Peg Fitzpatrick has been in the social media game for a long time and is a well-known social media speaker, trainer, and author. It’s clear that social media is not only Peg’s job but also her passion. Peg has an incredible way of simplifying the crazy world of social media, which is why she has gained such a loyal and large following over the years. Above all, she works hard at what she does, and we admire her for that. That’s why we are so thrilled that we could chat with Peg and learn a bit more about her journey to success. Read on to find out her top tips for mastering social media, maintaining content on-the-go, and staying inspired.
Hi, Peg! Tell us about your background and how you got started in this industry?
Hello! I’m an author and social media speaker – I started in social media seven or eight years ago working with a brick and mortar global company for a product launch, and I’ve been here ever since. I started in social media with a job from day one which is very different than most people’s journey. I worked on a double major in Education and Geography with a minor in English in college and voila now years later I use all these things in my career as I educate people through webinars, speak at events around the country and travel the world with client work all based on social media. I’ve also written a book and blog regularly on PegFitzpatrick.com.
You’re constantly on-the-go, traveling and speaking at conferences, so your schedule must be planned out very far in advance! How do you manage it all, stay organized and keep sane?
First, I make sure my devices are always charged (kidding and totally not kidding). I try to plan my schedule out in advance and dedicate a huge chunk of time each week to plan out content in advance using Sprout Social (for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) and Planoly (DUH) for Instagram. I like to work ahead, but I also create fresh content daily especially for Instagram when I like to post when I’m inspired by an idea or something I read. I have several go-to places to find content to post: Buzzsumo and Feedly are two favorites. I’ve spent time organizing content buckets so I know where to go if I need to find articles for a client’s LinkedIn account or my personal Facebook profile which has very different audiences.
What is your favorite thing about social media and what is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to social media?
I love that social media is always changing and moving like a river. My pet peeve is people calling themselves experts and gurus the second they open an account and then gripe about how they have no followers or activity. That’s tied with people who copy-cat successful brands/influencers and style to try to make a name for themselves in the same industry.
How do you stay up-to-date and on top of the always-changing world of social media?
I constantly read blog articles to see what’s new every day. If there’s an Instagram update, I test it; if Pinterest has new features, I see them quickly. There’s no escaping hard work to be on top of all things social media. Most people are niched into one social media channel, and I decided early on to stay on top of all of them. It’s a challenge, but it also sets me apart. I also read a ton of business books!
You wrote a book, The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, with Guy Kawasaki, the legendary former chief evangelist for Apple. How did you both decide on writing this book together?
I had already been working with Guy for several years. I came up with the idea for The Art of Social Media and pitched it to Guy, and he said yes. Then about a month later he said no. I kept working on it because I was genuinely passionate about the idea. I get asked questions just like yours “how do you do what you do?” all the time and I wanted to help people. When I had a substantial part of the book done, I sent it to Guy and he said it was excellent; shortly after, we started writing the book together and it was so much fun! Guy sent it to his publisher after a professional editor had given it a pass, and they loved it! So, that’s the quick version of how I became a published author. It sounds super easy, but there’s a lot of hard work involved. If anyone wants to write a book, I recommend reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch which Guy published right before The Art of Social Media. This is where I learned the foundation for writing a book, and I used the APE templates for setting the book up to write.
What are your top three tips/best practices for mastering the art of social media?
Don’t overdo it with too many social channels at once when you’re just learning. Try Instagram and learn how to do it well before you add more. Each social channel works differently and has their own style and language.
Be patient while you’re growing. Being consistent and posting great content can’t be fast-tracked. Everyone started with zero followers and grew from there – you can too!
Be yourself to create a memorable, unique brand. No one else has your ideas or style. Finding your voice and posting from your heart is what will help grow your social media channels.
What inspires you and how do you stay inspired?
I get tons of inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest – my two “visual social channel” loves. I love seeing the creative food that people create or stunning travel posts from around the world. My own travels inspire me as well! The energy and buzz in New York City are incredible and a great contrast from my own quiet, quintessential New England town.