Learn Social Media Marketing Strategy from Two Social Media Agency Owners

Kellis: Hey there guys, this is Kellis and Kenny fromsocial True North Social. We’re a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, and today, we’re going to talk to you about how to create your strategy for social media marketing, and how you might get started.

We’ve been doing social media marketing for over a decade, so we’re going to try and share our tips and tricks, our experience over the years, and help give you an idea of how we get started with our clients, how we build brand awareness for them, and how we use social media to create engagement with their customers. So let’s get started.

Kenny: Great, thanks, Kel.

Getting Started with Social Media Marketing

Kellis: Let’s talk about when we get started with a new client, obviously, clients are in a lot of different industries and they’re doing all sorts of different things. They might be in a variety of different places in terms of where they need to start. But assuming we’re talking about somebody who’s kind of starting from the beginning, what I have seen you work with in terms of a lot of those clients, is essentially they probably got a great business, but they’re not doing much in terms of their social media or their online marketing.

They’ve got an Instagram or a Facebook account or twitter or something, which means that they’ve opened an account, they’ve started one, they’ve published a little bit of content to it here or there, but they’re not really sure what they’re doing, they’re not really sure what they’re supposed to be doing, and they’re not really organized.

So they come to you, to us and try and figure out well, how are we going to make this work? When you sit down and talk with them, what is that conversation usually in terms of how to get started?

Kenny: Yes. I mean, we have different clients come on board at different starting points in their social journey, let’s say. I usually will break it down into phases, but I think we can kind of get into that in a little bit. But usually, when I’m first talking to a client, I mean I had a chance to take a look at their website, I’ve had a chance to probably just take a brief look at their Instagram, and there are some things that I notice off the bat in terms of analytics, metrics, the way the account looks, the way the website looks.

I can see what ads they’re running actively currently, so how deep they are into that side of things, if they’re using influencers, this or that. But I would say the majority of clients when they first come on board, they maybe have a social media person in-house or they might have a marketing director in-house. Who has an assistant or one of them are kind of half doing the social media, but then they would really someone to take it seriously.

Kellis: I think pretty commonly, this responsibility falls to an assistant, or somebody where their primary job is not social media. Sometimes their primary job is just doing whatever, whatever needs to get done. It’s oh, why don’t we have this person do some social media, and you’re kind of picking it up from there.

Kenny: Yes. I mean, small to medium-sized businesses are who we’re talking to the most. We definitely have worked with some people that are well-known, name-brand companies.

Kellis: But even with them, a lot of times.

Kenny: Even with them, there’s definitely, is sometimes a team that does, is not really pulling it off the way that higher ups would it to be.

Kellis: I think a lot of times, maybe they’ve had more experience with different types of marketing that aren’t social media marketing. It’s their job to do co-branding, or maybe they’ve had ads placed in magazines, or they’ve worked with other vendors who do similar things to us, but the people they have working in-house, they never did social media marketing or digital marketing as a job per se.

Kenny: Yes. Also, we have to keep in mind everyone’s working within some type of budget. And hiring one person to do social media marketing, I’m using quotes if you’re just listening to the podcast. Is there are so many facets to social media at this point.

You could have one full-time person, photographer creating content, graphics, super technical part of it is building and scaling ad campaigns, influencer campaigns, micro influencer or macro. Having one person be an expert at all these things is, I mean just unlikely.

Kellis: I don’t think you even mentioned writing content.

Kenny: Didn’t even get into that.

Kellis: And Scheduling.

Kenny: And also, let’s not forget that we’re not just talking about Instagram anymore. We’ve got TikTok, which is not, I was going to say around the corner, but it’s here and it’s here to stay. So you’re now creating content for multiple social media platforms. I don’t know how much content people are creating for Facebook anymore, so we don’t really need to have that in the conversation.

But I mean, this is why I think sometimes marketing director will come to an agency, is because they can hire a digital agency that might cost the same as a full-time person. But at the digital marketing agency, they’re getting multiple different people that are experts in specific different things, almost for the same cost as hiring someone full time. I mean, depending on what level of expertise that person at full time has.

But honestly, even a person with social media marketing skills- let’s just call it a specialist or expert or manager coming into a company and taking over that role full-time. I still don’t think that they’re going to be, know how to scale and manage ad campaigns properly. I mean, we hire people all the time who are social media coordinators and managers, and I’m not putting them in the role of managing ad spend. You need to really be an expert at that. But we can go back real quick to talking to a client what do we first look at with them and that whole thing, because I don’t want to pass over it.

Kellis: Sure.

Kenny: But yes, I mean here’s kind of where I see the majority of people, is they’re doing social media marketing, half effort. They’re posting regularly, they’re probably not running ads, or if they are, they’re not really performing very well. They maybe doing some influencer stuff, but they’re just probably have a gifting campaign where they’re just sending out free product to a bunch of micro-influencers, which is not bad to build trust with your brand. But it’s not taking it to the next level.

