Social Media & Email Marketing
Where would we be today without social media and email? Throw texting into the mix and we are almost always on-line, whether we like it or not. You can bet someone you want to reach is on-line, anyway. A weekly or monthly email newsletter is a great way to remind customers of what you have to offer or let them in on special promotions. Regular posts on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn can engage your clients in a cheap and effective way. And once the content is created, it's easy to share them on your website's blog so its content is, as they say in the biz, robust. But who has time to write, create and maintain a steady stream of posts and email newsletters? I do, and I can do it for you.
Because the amount of content generated and the frequency of social media and email flows vary from client to client, it is difficult to provide a cost for monthly maintenance. However, a standard account begins around $500 per month. It all begins with finding your voice, and I can help with that. Below you will see examples from two very different businesses and how we use contrasting strategies with social media and email to reach their people. But first, here's how the process works:
We brainstorm. This is generally a monthly meeting and can happen over the phone, via email, or in person. To begin our collaboration, we will meet a few times so I can learn as much as I can about your business and find the appropriate voice with which to tell your online story.
I create your content. I take what we discuss and begin to build. I either shoot original photos (see Big Boy Cookies below) or use stock content (see ZORN below) as needed to design posts that reflect your visual identity and voice. I research, write copy and schedule your content for a four to six week period based on our brainstorming session.
You review. I give you the option to review the content before it goes live. For ZORN, I create a monthly PDF that includes all graphic posts as well as a Word document with all copy (which comes in two versions, full version for their website's blog and short version for social media and email). For Big Boy Cookies, I send them a preview of their monthly newsletter. I try to give a minimum two week period to review content and make changes.
We go live. Once you have provided me feedback and I make edits, I schedule everything. For the next month or so, your accounts are on autopilot. Meanwhile, I begin researching for the following month, schedule a meeting to discuss, and begin building content. Planning ahead is the name of the game.
BIG BOY COOKIES
This is a post featuring their Molasses Cookie, which is a new, seasonal cookie that became an instant favorite. It is only available during winter.
Big Boy Cookies makes delicious, one-of-a-kind cookies. In order to make Big Boy Cookies' social media, monthly email and website content work, it had to reflect Jonny, the company's owner and baker. He is Big Boy, and he is a fun loving and slightly irreverent fellow who wanted his company to "feel" like him. So that's what we set out to do. Once a month, I meet with Jonny and his team to discuss content for their upcoming newsletters and social media campaign (we try to plan 6 weeks to 2 months in advance). Generally, I try to visit the store once a month to shoot photos and video for their content. I then take the information they give me and go back to my office and create. That includes writing copy for their newsletter and social media posts, any graphic design (and occasionally video editing) nescessary as well as making updates to their website*. Before their email drops each month (using Mailchimp), they are given the opportunity to review it and make edits. It's a match made in heaven. (*I do not build websites, but I can create or maintain a website using Squarespace. In 2017, we totally overhauled their website in order to better reflect the company. You can visit it at bigboycookies.com.)
Social Media Posts
In the first seven months of working together on Big Boy's social media, we increased their Facebook following from around 2000 to just over 3000. In addition to straight forward posts about specials and fun events, we like to get creative with some crazy photo series at Big Boy Cookies. Above is an example series I shot using old Star Wars themed Monopoly pieces and Big Boy Cookies. For Valentine's Day, I created a series of fake Tinder profiles for some of Big Boy's favorite flavors, and included dating suggestions. I've even created wanted posters for some of their more notorious flavors. We shoot for three to five posts every week and it's all about being fun, spontaneous and a little unpredictable. Even posts that aren't part of a series often have elaborate and fun stories attached. And it works! They get rave reviews from their fan base on their social media content. Below is the text that accompanied the first of the Cookie Wars series above. (To view all their posts, follow Big Boy Cookies on Instagram @bigboycookies, Facebook @Bigboycookies or visit them online at bigboycookies.com)
Episode One: The Muffin Menace
Turmoil has engulfed the Cookie Republic. The taxation of baked routes to outlying star systems is in dispute. Hoping to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships, the greedy Muffin Federation has stopped all shipping to the small planet of Crumbles. While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and deliciousness in the galaxy, to settle the conflict….
#bigboycookies #starwars #georgiagrown
Monthly Email Newsletter
Big Boy Cookies has a once-a-month email newsletter that let's their customers know what's going on with all things Big Boy. To encourage email subscribers, they often offer perks that only email subscribers get, such as early access to promotions and news, email-only discounts, and even secret opportunities for after-hours taste testing of new flavors. As with their entire online presence, the emails have a fun and lighthearted attitude with just a hint of sarcasm, just like the real Big Boy.
One feature several subscribers say they look for each month is the "Bad Joke of the Month," hidden almost in the small print at the bottom of each email. It is exactly what the name suggests: a bad joke. For example, in our Valentine's email, the joke was "Do you have a date for Valentine's Day? Yes, February 14th."
Occasionally, Big Boy Cookies will also have special promotional emails that are geared around events or holidays, such as Christmas and will be sent in addition to their monthly newsletter.
Want to see what a typical month of social media posts, featuring original photography, looks like (without a theme, such as the Star Wars theme above)? Click the link below.
This post was specifically geared toward ZORN's subscribers in the construction industry.
ZORN is a a highly sought after risk management firm that services thousands of individuals and businesses in the southeast. Clearly, they do not want Star Wars spoofs or quirky jokes in their weekly email newsletter. Rather, ZORN's online presence needs to reflect the safety and confidence they offer their clients. To accomplish that, we follow two tracks: the first track is strictly business. This is preview content that is published in three places (LinkedIn, Facebook and weekly emails) to encourage people to read the full blog article on ZORN's website. This track is specifically geared toward the construction industry. The second track offers weekly Facebook posts for individuals, families and businesses. It offers an array of informative tips (such as weather proofing your home or business for winter), highlights community heroes, offers client testimonials, and provides an overview of the services provided by the company. This is all done in an attempt to engage people on a local level. ZORN recently re-branded, so it is key that all of their online content reflect that visual identity. You will notice font choice and color is consistent throughout in order to do just that.
Social Media and Email
You can see two types of posts above. Those without a blue bar across the top are general Facebook posts, published every Friday, and are geared toward individuals, families and businesses, particularly small businesses. Those with a blue bar are geared specifically for the construction industry and are published every Tuesday. Those posts exist in three places in short form: LinkedIn, Facebook and weekly email newsletters. The short form is just an overview that directs them to the full article on the company's blog on their website. Though I do not create websites, I can work with a company's web designer in order to regularly add blog content. In this case, ZORN uses Wordpress.
To see more examples or read actual content, find ZORN on Facebook @zorninsight or their blog at zorninsight.com/blog.
ZORN provides their subscribers a weekly email that offers industry insight into current trends. Chris Zorn, the third-generation head of the agency, will periodically email me information he receives that may be relevant to his audience. I will often use these as a starting point or use sites the company trusts to mine for new content. Again, a preview only is sent out in the weekly newsletter. It links back to the full article on their blog.