About Sky Alphabet: A Vancouver Social Media Marketing Agency.

If you’re like most companies visiting us, you’re here because you want to do more (maybe even a lot more) with social media.

Our clients fall into three categories:

  1. Public companies (TSX, Nasdaq) that need a social media strategy and require some level of assistance with executing;
  2. Medium-sized Canadian businesses that are handling some portion of their social media but want to expand their influence through other social media platforms and digital marketing tactics;
  3. BC businesses that are successful but are losing ground because they lack a digital marketing and/or social media strategy and the internal staff to execute.
Sky Alphabet BCAMA Marketing Awards 2018 Finalist
Sky Alphabet: BCAMA Marketing Excellence Awards Finalist

Social media marketing can be complicated

You know you need social media, but it’s not just Facebook that needs attention. It’s Twitter and Instagram, too. And if you’re a B2B marketer, LinkedIn is a must.

That’s a lot of social channels. And a major burden on your resources.

Making matters worse, social media has become elevated in the eyes of senior executives at your company.

At some Canadian public companies, Tweets are starting to replace press releases. And out of nowhere, Instagram has become a key branding channel.

Social media is a massive opportunity for public companies and private brands. It’s a wide open storytelling channel. Use it a little or use it a lot, but use it.

Steve Yanor, Managing Director, Sky Alphabet

In the US, tweets became recognized in 2013 as an official “channel of distribution” by the SEC.

Social Media is a recognized channel of distribution for corporate communications.
Source: Harvard Law Blog

How are brands supposed to get the most out of social media when they lack the internal resources?

They call us.

Get Results Without Breaking The Bank

We believe brands don’t need to break the bank. Our mix of social and digital marketing expertise is hard to find anywhere else, especially in Vancouver BC.

We’ll give you a solution that’s perfect for your business at a price you can live with.

Our Motto: Win With Social

With Sky Alphabet you can win with social. If you’re running a business that depends on your customers or investors making a choice between you and someone else, social media can be the deciding factor.

On its own social media can be a game changer.

But when you combine social media with SEO or content marketing, you’ve got a winning combination. That’s our formula. It’s very difficult to beat.

Businesses of all sizes can make an impact with social media. But when you combine Twitter with SEO or content marketing, you’ll be well positioned to dominate.

Social Media Networks: Something For Everyone

Each social media platform has unique strengths

Twitter has terrific organic reach and an influential audience. Instagram offers tremendous creative potential and a way to access millennials.

LinkedIn and Facebook have the ability to target by job title or geography with almost addictive granularity.

What they all the social media network have in common is that they bring awareness and signficant revenue potential.

Sky Alphabet Social Media package for Instagram Ads and Instagram TV
We offer Instagram packages starting at $750/month

Combine Digital Marketing with Social Media for Hot Results

Where things get exciting is when social media networks are used with digital marketing tactics. This is how brands can stand out. Fast.

We’re the Vancouver social media marketing agency Vancouver loves. Reach out today.

Q&A with Steve Yanor of Sky Alphabet

Hey Steve. What’s Up?

What’s up is that 50% of firms don’t have a documented social media strategy. And only 60% of large firms do. That’s surprising.

Any brand with a marketing budget should have a formal social media strategy. It’s a great opportunity.

Only 50% of small businesses have a documented social media strategy. 40% of large firms did not.
From Buffer’s 2018 State of Social Report.

Why Start a Social Media Marketing Agency?

Agencies. I love agencies! Ad agencies, design agencies, investor relations agencies, PR agencies, and now social media agencies. I have always worked at agencies.

My first agency job was as an art director. I was 21. After work one day I went to a local bar to have some appetizers and there was an investment banker who started talking to me.

As it turned out he was working on something called an IPO and needed some help with his slides. His bank didn’t have a slide designer! So I started moonlighting for investment bankers.

After everyone had left the agency for the night, these bankers would pile into my office and work on their IPO presentation slides until 2 or 3 in the morning.

At one point one of the PR guys said “hey, let’s start an investor relations firm and do IPO presentations.”

It got to a point where it was time to make a decision. I couldn’t hide these bankers in my office every night! So I quit my cushy agency job.

For six months it looked like I had made the worst decision of my life!

But finally, just as I was about the beg for my old job back, one of our New York cold calls paid off and we got a phone call:

Come to New York and show us what you can do. From that point on, things went crazy. Our first project was the biggest deal in the world.