So they’re doing everything, but at a very elementary level. And so that’s the majority of people where they are, and usually, I mean I want to get into social media marketing efforts with someone that in a second, but I would say the next level up from that would be someone who maybe does have someone managing their Facebook ads, but then their content side of stuff is lacking. They don’t have a full-time photographer, or they’re outsourcing to too many different places.

Kellis: I’m glad you mentioned this, if I can jump in for a second. Because I feel there’s really two very different things that you’re kind of getting at, and bouncing back and forth between. But to me, they’re very different things when I see you do them.

And one is content creation, because social media marketing requires- it’s a little mouth to feed, you have to constantly be feeding it content, and you have to be giving it something creative to show people all the time. And producing that and organizing it is one thing, but then I keep hear you mentioning Facebook ads, and the way I have seen you use Facebook ads, basically falls into two ways and they’re very different.

The way we use Facebook ads to build engagement and following for social media marketing is very different than running a direct ad campaign the way you traditionally think of Facebook ads. So I’m just going to break this up a little bit, can we talk about content first, and figuring out a content strategy?

Kenny: Yes. Actually, let’s do it slightly different. I think I’d rather break it into brand awareness versus conversion.

Kellis: I like that.

Kenny: And real quick just to clarify for all the listeners, when we say Facebook ads, we mean Instagram and Facebook. I feel all the time I’m talking to clients, and they’re are you going to run ads on Instagram too, yes. But Facebook is the umbrella in which you choose where you’re going to place ads, sometimes you may place ads on Instagram.

Kellis: For people who don’t know, Facebook ad manager runs ads on Facebook as well as Instagram.

Kenny: Yes. But I’m just going to say Facebook ads, because that’s what us in the biz call it.

Kellis: Okay.

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Building Brand Awareness

Kenny: So brand awareness, here’s kind of a key thing, and I talk to people about this all the time. You get to these pages, an Instagram page, and the first thing I want to do is I want to get someone’s attention in five seconds. I want someone to immediately land on the page, and the feed to flow, everything is super well branded, maybe you’ve got reels posted on there, you’ve got videos, you’ve got different types of content going, you’ve got a story posted currently so you got the ring around your avatar, it is active. All your highlights are branded in some way.

And the reason that I want you that immediate grab is because we’re going to be running probably promotions with Facebook ads/Instagram ads and then also influencers. And you have such a small window when people see the brand and come over to your profile, for them to be I’m interested or I’m not interested. And so, I’d say a lot of clients that come on board immediately, the first thing is we need to work on the way your page looks.

And this is going to probably include a lifestyle shoot regularly, not one. A product photography, which includes flat lays and other types of, anything in studio basically. And then I think some short form video, because really Instagram is pushing short form video. I mean, I’ve never seen anyone direct copy social media platforms more than Instagram’s reels with Tik-Tok. They know that the short form video keeps people on the app longer, and the longer that they can keep people on the app, the more ads they can serve.

Kellis: So if I can jump in here for a second, for people who are unfamiliar with us and True North Social, my side of the business is websites. And here’s where I think this overlaps a lot, is you started off this topic by talking about getting someone’s attention immediately. And that goes across the board for almost every digital marketing channel I can think of, because the internet is short attention span theater.

If you don’t get somebody immediately, they’re moving on to the next thing, they’re not going to wait around for you. And people ask me all the time, well, how do you do that? And the first part of that answer is great content. And when I say great content, I mean, you need to shoot photography and produce video that that is produced, that gets people’s attention. And I think part of the magic of our agency is we’re able to produce that content, which can go on social media, it can go on the website, it can go through ads. So there’s a cohesive story as you go from one to the other.

But I think a lot of people think of working on their social media marketing, and they’re oh, I’m just going to post a bunch of stuff about whatever I’m doing, and I’ll just shoot a bunch of stuff with my phone. And you can get away with that to a certain degree, but at some point, the market is so competitive. If the other people who are your in your industry that you’re competing with, they’re producing the short form video content and getting people’s attention, and they’re producing photography that helps people understand this is the lifestyle of people in my product, this is why you want it, this is why my product is great.

If they’re doing that and you’re not, well, why would customers want to participate in what you’re doing instead of what somebody else is doing? But I think that part is, it’s easy to skip over if you’re not paying attention to it.

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Social Media Channel Goals

Kenny: Yes. Reel, short form video, keeping people on the app longer, so that Instagram can serve ads to you, that’s their whole goal. You need to produce on Instagram to keep people engaged. But I think, taking it back, this is probably where we’ll jump back in.

The reason that we want to get someone intrigued within five seconds on the Instagram profile is because we’re looking for a follow, we want to grow the account, and we’re going to be doing influencer management, probably, there are a lot of things that are going to be pushing back to the profile. And we just have such a short window to grab them, and add them, and they become part of our audience.

So this is where I think a lot of in-house social media management falls short, and to be honest with you, a lot of social media agencies, because we get a lot of times people coming to us that have been I’ve gone through three or four social media agencies, and blah blah blah. I mean listen, sometimes clients can be unrealistic, that’s the fact. But when someone’s gone through three or four places, and you look at their page and it’s clearly not up to par, then they’re just not getting in touch with the people, I’m not sure.

