About Sky Alphabet: A Vancouver Social Media Marketing Agency.
Let’s face it: you don’t have time for social media. And who has the resources to post interesting content and engage audiences day in and day out?
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 other people at your company. For some, Tweets are starting to replace press releases. Instagram is becoming a shopping channel that everyone is focused on.
How is a small or medium sized public company supposed to get the most out of social media?
Easy. They call us.
Get Results Without Breaking The Bank
Wet believe that brands don’t need to break the bank. Our mix of social and digital marketing is hard to find anywhere else, especially in BC. We’ll give you a solution that’s perfect for your business at a price you can live with.
Our motto is Win with social
With Sky Alphabet you can win with social. If you’re running a business that depends on investors or customers making a choice between you and someone else, social media can be the deciding factor.
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. 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 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.
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.
Q&A with Steve Yanor of Sky Alphabet
Hey Steve. What’s Up?
I recently saw some research from Buffer’s 2018 State of Social Report. One of the charts showed that only 50% of the firms surveyed have a documented social media strategy.
That 50% was split between large firms and small firms — 70/30 in favour of large firms. Anybody with a marketing budget should have a documented social media strategy! Talk about a great opportunity.
— Sky Alphabet Social Media (@skyalphabet) October 3, 2018
Why Start a Social Media Marketing Agency?
I have always worked at agencies. I started as an art director at 21 and then sort of stumbled my way up in fits and starts. Before opening Sky Alphabet I was running an agency in New York.
Agencies are very interesting to me. They can hum along under the radar until BAM! They’re either being acquired or going bankrupt. In this environment with so much emphasis on social media and programmatic ad buying, there are great pockets of opportunity.
Here in Vancouver the agency dynamic is fascinating. You have a smattering of digital shops but only one or two that offers SEO and social media.
You also have web design agencies that were born as graphic design firms. But nobody is doing SEO, search marketing and social. As far as I know 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 ditched Twitter! We made a long-term bet that is only now starting to pay off. For us it is clear that Twitter is superior for a lot of good reasons.
The first reason is that Twitter has superior organic reach. This is a big deal. Twitter is a far, far better option than Facebook or Instagram. It’s not even close.
The number two reason 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 if you only 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.
— GANG (@gangsocial) September 11, 2017
What’s a Typical Day at Sky Alphabet?
Busy! Some of us start at 6:30 am. The last post can be 9:30 pm or later. We have clients across the country so we adjust for different time zones which is why we start early and are open on weekends.
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 SEO combination is a powerful one.
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.
— Western Media Group (@westernmedia) September 8, 2017
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.
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