Welcome to the 5th in our Social Media Week Los Angeles Advisor Spotlight Series, where we sit down with members of the SMWLA Advisory Board and other prominent members of the Los Angeles social media community to get a better understanding of how they’re influencing, shaping, and working in social media.
Today we’re talking with Cynthia Neiman, an award-winning, digital marketer with over 25 years of experience in the business. Cynthia is very excited to be with us as a new member of the SMWLA board. For more information, you can check out her full bio here.
Who are you? What’s your business?
I’m Cynthia Neiman and a new member on the Social Media Week Los Angeles board. I attribute three main themes in guiding my 25+ year marketing career:
1. Big company experience (Mattel & IKEA) benefits small companies, and small company experience (Munchkin & eteamz) benefits big companies.
2. Passion for businesses targeting kids & families.
3. Odd habit of returning to companies I have previously left (which I am certain would make for lively conversation on a therapist’s couch).
How and why did you want to get involved in SMWLA?
It’s surprising to me when I think about where my passion for social began. In 1999, I had just left Mattel (the first time) and became employee number #14 of eteamz (a leading team website design, website hosting, and website builder in the amateur sports community).
Watching amateur coaches helping amateur coaches from around the world build an online virtual community was extremely powerful. In a very short time span, the number of registered eteamz teams exploded from 25,000 to 500,000. And remember, this was before live chat, just message boards. I knew that once the technology caught up with the pent up demand, social media and virtual communities would rule the world.
I also think of myself as someone who “connects the dots.” If I hear someone speak on one topic, my mind races to connect that person to someone else looking for an expert in that area. I know that SMWLA will give me a lot of opportunities for connecting friends and colleagues with one another and to new ideas and technologies.
What are you most looking forward to this year at SMWLA?
I am most looking forward to learning about new things such as technologies, companies, case studies, and best practices. Basically, I want to experience everything. I’m the child of an educator and become really excited when I’m learning something new before figuring out how to apply the knowledge to my work.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Now that I’m back at a start-up (ClubLocal), I really enjoy the roll-up–the-sleeves, entrepreneurial spirit of building something from scratch. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on some of the world’s most iconic brands (IKEA, Barbie, Hot Wheels, World of Warcraft), but there is something magical about being somewhere at the beginning. There is an amazing energy when a new idea is born.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
It’s funny, but I have taken what was the most challenging part of my job at Mattel and turned it into a SMWLA panel called Who Owns Social? Among brand marketers, digital marketers, digital media professionals, public relations professionals and customer service, everyone has a legitimate stake in social media, yet the sorting out the rights issues can be a bit complicated, to say the least.
What’s your dream panel?
Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and my mom. Social media is bringing about more social change in the shortest period of time than any other force in history. I would give anything to hear those three people tackle a few pressing world issues.
What’s your next billion dollar idea (that you’re willing to share)?
Lots of people in my generation see the pros and cons of being connected 24/7. Personal relationships can sometimes get lost in the fallout. My billion dollar idea is called Therapy Lunch. Check your smartphones at the door for either a 25 or 50 minute session of therapy during your lunch hour or break time. You can re-charge your literal and figurative battery at the same time. The Therapy Lunch offices would open in business parks and people could just leave the office for a bit and walk back in refreshed. And to feed the body (not just the soul), we’d offer delicious sandwiches & snacks for sale to take back to your office when your session is over. Productivity would soar.
If you’d like to get involved with her and/or our other Social Media Week Los Angeles Advisory Board Members in planning an event for SMWLA, let us know.