How do you differ from other providers?

This blog post is part of a new series of questions and answers (Q&A) in which we will answer the questions real people ask us.
Today’s question, asked by a local company that operates a thriving business overseas, is:

What social media services do you offer and how do they differ from that of other companies?

How do you do social media differently from your competitors?
Little fish in a big pond – or different enough to stand apart? We’re both, but it’s the latter that gets us hired.

The company director wants to reach a wider audience through social media, but has a very broad customer demographic.
My first response to this question is that we offer a holistic approach to marketing – we are not a social media service provider; we provide social media services as part of a ‘big picture’ aproach to publicising your business.
Although the term ‘holistic’ is becoming rather overused in the marketing world, it does represent our approach when compared with other specialist social media agencies.
We also like to use the term ‘all-inclusive’ because your business can often benefit from other marketing channels that will make social media work far better.
The hype that surrounds social media will often lead a business blindly down an alleyway, and many customers come to us when they are in this position. They’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. ‘What can you do for us’, they ask.

Do you need a social media specialist?

That’s not to say a specialist cannot provide a good service, but they should only be consulted once the need has been identified for that depth of service.
Because of the newness of social media – and to many businesses starting up, social media is a new thing – it’s common to believe that it will do great things for your business on its own. It won’t.
Social media is often referred to as an amplifier, or fuel for the fire that is content, so without resources in place to produce it, your social presence will be very ‘shallow’.
So, to get back to the question, these are our unique selling points that differentiate us from some of the other service providers who offer ‘social media management’.

  • We understand the media landscape – Our background is in media, marketing and journalism. Our staff have worked in advertising and editorial departments in local and national newspapers. We know how to tell stories and market them to the public. Social media is just a new form of media, and we’ve recognised that all along.
  • We’re not yes-men – We tell you what will work and what won’t, and we don’t have a bank of low-paid workers rolling out x number of tweets, status updates and Instagram pictures a day. If you ask us to give you Twitter training and we don’t think it will work for you, we’ll be blunt and honest. And we’ll also expect you to get your staff on board if you want to see long-term benefits. If that sounds harsh, we’re not the right company for you.
  • We’ve got the resources to support you – social media burns through content like a jetplane burns kerosene. Our experienced creatives – writers, photographers, designers – can provide the content for you, it’s in our blood, we’ve been filling newspapers for 20 years, every week. We could give you an endless supply of cat and food pictures to post, but we’re pretty sure you’d be unhappy with your business engagement vocabulary being limited to ‘coo’ and ‘yum’.

[tweet “‘Without resources in place to produce content, your social presence will be very shallow.’ #socialmedia”]
We could also add that we were awarded a national award for use of Twitter in a media environment in 2009 – yes, five years ago. We started using Twitter in 2007.
But then, any specialist will probably be able to add a slew of awards, an appropriate background in media, writing or PR, and a back catalogue of their own content to prove it.
The choice you have to make often boils down to who you think is the ‘right fit’ for your business. If you believe every part of your online and offline marketing is running like clockwork, and all you need is help with your social media, don’t choose us.
However, if you want us to show you how to prioritise and strategise your marketing channels and how social media can fuel them, we’ll be the glove to your hand