Social media is the new alternative to traditional media when attempting to keep your customers informed and build a brand.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIN, as well as Google ads, are all tools that businesses can use to find their ideal clients. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer your ideal client most likely falls within in a certain age range on social media, and on Facebook you can target people who have recently changed their status to “engaged.” So why bother spending money on marketing that doesn’t reach your ideal clients; or understand what your customers potential likes and dislikes are. Social media can, however, all be a bit overwhelming and it changes quickly, but that’s where Charles Tweed and his company Tweedia help Brandon and area businesses effectively utilize their budgets.
Charles when a business needs your help, how do they get started?
The first thing we do is a digital audit of what assets the company has that are going to contribute to their success. We might examine, for example, the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s website. We’ll also analyze what channels they need to be on. For a business in Westman, Facebook is like air and virtually everyone is on it, but if your audience skews younger maybe Instagram makes more sense. The conversation around agriculture, which is the industry many of our clients work in, takes place on Twitter. Twitter really has become the coffee shop for producers while the oil and gas industry has really found a home on LinkedIN.
Once we establish where they should be we work really hard to cultivate their voice on that platform. That means understanding the lingo, culture and dos and don’ts of the industry. We create content that ranges from video, photos, graphics, testimonials and more. From there we work to create content every single day for our clients with an emphasis on building connection with our ideal clients and audience. I think a lot of people believe that social media is easy, and in many regards they’re not wrong, but social media for business is incredibly complex, especially when you get into using tools like Facebook’s Pixel or LinkedIN’s Insight Tag. These tools let us retarget potential warm leads who visit the company’s website so that we can put ads back in front of them. It’s no different than putting something in your cart and not buying it and then it showing up in your feed the next day, and it’s incredibly effective marketing.
Have you seen some short term gains for your customers as well as long term?
Some people believe social media is a short game, but it really isn’t. Sure there are often some short term gains, but being consistent in your messaging and how you interact with your clients online is part of a longterm strategy. If you believe you can start or stop, or turn on and off your social media, then you’re most likely not going to find much success online. We don’t advertise who we work for, but the majority of our clients have been with us since the beginning which I think reflects some of the gains they’ve experienced in that time. It’s very exciting for us to have clients tell us that they’ve finally been able to work on their business after moving their marketing to our company. Marketing yourself can be overwhelming and for some people it’s difficult to tell their own story because they’re so close to it. When they get back to doing what they love, working at their business, success tends to follow.
What is a monthly budget companies can expect to spend when using your services.
Our services vary based on how many platforms the company wants to be across and what type of content they want us to produce. For smaller companies it might not make sense to contract our their marketing, but for others, especially when your audience is less localized, it makes a lot of sense. We’ve positioned ourselves to help larger brands in Brandon, Westman, Western Canada, Canada and a few who sell around the world. That said, we’re excited that we’re going to start offering training for smaller businesses who want to keep their social media in house in the near future. Our services really make sense for a business that might be thinking about hiring a marketing person, but can get our expertise and save some money in the process; or a company who might be tired of the turnover they’re experiencing in their marketing department. It’s tough to lock down an exact price, but we typically run between $1,200-$4,000 per month with our clients depending on the content they need and the ad buys we make for them within different platforms.
Has your company evolved at all since inception?
It started with just me, and I was fortunate that a number of business owners in Brandon gave me a chance to get started and really took a risk on me. More than three years later, there are six of us that work at Tweedia and all of those first clients are still with us which is something I’m very proud of. We have a wonderful crew and they work incredibly hard to get results for our clients. You’re never really sure exactly how things will unfold but we’ve found a niche in construction, oil and gas and agriculture across Canada. Furthermore, social media is constantly evolving. From platforms’ rules and regulations to how to generate the most engagement, you cannot stop learning for a minute or you’ll fall behind.
What are a few words of advice to smaller business and larger business owners?
There are a few things that I think are really important for business owners to understand about social media. The first one is that a lot of people believe their social media feed should look like TV or radio ads have in the past, but the medium is completely different. In traditional media it’s one (the newspaper or television station) speaking to many, but on social media it’s one to one, or a better way to think about it is it’s a conversation and a two-way street. You want your clients to understand your story, your people, your product etc…and giving them that peek into the back-end of your operation can really create lasting and meaningful connections. A lot of people aren’t necessarily active posters but they’re paying attention to how you treat your clients on social media so answering their questions or just wishing someone a good day is important. Secondly, many business owners think they always need to create the greatest piece of content that their clients are going to connect with, but in many cases it is more important to join a conversation rather than always trying to start it. Being a good steward on social media means connecting with people daily, and not always “selling” to them. There are influencers in agriculture, for example, that we connect with almost daily. Understanding that these people might only have 4,000 followers but if they say something good about our product or service it really resonates in the agricultural community and can result in big wins for our companies. And finally have FUN! It’s social media after all, it’s supposed to be fun and let you show off your personality. If it’s not fun, why are we doing it after all!