I'm Mandy McEwen, Founder and CEO of Mod Girl Marketing. Based in California, Mod Girl is a full service inbound marketing consultancy that helps modern companies grow through strategic inbound marketing efforts. We have helped businesses of all types, but we specialize in the technology and healthcare sectors. Our clients are generally successful B2B tech firms and healthcare service providers with great offline businesses that need strategic guidance to hit their online marketing stride. They seek better search presence, qualified leads stemming from their online efforts, more robust content, and improved sales conversions.
How and why did you get started in social media?
I started my digital marketing journey over a decade ago when SEO marketing was all the rage. This work naturally evolved into SEO AND Social Media Marketing, as the social media sites became popular. You really can’t perform effective SEO without focusing on content and content promotion. Blogging has always been my SEO weapon of choice. Blogging without social media is like trying to drive a car without the right type of fuel.
What do you believe are the benefits of using social media for business?
At first, no one was sure what the quantifiable returns of social media would be. But, over time, we saw that customer engagement and loyalty could really be solidified through these channels. Furthermore, social media was an excellent thought leadership platform. It's a great place for businesses to demonstrate expertise, differentiate themselves from the competition, and stay ahead of trends in their respective industries.
What are the common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness through social media?
The most common mistake businesses make with social media is the tendency to “set it and forget it”. They think that creating a social media page alone makes them look more desirable to prospective customers. In reality, having a social media presence is as bare minimum a requirement these days as having a main website or a customer service hotline. If companies are going to invest in social media at all, they need to do it right by creating fresh, daily content. They also need to develop long-term marketing strategies to sustain their profiles over time. You’re better off having no profile than an old, static profile that hasn’t been updated. If the budget is limited, we recommend focusing on managing one social account well, rather than spreading yourself too thin.
What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
The best social media managers are social butterflies by nature. They aren’t the quiet wallflower types who hide behind a computer. They are people who love all aspects of socializing – quick thinkers who are up for new, innovative ways to tell stories and engage audiences. They are hosts, networkers, entertainers and communicators, first, but their secondary hat is that of a student. They are committed to understanding the latest technology and how to use social media tools to further their goals. They are proactive, but also quick on their feet, in responding to negative reviews, comments or posts that threaten everything they’ve worked to achieve. The best social media managers are upbeat and positive, quick to move on from any speed bumps that will inevitably arise.
How do business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
Business owners know if their social media campaign is working if they see:
- Increases in website traffic from social media outlets.
- Increases in engagement on their social media (as demonstrated by likes, shares, comments, or direct messages.)
- Their social audiences continue to grow.
How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years…what do you hope to see?
Live video is hot right now and we expect that to only grow larger. Video, in general, has continued to play a big part in our clients’ social media efforts – often surpassing our expectations for likes, shares and leads. The ‘live’ feature just adds another fun element to the mix. Virtual reality is said to be on the horizon, so we’ve got our ear to the ground for ways our clients can get involved with the sort of experiences prospects are looking to have. So much can happen in five years, that it's almost impossible to fully imagine the possibilities. This Pokemon Go craze, the Internet of Things, and the potential for augmented reality is going to fuel the next generation of social media. It all begins with a handheld device and transcends into just ‘life’ in general, I think, for sure.
What do you think are some of the consequences of not getting on-board with social media?
If you don’t have an active social media presence, you are missing out on tons of potential revenue. You are also giving your competitors an advantage and not showing the world how amazing your company is. Thus, it will be hard for your company to ever reach its full potential.
What are your thoughts on social media versus more traditional marketing activities?
Social media should be inextricably intertwined with all offline marketing materials. Mailers and brochures should include company's social media links and QR codes if possible. Likewise, you can use your social channels to push and promote your offline marketing events.
Here at Mod Girl, we personally have seen huge success with Linkedin and Twitter as our mediums of choice. I love Twitter as an outlet for brand building and thought leadership. It’s the ideal space for our clients to connect with like-minded individuals who are doing great things in their industries. Linkedin is a B2B goldmine, worth every cent invested. Our clients have built strong connections with prospects and business partners that have paid dividends to their bottom lines.
Which one best practice would you recommend about using social media to grow a business?
If you want to grow a business using social media, focus on mastering one network. Get a solid content calendar with a month’s worth of social media posts off the ground. You can mix in news links, but develop at least 1-3 posts of original content each week. Allow some room for spontaneity and keep your ear to the ground for industry news or trending topics. Blog, blog, blog! The importance of blogging cannot be overstated. Finally, take advantage of social media management tools like Sendible, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite to push your content to bigger audiences and remain competitive.
Social media management software for agencies and businesses
If you don’t have a tool to help you schedule social media posts to multiple social media networks just yet, you can give Sendible a try, completely free for 30 days.