The SocialMadeSimple Show- Veronica Jackson Ep. 13
What is SocialMadeSimple’s secret to bringing small businesses & franchises success through social media marketing?
SocialMadeSimple’s Director of Client Services, Veronica Jackson, sits down with Business Development Manager, Ryan Chiasson, to discuss the ins and outs of SocialMadeSimple’s strategy for client success: differences in social marketing strategies between franchises vs. small businesses, the strategic approaches to Facebook ad campaigns, how the team keeps up trends, and much more!
“Social media is a business within itself… it’s a money-generating machine! When people start to see that side of it, I love seeing the transition in their attitude towards social media.”
Ryan: Welcome back to the SocialMadeSimple Show! My name is Ryan Chiasson and today, we are joined by none other than the director of client services, Veronica Jackson. Veronica, thanks for joining us today!
Veronica: Thanks for having me, Ryan! It’s good to be here!
Transition: The SocialMadeSimple Show
Get To Know Our Director of Client Services
Veronica: I started off actually in broadcast journalism, so I was doing the news for a few years. Then oddly enough I found a role with Walt Disney at their Texas division which really got me into your marketing and advertising space. So obviously working with that kind of brand, I got tremendous experience and learning the background in marketing advertising from a larger role perspective. That translated to my role of almost 5 years, with an advertising agency out of Boulder, Colorado which was originally in Dallas. There, I got the benefit of working with large household name brands at that business and also still the smaller mom and pop businesses so I got a good diversity of clients while working there.
With SMS (SocialMadeSimple) I was the first, to my knowledge, the first completely virtual hire, so it is odd that I’ve never met my team in person. That was a different experience for me, but I was so excited during the interview process as I could tell that the leadership team was truly invested in the team and cared about their clients. That’s just such a hard mix to find, especially these days when working with advertising companies; so I was so excited to be a part of it!
Ryan: Yeah! From having you on the team, working with you on the small business level, and then having you go up to being the director of client services – how was that for you? With coming into it and being one of our very first virtual hires, and really having a great snapshot in terms of almost every facet of the company, it would be great if you could talk a bit more about that!
Veronica: Actually, I was really lucky to get that experience at the agency that I worked that prior to SocialMadeSimple. I had a similar experience starting at the very beginning level of the company which is called an interactive producer there and then worked my way up to the director. So in able to completely do your job correctly, you have to know every facet of the company. Starting at the bottom level, where you’re writing content, or looking at the ads, or doing client relationship management. You get that perspective and then as you work your way up to the director, you can still talk to those behind-the-scenes actions that are going on as well.
I found that really beneficial coming into SocialMadeSimple as well because it’s not just an advertising platform, it’s its own separate platform. So I knew the Facebook and Instagram side very well but I came to SocialMadeSimple ready to learn the background of the platform!
Ryan: Yeah, I still remember the first day coming into work and I was there with Matt, one of our content leads, since we were hired in the same pool. Viewing the platform for the first time, was exciting, intimidating, and definitely has been very interesting to see how our platform and services have evolved, especially with adapting throughout 2020 on the small business and franchise side.
Transition: Social Marketing Strategy: Franchise vs. Single-Location
Ryan: With a lot of these franchises, they have so many options. From your point of view, having seen both sides of it, what do you feel are the differences in executing the franchise-level programs versus what we do for the mom and pop shops small businesses that are also a super important part of our clientele?
Veronica: For our clients, it’s about looking at different strategies through the same lens. So whether it’s a small business or a very large corporation, it’s the same lens and same goal we are trying to achieve. We want to generate business for our customers and that’s the ultimate goal, but it’s how we approach it that has to be a different strategy.
For smaller mom and pop shops, we have to establish the company first. Get their name out there, get awareness, etc. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, we want to get the name of your store out there so that if people are driving by, they know who you are and want to go in the store because they have seen and heard about who you are. So we have to establish their presence before we can generate that traffic into their store or their online website.
With larger brands, it’s a little bit different because they typically have established their presence online and have a brand behind them. So with them, we look at it through the lens of the creative. Do they need a creative refresh? Do they need a bit of rebranding and making sure that the creative is up to date and trendy? Additionally, with larger businesses, we are able to look a bit at the bigger picture. What have you done in the past that has worked well? What hasn’t worked well? Then taking insights from that and applying it to our campaigns so we can do maybe a lead generation campaign while additionally doing a web traffic campaign, for example.
So with larger businesses, it’s more about making sure their business is seen in the best light, and with small or medium-sized businesses it’s more about establishing their brand in the first place and then generating those leads and sales.
Ryan: Yeah that makes complete sense! I think especially with going back to what we said about some brands going into 2020, this was their first time making a first big digital push into their online presence, social media, advertising campaigns, etc. I think it can be tricky especially when you’re approaching it from the lens ground 0 and I can definitely speak to that our team has done an amazing job with these clients and accounts, just being patient; because, as I said, a lot of this was their first crack at being able to really establish their digital presence.
Transition: A Day In The Life of Our Director of Client Services
Ryan: What is your day-to-day? Being the Director of Client Services, I don’t think there really is day-to-day for you, so maybe even a week-to-week is good to outline your role.
