#ItsReallyMeCLT: Allie Papajohn

Meet Allie Papajohn, The Face Behind Eat, Drink, CLT 

Instagram Handle:

@eatdrinkclt

Website:

EatDrinkCLT.com

Brand:

Eat Drink CLT 

What’s the purpose of your brand?

To show the best eats and drinks in Charlotte (and beyond).

How long have you worked with/on your current brand?

3-5 years

How many people are on your team?

1 (me!) 

How do you adapt your account to popular/trending themes?

Luckily, food doesn’t seem to be going out of style, so I don’t have to worry about this as much as some brands. However, I do recognize that colorful, close-up shots of guilty pleasures (burgers, pizza, ice cream, etc.) perform really well. So I try to seek out and post these dishes as often as possible (plus, those are some of my fave foods). I’ve also started taking more video and incorporating these action shots into my posts and stories.

Tell us about the craziest mention you have ever received or conversation you’ve been pulled into…

The comments on Eat Drink CLT generally stay very positive. I did have one guy who tried to talk smack about my favorite Vietnamese restaurant on two separate posts. I couldn’t help but reply to 1. correct him and 2. tell him I’m sorry he felt that way. And I left it at that!

What is the post you are most proud of?

Making pizza with Chef Wolfgang Puck!

What do you wish people knew about your role/account/brand?

I run Eat Drink CLT alone, and I don’t do this full time! I have an 8 – 5 job and squeeze Eat Drink CLT in on early mornings, lunch breaks, weeknights, and weekends. It keeps me super busy, but I love it.

Whose social media do you admire? (locally or nationally)

@devourpower — absolutely love their content. Also, DREAM JOB!

Anything else to share?

I’m super thankful for the opportunities Eat Drink CLT has given me (ex: making pizza with Wolfgang Puck!) and the people it has allowed me to meet. We have an awesome food community here in CLT, and I’m happy to be a part of it.

#ItsReallyMeCLT: Nikki Wolfe

Meet Nikki, Senior Community & Marketing Director for Yelp Charlotte.

Meet Nikki, the senior community & marketing director for Yelp Charlotte. 

Instagram Handle:

@yelpcharlotte

Twitter Handle:

@yelpcharlotte

Website:

Yelp.com

Brand:

Yelp Charlotte

What’s the purpose of your brand?

Yelp connects people to great local businesses.

How long have you worked with/on your current brand?

My five year anniversary with Yelp is in a couple weeks!

How many people are on your team?

Here in Charlotte, I’m currently solo. My Intern/Marketing Assistant, who was with me 1.5 years, moved to DC right after graduation. The timing was unfortunate with both my personal calendar and work calendar (in the midst of planning three large scale events). So, the search process and hiring has been delayed. I do have a few Brand Ambassadors that I use to work marketing booths at large events we sponsor.

How do you adapt your account to popular/trending themes?

It’s crazy how much and how quickly social media changes now. The key is not only staying on top of all trends, but finding a way to incorporate so it doesn’t change your voice. Before I post any content, the first thing I ask myself is, “does this sound Yelpy? Is it on brand?”

Tell us about the craziest mention you have ever received or conversation you’ve been pulled into…

Steve Smith Sr is a huge fan of Yelp. He writes reviews and uploads pics. Because of those conversations and interactions on Twitter, [Yelp] developed a relationship with him and his foundation. We sponsor his events, he’s been a guest on my Yelp Charlotte Podcast, and it has all led to a dream event I’m working on right now to benefit his NPO in late September —Yelp’s Wing Fling.

What is the post you are most proud of?


While the @yelpcharlotte account is mostly a curated collection of food porn, I couldn’t pass up a shot to combine the two loves of my life: the Panthers and my six pound Yorkie.

What do you wish people knew about your role/account/brand?

