Membership Monday: Meet SMCHI Pro, Carmille Lim


Our Pro membership is comprised of digital professionals, innovators, and leaders from a wide array of (some unexpected) disciplines. To showcase this diversity, each month we’ll introduce you to one of our Pro members and share their insights on social media. Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future month? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.
CCHI - Carmille Lim

I’m an advocate at heart, and am thrilled that I can engage and organize citizens to take action on issues that affect our political process and democracy, full time – and get paid for it! I work as executive director for Common Cause Hawai‘i — a nonpartisan nonprofit that serves as a government watchdog; we protect the (political) process in order to elevate citizen voices, and hold government officials accountable. I’m also enthusiastic about women’s rights, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and the arts.

How are you currently using social media in your job?

There are 3 main ways we use social media. To:

  1. Update the community on “good government” news (e.g., elections, money in politics, abuse of political power, transparency in government processes, etc.)
  2. Mobilize the community to take action on the above issues
  3. Engage our members and supports in discussions around the issues we work on.

Describe a challenge you faced in your use of social media and how you overcame it.

I first started using social media publicly in while I was finishing up college. At that time, I felt conflicted on how censored I should post personal tweets on my now public Twitter account. I had a hard time figuring out how “personal” posts could also be professional — especially since I can be very opinionated. At that time, an online engagement pro named Dan Zelikman encouraged me to post more about my personal life to “humanize” my account. He advised me, “if you use your best judgment, and people disagree with your post…well, you don’t want to associate with them anyway.” From that point on, I was more comfortable with sharing some of the issues I advocate for online, as well as adding my own 140 character commentary.

What’s one social media tool or platform you couldn’t live without?

Twitter, hands down. It’s such an efficient way to receive aggregate updates from my favorite sources — whether that’s a news station, a style blog, a citizen journalist, or a thought leader. Further, it links me to different ways to consume information: videos, photos, podcasts, and a full-blown article. And the 140 character limit forces people to get right to the point!

Name a mistake businesses make with social media.

The number 1 social media mistake has got to be posting links or photos without context. Sometimes, I see a hyperlink posted on Twitter or Facebook, without any additional comment from the business. I find myself thinking: Well — what about the link? Do you have an important announcement? Is it breaking news? Did I win something? The same goes for pictures without context: when I see a room with 2 people talking, and people staring at them, I wonder what that photo should mean to me, especially if I don’t know the types of conversations they are having.

Where do you see social media headed in Hawai‘i?

Social media is no longer seen as “innovative” but a “necessity” for many businesses and organizations. People recognize this and immediately open up social media accounts to jump on the bandwagon– but without any strategy. So while I see more accounts opening, I can also imagine these accounts may not be managed effectively. For this reason, I expect to see more social media newbies seeking out best-practices resources and social media training.

What exciting initiatives are you working on and can share with us?

We will be launching a new project focused on sharing money in politics data in visually-appealing and convenient ways. Just in time for the 2014 elections. Stay tuned! @CommonCauseHI

What emerging social media networks or tools are you monitoring most closely?

None. At this point, I’m more interested in seeing how the “big players” like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Yelp evolve, and ways other organizations harness these tools for new purposes, or new ways to broadcast their message and interact with the people they serve.

What do you do offline to help you stay current and connected online?

I make it a point to unplug from social media and email one day a week, and at least 4 hours a day (not including sleep of course!). I need “off the grid” activity to reboot and wash away the white noise online activity can sometimes give. Offline, I sew, paint, and read. I’m also a ballet and taekwondo enthusiast, so I spend a lot of time in the studio, or conditioning. Exercise in particular really helps me refocus.

Carmille LimWhat made you join Social Media Club Hawai‘i?

I’ve been a longtime supporter of Social Media Club Hawai‘i. From my first SMCHI meeting in 2009, I felt welcomed, and encouraged to apply social media in innovative ways — especially for advocacy and community engagement. Throughout the years I found the resources and member discussion — both at events and online — to be valuable.

Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future edition of Membership Monday? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.