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Social Leadership Masterclass: With Arcade Studios’ Mitzi Payne

We are so excited to kick off the first of our Q&A series with the amazing Mitzi Payne! Mitzi is a Partner and Marketing Director at Arcade Studios, a digital-forward creative agency specializing in content production, social media marketing and digital advertising. Mitzi has been in the world of marketing since 2010 and since then she’s been committed to helping brands engage with the online world. She’s also the co-host of the Waves Social Podcast. Her podcast delves into the world of marketing and branding experts and is making waves online!  We asked Mitzi for her insight into the world of social media and she had a lot to spill!

Which social platforms are you using and why?

I am the most active on Instagram (and Instagram Stories). It’s by far my favourite platform and I’d say, the easiest to build engagement on. I dabble in Twitter and post a few photos of my daughter on Facebook every once in a while. Ironically, I login to Facebook almost every single day to check on Facebook ads for my clients, but almost never do I do it to check in my social circle.

When did you start using social media? Do you remember your first update?

I’ve always been a fan of social media. I was realllllly into Nexopia (lol) when I was in high school. It was pre-Facebook and was a very big deal at the time. Next was MySpace and then I joined Facebook in August 2006. I was attending university in Florida at the time and it was right around when Facebook allowed non-Harvard emails to sign up for the platform. In those days, you still needed to have an .edu email to join, which I had and was immediately obsessed with. I actually went deep into the Facebook archives to find my very first update ever for you. Still rings true to me to this day:

What’s your top tip for succeeding as a business leader (or social expert) on social media?

I’d say that you really need to fall in love with one platform and use it every day. I think the pressure to do all platforms well is a lot. But to be successful, you really need to actually love using and engaging with other people on the platform. Otherwise it feels forced and inevitably, you drop off. And if you hate all platforms, then work with someone (or CSuite Content Agency) to help you.

Can you share one of your social posts that you're especially proud of? What makes this special?

One thing I’ve learned when it comes to my personal social media is that any time I share personal milestones or get vulnerable, those posts get the most engagement. One of the most thought out posts that I’ve ever shared was our pregnancy announcement. My husband and I talked through a LOT of ideas and then one day he stumbled upon a ball cap that said “Daddy” on the front, which at first kind of offended me. But then we thought it would be a fun theme for how we announce my pregnancy. So we shot us a few pictures where Mike was wearing the “Daddy” hat and I was wearing just a plain black hat. And then we got our friend to PhotoShop the word “Mom” on the front. We also used our wedding hashtag in the caption (#NEWPAYNEALERT) to tie it all together. It felt playful and exciting, and to date is one of the posts that has gotten the most engagement ever.

Who’s a leader - either at your company or outside it - who you feel is using social media well?

There are so many amazing entrepreneurs and social media experts who are doing such a good job at using social media platforms to showcase their expertise while also being really personable. A few that come to mind (all on Instagram) are: @cyndiramirez, @marianna_hewitt, @taylor.loren, @katrinascott and @jennifer.

Do you have any guilty pleasure follows? (Whose Tweets do you secretly love?) (Whose IG posts do you love?)

Oh yes, BIG TIME. I strongly believe that you need to fall in love with social media to do it well and an easy way to do that is to follow people who are actually interesting and fun to follow. I don’t consider any of these to be guilty pleasures, I genuinely love following all of these accounts and it’s just another non-professional facet that I like to engage with. I love following meme accounts like @beigecardigan and @mytherapistsays. I also love following amateur comedians like @averagefashionblogger. I also recently discovered @dilemmalord and she’s a bright spot for me when I’m on Twitter.

In your view, what is the next big thing for social media?

I’m keeping an eye on TikTok right now. It seems like an exciting new platform that a few early brands are jumping on. I don’t think it’s a fit for everyone but I’m going to keep tracking the platform to see how it can be a good fit for brands. Also, IGTV series is a really exciting new feature that Instagram recently rolled out and I’m excited to see how brands adopt it and integrate video content as a series into their content plans.

If you could get a mention from anyone on social, who would it be?

I probably would strategically pick @kimkardashian because if she’s mentioning me, or a product/service I want to sell, it would get me the MOST exposure.

What’s your favorite social meme of all time?

It’s so hard to pick just one!

How do you seek and find balance between your social presence and your IRL presence?

I’m usually on multiple client accounts every day so at the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is jump on Instagram. So I try to create boundaries where I’m offline on the weekend. In general, I try to be really present and consistent but sometimes, I just get overwhelmed so I give myself grace to check out when I need to.

Find Mitzi Payne on Instagram: @mmmitzi.


Are you a business leader doing exceptional things on social media? Then you might be a perfect candidate for the 2020 CSuite Awards! Winners are recognized in national media and receive amazing Hootsuite prizes! To apply, visit!

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