But yes, I mean at True North, a big focus for me and the team is I want to have that flow. Before I even look at captions or read anything that anyone’s written, the top part of our calendars will just have the visual layout. This is common, it’s not we’re reinventing the wheel here. But I want to look at that thing it’s a piece of art. And it doesn’t always have to be the exact color, but I want it to look clean. It needs to have something that I’m we’re going to get someone’s attention.

Once you have their attention, keeping them attentive is a whole nother piece of strategy. But initially, just harking back to what is the first conversation with a client who’s kind of in that space there, where they have someone in house who’s not really pulling it off, or an agency who’s not really pulling it off, that’s the first conversation. Look, feel, flow, how well the Instagram account is grabbing people’s attention. And then from there we can build on the next steps.

But usually phase one, we can jump into some phases. But I think phase one is making sure that it’s well branded, the look and feel. And then phase two is maybe digging into a little bit more can we create some content that’s unique, and keeps people coming back? Because if we’re just going to, I don’t mind if, listen, if you’re selling a soft drink, there’s only really so much content you can do.

You can take really good product photography, you can have influencers and you can build up your page that way, and that’s fine. You’ve completed phase one if it looks good and clean, and it’s grabbing someone’s attention in the first five seconds. And you’ll know if this is being effective because I mean the way that I’m always running ads for followers and ads for social media engagement, because at this day and age, Instagram is pay to play. You really have to pay for an engaged audience.

So if anyone’s under the assumption that it’s not pay to play, no. I mean, years ago we were Facebook’s so pay-to-play, Instagram is more pay-to-play at this point. I mean, if you open up your Instagram now and you start scrolling, the first 20 things I see are meme accounts and funny videos. Before I even get to a post of a brand, even though I like the brand, it’s just all based on how long of a video someone’s watched and they’re going to serve you more videos like that. And if you’re watching a lot of funny videos, that’s what your feeds going to be full of.

So in order to get placement further back up the feed, I honestly think every single post should be promoted, and we should constantly be running ads for followers. There can be a gimmick, or something that’s going to, the offered to people, an ad for followers, but that’s kind of a whole other I think podcast. Discussing those things, the strategies behind those things.

But I do know that we get a lot of clients coming to us, from working from other people and they’re not doing that, and I don’t think it’s being done a lie at all. And I go look at some of these other Instagram big brands, Instagram accounts who have a hundred thousand, 200, 500,000 followers and they’re getting 150 likes on a post, 50 likes on a post, 200, 40, tiny numbers in comparison to how much their follower count is. And their followers may be legit, but it’s just not.

Kellis: So let me dig into this for a second, because I think this is maybe something that people aren’t aware of, mostly because Instagram and Facebook have these algorithms and they change all the time. And I think you mentioned something about a couple of years ago, you could just post something to Instagram and it would get seen by a lot of people. And over the years, it has been throttled down as Instagram, as it was acquired by Facebook has become much more pay to play.

And the idea that you might be a pretty big brand, you might have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, and I have seen this too. I noticed, because we work together. Big accounts with several million followers post stuff, and they get 150 likes or 20 comments on something. And I go how is it possible that an account with these many followers has so few likes and so few comments?

And it’s because the app is feeding it to so few people, and even big brands make this mistake of not promoting their stuff. And here’s the real kicker, as I talked to you in the office about this, and have conversations about it, it seems it’s not super expensive to promote this stuff in a lot of cases.

Kenny: It just depends on the client size, on the client’s budget.

Kellis: Yes. What’s expensive is all relative, granted.

Kenny: Yes. Again, I think we could have a whole other podcast on, an episode on strategy behind how ads for followers or ads for engagement should be set up. Listen, in a perfect world, we all have a huge budget, and we can target super narrow and it costs what it costs, but we get the engagement from the audience exactly to the T that we want. But I think a majority of the clients that I work with regularly are going to be, I usually run a 50-50 style where I’m doing a pretty wide audience and a narrow audience. So I’m getting the narrow, but I’m getting the wide for the numbers, the narrow for really, just making sure we’re at least hitting the exact audience we want.

But there’s something to be said, I mean, I don’t want to discount follower count, it still is extremely important for reputation. And I’m not saying go out and buy followers, because then you’re really hurting your account. But there’s ways to get real followers either through ads or through influencers. I mean, and depending on your budget, going fast or going slow to get to that marker.

But yes, I think it definitely is reputable to have a high follower account. But then it’s also not reputable if your follower account is high, and your engagement is low. But you could fix the engagement thing at a super low budget.

Kellis: I mean, I think that’s what I was getting at.

Kenny: This is going to be controversial; I don’t know who’s seeing this or listening to this. But I could have an ad, I actually set up a system that’s automated, that grabs every single post that we do and promotes it for just five bucks, tiny. This is for just small to medium-sized business. Let’s say we’re doing 20 posts a month, and we promote every post for five dollars, that’s a hundred dollars in a month, nothing.

