From the food industry to public health, to the arts and aviation field, one would believe that social media strategist Kianta Key, has seen it all—but she’s not done yet.
While working toward a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) at Florida State University in 2010, Key co-owned and operated a food truck, The Cravings Truck. “I cyberstalked food trucks on the West Coast and in New York City to find out how they were using Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. For the most part, they posted daily routes and specials of the day, and while that alone attracted them hundreds of customers, I knew that wouldn’t fly for us.”
The food truck, also known as Lazarus, pushed Key to not only become an active participant, but a listener and content creator. Months later and 3,100 followers later, Key was awarded “One of Tallahassee’s Top Tweeple!” by the Tallahassee Democrat in February 2011. “I arrived to most classes smelling like fried chicken and red velvet waffles,” she admits. Her social media tactics created a network of 7,000 friends and followers in a span of 15 months.
Key concentrated in multicultural marketing with courses taught by Felipe Korzenny, Ph.D. “The assignments in Korzenny’s course prepared me for translating communication goals back to the audience, understanding each culture’s way of expression, and how that will impact messaging,” Key explains. She also found value in Dr. Robinson Herrera’s Latin American history course.
Key’s residency in the IMC program led her to develop social media and email marketing strategies at John G. Riley Center & Museum in Tallahassee, Florida. She was appointed as the youngest member of the Museum’s Board of Directors in September 2012 and served as Publicity Co-Chair.
In October 2012, Kianta became the Marketing and Communications Specialist at Silver Airways in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Her duties entailed assisting with the development of the website redesign, social media management, email marketing, dissemination of press releases, corporate event coordination, and the editorial calendar for the in-flight magazine, Silver Skies. Here, she realized the importance of her graduate statistics courses.
“As a social media specialist, any goal or tactic must begin with understanding the audience (looking at data) and then that tactic must be measurable (often tied to a sales goal),” Key says.
She worked with Silver Airways until March 2013 and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the same month to become a Health Communications and Digital Marketing Specialist for Danya International. Key was able to reconnect with multicultural marketing as she developed social media strategies to reach African Americans and Latinos about HIV/AIDS testing. Kianta assisted with the development of Twitter chats and interviews on HIV/AIDS awareness, reaching 309,487 tweeters with #TalkHIV, .and created Facebook posts for the ACT Against AIDS Leadership Initiative.
In August 2014, Kianta took a huge leap and moved to New York City to join Strawberryfrog as a Social Media Strategist. She has had the opportunity to work with brands like Head On European Wax Center and Nature’s Variety. In November 2014, she and her team flew to Tirana, Albania to build a social media strategy that would increase tourism in the country. There, they fell in love with the landscapes and met the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, who loved their creative ideas.
Currently, Kianta Key is moving on to serve as the Social Media Manager for Delete Blood Cancer DKMS and is also also working on a digital fitness platform for women, EveryBody.
“I’m starting to think everyone should start a business. It doesn’t have to be a huge production, but the lessons I learned from owning a food truck for three years taught me so much about my leadership style, communicating with others, and how to find the glory in the failures, ” Key says.