Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About Ashley: Ashley Hayes is the San Francisco Community Manager for Google Places, hosting events for Google Places, Offers, Ventures and Zagat. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Political Science and History, and has lived in San Francisco for six years. Prior to Google, she was the Community Manager for The Go Game, and handled Corporate Communications for AMB Property Corporation. Ashley is incredibly active in the local philanthropic organizations, serving as President for the Spinsters of San Francisco, and member of Symphonix League, Encore, Zoo II, and the California Alumni Association.
1. How did you get started in social media?
I was an early adopter of social networks in college, which organically fostered my passion and knowledge in social media. There were several times in past jobs when I was the only one with experience of social network websites, allowing me to represent the company and/or product via social channels. In turn, this led to an extensive social media professional experience, achieved by researching, conferences, connections, and simple trial and error.
2. What does influence mean to you? Who influences you the most online?
Social media influence is incredibly important in our current marketplace, regardless on whether or not your current position acutely focuses on social media. Without establishing long-term connections with local peers and influencers, many opportunities for future employment, collaborations, and quite simply, friendship, would be missed. As for those that influence me the most, I usually look to my fellow community managers, social media and marketing professionals. Since social media is an evolving platform, its important to stay relevant with other experts in the field.
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their online presence to the next level?
Obviously strong social media and networking presence is incredibly important, hence the popularity and necessity of Klout! Google +, Facebook, and Twitter are all essential platforms to utilize with consistent, engaging conversations. LinkedIn is also fantastic to craft professional connections and relationships. But quite honestly, meeting people in person and developing rapport face to face truly is what creates strong, local connections, thereby allowing a more natural investment in your network.
Connect with Ashley on Twitter at @AshesHayes