Name: Kristen Foster
Position: Content Manager
So once the content has been written and then passed along and approved by the client, the client ally sends it over to me and I post it to all the social media platforms. We currently use HubSpot for all of our large inbound clients, so I’ll just go in and post through HubSpot and then for some of the smaller clients that don't use HubSpot, I'll use a program called Buffer to schedule it out. Basically I post all the content, the same with blogs and videos and whatnot.
I have an undergraduate degree in finance and I worked in banking for a few years right after college. I quickly decided that was probably not something that I wanted to do long term, so I went back to school and got my master’s degree in education. I taught kindergarten for seven years: I taught two years in public school before we had kids, and then after we had kids I taught for five years at a private school for a little half-day kindergarten.
Tell us how you started at Primitive Social.
It's funny how I ended up at Primitive Social. Kade and Lacey are some of our really good friends, and right when the business was starting to grow a little over three years ago, Kade was like, “I need someone to work just a few hours a week to post some content for me.” So that’s when there were about four employees pretty much, so I was like, “Sure, I can do that.” I had just had a baby and we were home a lot, so for a few hours a week I started posting content. Then, that summer is when Kade and Jerred partnered up and decided to go in together. They started getting super busy, and at that time I was supposed to have Selah in my kindergarten class and Kade called me in August before school started and he said, “Okay, what's it going to take? I want you to come work for me.” At that time, he wanted me to kind of do some bookkeeping and posting content. So I quit teaching in fall of 2015 and started working for Kade, even doing some HR administrative stuff. At the time we only had I think less than 10 employees, so it wasn't bad. But then shortly after, it really took off and became pretty evident pretty quick that my job needed to be for someone that was going to be working up at the office full-time. So that's when Liz came on and she took over the bookkeeping and I continued to do the posting.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I am super type-A and task-oriented, so the role that I have at Primitive Social is great because it's not something that you have to be super creative for or that’s subjective. I really enjoy the fact that there’s something exactly that needs to be done, so if you do it right and on time it's done and good. I like that it's not something that I'm writing and thinking, “Oh, if I would've given it a little more thought I could've done this.” Also, in the last six to nine months I started doing a lot of the reporting for pulling data so the client allies can report back to the client. That includes data on post engagement, reach and visits to the site. I am kind of numbers oriented, having a finance background, so I enjoy that.
What do you like about seeing all of the final products for clients?
A lot of times when we’re pushing content offers or posting blogs, I'll be reading through the blog like for Carpet Tech and I’ll think, “Oh man, I really need to get our house sprayed for bugs” or “Oh, that's a really good offer...I need to call them and get our carpets cleaned.” Then there’s Hurst. I do all their blogs also and get to see when they will run promotions about tractors or like lawn care maintenance for lawn mowers. So I enjoy getting to see the final product that gets pushed out for each of the clients. I know when they're working on me, they’re going to do awesome.
Is it a good position to have while being a Mom?
Absolutely. My kids are ages 10, 8, 5, and 3: that’s one girl and three boys. On days where the kids have stuff going, with this type of work I can work at 10:00 at night, I can get up early and work, or I can work during nap time. I can schedule out pretty far in advance once I get the calendars, and so it's super flexible. Of course, Kade and Jerred are fabulous to work for and offer that flexibility.
Do you see your posts randomly on social media and know it’s working?
So before we started using HubSpot or Buffer, I would actually go in and post directly through Facebook or Twitter instead of scheduling. Since I'm an admin on all of those accounts, the content all shows up in my newsfeed. Then also, a sponsored ad will pop up here and there and since I'm an admin it shows like engagement, the reach and the organic or paid reach. It’s neat to see how people engage with and comment on our content, like how Buddy’s account on Instagram has become all the rage.
You come in the office to work every now and then. What do you like about the culture?
There has been so much growth. To be there from the first office building on 50th Street and then move downtown and see it grow and the culture grow, I think it’s neat. I feel like Kade and Jerred have done a really good job of being true to the culture and true to what they want the culture of Primitive Social to be. Everybody has kind of found their own niche and I know it's growing, but it still feels like a small company.
Is it crazy for you to see how much Primitive Social has grown?
Kade is such a dreamer and being friends of Kade has been fun because he would tell us these ideas about, “I want to buy this business” or “I want Primitive Social to expand in this way,” and so to see all of these dreams and and goals and ambitions come to fruition has been really cool.
Why are you committed to Primitive Social?