Veronica: I was going to say, ‘how long have you got for this interview?!’, but I’ll try to break it down! My role, at its core, is a bit two-fold. Primarily, I’m responsible for overseeing client strategy and performance and just overseeing our programs as a whole. The other side, which I’m very passionate about, is overseeing our internal team: the ads team, the content team, and now the client success team.
An average day, most average at least is a balance between strategy calls on the client end, our program-level calls, and then our internal process calls, and then an occasional email in the five minutes between those calls. So that’s in a nutshell what an average day is!
Transition: How The SMS Team Keeps Up With Best Practices & Trends
Ryan: When it comes to the companies that we work with, there are so many choices out there for agencies and 2020 really forced the entire business world into focusing on their online presence. In a space that is rapidly changing, how do you feel our team stays educated when it comes to everything social media and continues to apply best practices as time goes on?
Veronica: Yeah that’s something I strongly passionate about – making sure that we’re implementing education sessions as a part of our team workflow. Actually setting an hour to yourself, whether it’s watching YouTube videos or going on to Facebook Blueprint and making sure that your certifications are up to date, and just staying on top of the trends and the technology and developments that are coming every day. Also taking from that what’s viable for our clients and what’s not.
Some trends are just a flavor of the week and some are really worth investing in our practice and our business and can turn into success for our clients. I think it’s important when looking at these educations, being able to differentiate between what’s just for the moment versus what is something we can take to our business and our clients. Carving out that actual time on your calendar each week is the absolute key to keep up with trends and stay in the know of your space.
Transition: Team Delegation With Each Social Marketing Program
Veronica: So we actually just divided our team into 3 sections with a restructure. So we have the ads team, the content team, and the client success team! What a lot of agencies struggle with is how to balance all of the needs of our clients, while being able to master them. We looked at that, looked at options, and decided to split our team into where they were the strongest.
We have some people internally that have great strengths in client communication and relationships versus the other half of the team are in the back end of the ads and love diving into the analytics and spreadsheets. Let’s put people where they belong and with what they enjoy and they can truly become a master at what they’re doing. This benefits not only our clients but also us and makes our day-to-day lives better as a whole working for the company.
Ryan: Absolutely – it all comes down to playing to their strengths! When you have someone that is specializing in a certain just aspect of what we do, it only helps our team grow that much more. Especially being able to have much deeper dives by cross-educating and self-educating; all those things go hand in hand.
Transition: Strategic Approach to Facebook Ad Campaigns
Ryan: So when it comes to ad campaigns, whether it’s lead generation, website traffic, brand awareness, etc., what is your typical approach, and how do you feel like companies can be successful when launching their campaigns no matter what the goal is?
Veronica: So it always starts with just a conversation with the client. Talking about where they are, where they want to be, what their goals as a company are, even past advertising and marketing. So when you have that open conversation it’s easy for us to play that into our advertising and marketing on their behalf. And then from there, we take it to an internal team discussion: we get their ideas, get their business goals, and ask, “How can we make the magic happen?”.
That’s where the ad strategy comes into play.
For some people, they just want to get their name out there, so we want to have an awareness campaign. Some people are looking to generate business immediately so we’re doing more of that lead generation campaign for them. One of my favorite things about working with smaller and medium businesses is them getting to see what social media marketing can do for them. So many people come and they think, “Oh it’s just about posting a picture, here’s a funny meme of the day”, and, yes, that’s some of it – that’s part of the enjoyment of social media in general. But watching how shocked they are and them saying, “Wow, people are actually recognizing my brand, walking into my store, and knowing who I am solely because of what they saw on social media”.
It’s a business within itself – it’s a money-generating machine. When people start to see that side of it, I love seeing their excitement and the transition in their attitude towards social media and advertising in general. It’s its own business entity for them!
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely! I think for a lot of small to medium businesses, they see it as just this platform more so for the enjoyment and they don’t see the return on investment that it can actually bring. Although again, where 2020 was the year that this was their first real crack at social media, being able to talk about the positive return on investment that we’ve been able to produce is always an exciting conversation to have!
Transition: Best Part About Working at SocialMadeSimple
Ryan: Last question! What has been your favorite thing about working at SocialMadeSimple this far?!
Veronica: This is going to sound cheesy but it’s very true – the team! I absolutely love this team! I’m so lucky to work with the team, we truly care about each other, it’s collaborative, it’s fun, we do things like coffee break where we’re making jokes for 15 minutes on a Friday morning, virtual happy hours, etc. It’s virtual and not the same and I wish I could see you guys in person and eventually, when post-covid hopefully happens, go out to the bar and get a drink. That’s just not a reality right now, but SMS has done a great job in making it feel normal virtually. So I’m just lucky to be with this team, and we all have such a diverse background and everyone has something different to offer!
That’s the main reason why I joined the team: I saw the leadership truly cared about the team on top of the client success which is such a rare combination to find!
Ryan: Absolutely! We touched upon a lot of great things in this interview and I’m so happy we were able to do this because it has been a long time coming, with such a busy schedule. Those are all the questions that we have for today. Be sure to check out interviews with other members of our team at www.socialmadesimple.com under our Resource Center but until then we’ll see you next time!
Veronica: Thanks, Ryan!