Startup Stories: Q&A With Thrive Market Social Media Manager Rachel Lew

February 21, 2018

Welcome to Startup Stories, a series that takes you behind the scenes to share what working at a startup is really like. Our mission at Thrive Market is simple: to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. But fulfilling our big dreams takes a team of dedicated, inspiring, funny, and tenacious people who show up to work every day eager to make a difference.

Today we’re introducing you to our Social Media Manager, Rachel Lew. If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, she’s the gal behind every account. And if your comment gets a like, that’s her, too. Read on for our interview!

Let’s start with the basics. Can you describe your role at Thrive Market?

My role as a Social Media Manager is pretty complex! In a nutshell: I develop high-level, organic strategies for all of our social platforms. I track, measure, and analyze metrics on performance and recommend plans of action, plus I secure content partnerships with like-minded brands to expand our audience, increase website traffic, and boost engagement.

Working cross-functionally is a big part of the job, too, so I work with teams to brainstorm UGC (user-generated content) ideas such as giveaways and takeovers. I also constantly test social marketing tactics and identify best practices. Finally, I’m keeping an eye on trends in social media, health, food, and wellness to create a feed that feels fresh and will help grow our brand.

Startup Stories: Rachel Lew

Is there anything people misunderstand about your job, or something that might surprise members to learn about your work?

Our customer services team is a huge help. Together, we read every comment on our social channels (whether positive or negative!) and address them in real-time. It’s important to gather feedback so that we produce content our audience actually cares about (which helps boost our engagement overall). Little do they know—fans help drive our social strategy!

What about social media do you enjoy the most or find the most fulfilling?

Social media sparks a creative outlet for me. Though this is my career, it never truly feels like work because I love creating content. Even if I’m not creating it, I’m digesting it in some other form. Besides my family and friends, I follow a ton of creative brands that inspire and push me to produce better content. It’s an outlet where so many audiences can connect on another level—and that’s pretty cool.

Startup Stories: Rachel Lew

If you had to use only one social media platform for the next year, which one would it be and why?

Instagram, for sure! The platform has grown so much, and it’s only getting better. Stories are a huge opportunity for brands to stand out and inspire action, and the new highlights feature helps businesses fully express themselves. I continue to find opportunities for Thrive Market to be discoverable and reach new, engaged audiences. Side note: I’m super excited that its API (application performance interface) now allows scheduling and posting through marketing partners. Goodbye, mobile push notifications!

What does a typical day look like? Do you have any routines or rituals that help you feel your best? Or a favorite nibble to grab from the kitchen, perhaps?

I listen to NPR (National Public Radio) every morning on my drive to work. It feels great getting my news in—Cherry Glaser is my fave, by the way! Once I’m at the office, I take deep breaths to help me feel a little more calm and relaxed before the day starts. My calendar is filled with meetings and agendas, but it’s all organized so I never feel overwhelmed. After work, I head to the gym and get some cardio in. Then I end the night off with good ol’ Netflix.

What inspires you to live a healthy lifestyle? Is there something in particular that drew you to Thrive Market?

Wanting to live a healthy lifestyle definitely came with age. I’ve noticed changes in my body as I’ve gotten older, which makes me hyper-aware of my health and encourages me to do something about it. I recently cut back on added sugar, started go to the gym every other day, and am trying to drink more water. I’m even taking better care of my skin in the new year—face masks are where it’s at!

When do you feel most successful or proud of your work?

When my ideas come to life on social media, I feel completely gratified—especially if they’re well-received by our followers. Sure, creating content is fun and exciting, but it has to be on-brand otherwise you won’t capture the attention of your target audience. I feel most proud when the content I create not only drives revenue, but high engagement (likes, shares, comments, and reactions) as well, which means I’m doing the right thing!

Startup Stories: Rachel Lew

Give us a peek at what you eat during the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack!

For breakfast, I usually eat two hard-boiled eggs or oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon. I also have a cup of coffee with almond or coconut milk, but lately I’ve been enjoying it black. For lunch and dinner, I stick to salads, veggies, and meat (lots of chicken!) for protein. Every now and then I’ll have rice, but I try to cut back on carbs. For snacks, I definitely love dark chocolate, potato chips, pepper jack cheese, and fresh fruit, like bananas and apples, topped with peanut butter.

What’s one thing you want others to know about Thrive Market, that they might not learn from ordering, reading the blog, or visiting the website?

We care about our members! There’s a lot of heart behind us wanting to make healthy living affordable, and in our desire to be a leader in the health and wellness space. Thrive Market is also working to become a Zero Waste company, which speaks to me because I believe in taking steps to reduce our carbon footprints. We’re making great strides in sustainability, recycling, composting, and more! It’s exciting to see how we’re changing our environmental impact, and hopefully we can inspire others to do the same.

Last but not least, what’s your favorite Thrive Market product and why?

Sriracha cashews—get them! They’re crunchy with a spicy kick, and the perfect snack to have on hand when you feel the munchies coming on. You won’t regret it!

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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