And we’re talking about targeting only in the USA. Anyone that’s listening that maybe knows about ad targeting, knows that you could target wide for some crazy things. If I wanted to just target India or something, I could do crazy numbers, but I don’t know how helpful that is for anyone. So just in the United States, with interest based on whatever the brand is, and get 200, 300, 500, 600 likes.

Kellis: For a couple of bucks?

Kenny: For nothing, less than a coffee a day. And brands aren’t doing it. Definitely, clients that are looking for a new agency are not doing it. Even brands that I reach out to that I would really to work with, who maybe are working with someone else, I mention it and they’re just okay, well. Let’s move on to the next thing though real quick, because I think, you have a question?

Kellis: Well, no, I just wanted to, so we’re talking about strategy here, and content, we were just saying about that is obviously a huge part of the strategy, because if the way we’re presenting content is mediocre, if it’s lackluster, then people are just not going to pay attention.

But then now where I think we’re going the other half of this is eyeballs. We need to get followers, we need to get people to see all this great content that we’re producing, and there is a whole strategy on that. So I guess maybe I’m just trying to transition.

Kenny: I mean, listen, push me in the right direction. Because I could go on and on into these things, I could spiral into each thing we’re talking about.

Kellis: Let’s get nerdy.

Kenny: But a lot of brands are focusing heavily on the content on their page, and I think it is important. Again, I think that having it well branded is number one, that’s the first thing. But I also don’t want to over invest in just the content on the page. Listen, if you can get someone to create some recurring photography for you, a few recurring videos a month, make sure that you’re touching on the brand selling points regularly, in a fun way, great.

Let’s just go back to a CPG, let’s just talk about a drink or something again, use that as our example. There’s only so much cool content you can create, unless some crazy trend happens, that you could follow along with. But other than that, keep your page consistent, keep it good looking, keep it well themed, flowing and then you can’t just focus on just who’s following your page. I know we’re going to have some, let’s say we have ads running for followers, and maybe a giveaway with an ad running for followers that is going to increase those numbers dramatically.

And then you have your engagement stuff going on, but that’s still just, you got to think about how many eyeballs are seeing your brand, and organically real quick, only so many people are going to see your stuff. We’re already talking about it being paid to play.

Kellis: Organically.

Kenny: Let’s just say we have 10,000 people following an account, maybe 300 are going to see a post, naturally, these days. And that’s not even an exaggeration. So unless you’re creating a lot of reels and things that are making people engage consistently, but we’re talking about a brand, we’re talking about your average Joe, I have a sugar-free new soda brand. There’s only so many reels and stuff you can create on your page.

So you just hit this wall where you can’t really do much more, and that’s where you need to start looking at influencers or other people’s audiences to become your audience. Because how can you get new eyeballs on the page if it’s not just people on your page. You’ve got those people, we checked it off, we post regularly, fine.

But yes, and I think micro influencers are great for building brand trust and brand awareness, it also helps you really create some content that’s not super expensive. Because having some influencers, a lot of big brands are moving in this direction, and less away from this high produced content, and more to this just natural shot in an iPhone, I’m a person with your beverage, smiling.

Kellis: There’s something to be said for the authenticity of a lot of production.

Kenny: Yes. The classic I’m in the kitchen and just got out of the gym, whey protein shot.

Kellis: Oh hey, I didn’t see you there.

Kenny: But I think it’s still good for content, hey listen, sometimes that’s, I mean, maybe more often that not.

Kellis: I mean, if that’s what people buy.

Kenny: That’s probably a more interesting picture to look at than a really cool product shot where they’re stuff’s balancing. At least, you have a person in a shot and they’re saying something about it. But I think a combination of all those things together is important.

But quick though, if that micro influencer has 10,000 followers and they post, but they have good engagement probably because they’re shooting videos of themselves, and probably providing their audience insightful stuff about their lives, their engagement rate’s probably much higher than a brand.

And now if they have 10,000 followers, maybe two thousand of their followers see everything they post, and they post about you, now you’ve got two thousand more people that just saw it. If you times that by ten influencers, now you have twenty thousand.

Maybe you only have fifteen thousand followers, you just got by using ten influencers, more people that even see any of your content when you post throughout the month to see it, 20,000 new impressions let’s say. It’s probably much higher than that, but I just want to be realistic. And then if we start using macro influencers, I mean, let’s just.

Kellis: By that, you mean Influencers with higher following.

Kenny: Higher following, then the number is just exponentially high. But I think a little combination of both. And if we’re going to touch on influencers, I think the key thing is tracking them, getting some screenshots of their analytics after they post for you, if that’s part of the deliverable.

Preferably, you’re using influencers that you’re paying and not gifting, because if you’re just gifting, they’re getting gifted by everyone, and they’ve got so much of just them with a new product them with a new product, them with a new product. And it’s still I think good for you to reuse their post on your page, but it doesn’t build a lot of brand trust on their audience. Their audience already knows oh, this girl or guy just posts whatever, anything that someone will send them for free.