I think with any brand, a lot of people don’t realize just how much work goes into social media. It should be a full time job in itself. There’s no days off and your day doesn’t just end at 5pm. For me, [social media is] just one of the laundry list of hats I wear in my role. I love my job, and more than anything, believe in what my company does. I hear the stories every day from business owners who are beyond grateful to Yelp for putting them on the map. The questions I get probably the most often are, “is this your full time job?” and “what exactly do you do?” Yes, and it’s not 40 hours a week, it’s usually more like 60. Among the things I do: throw a ton of events (typically 3-5 a month, including four or more large scale events a year), work with local businesses owners on how to use all the free marketing tools on Yelp, host a podcast, appear in TV segments across multiple media outlets, manage all social media, curate a weekly emailer, sponsor/support local events, grow our online community, attend networking/media/influencer events, etc.

Whose social media do you admire? (locally or nationally)

I’m a huge fan of Allie with @eatdrinkclt. I’m still amazed and in awe of what Ted and Katie have built with @CharlotteAgenda. Vestique does a great job (or I’m just weak and black out every time they post something).

Oh hey, #ItsReallyMeCLT

This fall, we are launching a campaign surrounding the faces behind some of our favorite social media accounts around town. Why? 1) because there are a lot of great people who get 0 credit for their hard, amazing and consistent work 2) because we want to remind people that there are ACTUAL HUMANS at the other end of the line.

Social media is hard work. It’s the most economical marketing tool and probably the toughest one to figure out. There’s nuance to the creativity and a science to the execution. To do it well takes hypervigilance, extreme care, innovation, marketing savvy and critical thinking. Graphic design skills? Yep. Wit? Definitely. A stellar sense of humor? Need it. Ability to stay professional? REQUIRED.  Plus about 301 other skill sets.

These people are the voices behind the brand. They uphold and sometimes even create personas, ensure brand consistency, support customer service, and can often define and solidify brand identity. The best professionals, in my opinion, personify their brand via social media (at least, that’s what we focus on at Black Wednesday).

People follow brands that they feel they could be friends with – after all, isn’t that what social media was created to be? A place to keep in touch with your pals. Brands that fill that void for people are the ones that generate relationships, loyalty, trust and ultimately, yep… sales. Come on, it’s not all candy and rainbows – brands are on there to make money. BUT when the social media manager can balance promotion with storytelling and creative engagement, that’s where the magic happens. When a brand can touch us as human beings and also offer a product I need, I’m in. You follow me? (Yes, pun intended).

Each week (13!) of our #ItsReallyMeCLT campaign, we will reveal the face(s) behind some of the best Charlotte accounts and they’ll answer some questions about their work via our blog. In the interest of getting things started, I’ll answer some of the questions now…

Meet Corri, Owner of Black Wednesday.

Instagram Handle:

@blackwedco

Twitter Handle:

@blackwedco

Website:

blackwednesday.co

Brand:

Black Wednesday

What’s the purpose of your brand?

We offer creative marketing services including consultancy, social media, PR and design. The purpose? To help brands connect to their target audiences in authentic, genuine and cool ways.

How long have you worked with/on your current brand?

BW is 3.5 years old.

How many people are on your team?

We have 6 staffers who engage with our clients, but Evelyn and I manage the BW social.

Look at her face! (She never shows it but sometimes we can force it out of her)….

How do you adapt your account to popular/trending themes?

We mostly focus on adapting trending and popular themes that suit our clients’ social activities. On BW, we can sometimes jump in and create a story around something that’s trending, but clients ALWAYS come first. We will always work on client stuff before we work on our own. So I guess you’d say we adapt if there’s something that fits AND we happen to have time.

What do you wish people knew about your role/account/brand?

I wish people could understand how much time it takes to do social media well. Lots of times brands want to hire us and they can’t understand our rates. They know they need support with social, they know it’s their ONLY marketing channel, but they also want to pay $250/month for it. We are managing our clients’ channels 24-hours a day, we spend hours every day planning, designing and creating content. We make visits to capture live and general content. We respond to customer inquiries, bad and good reviews, we engage the community. It’s a full time job +. I wish people saw the value in the work and were also willing to see value in paying for the work.

Anything else to share?

We hope you like this series. The intention is to bring us all a little closer, to remove the screen between us, and to inspire even stronger relationships with the brands you already love.