With great pleasure I introduce a fellow foodie and amazing social media marketer, Aaron Lee. When social media first became relevant in my world, I remember seeing Aaron’s profile plastered all over the Internet – people love him. Aaron is known worldwide for his open personality, excellent sense of humor and willingness to lend a hand. These traits, matched with a natural understanding of our social world makes him one of the most innovative social media folks out there. Let’s not waste any time getting to know the real Aaron Lee.
1. Where are you from and what do you currently do?
I am from the beautiful country of Malaysia. At the moment, I am the Social Media Manager for Binkd, a social media promotional platform that helps businesses to create and organize contests online.
I am also the owner of Leneys, a women’s apparel business I started with my girlfriend in 2011.
2. What kinds of jobs did you have before you got into social media?
Before I got into social media, I never really had a full time job. I was a teenager and I was a waiter for a while. Although I did like being a waiter for awhile because I constantly met new people, I knew I had to find a way to make a living. I was still a student at that time but that was when I decided to look into the possibilities of making a living online.
3. How did you get into social media?
While I was searching and reading articles about how to make a living online, I stumbled upon social bookmarking. Back then it was a way for businesses to build links back to their blogs that helps increase their Google search rankings.
I started offering services to help businesses who don’t have the time to bookmark their page. Long story short, one of the recommended sites to link back was Twitter at that time.
I got curious about Twitter because it was simple and different, so I researched about it, registered, followed a few people and my life changed.
4. How did you get involved with Binkd?
I got to know the co-founders Adam and Kiera on Twitter, we tweeted back and forth before connecting on Facebook. It was then that I got to know about Binkd, and soon after that Kiera contributed a guest post on my blog.
That is when we started discussing the possibilities of Binkd. As I had previously used Binkd, I knew the potential and joined the team.
5. How is it that Binkd has almost twice the amount of people talking about it than likes on Facebook?
From tons of trials and errors! As we continuously post content on Facebook, we try to find out what our fans were liking, sharing and commenting more. We found out what our fans preferred and shared more of those. The idea was to post content that got our fans engaging and talking. As we prefer to grow our fan-base slowly and more targeted, it wasn’t long until the number of people talking about it outgrew the number of people that liked our page.
6. How did you create the Ask Aaron Lee brand? And do you still work on freelance terms?
By helping others. When I joined Twitter, one of my main goals was to help as many people as I could. By doing that, people were recommending me to others which not only helped me get some freelancing gigs, but also helped me appear on some amazing sites like The Huffington Posts. I met some amazing people whom I am still friends with today.
Depending on the job, I still do short freelancing work. Doing jobs like those helps me to continue learning and constantly changing my perspectives. I find that freelancing keeps me on my toes.
7. You are a real #foodie on Instagram, what type of food is your favorite and why?
Yes I am! I’m constantly hunting for new places to eat with my family and one of my favorites of all time is…. fried chicken. Simple, juicy fried chicken hits home all the time.
Although I don’t eat it often (health conscious), it was my childhood food growing up. My grandmother would fry them as treats every Sunday for the entire family.
I would stand beside her with a plate and tissue ready to grab it and eat it while it was hot.
8. What do you like and dislike about Instagram?
I love instagram, I spend a lot of my time there and one thing that I like about it is I get to know different sides of people from it and get to see different parts of the world.
People are more personal on Instagram as compared to other social networks where they tend to be a little too professional in my opinion.
9. What social media network do you see being the frontrunner in the coming years?
This is a tough one, but I think Facebook will be the frontrunner in the coming years. As they already have over a billion users, they are a huge network compared to others and other social networks have a lot of catching up to do – something which I think will not be possible at their current rate of development.
Furthermore, Facebook and Microsoft are working on a deal that could change how online advertising works and put them a step closer to Google. This is definitely worth noting.
10. What do you love most and least about social media?
I love the openness (especially on Twitter). Before I started using social media, I never knew anyone outside of my network in school or University. Today it’s different, I now know and am able to connect with literally anyone from parts of the world.
My least favorite part about social media is the trolls. Unfortunately, the openness of social media also breeds trolls with the ability to bully others while behind a keyboard. A couple months ago, a few of them bullied a friend of mine calling her nicknames when she published a Youtube video series. She was devastated.
11. If you were able to travel the world and meet your social community, would you visit every country?
If I could find a way to fund my trip to every country, I would love to meet my social friends everywhere. My goal now is to head to United States to meet some of my amazing friends there.
12. What do you think is the biggest obstacle between social media networks and the consumer?
I think it would definitely be the threat of internet censorship. Internet censorship of content that is being driven by corporations claiming ownership would set social media backwards so much that it might even discourage consumers from interacting and engaging. Already we have seen many attempts at pushing through rules and legislations in the past 2 years (unfortunately, some of them have been enforced here). And social media will definitely need to overcome these huge obstacles – that are being championed by government and large corporate – to continue its role in our daily life.
13. What advice do you have for other social media marketers?
My best tip would be: instead of thinking what social media can do for them, think about what social media can do for their customers. By adding value for their customers, they would be able to build an amazing community.
Most marketers tend to make a mistake of going onto social networks and trying to promote them selves too much.
14. Do you have a mentor? And if so, who are they and why are they your mentor?
I wouldn’t say I have a mentor per-say, but I consider some of the people I know as mentors. By reading their blog, asking them questions, chatting with them and getting to know them. I am constantly learning from them.
I’ve learned a lot from Mark Schaefer, Chris Brogan, Mahei, Michael Q Todd and many more.