But so definitely having a budget for those people and then tracking them, if you’re using discount codes, if you’re trying to push website conversions, you may have a discount code that the person uses and you can track did it work or did it not work. And listen, if you get some people that are working even a little bit, key thing with an influencer is to reuse someone regularly, so they almost become. I tell clients this, we want to create a street team, a skate team almost.

We have a core eight or ten people let’s just say for an average size client, who constantly post about the brand. And we have on a retainer of some kind, and they get new product every month regularly and we know that they’re going to post four times a month, and do eight stories a month, talk about the brand a lot. I mean, in a perfect world you might even have be linked in their bio somewhere to you, but we’re talking about more cash if you’re going to have something like that.

But yes, so more eyeballs than just what’s on your page, that would be the next phase. You’re well branded, maybe you’re running some minor ads, just for engagement and followers, not for conversion. Because we’re still talking about brand awareness. Just to reiterate, we’re still talking about brand awareness.

And then introducing some influencers to build a little more brand trust, get more brand awareness through their audience, and then I think really the next phase is Facebook/Instagram ads for conversion and scaling campaigns around that.

Kellis: So just to clarify, just for our audience at home. When we talk about social media for brand awareness, versus social media or I guess anything for conversion. Tell me about what that means, how do you explain that to clients?

Kenny: Yes. Brand awareness is just people who see your brand, they’re aware of your brand, if we want to keep it as simple as possible. Conversion is conversions on your website, sales.

Kellis: People buying things.

Kenny: People buying.

Kellis: Or generating leads, something like that.

Kenny: Yes. But brand awareness can be I would say some metrics that are involved around it are impressions reach, and this could be around conversion as well. So conversion I really think the main thing is conversion, that’s the metric mostly. But there are some metrics that I think overlap on both, and that’s really maybe where, I don’t know if it needs clarification.

But either way, on brand awareness, how many people were reaching the impressions, how many likes we’re getting, shares, how many saves posts we’re getting. All of these things by the way affect algorithm, but that’s definitely not get into the algorithm on this podcast. In fact, if you want to learn about an algorithm, just Google, Instagram or Tik-Tok algorithm, and they’ll be about 50,000 videos on YouTube about that.

Kellis: We do another podcast on that.

Kenny: And it changes all the time. Because I follow a lot of these guys too who do videos on those things, and it’s just they’re constantly like new Instagram algorithm. So those are I think, I mentioned followers, so let’s mention followers, likes, saves, shares, reach, impression, the mains. Conversion, I think is a little bit more cost per thousand people reached, or link clicks is going to be important. Add to cart, and then I think the final one, an actual conversion.

Kellis: So when we run ads for conversion, usually what we’re trying to do is get somebody to go to a website and buy something, or sign up for something that, usually you’re trying to get somebody’s money, it doesn’t always have to be that way, but usually, that’s what you’re trying to do.

So when you run Facebook, when you run ads on Instagram or Facebook, there are different things you can try and get people to do. On the brand awareness side, you can run an ad that is something we want to try and get people to follow this account, we want to try and get people to engage. There are a couple of things that are not necessarily, that are conversions, but they don’t result in a sale let’s say.

Whereas, the other type of ads, you’re trying to get someone to buy this t-shirt, buy this bag of coffee, buy something. And that’s where what we think of as social media management, where social media strategy is not about building brand awareness anymore. It’s about trying to make a sale. But what I’ve seen us do, there are certain types of products, or certain types of businesses where you need both.

And I think in those cases, it’s things where either the cost of those things might be a little bit higher. You might need a little bit more brand awareness to buy a product that cost five hundred dollars, than one that cost fifty. You might be doing a little bit more research if the price point is a little bit higher.

And the other one is if you’re trying to get repeat customers all the time, if you were running say a grocery store, and you’re trying to let people know hey, we’re having sales, where it’s thanksgiving, come buy your turkey from us. You’re trying to get people to convert in some way.

But you’re trying to constantly be in their face, and build this brand awareness of what you’re doing all the time. And this is where I think social media marketing for brand awareness really shines. It’s because assuming you’re paying those extra couple of dollars to promote your content, well, now that you’ve built up a following, you’ve got several thousand, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people following you and you push an extra couple of dollars behind that, and all of a sudden everybody is aware of what you’re doing.

And maybe the sale doesn’t directly immediately follow it, but maybe it follows it several times after that. It follows over and over again, or it just follow, instead of you’re just not selling a product where you can collect $50 at a time, you’re just showing this to people over and over and you collect a big sale from them all at once. And that’s kind of what I’ve seen us do there.

Kenny: I think that they overlap, they definitely help each other. I mean, almost brand awareness definitely helps the conversion and sales side of things. I mean, I was just talking to my main ad manager the other day, and he was explaining to a potential, not a potential client, a client we’re working with. He was explaining to them, seven-day attribution window, which is basically Facebook trying to take credit for a sale within seven days of someone seeing an ad or clicking on an ad.

And a lot of times, people will see an Instagram ad, then go over to the Instagram profile. Not check out from the ad, but they’ll go over the Instagram profile, take a look at it. Is it well branded? Are there people on there talking about it that’s not just them talking about themselves? Do they have influencers involved for example? How many followers do they have?

