Hello friends, I am Mollie and I have had the pleasure of being a social media intern at INK Agency this summer. Out of the classroom and into the real world, I have found myself immersed in a creative environment and surrounded by vibrant and innovative individuals who thrive in a group setting and create a social media presence for otherwise traditional businesses. It is inspiring to see the collaboration of minds, creating synergistic energy in order to make a business strategy come to life.
It is interesting to contrast the inventive atmosphere of a full service advertising agency to the competitive college setting. In the latter, it seems that one fends for him or herself whereas in the real world (at least at INK), the individual is valued and the effort is collaborative. In college, we are taught to see our peers as competition—we must achieve a better GPA, be involved in more extracurricular activities and engage in other cutting-edge experiences in order to land a job when we graduate. This individualistic mentality makes students hesitant to reach out to others for help or lend aid to their peers. I am happy to report this phenomena is not how it works at INK. Here, it is all about the team—it’s about how your ideas, when coupled with other people’s thoughts, create something so much more harmonious and meaningful than what could be accomplished by working alone. The constant Ping-Pong of concepts off each other is where awesome business strategies, logos and brand essences are born and put into play. I have witnessed INKers not only creating a social media presence, but also letting the public get intimate with the people behind the business. And truly, this knowledge is what it is all about. I would say I have learned that “advertising” is not the correct term for what is done at INK. Rather, it is the building of a social relationship where the viewer gets to know INK’s business clients, and this relationship should not be one-sided. It’s about making conversation with your audience, not talking at them. This give and take is especially true in the world of social media.
I have witnessed such expressions as concern, mistrust even or general ambivalence whenever “social media” is brought up in the marketing conversation. I think people have trouble trusting such a new marketing platform. Granted, the results of social media are less obvious and less measurable and this can make clients nervous. But at the same time, even the most old school businesses realize to stay relevant, a social media presence is mandatory. I have learned that you can most definitely measure your marketing successes in social media. You have to look behind the scenes—at the volume of reach and impressions, the engagement rate and web traffic to the company’s website from Instagram, Facebook, etc. The numbers prove that this is a viable platform to reach people in a way that is unlike any other form of marketing. It is the most innovative platform to foster a relationship with your audience, to get to know them just as they get to know you, your business and all it has to offer. By way of social media, we are able to engage with our target audience on their own turf, in their own homes where they feel comfortable and generally, where they present their personal identities to the world. In this regard, it is imperative for businesses to have a social media presence that is inviting, conversational and unique in its personality. After all, you are being invited into the viewer’s personal space.
The idea of being a social media intern or a social media manager (a single person) representing the personality of an entire business is quite daunting, and in some ways, can be limiting. For example, it can be difficult to make people care about or want to follow a client in a niche industry. How can you make a product or service interesting enough for people to want to follow them, yet stay true to the values of the institution itself? Yet, this is one of the challenges faced every day at INK. I am overwhelmed with how many components there are to accomplish this task. Does the solution lie in the amount of hash tags you write in your captions, in the content that the business gives you to post, in adding geo-locations to your photos, in your outreach activity by liking photos in the local area, in reposting local events, in creating original content, in employing short or long captions, in being witty or serious…and the list goes on. Even though the endless amount of options and ideas are overwhelming, it is also really exciting. Social media breeds so many opportunities to connect with people on a personal level and it can be done in so many ways. In the end though, it’s all about finding the right voice that your audience can relate to and encouraging an ongoing conversation. It is a skill and one that has been refined by the people that make up INK. It’s time to get on board with the standard of future marketing. #deuces #wayofthefuture #getcurrent