A TASTE of Our Secret Sauce

By Stephen Flemings

Social media is the new town square. It can be complete chaos, an entertainment hub, a place where cultures and ideas are exchanged, or a rallying point for the things that matter to people.

Social media users are people, not robots. They’re there to experience or escape their world. Whether for entertainment or engagement in community, social media is ultimately a human place.

People love stories. We share empathy through story, we learn from it, and we are often motivated by it. Take religion for example: every religion has a rich set of stories. We do a lot of work in the religious freedom space, where we often engage with powerful, ancient narratives.

I want to share some of our secret sauce. Our company started in the film and entertainment industry. Story is everything in entertainment, and we believe that it is critical in digital communications and marketing - but it’s only half of the recipe. In film creation you execute the production to tell a story through a one-time project. Storytelling in communications has to be executed everyday - it is ongoing across multiple media, and takes a number of diverse forms. There needs to be a strong understanding of the brand and the audience we’re trying to reach to allow the fluid, shape-shifting storytelling we need.

Along with story, the key to our success is process. Our processes are built on discipline, iterative improvement, and clear goals. Emotionally gripping story combined with disciplined process is the foundation of our approach to social media. We call our combination of story, strategy, and execution the “Connection Plan.”

There are three phases to the Connection Plan:

Phase One: The Audit

We find out what’s working for your current audience, what your competition is doing well, and what people are saying about your topics in general. The insights in the audit inform our strategy and set baseline goals for your social media program.

Phase Two: Strategy

All our learnings from the Audit are translated into a strategy, encapsulated in the Strategy Guide kick-off document. The guide sums up how we will emotionally motivate your audience to act on your behalf; it also spells out our goals. Along with the Strategy Guide you will receive a Content Calendar, Social Media Style Guide, Content Examples, New Platform Mockups, Audience Targeting Profile(s), and initial Ad Sets.

Phase Three: Execution

We run the social media for you, putting our strategy into effect. Our creatives design and build all the content on the content calendar. We get your sign off before posting it. We manage all the media to make sure it is scheduled and published. As the content rolls out over the month, we boost the posts that need the most exposure. Our community managers engage in the conversation with your audience and guide the narrative to the outcomes you want. 

The strategist assigned to your account follows a methodical discipline to test which advertising and promotions will best convince your audience to act. This split-testing approach will surface insights, results, and predictable costs. We only target the specific audiences you want to reach. If you want Van Halen listening oyster lovers in Wisconsin, we can get them. The content we put in front of your audience will always be tested to optimally fit your fans.

The project wraps up with a comprehensive report that spells out the predictable fan growth and actions you can expect from your social media program. We also quantify how well your audience is engaging with the narrative we have created.

People love stories, and if you want to cut through the clutter you need a method that continuously brings them a narrative they care about. Over 1.6 Billion people use Facebook. Reaching an audience that cares is a matter of focus; “Who do you want to reach?”. Getting your audience to act starts with finding where your story crosses theirs. Respect your audience, treat them like people, start a dialog in the new town square. Once you have a strong dialog, once you have the audience’s trust, ask them to do what you want them to do.