What’s their engagement rate? Are they getting comments? All these factors are coming into their brain before they make a decision to buy something from this brand. And maybe they have forget about it even then, maybe they go, that’s the end of their day at work, and they’re just bsing on their phone. They put it away, they go back home, they’re oh I forgot about that brand. They just go to directly into their website and buy a product, that’s still brand awareness working, for sure.

I mean, the Facebook ad worked, because that was the first thing they saw. But then they went and decided is this brand trustworthy, and then eventually made a decision, it is, I want to buy this.

Kellis: This is an interesting point, because I literally did this last week. I got an ad from, I think it was Nike or Under Armor, I like them both. But they had some coupon for 30% off or something, and I clicked on it. It opened it up, and I like to open these things up in the browser on my phone and check out from there.

But in the middle of that, I don’t know if it was my wife giving me something to do or my daughter coming up to me or a client calling, I got so many things interrupting me all the time that I didn’t make it all the way through. But then when I was back on Instagram, it was later that day or the next day, I saw it again on my Instagram feed and I was oh, I meant to buy that and I did, exactly.

So, I went back, and I completed that purchase. I don’t think I went through Instagram again because I already had this browser thing open on my phone, so I just went back to that. And the interesting thing, you’re mentioning the seven-day window, Facebook will track me as a sale from that ad, but from what I know about our clients, when you look at Google analytics or when you look at Shopify, Shopify does not because I didn’t click straight through in that same session and buy things.

So depending on how you track what is working and what is not, different types of social media marketing tools will give you a little bit different reporting on what you’re doing. And this is all super important if your ad is just or if your strategy, I should say is about we want people to know about our business, we want to remind them of what we’re doing all the time, then when people know about what you’re doing, you’ve succeeded. But if your only goal, is I need to make a sale right now, then maybe that could be happening and you just don’t know about it.

Kenny: Yes. I mean, you’re touching on tracking with Facebook ads, which I think I would love to have some specifically Facebook ads guys on here, maybe even not just ads guys. Actually, what would be cool is our guys talking to others guys.

Kellis: Can we find some Facebook guys? I know they’re down in [Inaudible 00:34:34.24].

Kenny: Well, first of all, they’d all sit here and they would complain with each other about tracking, and how they’ve changed everything. Everyone knows that Facebook went through all this data privacy situation, and it’s caused a lot of headaches for ads managers.

I think what it’s boiling down to at this point though just to not have a whole conversation about that is even if it’s, so Google analytics may be tracking it one way, Facebook ads is tracking it another way. Some other social media marketing resources tracking in another, you might have four different things tracking stuff and your shoplifty store showing a certain number. I think a good way is just have, are your sales going up from running ads overall?

Kellis: Well, that’s the big thing at the end, because this doesn’t necessarily apply to just Facebook or Instagram. You could be talking about twitter or Tik-Tok, or whatever else comes out tomorrow. And this is one of the tricky things that we have found about doing all of this is attribution. but at the end of the day, you want to know what your goals are.

And that you can obviously have more than one, but at the end of the day, you want to see your business grow, no matter what. And if you can see over the course of time from doing this, either my business is growing, and we should double down on what we’re doing. Or you see my business is not growing, which means that we’re not doing this, we need to change up what we’re doing in the social media marketing world.

Kenny: Yes. I mean listen; different ad spends are going to result in different opinions from different clients. I mean you might have a client who’s not even spending that much, and if they’re it’s just not, if it can’t be tracked exactly, then I can’t invest. Then don’t, I mean, would you try to answer. But you got to look at everything and make informed decisions based on the data. And I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds on that. I know quite a bit about it, but it’s also not my full-time job to manage that part. So I don’t want to speak to it too much, because we could have a Facebook ads guy on here and he could tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about on a certain couple topics.

But I think in general, I know what’s going on and tracking is definitely a major issue. But overall, if you’re increasing your ad spend and your revenue on your website is reflecting increasing at the same time, then I think you’re making good price, some pretty good moves. But definitely, yes I don’t want to get too deep into the Facebook ad stuff, so we’ll probably cut there, just FYI a little bit.

Kellis: Yes. I think more where I really want to go with this is obviously a big part of social media strategy, from the big thousand-foot perspective is goals. It’s why are we doing this, what are we trying to get out of this in the first place.

Kenny: I think that was another thing I wanted to touch on too, by the way. Which is that, because I think we got real deep into after you build a good-looking Instagram page, and you get some influencers involved, maybe you have some minor ads for brand awareness running, then I said the next thing is maybe ads for conversion. But I do want a caveat, we do have clients that conversion is not their goal, sales is not their goal.

Maybe brand awareness could be their goal. I have people that run big conventions, or non-profits. And yes, maybe indirectly, some type of sale down the road is their goal. But it’s not the goal of our agency working with them, our goal is the brand awareness. We want to grow a bigger audience, get the audience involved more, reach more people, have more people know about the brand, that’s the thing.

