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Our interview series with PPC Associates’ top account folks continues with Director of Social Media Andrew Foxwell, who grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and dove into Facebook the minute his little modem could handle it.
Absolutely no idea. Frankly, I have always loved technology because it was my connection to a world that was far larger than the one I knew. I grew up on a Wisconsin farm, and the thing that I had was a Gateway computer (yeah, with the cow-patterned box) with a 28.8 dial-up modem. We didn’t have cable and got only four channels depending on the wind, so I got into it.
When Facebook came along in college, it was no shock that I was one of the first people on it chatting, sharing, and generally making all my public statements online. I never blogged, but Facebook was more social than blogging, which I liked, so I got into it. I never realized how big it would become.
In my real life post-college, I started as a Windows Server engineer and realized that I was much more social than what my life was about to become. So, I left and went into politics, where I worked on a campaign and someone said “can you help me with our Facebook page?”
From there I was into Congress working with a Member from Minnesota who named me his “New Media Director.” Basically I built his website, got a personal Facebook page going (brand pages weren’t around), and started his Twitter account, where I followed a billion people in order to gain followers back.
Being one of the first new media directors in Congress, I took advantage of the position I had, which let me try innovative things and connect dots that hadn’t been put together previously. I worked with people on both sides of the aisle to ensure they understood what was possible with digital. In fact, I loved this so much I left and went to another company where I really got into digital marketing – iConstituent – and started what eventually became the largest social media shop for the U.S. Congress.
What’s the one quality you have that makes you uniquely good at your job? I tend to connect different things that others might not be trying. In today’s world, where there are millions of digital marketers, and a fair share of digital dark artists, everyone can launch an ad on Facebook. What makes me different is the ability to consider connections that might not be possible otherwise, or to take different platforms and see how they work together for the best ROI.
I also believe that many digital people tend to be really fast in production and low in quality. I take pride in trying every single day to be a quality listener and provide quality feedback for clients.
What’s the toughest lesson you’ve learned in your job, and how did you learn it? The toughest lesson I’ve learned in my recent jobs has been that if you don’t deliver results, being nice only takes you so far.
Finish this sentence: “Don’t bother trying to break into the social media marketing if…” you hate computers.
What’s your favorite part of the job? Being able to build a team and a business that continues to grow and become more successful every single day. This is a very satisfying thing.
What’s your least favorite part of the job? When ad campaigns don’t work out as I envisioned them. I feel like I personally let people down when I try an idea and it doesn’t work.
When someone asks who you work for, do you say “I work for (Client A)” or “I work for PPC Associates,” and why? I say I work for PPC Associates, because we are a great company built upon a foundation of awesome people, good technology, and great results. I am honored to be a part of us today.