How highlighting diverse musicians became this Reverb employee’s mission

Written by Michael Hines
Published on Dec. 18, 2018
How highlighting diverse musicians became this Reverb employee’s mission
Brand Studio Logo Social Media Coordinator Mallory Nees social MEDIA COORDINATOR AT THE COMPANY HOLIDAY PARTY. PHOTO VIA REVERB.

Like most people, Social Media Coordinator Mallory Nees never grew up dreaming of working in customer support.

“My career in customer support was primarily the means to an end as I pursued my dream of becoming a world-famous theater actor,” joked Nees, who holds a BFA in Acting from DePaul.

However, her tune changed once she joined Reverb’s customer engagement team. Like many Reverb employees, Nees is a musician, and she quickly developed a passion for the company and its customers.

“The longer I stayed, the more passionate I became about helping musicians and helping the company grow,” said Nees.

Nees’ passion didn’t go unnoticed, and when a role opened up on the social media team, she was encouraged to apply. We recently spoke with Nees about her career change and the support she received from Reverb during the process, along with how Reverb’s social media team is working to highlight diversity in the music industry.


What drove your entry into social media, and how did Reverb support your career change?

A key turning point came during one of our bimonthly all-hands meetings, in which team members give TED-style talks on any topic. After delivering a speech about defying audience expectations, which included a sonnet version of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, I found that people actually thought I was funny. When a position opened up on the social media team, I was encouraged to apply.

I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions to bolster my confidence and keep my imposter syndrome at bay. I was thrilled when I was offered the position, because that meant the team was confident in my ability to roll up my sleeves and learn quickly on the job. My backgrounds in acting and customer engagement ended up being huge assets.


Can you describe your role and what your day-to-day work is like?

During office hours, you’ll catch me scouring Reverb for cool photos of instruments to feature, responding to comments — I read all of them — or thinking through the best way to schedule content. After hours is when I retire to my cave and do glamorous things like live-tweet the Grammy Awards or bother John Mayer on Instagram from behind Reverb’s account. I once got him to play the Doogie Howser, M.D. theme song during his Instagram Live talk show.

The secret to feeling like you’re part of a community is seeing yourself represented within it.”


We’ve heard Reverb’s female audience on social media has grown substantially since you took the reins. How did you drive that growth?

The secret to feeling like you’re part of a community is seeing yourself represented within it. When I started managing Reverb’s social media, our audience skewed male. My first step was to incorporate faces into our photos. We did a great job surfacing photos of instruments, but we rarely showed the musicians behind them. I knew that if our accounts reflected the diverse musical community we know exists, we’d start to see more diversity in our followers. If you take a look at our accounts now, you’ll see a wide range of faces, from everyday musicians to budding influencers and icons. I’m also using the social media tools at my disposal to ensure that diverse audiences are seeing these efforts.


How has highlighting diversity in the music industry impacted both the company and its social media strategy?

To reach the wide range of musicians who exist in the world, we have to support and highlight musicians of all kinds. In terms of the impact of our efforts, I can say that since I joined Reverb in 2016, we’ve increased the diversity of our team, content, inventory on the website and more. During that same period of time, we’ve continued to increase sales, users and so on. I’d say we’re on the right track.


Social media supports so many parts of a company. How does Reverb’s social media team support the larger business?

One of the best parts of my job is getting the opportunity to work with so many different people and teams. I work with our incredible design team to create visual assets, the international team to ensure our messaging is unified across time zones and languages, and the editorial team to ensure we’re creating diverse content that keeps people engaged. My customer service muscles are also regularly exercised. When you work in social media, a good customer service team can be the difference between a fun job or a very terrible job, and our customer engagement team is one of the best.


What do you love most about your job?

The in-office espresso machine. And the opportunity to make a real impact on the music world in a very visible way.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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