Steve Yanor of the social media agency Sky Alphabet in front of a green screen
Steve Yanor, Founder, Sky Alphabet Social Media Inc.

A lot of great opportunities seem to be tied to niche markets. Social media is the mother of niche markets.

Vancouver is probably like a lot of markets. You have an agency scene that has been totally disrupted. Data has entered the picture. Digital is crucial but it’s not just web design. It’s deep, strategic, in-the-weeds stuff that requires a lot of experience.

A great looking website isn’t the number one priority any more. It’s site speed. It’s SEO. It’s messaging. It’s social. I mean, you have PPC and search marketing agencies here that are corrupting client sitemaps so they can take SEO out of the picture. It’s nuts.

The bulk of online brands need to get their social media and SEO house in order before they can justify dropping $10K on a website that gets 200 visits per month.

The thing with social media is that you can’t do it “on the side.” It’s too much work.

Why Start a Social Media Marketing Agency?

There are a lot of great opportunities everywhere. And the opportunities aren’t fading. They’re getting louder. Stronger.

Looking at social specifically there are three or four areas where you can knock it out of the park for just about any client. It’s amazing.

I just want be the best. Is that too much to ask? We’re not going to stop until we are.

One of the big advantages we have is that we’re the only agency to stick by Twitter. Everybody ditched Twitter! We made a long-term bet that is only now starting to pay off. For a lot of our corporate clients, Twitter is a superior channel for a lot of good reasons.

Twitter and LinkedIn tops for FP500 emarketer
Twitter outperforms other social media networks for organic reach.

The number one reason is that Twitter has superior organic reach. That’s the reason why Facebook became so massive: they used to show your audience your messages. Now of course Facebook does not but Twitter does. This is a big deal.

For many clients, Twitter is a far, far better option than Facebook or Instagram. It’s not even close.

The number two reason we like Twitter is that Twitter users are loyal. They see a fellow brand on Twitter and a little checkbox gets ticked.

The typical Twitter user also uses other social platforms, so you can combine LinkedIn and Instagram to achieve a lot more than if you only use a single platform.

Apart from Twitter, we continue to see fat SEO budgets and digital ad spend shift into social media. Forrester was one of the first to conclude that social media is “the channel that best suits engaging digital-first buyers.” Totally.

What’s a Typical Day at Sky Alphabet?

Busy! We open at 6:30 am. The last post happens at 9:30 pm or later. I mean, posts are going out 24/7/365 but we’re always in accounts, looking for engagement opportunities and ways to grow the awareness of our clients with audiences.

One of the best ways is to combine some sort of organic strategy – audience development or content marketing or SEO – with paid Instagram or Facebook ads.

We’re transitioning to a 24/7 operation so that we can work with brands around the world. We see a lot of opportunities everywhere, but the social media and SEO combination is a powerful one.

Why Start a Social Media Marketing Agency?

Sure. Anyone can develop an audience on both Twitter and LinkedIn. For B2B brands, these two social networks offer very good possibilities just by clicking “follow.”

We wrote a guide to growing your audience on Twitter that any business can use.

Having a good Twitter account sends a signal a brand knows what it’s doing.

There is no question that growing your audience takes time. But it’s worth it.

Especially in the professional services space — lawyers, dentists, private equity, financial advisors, fintech companies VC-funded startups where there is loads of competition — mortgage brokers, investment advisors, accountants, decorators, real estate agents, home security firms, plumbers — for all of these competitive categories Twitter is perfect. Perfect.

Twitter is unrivaled for its access to institutions and VCs. There’s a lot of money on Twitter.

The thing that most people don’t know is that a platform like Twitter gives you direct access to anyone that follows you through a secure email channel. What a great feature. So you can rely on that when you’re ready.

A lot of people make the mistake of sending these direct messages: thanks for following me and so on. Keep your powder dry. Wait for the right opportunity.

There are some pretty big traps out there. Social media is a public forum. Be clear about your goals.

Do you want to improve your search results? Use social. Do you want to improve your reputation? use social. Do you want to build the value of your company? Definitely use social. There is a long list of use cases that most people haven’t considered.

What’s Next in the World of Social Media?

There’s a huge side of data with social. That’s the opportunity. And that’s where we’re going.

