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Tulani André’s passion for storytelling and connecting with others shines through everything she does. As the VP of Social for National Geographic, we are recognizing Tulani as a Marketer to Watch for how she leads her dynamic team of strategists who manage social accounts for TV, brand, and editorial with a combined following of over three-quarters of a billion people. She has been in social marketing for the last 14 years and began her career working at agencies. From there, she went to FOX Entertainment as the VP of Social, then to Prime Video, and now has been at National Geographic for over half a year. She considers it “the perfect combination of the work I’ve done.” The industry should keep its eyes on Tulani—sit back and watch her grow while she pushes social media progress and change. Here’s her story.

What gives me joy outside of work

Traveling and exploring the world with my husband, visiting museums, reading, and finding new ways to learn that can impact my perspective on life. I also love picking up new projects or skills that keep me curious and continuously growing. 

Every marketer should

Stay on top of the news and current events. I usually do this by listening to NPR Morning Edition daily, either while working out or between meetings. I also spend time scrolling through TikTok, Threads, and IG to better understand trends and what other brands are doing well.   

Future of Marketing

Q: What is one thing coming down the pike for marketing you are most excited about?

The breadth and reach of video and audio storytelling are increasing. We continue to find new ways to bring content, brands, campaigns, and moments to life. Yes, podcasts and videos have been taking off for a while, but as more people take the story off the page or TV set and into social spaces, it will be great to see the evolution that creators and brands have only begun.  

Q: What’s your prediction or something you see evolving in Social Media Marketing over the next few years? 

The evolution of content creators is not over. It has grown rapidly over the years. We’ve seen growth, fluctuation, and a bit of fatigue, but there is still a lot more that can be done. There are so many creative minds out there that may have the next big idea or moment. And we now have ever-growing platforms to share them on. In addition to that, Gen Z has grown up with social; their ideas about content and creativity will challenge the norm and continue to provide new ways for creators/influencers to partner, develop, and promote themselves and their work. 

Q: What widely accepted “marketing truth” or concept do you wish the industry would do away with or evolve? 

I’d like to challenge the belief that we can only look at success by what was gained or profited from a campaign. In our current world, we need people to understand a brand, gain loyalty, mention it in conversations, have positive sentiment towards it, know what it stands for, and want to come back to watch content because they know it is speaking to what they are interested in. Those things might not always turn a profit right away, but eventually, they add up.

Marketing National Geographic

Q: How have you been able to build National Geographic into one of the most popular brand accounts on Instagram?

I’ll be honest: I’ve been at National Geographic for about 6 months, so I can’t take much credit for the amazing follower growth over the last 14+ years. With that said, a lot of the growth obviously came from the stunning images submitted by National Geographic explorers and photographers over the years. They helped build a foundation on Instagram that gained attention and engagement from a large audience. From there, the social presence expanded into Travel, Adventure, TV, and more, providing viewers and fans multiple ways to learn, grow, and explore with National Geographic. The brand’s amazing history and legacy have a lot to do with our success. So many of us saw the stack of yellow magazines in our parents’ homes, now we have those same stories and photos at our fingertips.


Q: What’s something exciting you’re currently working on?  

We are looking for more ways to get the National Geographic brand, message, and content in front of a younger and more diverse demographic. We have content that speaks to so many interest areas—from travel to learning about new species, exploring different parts of the world, to looking at some of the cutest lion cubs you’ve ever seen. So, we are working on diversifying the ways we tell stories, working with more influencers who connect with our message and can share that with their audiences, and diving into original YouTube content that provides us a place to share our voice and vision—to name a few things. Overall, we are taking a more social-first approach to our content and embracing the most authentic ways to increase engagement, reach, and visibility for the brand.

Q: What’s the most pressing business challenge you’ve faced within the last year, and how have you tried to solve it?  

The most pressing business challenge is the obvious one: standing out in a crowded social space. Continuing to find ways to add value to fans and followers when there is so much to choose from. Offering a break from the decision fatigue that has hit everyone in some way.  

There are a few ways to problem-solve this that I’ve used in my current and past positions.

  1. You must make moments and join them. Finding a way for your brand to become a part of relevant trending conversations and adding your voice in a meaningful, funny, or engaging way is important and impactful.
  2. Community management. You need to talk to and respond to fans and followers, form relationships, and respond to questions and requests. Though this has always been important, it continues to gain relevance as audiences grow and people expect more from creators/brands/companies.
  3. Look to your internal teams. Brainstorm, have conversations, ask for opinions and suggestions from different groups, and get new, surprising, and different ideas and suggestions about content creation.
  4. Go outside. Find other ways outside of your owned social accounts to continue the conversation or campaign. Look for partnerships that get you in front of more fresh eyes. Collab with brands that align, but what people may not always expect. Find ways to bring the conversation into real life.  

Career and Leadership Advice

Q: What leadership muscle is most important for marketers to exercise?

There are two really important muscles that leaders should always look to flex:

  1. A commitment to continuing to learn, understanding what’s changing in your industry, and staying on top of trends. This is what makes you good at your job, but it also helps with understanding what your team is working on, how to be impactful in an ever-changing space, and what it means to be innovative and forward-thinking.
  2. Empathy for the people who work with and for you. We are not our jobs; work is just something that we do. As managers and leaders, we need to make sure that we are considering the whole person who works for us and not just what they can do for the company. Everyone is coming into the office or logging onto Zoom carrying something very different than the person next to them. We can’t assume we know everything. Trusting people who work for us, caring for their well-being, and having honest and open conversations with them are vital to building strong relationships on a team and helping leaders become a true source of support and mentorship.

Q: What’s the most game-changing career advice youve received?

Have a bias for action. Let me explain. Sometimes, following through on something is easy. Other times, it’s going to take 10 more emails than you thought it would to get to the desired result, and that’s okay, do it anyway. In so many places in and outside of work, things are going to be a little more complicated, confusing, difficult, or surprising than we thought they would be, but it’s how you react to them that matters the most. Having a bias towards getting the work done, finding a solution, or even changing the narrative will always make you stand out. You will become the “yes, and…” person. And that’s a great person to be.   

Marketers to Watch is a recognition series to spotlight highly innovative and forward-thinking marketing leaders in the community. If you have someone you’d like to nominate for the series, apply here.