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April 13. 2014 6:09PM

Facebook leads to career in social media


Social media strategist Peg Fitzpatrick of Keene goofs off at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. (COURTESY)

KEENE — Before colleges offered courses on social media marketing, pioneers like Peg Fitzpatrick of Keene saw the potential for marketing online and the equal playing field the Internet offers online savvy people living outside big cities.

"I'm a social media strategist," Fitzpatrick said. "I work online with people all over the world. I work with big brands all out of my house in New Hampshire."

Fitzpatrick was an education major at Keene State College and also has a background in administration and marketing.

"It's sort of a culmination of jobs I have done in the past," she said.

Social media can involve managing different platforms, educating people and socializing with people.

And ultimately, "I'm a social person," she said.

Fitzpatrick blogs about social media strategy and is a consultant in the field. "It's constantly changing and updating so there's always new things to learn," she said. "It's not possible to know everything and be done."

She got her start when Chrysler hired her to run its social media marketing through Facebook, Twitter and email.

The power of social media was really unknown, but it was something Fitzpatrick recognized when she started a Facebook account.

"I started on Facebook like everybody else, and I just saw the opportunity for businesses to connect with people," Fitzpatrick said.

When textile chemistry company Kreussler hired her it was an experimental time for social media marketing, she said. But after she filled a hall full of people using social media for one of Kreussler's product launches she knew she was on the right track.

Among her clients is social media guru Guy Kawawsaki, who is based in California. The author and speaker used to work for Apple and co-founded the news aggregation site Alltop.

"When I met him he had maybe 800,000 followers total, and now all across all his social media platforms he has over 8 million social media followers," Fitzpatrick said.Platforms she helps manage for Kawawsaki include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tumblr. Fitzpatrick's work does get her out of her home office from time to time. She often travels to California, visiting Google and Twitter headquarters. In September, Fitzpatrick traveled to six different countries in South America to run social media launches for a new Motorola android phone as part of a global launch of the product.Her number one advice to people interested in social media is don't be afraid to socialize. So many people go online and just look and lurk and don't have conservations, she said.

"There's a lot of pieces to it. Basically I tell people to jump in and have conversations," she said. "It's kind of scary at first, but once you start it's like, 'OK, this is why it is a social network cause you're here to meet people.' …You meet people from all over the world."

In fact socializing on Twitter is how Fitzpatrick met Kawawsaki, she said. "We both love social media."

Fitzpatrick lives in Keene with her husband and three children.

You can read her blog at pegfitzpatrick.com.



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