About Sky Alphabet: A Vancouver Social Media Marketing Agency.

💙 Let’s face it: you don’t have time for social media. And it’s impossible to keep active on all the platforms. Plus, who has the resources to post interesting content and engage audiences day in and day out?

It’s not just you. Social media has become a complicated proposition. You know you need it, but it’s not just Facebook that needs updating. It’s Twitter and Instagram, too. Maybe even LinkedIn.

Making matters worse, social media is becoming more important to the board. At some companies Tweets are starting to replace press releases and Instagram is becoming the preferred marketing channel to acquire customers.

How is a small or medium sized business supposed to run a company while getting the most out of social media?

Cut to: the Vancouver social media marketing agency of Sky Alphabet {play inspirational music; Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Winter?}

Brands don’t need to spend a fortune

The Vancouver social media marketing agency Sky Alphabet believes that brands don’t need to break the bank. Our mix of social and digital marketing is hard to find anywhere else, especially in Vancouver. 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 in a business that depends on customers choosing between you and somebody else, social media is often the deciding factor when choosing between two or more brands.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that social media can be a game changer. But when you combine social media with SEO, search marketing or content marketing, you’ve got a winning combination. Tha’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 search marketing you’re well positioned to dominate.

Social media networks: something for everyone

Each social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Twitter has terrific organic reach. Instagram offers tremendous creative potential. LinkedIn has the ability to target job titles and experience with fantastic granularity. What they all have in common is that they bring awareness and potential customers or investors.

Social Media Instagram Ads and Instagram TV

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

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


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Sky Alphabet Social Media Vancouver logo circle nov 28 2017


Q&A with Steve Yanor of Sky Alphabet

Sky Alphabet is a Weird Name. What’s Up?

Is it weird? Alphabet was derived from the financial concepts of alpha and beta — return and risk. And the SKY reflects my initials, albeit with one modification (my actual initials are SLY). I’ll tell you what’s weird: after we registered the domain, Google changed its name to Alphabet! And then someone from Saudi Arabia registered skyalphabet with a .net extension and started linking to our site. I’m still not sure what to make of that.

The name Sky Alphabet was originally based on the concepts of alpha and beta. But alphabeta sounded too much like alphaghetti.

Why We Exist

We’re known as an agency that doesn’t break the bank. This is important because we want to make it easy for brands to experiment, try new platforms, get ranked, and to generally stretch out and find their limits without worrying too much about the cost of media versus agency fees and creative. For a lot of firms the compensation becomes a major issue for the client once the tide turns. And that’s what tides do.

As a new agency we’re more interested in forming long-term relationships than working in a fancy office.

That old saying “Work in a cave and live in a bouncy castle” has always rung true and still does.

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


Why Start a Social Media Marketing Agency?

I have always worked at agencies. From the time I got my start at 21 I have worked at and run agencies of all shapes and sizes. From award-winning global agencies in New York to tiny little strategy shops in Toronto.

But here in Vancouver the agency dynamic is fascinating. You have a smattering of digital shops but only one or two that is really SEO oriented. Then you have the web design agencies that are also graphic design firms. But nobody is doing SEO, search marketing and social. We’re the first.

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

In Vancouver we’re the only agency to stick by Twitter. Everybody took off! We made a long-term bet that is only now starting to pay off. For us it was pretty clear that Twitter is the superior social platform for a bunch of different reasons.

The first reason is that Twitter has superior organic reach. This is a big deal. Granted, Twitter has been starting to slowly choke back the organic reach but it’s still a far, far better option than Facebook or Instagram.

The number two reasons is that Twitter users are loyal. The typical Twitter user also uses other social platforms, so you can combine LinkedIn and Instagram to achieve a lot more than you could if you used a single platform.

Our business plan is full of compelling data showing trends such as the fact that SEO budgets and digital ad spend are shifting into social media. Even more recently, Forrester reported that social media is “the channel that best suits engaging digital-first buyers.” Obviously that’s a big deal.

What’s a Typical Day at Sky Alphabet?

Busy! 6:30 am start and typically the last post is 9:30 pm. We have clients across the country so we adjust for the different time zones which is why start early and are open on the weekends.

I’m working on making the shift to a 24/7 operation so that we can take advantage of the immediate nature of social. There are so many opportunities everywhere, but the social media plus SEO combo is very powerful for most brands.


What’s so Great About Twitter?

Both Twitter and LinkedIn have the most desirable audiences: college educated, wealthy, loyal. In short, these are audiences that buy stock, drink wine and own a house. All the things that brands clamour for.

The investment in developing an audience on both Twitter and LinkedIn is worth it. Twitter has exceptionally low CPMs and hopefully it will stay that way. When I refer to CMPs I am talking about “cost per thousands” in an organic sense. Which is the reason why no agency specializes in Twitter because the audience development side of the business is brutal. It’s difficult. It takes time. We developed our own software to help us find and develop audiences. MAGnet really takes the grind out of attracting audiences.

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

Especially in the small business space — lawyers, dentists and all the occupations and startup categories where there is loads of competition — mortgage brokers, investment advisors, accountants, decorators, real estate agents, home security firms, plumbers — for all of these everyday 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. But if you’re clear about your goals anything is possible.

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. We just finished coding our first audience development tool.

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 hungry 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.

Patience pays dividends.

What are Some of the Big Opportunities with Social Media?

If you think of social media as pre-marketing or “pre-sales”, 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 Facebook now. Google search is too outdated. 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 loudest voice of anyone in the BC wine world on Twitter. That can’t hurt.

Twitter is powerful. All the important people are on Twitter. It can be a difficult platform to master, but it’s the platform that can help brands get 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.

From 2002-2007 Steve oversaw the investor roadshows of some of the largest IPOs in the world. Working alongside Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, UBS and other major investment banks in New York City, Steve was responsible for executing 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 assisted Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. with their reverse IPO while employed as Lions Gate’s VP Marketing and Communications.


Please connect with Steve on LinkedIn