Trendsetting and trailblazing — this Seattleite is pioneering the social frontier.
As we usher in the dawn of a new age in media, few have been able to harness the limitless power of the digital world. Then, there’s Alex Garcia — innovative entrepreneur extraordinaire and gifted pioneer of today’s social media scene.
Garcia is the co-founder and creative mastermind behind Banyan Branch, the Seattle-based powerhouse in social media marketing.
Before Banyan Branch, Garcia was in charge of marketing for Drive-Thru Records in Southern California, where he helped build the label’s massive network of web-based fans, then ventured on to the U.S. Capitol to lead a huge underground Grassroots movement in Hillary Clinton’s 2007 campaign.
With his knack for navigating the virtual world, Garcia was instrumental in creating the campaign’s web strategy, which attracted half a million donors from online communities. His efforts earned him an offer to be the organization’s head of social media, which he turned down in favor of returning to Seattle to chart new paths. Soon after, Banyan Branch was born.
As a full-service social media agency, Banyan Branch works with heavy-hitting clients like Paramount Pictures, Viacom, Microsoft and other Fortune 500 companies, creating noteworthy social campaigns through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“The most rewarding part of my job is being able to conceptualize an idea, design, build and watch it grow,” Garcia said. “We come up with some pretty amazing ideas, and watching those ideas take shape and be executed is one of the most fulfilling feelings.”
Whether they’re developing the largest fan site for FOX’s teen-musical sensation Glee or creating a viral video phenomenon to promote Apple-friendly software — the cleverly dubbed “I’m on a Mac” (a parody of SNL’s Andy Samberg’s “I’m on a Boat”), which generated more than 1.8 million views — their fresh take on social marketing puts them in a league of their own.
The company experienced tremendous growth since its birth in 2007 and has now surpassed 100 million online followers with all their clients combined. Just last year, the Puget Sound Business Journal named Garcia as one to watch in its “Top 40 Under 40.” But for this enterprising rock star, Banyan Branch is simply the perfect outlet to channel his creativity and intrinsic love of people into one evolving project.
Garcia’s enthusiasm for all things social has lead to other business ventures that allow him to meet and work with similarly minded hip, young players on the scene. Next on his plate — opening up the soon-to-be-largest gay bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, The Social.
Scheduled to debut this month, the ultra-lounge and restaurant is a reflection of Garcia’s greatest passions — LGBT rights and social media. The lounge will also feature the city’s first iPad menu system, adding a new dimension to how people meet and connect inside the venue.
“I’m really excited for this project,” Garcia said. “It’ll give me an opportunity to merge social media and the naturally social bar scene.” If that means we can chat, Facebook, and order drinks for someone a booth away via iPad (which, he says, it does), count us in.