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Meet Our CEO: PLANOLY's New Leader, Christina Martinez

So, you grew up in New Jersey and stayed home to attend school at Princeton. How did those experiences shape your career and inspire you to join Teach for America after graduation?

My family inspired me. My whole family immigrated to the US from Cuba. They had no money and no network, but their core belief was that education is a great equalizer. My mom came to the US at the age of 15 and ultimately put herself through medical school, which afforded her children a much easier life than she had.

I grew up believing that an excellent education is your ticket to success, and it broke my heart to see that so many kids in our country are not afforded that opportunity. Teach For America gave me the ability to, in some small way, try to give the kids I taught the opportunity to see new possibilities for themselves.

As a social marketing company, we have to ask. What do you personally love about social media?

It’s funny because I have always felt like an early adopter of social media. Back in the days of dial-up internet, I was on AOL instant messenger, Myspace, and even had a Facebook account back when it was exclusive to colleges and the URL was “THE Facebook.”

What I really love about social media is the ability to connect and expand your horizons. In recent years, Instagram has grown from a space for connection to a place where brands and creators can also educate and inspire. I love when I can learn something on social media in 30 seconds or less. You can speed through a video or tutorial and gain a unique educational experience.

Although I would not consider myself a good cook, watching speedy start-to-finish cooking videos is one of my favorite things. When done right, I think the content you put out in the world can be extremely valuable to people.

Do you have any predictions for upcoming social media industry trends?

What I think is coming in the next year or two actually stems from some of the negatives we’ve seen emerge from social media recently. Like doom scrolling or overconsumption. People aren’t willing to look at things that aren’t adding value to them anymore. You get to opt into what you see, especially on Instagram when you choose who you follow.

Social media is returning to its roots, as an avenue for individuals to connect and learn. With so many platforms and accounts to choose from, consumers can be picky about the feed they curate. The only way to win people’s attention is to give them a positive educational or inspirational experience.

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How do small businesses play an important role in PLANOLY’s future?

I’m really excited about the trajectory that PLANOLY is on and how we’re uniquely positioned to help small businesses embrace the importance of establishing a digital presence. Looking back on the past year and how the pandemic has impacted so many, I’m thankful we can help business owners navigate this shift. I try to ask myself, “How can we take what has been a tough time for people and create an experience that helps people grow their businesses and get up and running again?”

You talk a lot about growth and how passionate you are about it. In what ways do you see PLANOLY growing within the next year?

The way that I view how we want to move forward is by focusing on what PLANOLY is truly excellent at: 1) helping people tell their stories, and 2) helping people grow whatever it is they're trying to grow. I’m excited to take both of those things, and amp them up!

On the storytelling side, we have a lot of ideas on how to make content creation easier. Everyone has something unique to say and we want to help them say it. I’m also excited to help businesses grow via social marketing to the end of getting more people following you, interacting with you, and buying your product.

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At PLANOLY we live and breathe our Core Values. Which do you identify with the most?

I identify with all of them, but the one that speaks to me the most is Never Be Content. You can always get better, can always improve, can always try something new. There are limitless possibilities to what you can do and I find that inspiring.

We’d love to hear about your daily routine. What does a normal day look like for our new CEO?

I’ll start by saying that my normal day has been completely upended - like many of us. I’m not a morning person so the first thing I do is drink coffee. It’s really a non-negotiable thing. If I have time in the morning, I like to do a quick meditation to center my day. A new habit I started recently since I moved to Austin is taking time between calls to go out for a walk. I’ve found it to be a great way to get my energy up and reset during the day.

Last but certainly not least, what is your favorite thing about living in Austin so far?

I love Austin! People are incredibly friendly. When you drive through a neighborhood people wave to you! Not to mention, my husband and I are loving the BBQ, breakfast tacos, and gorgeous weather.

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PLANOLY has gone through some exciting changes and gained a new leader! In this blog post, we sit down and get to know our new CEO, Christina Martinez.

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