by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)
Social Marketing 101
When we first started out in the career services arena in 2002, our biggest concern was about having a website. Period. Just having one. Just so that we could tell our clients, potential clients, and other contacts that we had one. Like most startups, we didn’t have much of a marketing budget (none really), and we weren’t sure what to do with our website once we had it set up. Essentially, it was just an online business card that we hoped someone (or several someones) would stumble across and fall instantly “in love” with us. So we spent the first 6 years marketing locally, offering the best in service, using our website as a business card (to make us look legit), and praying for referrals.
Twitter, Blogging, and Every Thing in Between
Then in 2008, Twitter happened for us. And before we knew it, we were gaining all these followers on Twitter, launching our first blog, and collecting e-mail addresses left and right. Sounds great, right? The problem: After a full year, we still really had no idea what to do with any of it (other than send out mailing after mailing). Thankfully, our local business had done well, and we were in over our heads trying to manage that volume. And although we did see some return, it didn’t really match up with the time output on our end. [Our office is made up of a whopping two people, after all. :-)]
Marketing sages advised us to hire low-level staff to handle social media for us (aka “tweet” as us or write blogs). It all sounded nice, but we felt our technical clientele deserved better content straight from us, not from someone we hired off the street with no experience and paid low wages.
So what did we do?
Well, in 2009, we went the way of millions of small startups before us, and we abandoned the notion that social marketing was right for us…
Social Media and SEO: It’s Here to Stay
Then in 2011, we finally realized that we could avoid it no longer. And that is when the biggest education of our lives began to take place: social marketing 101. After almost two years away from it, we got back to what we had left behind. And what we found was yet a whole new ball game. If we thought that social media was time consuming in 2009, it was nothing compared with what we encountered in 2011! But what has come out of that journey has caused us to rethink everything we do as a business and to revamp our client solutions in such a way that causes our clients too to think about social media in a whole new way when it comes to a job search.
This series of posts is meant to be the first in what I hope is a diary of sorts, capturing some of the many twists and turns that our small company has experienced along the bumpy social media/SEO ride, all in an effort to tell the world that we are here, that we offer personal branding services to technical professionals, and that we are determined to do it better than anyone else.
I mean, really, how hard can that be, right?
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