What was the scope of their involvement?
By my request, we started with our Instagram and Facebook presence. We dove into those immediately, and engagement spiked. We saw a spike once we spoke the language of the local community, which speared off into marketing discussions and growth initiatives. With Social Media 55, we compiled consumer data that helped us narrowly target the markets where we wanted to grow further and develop a more personalized voice.
We’re a large multinational corporation, so our reach extends into 65–70 markets throughout the U.S. Given this setup, we didn’t want a general viewpoint. Someone in Seattle can't convey anything relevant to someone in San Francisco, or vice versa. In New York, our clients go through a different type of planning and expect a different type of engagement from our social presence.
That led into marketing strategy discussions, analytical review, and AdWords campaigns. Social Media 55 is an active member in any marketing, growth, social promotions, initiatives, and research in which our company engages. I'm loyal to brand equity and to the dollars I can save my firm. I’m very keen on “business is business." If things don't work, my board of directors will have me at gunpoint. Failure isn't an option.
What is the team composition?
Their advertising director was one of the two individuals who spearheaded my campaigns. I haven’t yet had the luxury of working with other members, but I presume that the principals set a precedent.
How did you come to work with Social Media 55?
One of my marketing associates actively searching online for viable organizations to parner with for our growth initiatives. After speaking to several companies, we felt most comfortable with Social Media 55's dedication, support, and demeanor.
Like any corporation with our marketing budget, we’ve continued to look for better alternatives. Social Media 55 stands out from the crowd, which includes both local companies and ones in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and Canada. We’ve looked internationally as well, but Social Media 55 still dominates. We want the best bang for our buck, which Social Media 55 has provided without any concerns.
How much have you invested with them?
I don’t remember their initial retainer, but we negotiate the cost for any addition. When we initially started with social media, the cost was in the $500–$600 range because we didn't want to jump in fully. They have aggressive, affordable pricing, but they don’t nickel-and-dime clients. They overdeliver on everything.
Social Media 55 is an active division of our company, so it's much higher now. They manage an average marketing budget of about $1.5 million each year, and we pay around $125,000 a year on their services.
They initially took care of only a couple tasks, but they’ve become the equivalent of a social media director, a blogger, and more. It’s more feasible for me to keep them onboard and pay them thousands of dollars a month. Social Media 55 saves me employee labor and social security costs, and they're more reliable than a freelancer. I can’t break the engagement down into exact dollars because they do more than what we pay them for.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started searching for a partner around two and a half years ago. We pulled the trigger around two years ago, and the work is ongoing. As long as their dedication, support, and innovation remain the same, we will continue the collaboration.
For a company of its size, Social Media 55 delivers a surprisingly boutique and personalized service. We don’t get that from many social media companies; we’ve felt like a number with others. That never happens with Social Media 55.