DC Social Media Influencers: Lisa Byrne on Staying on Top of Trends, Creating Awesome Events

As many of you noted a few weeks back, the DC Social Media Club chapter is in the business of sharing. With that in mind we are going to be reaching out to trend setters, influencers from around our area, and even our members to help you all get a clearer picture of what is occurring around us.

This week’s interview is with one of the most motivated people in our area, Lisa Byrne. She is a tweeting, running, workout machine with a vast amount of experience in communications and marketing consulting (that includes social media).

Find Lisa on Twitter @LisaByrne or her personal blog here. Though she can probably be found in more than a dozen other places as well. Also don’t forget to check out DC Wine Week, which is coming up in October.

Want an interview from a particular DC influencer? Shoot us a message @smcdc on twitter.

You may very well have more energy than anyone else in DC as you are a running and workout machine, but yet you can still find time to provide a lot of necessary insight into your field. When it comes to social media, how do you keep yourself motivated and constantly engaged?

Interesting timing on this question as I’ve began to ponder the same thing! I’ve recently found myself prioritizing my time when it comes to social networks — what, where and when. I used to be one of the first to try a new app, join the latest social network, claim my name, etc. But recently I’ve found more value in concentrating on networks that I find the most fulfilling. As a Social Strategist who consults with brands on what’s relevant and what’s not, it’s still important that I am on top of the latest trend. However, I’ve learned that being on top of it and being in the middle of it are two very different things. Get in there and get your hands dirty, but don’t let every shiny new space and app suck you in too fast!

In your opinion how much has the DC technology and social media scene changed in the past 5 years or so?
It’s just a little over 5 years since I landed in DC and back then I was only dabbling in Facebook and tweeting “What do people do on here…Hello?” While I can’t speak to the evolution over five years I will say the last three have seen a significant shift in community participation and support for local startups. With the growth of the DC Tech Meetup (largest gathering of it’s kind in the country), DC Capital Week, DC Entrepreneurship Week, regular Tech Cocktail events, and even our quarterly DC Social Media networking events, the community support and enthusiasm is evident and growing rapidly. Over that same time I’ve noticed a greater integration between “tech” and “social media” events and communities, a welcome merger.
What are some of the best ways to get involved in local social media events? 
Just show up! Join the DC Social Media group on Facebook (which I host a large gathering for each quarter), and follow the folks here at @SMCDC for updates on their own regular events.
When it comes to creating excellent events (like DC Wine Week) you have quite the background for making things work. Could you provide a few tips for aspiring event organizers, whether professional or social?
We built and grew DC Wine Week through word-of-mouth on Facebook and Twitter before we built the website. It all began with a tweet about an idea and after brunch with Ms. Vanessa French it quickly became a reality. We pulled together a citywide event in six weeks while working full-time…and maybe lost a little sanity along the way! My advice? Network, network, network. DCWW didn’t happen because we didn’t sleep for two months, it happened because my partners at Pivot Point and I had each built strong professional relationships over the years, providing a great network of support for our new venture. You’ll also be surprised at how many people are interested and excited to help, you just have to ask. We gathered a team of DCWW Ambassadors that helped spread the word in return for recognition and complimentary event passes. Our promotion included a mix of traditional PR and media outreach, street marketing, networking at live events and talking to people about our new project, picking up the phone and getting vendors involved, and of course — social media. Led by our Community Manager, Vanessa Carbajal, we’ve maintained a continued presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest and Foursquare. Get ready for news and updates as we revive the blog in August and add email marketing to our growing list of subscribers. More details at dcwineweek.com.
For job seekers trying to get into the local marketing and social media industries, where do you believe social media users should draw the line when it comes to sharing personal experiences (such as keg stand photos, getting overly political, etc.) 
If you are seeking a job in the digital communications world, hiring managers will expect to view your online presence via public posts on social networking sites. Locking down your social networks while interviewing isn’t necessarily the best route to take. If I can’t trace your digital footstep I’ll assume you have something to hide or don’t have a personal affinity for online communications, neither of which are desirable qualities in an online marketing or social media candidate. Depending on your choice of industry some hiring managers may judge more harshly than others. I don’t believe you should create a second persona for your online presence, an honest and true representation of yourself will likely lead to a better suited company and work environment in the long run. Common sense should guide most people as to what’s appropriate and what’s not, just post with the understanding that absolutely anyone could eventually see it… (hey, even Mark Zuckerberg accidentally exposed personal photos after his company changed privacy settings once again!)
Also we would of course like to thank Lisa for her time and sharing her experience.

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