thanks to things, like fake news, people just don't trust ads like they used to. In the past, people loved ads, but now it's moving to things like influencer marketing. Why? Because people trust other people. And, these influencers don't have to be huge, like Katy Perry or Guy Kawasaki, they could be local influencers. That is the biggest change I am seeing right now, as far as social media promotion.
Bradley Jones@indiaccelerates · COO, the House of M
@itskac So true, people like to put a face to an opinion and when they do, they value it much more. Thank you so much Kelly for sharing your valuable time and attention. Go Kittr!!!
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
Hi Kelly Ann! What's the one professional risk you've taken that scared you the most? What ended up happening?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@mscccc The one professional risk that made me scared was taking on investors for the first time, and selling parts of my company. It's hard to give up that control. But, I'd rather own a smaller part of something awesome that can scale versus something great that can't reallllly scale due to bandwidth, etc. And, hey, I have learned it's always better to spend other people's money than your own! :-D
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
As the founder of 2 companies - do you manage to achieve work-life balance? What does this look like for you?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@jakecrump How do I manage work-life balance? Kittens! And yoga! :) I work very long hours, but I've found that having some fun, stress-relieving pets around is a great way to de-stress in the office between meetings. Also, I am big on wellness -- I always work in time for acupuncture, yoga, sauna. I take lots of vitamins. My cousin has a wellness center so I am there a good bit! That helps. Also, taking at least two half-days off each week for me time! :) Previously, with my old company, I got exhausted -- just like Arianna Huffington. Learned a huge lesson. It's so important to take some time out for yourself. 😀 Arianna actually personally asked me to write about work-life balance on Thrive. So, some blogs for her are coming soon! 😀
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What’s your morning routine?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@jakecrump Coffee, emails and Slack! Plus sunlight. I am big on sunlight. I open all of the blinds and curtains, make my coffee, and then start checking Slack, sending notes out to the team, and answering emails from clients overseas. Then news and social media. But first, coffee. 😀
Adam Revetta@arrev · Founder, CollaborDate & ScareHunt
Hi @itskac ! What % of a startup's time/effort do you feel should be dedicated to Social Media?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@arrev What % of a startup's time/effort do you feel should be dedicated to social media? You should definitely have a dedicated social media person. And, if you can't do that, at least part-time. If you don't know what you are doing, bring on an agency. Send your social person for training. Really, social media bleeds into PR, marketing, everything! You need to get your execs on social, establish them as thought leaders. You need to participate in Twitter chats, you need to HOST Twitter chats. You need to be out there, engaging. You need to build social strategies for promotions. Social and email marketing work well together. ... And, if you are trying to get customers or investments, the first place people are going to look is social media. If you only have 15 followers on Twitter and your icon is an egg, you're in trouble. 😀
Snah Desai@s_haverford · Operations Analyst, ServiceTitan
With your past writing experience have you ever considered taking your blog or even another website all together and making it a full fledged reporting and news organization? Ex: Buzzfeed, Politico, The Hill
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@s_haverford My blog was Buzzfeed before there was Buzzfeed. :) Sold it. So, it's gone now. We published 40+ articles a day, had White House access early on, before Buzzfeed, etc. We competed with Gawker. I have run news organizations, helped launch USAToday.com and, right now, my thing is social media, building out tools will help people amplify their messages on their own. Helping people that have blogs, causes and businesses to expand their reach. I think, for now, this is my calling. :)
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
Hi Kelly thanks for joining us today. What social platform do companies underutilise? What can they do to change this?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@ems_hodge Hi there! Thank YOU!!! I think companies really underutilize Twitter. That is why we created Kittr for Twitter. I think brands immediately go to Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter is great for organic marketing. With FB, most brands get stuck in an advertising rut, spending thousands of dollars to get likes and follows. I think Twitter is a missed opportunity for many because, by using hashtags, posting relevant content and engaging, you can reach those audiences that are interested in your product(s) organically. And I always go for organic audiences first because I think those people are more likely to stay. Twitter is also a great way to reach media, to engage with the media. It's also great for customer service.
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
What does success look like for you?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@ayrton Success, to me, is doing what you love. That's it. If you can wake up every day and do what you love, and pay the bills doing it, that is success. For me, no amount of money could encourage me to do something humdrum that I don't love. We only have one life to live ... so why live a so-so existence doing things that you don't love?
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · PMM @Twitter // Previously @ProductHunt
What is one piece of advice you can give ALL organizations regarding their social media?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@andrewett Engage, engage, engage. Get in there and like, comment, share. Social media is not a one-way street. I always say share as much as you post. Give as much as you get. In general, for allll orgs, if you are not engaging with at least 20 people a day, that's a problem.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Is there a difference (generally speaking) between the advice you would offer your startup clients vs larger corporates in terms of their social strategy?
Kelly Ann Collins@itskac · Pioneer & futurist with a coffee prob.
@jacqvon Hi there! Generally speaking, there is a simple formula for winning at social media. Post good, relevant content on a regular basis. Amplify your content with hashtags. Watch the trends and, as we say at Kittr, ride them! :) And, engage, engage, engage. Share things from others as much as you post your own promos / content.