“We believe that ‘social’ can and should be positioned at the center of a company’s marketing efforts.” That’s what Andy Angelos, the chief operating officer and co-founder of SocialKaty, says is the company’s philosophy.
As a top social media marketing agency in Chicago, Angelos and his colleagues spend a significant amount of time thinking about how companies can best leverage the tools available today. Between running many different social accounts for clients and keeping up with its own profiles, SocialKaty has an unusual set of needs from a social media management tool. Angelos told us about the growth of the agency and how it approaches the logistics of social media.
A Social Partnership
Angelos explained how he and President Katy Lynch brought the agency into being. “Katy and I met through an event I used to organize called SocialDevCamp,” he said. “Basically an annual weekend for developers, entrepreneurs and marketers interested in the social space to learn, share ideas, and build new products.”
After first connecting in that context, the two stayed in touch. In August 2010, Angelos and Lynch started talking about her choice to leave a marketing job at a local startup in favor of consulting work. “I was already selling similar services as a consultant, so we decided to partner and merge our respective strengths,” he said.
The two consultants joined forces and now lead a team of about 20 full-time employees and several interns. SocialKaty now helps its many clients to create exciting social content and attract strong communities around social networks.
Managing the Management
“We have several teams that work collaboratively to execute projects for our clients,” Angelos explained. “Each team has a collection of resources including design, analytics, strategy, etc that are required to push new content and campaigns.”
As those teams took on more clients, SocialKaty soon had a tricky situation on its hands. With many customers, and multiple social profiles to run for each of them, overseeing all of the social media work to be done was no easy task.
Angelos said that managing multiple accounts comes with some hurdles, such as creating and maintaining a unique voice for the company being represented. “We make sure to develop personas for each client at the beginning of an engagement to ensure a distinct voice,” he said.
The other top challenges to their work, he said, are time management and setting expectations for the agency and its clients. “We spend time as a company thinking about how we are spending our time and consistently evaluate more efficient methods for core activities like drafting copy, growing audiences, sourcing content, etc.,” Angelos said.
Those important tasks were hard to keep up when SocialKaty’s employees were using different tools. The team decided that one way to improve its business was to consolidate all of its management tasks into a single platform: Sprout Social. Having a single tool allowed them to better serve their clients by cutting down on those inefficiencies.
Another benefit to SocialKaty’s switch to Sprout Social was the availability of reports. Getting hard data for clients was a must for the agency.
“Key performance indicators in social have still not reached the standardization you find in other areas of online advertising,” Angelos said. As a result, the agency needed to offer some customization in the data collected in order to best meet each customer’s needs. He said different clients might want details about engagement, page views, or email captures, so SocialKaty needed to be able to obtain and track many different metrics about the profiles under its purview.
Before switching to Sprout Social, SocialKaty created its reports by hand. Once again, Sprout Social was able to help the agency to streamline its crucial activities to be faster and more effective.
Words of Wisdom
In addition to sharing SocialKaty’s own story and experience, Angelos offered some suggestions about the power of social media for businesses. “The ease and frequency of publishing through social provides a lot of insight that can inform campaigns and messaging for other channels,” he said. He explained that along with its use for marketing, social media could help inform everything from advertising to site copy to sales collateral.
He also encouraged businesses to keep the focus on quality content. “Be awesome at something, anything, and find a way to share it with the world,” he advised. “Platforms are not as important as the content you’re delivering.” After all, an agency such as SocialKaty has the know-how to make social media work for you.