1. Who are you and what does your company do?
My name is Kerri Gaither and I am the owner/operator of KGaither Marketing.
I provide set up and management of social media and many other forms of Inbound Marketing. I create and manage content for my clients in order to drive traffic, increase search engine rankings, and drive repeat business, word-of-mouth marketing and new leads.
2. How and why did you get started in social media?
I’ve always loved marketing because it offers a wide variety of creative challenges and it takes an innate understanding of people.
At the same time, I’ve never been one for cold calls or the ‘hard sell’. I don’t feel comfortable trying to force someone to purchase something they don’t actually want or need.
This is where I feel social media is the perfect marketing outlet. Social media provides a more organic form of marketing. It allows people to get to know you, your product or service and your company and allows potential customers or clients to get to know the company and build trust.
In 2009 I completed my Masters in Communication Arts with a focus in Marketing and in 2012 I began offering my services as a Virtual Marketing Manager fulltime.
3. What do you believe the benefits of using social media for business?
Again – social media is a very natural way to market, you are able to highlight the ‘personality’ of the company so-to-speak and show clients your knowledge and expertise.
Also, social media is a great way to keep a rapport with past or current customers which then encourages the absolute best form of marketing: word-of-mouth marketing.
When you show up on a customer’s social media feeds consistently it keeps you on their mind. This way, you are who they recommend to friends and family who mention a need for your company’s product or service.
4. What do you think are common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness on social media?
Not sticking to the 80/20 rule. – 80 % interesting and engaging content and 20% promotions.
Social media is a way of laying the groundwork for clients that will need your service in the future and for the long term. Building a brand is building an impression and you want clients to feel a positive first impression and then slowly build a feeling of trust.
I like to think of social media like mingling at a series of parties. We’ve all met that person who hands us a business card and starts pushing his business before even asking your name, shaking your hand or determining if you are a person who could even use his services. Then he tells you, “I care about my clients!” while only coming across as rude and self-centered.
…It’s important to show people proof of your value and let them build that impression on their own. This is what leads to quality branding and brand loyalty.
5. What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
They should have great people skills and must be creative. They must be able to create messages that apply to the target audience that are both useful and engaging.
6. How do Business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
Business owners should watch their analytic reports to determine changes in strategy and help determine return on investment (ROI). But in the long run they will know based on engagement, increased sales volume and repeat business.
Ultimately, it is not about how many likes or followers but the quality and relevance of those followers.
1 person who is highly engaged by the company’s social media can provide word-of-mouth marketing to all of their friends and family can then do the same. This means that 1 highly engaged person can be more valuable than 100 followers who are not in the target market.
7. How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years …what do you hope to see?
I expect social media will continue to grow along the mobile platform trend. More and more we will find ways to communicate with one another on-the-go and through our mobile devices.
Personally, I hope that future platforms encourage face-to-face communications and real-life one-on-one engagements.
8. What are your favourite platforms for social media marketing?
I’m still partial to Facebook as you are still able to share more unique and in-depth posts.
9. What are your 5 favourite marketing tools/apps?