Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kudos to a CMH grad

CMH alum Dan Voors, 03' passed on this news item from the Chicago Business Journal about Katy Lynch, '02. Congratulations Katy!

Flyover Geeks: SocialKaty off to fast start in crowded social-media field
By Edward Domain

Katy Lynch is president and co-founder of SocialKaty, a new social-media consultancy in Chicago that aims to stand out among the noise in the crowded social-media field.

“I went to work for the social application Where I’ve Been in 2008 and six months into working for them I was asked to take over as the social-media strategist,” Ms. Lynch recalls of her early days at the Chicago-based company whose app lets users chart past and future travel plans and discuss them with friends. “I learned fast by testing out different theories and saw what worked and what didn’t when trying to build an audience. And from there, things took off.”

Ms. Lynch had some notable social-media successes: In February 2009, she was the organizer of the Facebook Developer Garage, the largest official Facebook event in Chicago. The event featured speakers from Mashable, Crafted Fun, and Facebook. It drew more than 170 attendees.

Ms. Lynch can also boast that she is the creator of the Twitter Travel Tuesday, which exploded in popularity after she launched it.

“I couldn’t believe how fast it took off,” she says, “and now it has thousands of users every week.” She created it in April 2009 on Twitter and brands such as Expedia, American Airlines, Marriott Hotels, Lonely Planet and Hilton now use it regularly.

And she also helped implement the Facebook app for Where I’ve Been, which has more 65,000 followers on Twitter and has helped propel the site to more than 10 million users as of August 2010.

Because of her growing success with social media, Ms. Lynch is now a sought-after speaker and already has nearly 6,000 followers on Twitter for her SocialKaty account.

“The problem with a lot of marketing companies is that they really don’t do social media the way it should be done,” Ms. Lynch says. “They all say they will do social media now, but they don’t really get it.”

That’s where her new consultancy comes in.

“SocialKaty offers to not only manage your social media accounts,” she says, “but we also offer reporting across a variety of metrics to give tangible proof of the work we have done so a business owner can look at it and understand the value we bring.”

Ms. Lynch has already built up a client portfolio with some well-recognized names. She has worked for Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa, Pet Airways, the government of the Bahama Islands, Columbia Pictures for the movie “2012,” and for Paramount Pictures’ “Sherlock Holmes.” An addition to her client roster is her former employer Where I’ve Been.

“I went to the CEO of Where I’ve Been,” she recalls, “and let him know that I was really growing passionate about the social-media space and saw myself forming my own company. Because of the work I did for them, he agreed and Where I’ve Been became a client as well.”

SocialKaty officially launched in August and already handles four clients in Chicago: Poggled, Chicago Micro, Where I’ve Been and Toodalu.

Ms. Lynch reports revenues will be just over $15,000 for November and that business is up, with four new clients expected to sign on in the next few weeks. “I have had to hire two employees to help with the workload and expect to be hiring one more by early next year if I continue to add business the way I am now,” she says.

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