In many respects social media marketing is still in its infancy. But the process of tapping someone on the shoulder and relating to them is as old as the pyramids, probably older.

There are probably cave paintings of people tapping each other on the shoulder and saying ‘hey: there’s a lion in that bush!’

The voice and awareness components are what social media boils down to: tapping the right people on the shoulder and having an ongoing conversation with them. If they feel like it.

You have to tread carefully. You have to listen and you have to be aware of what’s happening in a conversation.

What are Some of the Big Opportunities with Social Media?

If you think of social media as pre-marketing or “pre-sales” channel, you begin to see the possibilities.

If you see it first as a sales channel then you are headed into the danger zone. Social media is a pre-sales channel. It’s a touchpoint. It’s where you rack up points for being a good brand and a good online citizen.

Social media a perfect place to be friendly and likeable. It’s one of the only places you can show off the finer points of your brand: your sense of humour. Your wisdom. All the lessons you’ve learned. It’s a soft sell but in the process there can be tremendous goodwill and respect established.

Consumers are spending more time on social. They’re also spending time reading the news or chatting with people they’ve never met. People are really comfortable with that. But they are also spending a lot less time with Google.

People are searching on Twitter and Instagram now. Google results are too outdated for some people. No one wants results that are a day old.

Search is Moving to Social Media. Is that an Opportunity?

Our slogan is “win with social”. It’s getting easier and easier to win with social. It’s a natural candidate for voice search and it is referring sales traffic three times more than it did even two years ago. Twitter continues to grow in popularity as Facebook wanes because people need an up-to-the-minute source of news.

For brands that are already using search marketing or are active with social media, social search is a great opportunity. More so when it is incorporated into a broader search marketing strategy.

 

Any Obvious Recommendations?

We recommend a content calendar so that the big events throughout the year are well served. As the years pass you get better and better at really punching the big events and augmenting them with programmatic audio or something extra. Social works really well when there’s an additional component, like outdoor advertising.

It’s also a good idea to keep really good paperwork: KPIs, strategies, records of your postings. Experiments are a must.

Does Twitter Contribute to Thought Leadership?

Thought leadership is crucial for any business. I don’t care if you’re a winemaker, plastic surgeon or personal injury lawyer, people who are buying from you are making decisions based on 5 or more data points.

Using Twitter and the other social channels is an absolute must if you intend to single yourself out as someone who is worth the extra money or time.

If you look at the Twitter metrics of an industry such as financial services, you see an unusually high number of venture capitalists and other players in the capital markets using Twitter as their primary channel of communications.

Twitter works really well with investor-oriented businesses, more so if you can develop a respectable following.

I love the recent example of Tinhorn Creek which is a BC winery purchased by Andrew Peller. The CEO Sandra Oldfield is the #1 ranked CEO on Twitter in Canada with 16k followers.

I asked her: “has Twitter made a difference to your business?” She said “absolutely.”

Who knows if Tinhorn’s social media played a part in the acquisition but she definitely has the most consistent voice of anyone in the BC wine world on Twitter. That can’t hurt.

Twitter is powerful. Instagram is ubiquitous. These platforms give brands a distinct competitive advantage. Especially brands that trade publicly.

About Steve Yanor

Steve Yanor is the founder of Sky Alphabet Social Media Inc. With a background in investor relations and corporate communications, Steve has overseen $45 billion in Initial Public Offerings and wrote a book called Roadshow: the Marketing of Corporate Finance.

Steve started Sky Alphabet Social Media in the Summer of 2016 and incorporated the company in June 2017. He holds a marketing diploma from the Institute of Communication Agencies. He has been certified by Google, Hubspot and SEMRush for various digital marketing certificates.

Steve has overseen the investor roadshows of some of the largest IPOs in the world. As an advisor to Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, UBS and other major investment banks and their issuing clients, Steve was responsible for executing marquee international investor marketing campaigns.

With more than two dozen roadshows to his credit, Steve’s ability to create investor content while managing the complexity of large group meetings around the world earned him top spots at some of the world’s most prestigious IR marketing firms, including Imagination (GIC USA) and The Global Consulting Group.

Prior to New York, Steve worked at prominent IR consulting firms in Toronto and Vancouver, and handled Lions Gate Entertainment’s IPO as its VP Marketing and Communications.

Please connect with Steve on LinkedIn
 
 

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