What is Social Media?
Social Media is a coined term describing the websites, content and user experience involved with sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn and other online platforms that revolve around interaction between users. Whereas information used to be a one way flow online (the “web surfer” reading page content or watching videos and looking at photos), Social Media thrives on users interacting with each other and with the author of the page or site’s content.
How can Social Media help my business?
Never in history has there been such a massive treasure trove of millions of people’s personal preferences, interests, hobbies and demographic information captured and organized and easy to browse. The “shotgun” approach of sending your message out far and wide and hoping it sticks with the right people is now being replaced with the laser targeted method of reaching out only to those individuals who are most likely to need and want your company’s products and services. Even while traditional media is shrinking and people are finding ways to aggressively and successfully avoid traditional marketing methods, social media is expanding exponentially, and if you work with professionals to position your company and your offerings properly, there is an opportunity to connect with your target demographic in ways never seen before.
Ok, I'll bite...What services do you provide?
A complete list of our products and services in easy to watch, short video format can be found at http://thesmpk.com. By filling out the form at the bottom of the page letting us know the particular services you’re interested in, we can customize our proposal to meet your specific needs.
What will a Social Media Press Kit do for me?
A Social Media Press Kit, or SMPK, is a fast, inexpensive and simple way to get your feet wet in the Social Media universe. It acts as a virtual business card, a sales and information platform, and a launching pad for your comprehensive presence on the web. Not only does our design team brand and build your SMPK around your company, but we do the same thing on five of the world’s largest social media sites, giving you everything you need to start taking advantage of all social media has to offer.
Isn't Social Media just for kids with too much time?
This may have been the case a few years ago, but there has been a sea change in the way people communicate. For a quick and entertaining look at this phenomenon, feel free to watch the short video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIFYPQjYhv8
I do web marketing. How is this different?
Marketing is, by definition, a one way direction of promotional activity, getting information about your products and services into the hands of prospective clients. Web PR encompasses every aspect of how you look and are perceived online. Think of a large cocktail party. “Marketing” in this context would be a good looking business card handed out to anyone interested in your services. “Web PR”, to follow our analogy, would be choosing the tuxedo, getting a great haircut, showing up on time, remembering your hosts’ names and engaging in witty conversation to the point where offering up your business card is a natural progression rather than something abrupt and unprofessional. Most business people operating in the Social Media universe are not making the effort of PR before they clumsily attempt to hand over that business card, with less than stellar results. Your virtual identity is fast becoming your most important identity. We help ensure, in every way, that your online presence is in lock step with your corporate image, your latest products and services, and your vision for your company as a whole.
What’s the difference between being on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and what The Social Architect delivers?
The defining difference with The Social Architect is that we go well beyond creating social media pages, adding content and adding fans. We dive into creating a comprehensive strategy that coordinates the various tools as a platform to communicate with a given audience with the intention of creating reaches from that audience that help our clients develop business and revenue.
We use social media as a platform to communicate and engage our clients’ target audience effectively. There are many, many ways to use these tools as a platform to communicate and open up business avenues if used effectively.
Social media is simply a platform to communicate, while PR is how that platform is used to build relationships, start conversations and cultivate reaches. A Ferrari stuck in a garage isn’t doing anyone much good. We not only build you a world class platform by hand but we actively use it to a professional standard on your behalf.
What exactly do you mean by "Web PR"?
Web PR is using the internet to make your company and your products, your services, and your good works well known using every available online medium. This can include your website (redesigned or built from the ground up), a comprehensive social media presence including text, video, photos, blogs, etc, optimized online press releases and any other medium currently employable by our creative team. For a video overview of our various offerings, simply go here: http://thesmpk.com
So what makes The Social Architect's strategy effective?
We develop a program that defines our clients’ goals and objectives, their target public audience and what the strategy will be. We come up with creative ideas to use social and new media as a platform to communicate with that audience and make it the most effective to attain the clients’ goals.
The difference between simply having a presence and executing a comprehensive, coordinated strategy is that a new media PR strategy works most effectively when all of the tools and platforms are used in coordination with one another.
The first keys are to identify a target public you are trying to attract, then specifically build a following and follow that given target public in return. From there you can start communicating with that target public audience to activate them, start buzz, gain interest and reach.
Here is an analogy between a traditional newspaper and new media:
Twitter is like a newspaper headline. A newspaper headline has always been the key element that grabs attention and causes someone to read more or buy the paper. So if one were to write the Twitter copy like a newspaper headline, to grab the attention of the target public and include a link to an article, press release or blog that discusses that topic further, this would be part of an effective strategy to attract interest.