I just celebrated three years, and I'm committed not only because of the relationship that we have with the Wilcoxes, but also because Kade is really good to work for. He takes care of his employees and really has their best interests at heart. You can tell by the fact that they try to know you and they’re everybody on the team's biggest cheerleader. They want them to be in a role that is life-giving for them and that works for them so they can enjoy their work. I think they have honed in on the fact that people do good work when they enjoy the work that they're doing, and so I can just really appreciate that as an employee knowing that my employer has that kind of mindset and that they really do care about what's best for me.
What are you excited for in Primitive Social’s future?
Just the way that Primitive Social is continually evolving and trying to stay ahead of the competition and ahead of the game, that's where I'm at on that. It's been fun to watch and I know that it will continue to grow, be successful and ever-evolving.
Okay, now let’s talk more about you. What’s your daily routine?
Well it’s kind of chaos with four kids, usually. It just depends on the day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Bryce takes the big kids to school and then the little boys and I are usually home. So on those days, I'm usually working from home and then Tuesdays and Thursdays I'll either go into the office or try to get errands ran while the little boys are at school. So then it just depends on what sport we're doing. Right now we’re smack-dab in the middle of baseball, t-ball and basketball. My daughter is doing tumbling and it's also rodeo season, so we're super busy with kids on top of work stuff.
Does it feel like you’re living the life of a soccer mom?
I mean to tell you, I feel like a taxi sometimes. But that’s what’s great about the work that I do because it's so flexible. I can still be present in my kids lives and I can still be there for field trips, class parties, or taking and picking them up from school and all of that. So it's the perfect job for where we are in this stage of life.
Do you have a playlists you listen to while working?
I’m a huge fan of Need to Breathe, a Christian rock band, so you can figure that that’s playing all the time while I’m working. That or the worship playlist from Redeemer Church in Lubbock.
Do you have any favorite TV or Netflix shows?
We love to go see movies at the theater, and we’ll pretty much see anything. Our two older kids are finally getting to where we can go see non-cartoon movies as a family. But really, Bryce and I for our anniversary or if we ever have a day without kids, we'll go to like three or four movies on one day. We like to see all the movies that are up for awards, like Oscars. So that’s been our thing since we were dating is going to movies, and we really like the luxury loungers at Cinemax.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
I enjoy running and working out. I like to read, but I don't have tons of time to read so I don't know if you would really consider that a hobby of mine. I also watch sporting events that the kids are doing.
From my understanding, you have a dog at home too?
Yes, we surprised the kids with a golden doodle for Christmas and her name is Millie. She rules the roost now. She's a puppy, so she is still super hyper and into everything.
How do you balance work and personal life?
I think the biggest thing is setting aside time to really focus on work, and then also being able to set it aside and say, “Okay, I’m gonna not be consumed with work right now. I’ve got everything for the day done and I'll worry about the rest tomorrow.” Since I work out of my home, work is always there and kind of in the back of my mind. At the same time, I have an office space here at home so I know I can shut my computer and leave it there and go take care of other stuff and then come back to it at anytime. The little boys are good about knowing that if the door to the office is closed, I'm on a conference call or working.
What is something not everyone knows about you?
In college I started a chapter of Phi Lamb, a Christian sorority, at Angelo State University. I had a friend here at Texas Tech that had joined Phi Lamb her freshman year, and when I would come back to Lubbock on the weekends, I would do stuff with her and Phi Lamb. So that semester I went back and I had met Bryce. He was in student government and really active, and so he kind of knew how to get the ball rolling and helped me get it started. So I just knew there was a need for it. There were a lot of sweet girls that wanted to be a part of a group of something, and at ASU and they don't have a huge Greek community. Phi Lamb isn’t actually Greek, it’s non-Panhellenic, so a group of us got together and started it.
Who do you admire?
My mom has always been a super hard worker. She went back to school when we were in high school, like went back to college and got her degree and then ended up getting a master’s. She has worked hard for our family. She decided later in life to start a career, and right now she is a diagnostician at Lubbock Cooper. So yeah, I think she always made it look so easy and now that I'm a mom I think, “How in the world was she juggling all of our activities?” We did sports, cheered, stock showed and you name it, we did it at our small school. So now that I’m a mom, I admire the way that she parented us and still made time for a career for herself.
How do you stay motivated?
I'm super task-oriented and when I get to check off a box, that’s super motivating. So completing things, and in my line of work, there’s a super lot of tasks to complete. I think that's what motivates me.
What is your secret to success?
I think knowing what you enjoy doing. Being able to be introspective in the way that you can say, “Okay, maybe this is what I wished I was good at, but I don't enjoy doing it.” So I think the secret to success is finding something that you enjoy and being able to voice it if it’s not something you're enjoying. For me, I just have to know myself enough to know that even though this isn't something that receives all the glory or praise, I’m good with doing a job that isn't in the spotlight.