I mean, take into consideration, I’ve worked with some photographers and artists and things that. Maybe they are trying to sell some art and photography, but their main goal is to look more reputable on social media channels. So I don’t want to completely disregard people that have that as their objective, because it’s a very common objective.

Kellis: No. In fact, I would go the other direction, where that really, ideally should be a big part of the goal for social media management, as opposed to just running conversion based ads.

Kenny: I mean, let’s not forget about celebrities. I mean, listen maybe they’re trying to sell stuff, again, indirectly. But their main part is I want to grow, I want to create content that’s engaging, and I want to build my brand.

Kellis: We’ve worked with a couple of celebrities; I want to say actually athletes I think is the big one for this. Because if you’re an athlete who is well known, you’re going to get sponsorships, you’re going to get endorsements, you’re going to get invited to a lot of things.

And it could very well be that you make more money off of those things than you do actually playing a sport or competing athletically. So I mean, we live in a day and age now where people have built their entire industry just off of being known. So that brand awareness is everything, for certain types of businesses.

Kenny: Yes, the sports, I mean athletes. Athletes are super fun to work with, because the type of content they put out can be super entertaining. But I mean, I guess at the same time if you’re working with a comedian, they’re funny, so they have that type of content to put out. Everyone usually has some type of shtick that they’re able to emphasize on.

But I would say with celebrities or, let’s just say artists in general, or sports athletes, they don’t want to, I think the majority of them don’t want to spend the time, so a lot of times they’ll have an assistant or they’ll make their PR do it. And that’s not their expertise. I mean listen, I have friends in PR and I think most of them say that’s not their expertise.

Which is why, honestly, that’s why some of them are friends with me. Because we’re trading off, I need someone to do PR, they need someone to be learning social media marketing. But yes, it’s just a super time intensive, and it’s not something that they want to deal with or take social media marketing courses, so we’ll do it for them. But those I think are the general really broad umbrellas phases.

Kellis: Well, you started to touch on this, and it made me think of kind of the flip side of it. Which is it is really easy, when you said it’s kind of easy to create engaging content around say an athlete, because they’re just doing amazing stuff all the time. But that gets into what it made me think about, was it’s really easy to tell this story around somebody who’s entertaining. But we have other client you’re talking about soft drinks, where it’s you, it’s a can of liquid or a bottle of liquid. How do you create an engaging story around this thing?

And I think that’s where we shine, because we’re professionals and it’s our job to do that. But telling a story around, to me this is a puzzle that I love to solve. I do it on websites, you do it on social media marketing, but we’re both doing it. And I looking at this thing, and going okay, this is the thing, who is the person who uses this thing? And what is the ideal version of the lifestyle with this thing? And then we figure out, we hopefully depending on who the client is, we create a photoshoot.

We figure out what the ideal version of this story is? How do you take a soft drink? When they’re a man, there’s so many soft drinks coming out every year. And tell a story about what makes this one different? Who uses it? Who drinks this? Where do they drink it? Why do they drink it? What is the thing that makes this compelling? And for some clients, athletes, they’re already doing that. But I mean, soft drinks, makeup, clothing, in large part these are commodity products.

You make the thing and then you put your label on it, and now it’s yours. But you may be getting your soft drink filled and bottled at the same place that is filling and bottling a thousand other soft drinks, and they’re all trying to market them. So this is where I think social media marketing is actually this hugely invaluable tool, because you have this chance to create a story around this product, and then tell it over and over and over again on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. But I want to hear you talk about that a little bit.

Kenny: Well, first of all, hopefully the client comes on board with some type of branding agency that’s worked with them previously to kick it off.

Kellis: Hopefully.

Kenny: Or else, we’re doing that for them, which is fine, we can do that. This is why influencers are so important though, they help tell your story.

Kellis: Sure. Who you associate with, it’s part of your story.

Kenny: You want to have them help tell your story, and you’re going to basically build a profile of the activities they do, the lifestyle they live, does that match up with the branding of your product, and then that’s kind of the roadmap that you take.

And then again, I mean a lot of that also is going to go along with your own messaging, whatever you’re writing on your own social media posts or stories or reels or etc. Hopefully, a branding agency has worked with the new client, potentially. But a lot of times, we’ll do it ourselves and that’s totally fine.

Kellis: Well, I think running social media campaigns, building a website, these are all things you could hire somebody in India or Pakistan or something to do.

Kenny: Yes, I mean not a great job, but yes sure.

Kellis: There’s a big difference. There’s technical execution there which probably isn’t really great. But besides the technical execution of this stuff, it’s what are you really getting at. What is the story that you’re trying to tell? And when I see us do that with social media marketing, this is really what we do.

I think a lot of it is just sitting down and talking to the customer, or to our client and listening to them. For people who are trying to DIY this, I feel the hard part is, in a lot of cases, is they don’t have somebody to talk to who will really listen to them and knows how to understand what the important parts are. Because yes, a lot of times, when I sit down with a client, or when I’m on a call with you. We ask the client to just tell us about their brand, or their company.