A blog could be considered the newspaper article itself which provides interesting information and content that communicates to the reader (target public). From the blog our goal might be to get the reader to subscribe to the blog or to get them to reach further to go to the website. The blog might also have videos from YouTube or photos from Flickr to keep the reader’s interest and help to generate reach.
If the reader goes to the website, it should be new media like, which means engaging, simple and communicative. The website should have photos, crisp videos that communicate the company’s products or services and cause conceptual understanding and interest from the viewer. Ultimately the goal of the website is to cause an email reach or a telephone reach or instant message via Skype.
All of these new media tools would be coordinated with a comprehensive strategy to be in sync with one another...
If we were highlighting a product launch....
What the heck is Twitter?
Twitter is a “micro blog”, allowing you to post short messages frequently to your subscribers. The uses for this are as limitless as your imagination. Many businesses use it to broadcast short term specials, to make major announcements, or as a sort of “newspaper headline” with links to more detailed information on another site.
Wouldn't it be cheaper if I got some kid to come and do this stuff for me?
Undoubtedly. You can also hand over your entire PR and marketing strategy to your niece or nephew and save a bundle. For obvious reasons, that’s not the approach we’d recommend. Given that social media is fast becoming an integral part of any major company’s PR and marketing strategy, hiring professionals to handle your presence is one of the smartest investments you can make in this incredible, emerging technology.
So why doesn’t it make sense to handle this “in-house” or with our marketing or traditional PR person?
We have found the 2 biggest problems our clients face are:
• While our clients want to use new media as a strategy and know it’s a vital space to be in, they typically don’t have the time to commit to what is required to pull off a successful strategy because they are BUSY with their regular day to day tasks.
• Secondly, because this medium is so new and changes so incredibly rapidly, they simply don’t have the know-how for what is needed to pull off an effective strategy, and neither do their in-house marketing or PR people.
The Social Architect works based on a team strategy, which means we don’t have ONE person creating ideas, executing strategy and attaining your goals, we have our ENTIRE team comprised of press release people, bloggers and micro-bloggers, video people, photographers, social media developers and strategists, client liaisons, email managers, graphic designers, web developers, consultants... you get the idea....
One person cannot possibly handle and have talent and expertise in all areas.... which is why we have a team strategy.
With that said, if our clients tried to build an in-house team, the costs would out-weigh the benefits, amounting to around 3-10 times what it costs to be a client of ours.
What if I want to SEE what will be done before moving ahead?
While this may sound like a logical step before leaping in and becoming a The Social Architect client, the facts are that The Social Architect sells ideas and creativity as well as New Media PR know-how which is not a tangible item.
As an analogy, one wouldn’t approach an ad agency to have them do work for their company and ask to see the ad first before signing on with them. Obviously, the ad agency would not begin work without a client commitment.
We are happy to share case studies, examples of our work, our client list, etc. Investing in this emerging technology is a leap of faith on the part of any business. Our top priority is giving you the most thorough, professional presence possible online. It’s our passion, our creativity, and our ability to capture the spirit of each client’s products and services in a way that strikes a chord with their audience that sets the standard for what we consider to be a successful campaign.
How much are your services?
Everything we offer is 100% customized to the client. You will find us to be the opposite of “high pressure” salespeople. The most enjoyable part of our work is thoroughly getting to know each client and their business and coming up with the most creative, innovative ways to use Social Media and Web PR to improve the statistics of that business across the board. Feel free to contact us for a zero obligation quote: http://www.coryholliman.com/contact
What kind of ROI can I expect?
The beauty of social media is that the statistical metrics of the work are built into the platform- you start with 20 contacts on Twitter and we build that up to 5000, etc. Social Media is not a 30 or 60 or 90 day marketing push that has a quick investment and a quick return. This is a paradigm shift in the way you find, reach out to, and interact with your customer base. We create the most comprehensive and professional presence possible using the most cutting edge online tools, and then we grow your networks organically over time. The uses of this platform and these networks of prospective clients are as limitless as your business model will allow, and the implications for improving customer service, launching new products and generally interacting with your clientele cannot be overstated. We have seen over and over again that clients who invest in this area see immediate spikes in web traffic, interest and ultimately reach from prospective clients. This is an investment you literally cannot afford to pass up. Businesses not making the effort in this medium now risk being relegated to the stone age in the next few years. Whether you work with a company like ours or not, for 99% of businesses out there, investing in Social Media is simply not optional.