Getting Your Name Out
Ahna tells us how she first got started in social media with some advice from one of her professors in the Journalism school at UNC Chapel Hill. He told Ahna’s class to “get a Twitter” and start a blog. Luckily she took that advice, because that’s how she was discovered and hired for her first job in social media marketing.
I heard a similar story only a few weeks ago. An elementary school teacher started her own fitness blog sharing her passion. She nurtured and grew a social media following that got the attention of a large activewear brand. They “stalked” her on LinkedIn and eventually talked her into joining their team as a social media manager.
This advice works whether you’re an individual looking to get your start, like Ahna, or if you’re a business or organization looking to grow a following.
Two years ago they were everywhere. Social media “gurus”. The people that were experts in it all. Jay Baer recently said that if anyone claims anything is “dead”, you should run from them as fast as possible. I’m not saying that the Social Media Guru is dead, but it may have one foot in the grave.
According to Ahna, social media is becoming very deep. When she started only a few years ago, you could be an expert in all areas. Today it’s not authentic to say you’re a social media professional and not focus on one core network.
Facebook ads are becoming a viable form of advertising. Those people that have been asking what the ROI of Facebook is are starting to get an answer with the ads … and it’s good! The thing is, Facebook ads take a lot of time and attention if you’re going to be good at it.
It reminds me of the early days with Google. When they first introduced ads, it was natural for the SEO guys to take it on. It was all just Google search, right? Today we know that SEO and Adwords are two different disciplines that are typically handled by different groups of experts.
Facebook is going this same direction. But it’s not just Facebook. Twitter ads are taking off. Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are getting in the game too. Each one has a very different audience. I’ll repeat what Ahna said again:
Growing Your Social Media Presence
If you want to truly ramp up your social media and do it the right way, there are a few ways you can go.
- Hire employees to specialize in each platform
- Hire multiple agencies that specialize in each platform
- Hire a single agency that has specialists for each platform
Here some are Pros and Cons of each
Hiring new employees
- Pro: They focus only on your brand. No one knows your brand better than the people that live it everyday.
- Pro: More agile since they don’t have to worry about other clients
- Con: Expensive. Employees come with a ton of overhead. If you hire people that are already experts in the area, they’ll command a higher salary. If you hire people without experience, you end up paying for their training and learning curve and you may fall behind.
- Con: It can take a while to build a team
Hire multiple agencies
- Pro: Each agency is highly specialized
- Con: Communication. You have to have a leader on your team that can organize and schedule campaigns to keep everyone on the same page. This would be a full time job itself
- Con: Attention. They have other clients that need attention as well. You are paying to have the knowledge of an expert on a part-time basis.
I believe specialized agencies are good for filling in the gaps or helping you to focus in one area. Let’s say your internal team is doing a great job managing your organic Facebook and Twitter posts. You may consider hiring an agency to handle your Facebook ads.
Hire a single agency
- Pro: Communication. Project management and the coordination of the different social media marketing platforms will be handled by the agency.
- Pro: One place to go when you want to grow or add a new social media channel
- Con: Attention. As with multiple agencies, you have to understand that they can’t spend 100% of their time on your account.
Agencies like these are great when you want to be active with multiple forms of social media marketing, but don’t want to bare the expense of hiring and training an internal team of your own.
ARCH Digital Agency
ARCH Digital Agency is Ahna’s solution to the problem of growing a social media presence while maintaining expertise in multiple areas. When she ran a solo business she realized scaling is difficult because social media takes time and attention.
Ahna pulled together a knowledgable team and she built an agency comprised of specialists — people that have their own business and are known as experts in their field. She wanted people with similar ethics both in they way they act on social media and how they treat people. They all understand that they represent the integrity of their clients’ brands.
I asked Ahna who their ideal clients are. She responded simply, “businesses that are ready to commit to social media.” That’s what this all comes down to. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an agency or if you want to keep everything in-house — if you truly want to “commit” to social media marketing, a one-person team isn’t going to cut it.
Quick Advice Questions
Q: What one piece of advice would you give to every busy marketer?
A: Do one thing at a time
Q: What is your favorite time-saving tool that you wouldn’t want to live without?
A: Bundle Post
Q: What book would you recommend every busy marketer read today?
A: How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business (ebook) by Ahna Hendrix
“I don’t even know how green your grass is because I’m focused on mine.” Focus on what is best for you and be happy about it.
About Ahna Hendrix
- Founder and Lead Social Media Specialist at ARCH Digital Agency and AhnaHendrix.com
- Got involved with social media in 2009 when a professor told us to “get a Twitter” and hasn’t looked back
- Launched AhnaHendrix.com in 2012 and specialized in content creation, web/print design, and social media. Went full-time social media within 8 months
- Graduate of UNC Chapel Hill – Tarheel for life!!
- Launched the first ever social media agency comprised of Specialists on November 1, 2014
Connect with Ahna
- Book: How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business (ebook) by Ahna Hendrix
- Book: SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization by Matthew Capala
- Book: Hired! Paths to Employment in the Social Media Era by Jeff Sheehan and Alfred M. Smith
- Tool: Bundle Post
- Tool: Feedly
- Show: Tech Marketing Internet radio show with Jeff Sheehan and Sarah Tourville
As promised, here’s a photo from our lunch get together at bu•ku in downtown Raleigh during Internet Summit. 🙂
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