And they’ll just sort of rattle on for a couple of minutes, and inside of that, we’ll take some notes, and out of that 10 minute, we’ll probably get two or three sentences about what they do. We’ll get a lot of information about what they do, but this tiny little chunk of it is what’s really valuable.

Or maybe they say something, but when we hear them say it, we think oh, you just need to twist this at a slightly different angle. And now you’re telling people why what you’re doing is different than everybody else.

Kenny: Yes. I think we’re kind of hitting on a few, one big takeaway from what I’m hearing you say is client size matters. If it’s a big client, they’re going to come on board with branding and messaging ready to go. If they’re in between, maybe they’ve had a decent branding agency or PR agency come on and help them. If they’re 90%, listen the majority of businesses are going to be small to medium-sized businesses.

There’s only so many cokes and Pepsi and Sprites in the world. But for this majority of small to medium-sized businesses, I do think that their messaging needs to be massaged, it needs to probably be catered a little bit better for the website, and everything needs to really become succinct.

We’re building out content and when we’re building out influencer campaigns, and when we’re building out ads. I mean, when you’re going to do an ad that’s directly why you should buy it, this is why you should buy us, messaging and storytelling are super important. And it’s off the bat, the first conversation. I’m pretty sure that we send a, in the questionnaire we send a client, a client questionnaire to people what are your brand colors? What is your main messaging?

We want to know what the voice is too. Obviously, look and feels fine, we’ll get that, we can nail that, we have the photography skill set to handle any type of photography. But messaging in terms of how is the voice? What’s the age group? Are they hip and slick or are they fancy, and high-end kind of stuff? But yes, I mean to your point, story matters, right off the bat.

Kellis: So with the storytelling aspect, sometimes we get clients who are working on a fairly new business. Although sometimes, small to medium size can be a pretty decent size, well-established business. You might have been in business for 10 or 20 years, and make 50 million dollars a year in revenue, and you can still be an SMB. You’re not a coke or a Pepsi yet, you still have a real business.

Kenny: True.

Kellis: But you’re trying to get online, and you haven’t really tried to tell this story, and like we were saying, this very succinct way yet, where you have this much time to get somebody’s attention. I always laugh when we send out our questionnaires to people, and sometimes people are really organized, and they come back with a brand bible, and they’re we’ve done this already.

But sometimes, they don’t even read the questionnaire. And it just comes through and a conversation with whoever we’re talking to, hopefully one of the people at the top who can make decisions about where are we going to take this? What’s the story we’re going to tell?

Kenny: And also, I think budgetary constraints matter a lot even with storytelling.

Kellis: How can you be scrappy about this?

Kenny: Well, I’ll have a client come on board who’s oh, I think that my audience is x, y and z but my budget is only let’s just say not the most. Well, I think we can really only target maybe x then. Because if we’re going after x, y, and z.

Kellis: And that’s a big part of strategy.

Kenny: We’re never going to accomplish any of the goals unless we’re just going to focus fully on one aspect first. It doesn’t mean you can’t do those things later. But that’s probably the last thing I want to say, is that taking bite-sized chunks off of doing social media strategy.

Kellis: When you say bite-sized chunks, to me, what that means is focus. And this is where I think you might actually have an advantage being smaller or newer. Because if you’ve ever worked in a big corporation, the more people you have, the more people want to be involved in the decision.

And if you have a lot of money, and you can do a lot of things, it becomes tempting to try and do everything all at once. Which is pretty tough, it’s not impossible, but it’s certainly better to do one or two or three things really well than a dozen of different things.

Kenny: I mean, that’s why I mentioned phases in the beginning, and we can wrap it up with the phases. The first thing you want to get your look and feel down, and then you want to get some influencers involved, you want to get your ads going and then you want to start scaling up certain parts of those phases more and more. But I think if you’re small to medium size let’s say again, you want to just start with look and feel, getting that attention in the first five seconds so that your ads that you start to do, even if it’s smaller budget, are really effective.

And then from there, introduce a little bit of influencers, make sure that the storytelling with them matches up with the storytelling of you. And then slowly invest more in each of those. And really get the people involved. Get the photographer who could do it, get the ad manager who can do it. I mean, I probably, when I was first doing ads, I probably went through 15 guys before I found a guy who could do it the way I wanted it. But yes man, I mean again we could talk about a million, there are so many aspects we could go at down avenues with, but I do think it would be nice to have some people on that are specific to the avenue, and we could have pick their brain a little bit. And also, maybe next time I can ask you about websites.

Conclusion- Learn Social Media Marketing

Kellis: Yes, that’s not a bad idea.

Kenny: You want to give us a sendoff here?

Kellis: Sure. All right guys, well, thank you so much for sticking with us. Again, my name is Kellis Landrum, this is Kenny Bost, we are from True North Social, you can check us out at TrueNorthSocial.com. Again, if you’re watching this on YouTube and subscribe, if you have any questions or want to know anything, please leave something down in the comments, we’ll try and get back to you as best we can.

Kenny: Yes, thanks guys.

Kellis: Thanks a lot.

Kenny: Bye guys.