In the Columbia Valley, there’s a new (this summer) social media management firm catering to businesses looking to outsource social media: Kootenay Socials.
In Canada, use of social media is near ubiquitous. Ninety percent of Canadians use mobile communications services. Ninety percent of those folks have a smartphone. Ninety-four percent of those engage in social media. Those three figures are from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications’ (CRTC) 2019 communications monitoring report.
Every major social media platform is free to use. For Canadian, and by extension Columbia Valley business, social media is a no-barriers-to-entry opportunity to engage with customers, current and potential. The value proposition is difficult to ignore. No barriers-to-entry also means it’s an intensely competitive space to reach, with scarce resources, for new businesses. In recent years, Canada has seen the growth of a cottage industry of third party social media management firms selling their expertise in deploying effective social media management. Businesses are increasingly aware effective social media management takes time, energy, and money. For some, it makes sense to hire a social media manager. For others, it makes more sense to find a third party vendor to do that job.
Longtime local Andrea Meadus is Kootenay Social’s founder and sole proprietor. Meadus brings to the table a skillset largely forged while working for a Greek tour operator agency. In that role, she marketed vacation packages to the agency’s German speaking clientele. Meadus immigrated to Canada from Austria with her Canadian-born husband more than ten years ago. She speaks multiple languages and, with her husband and adolescent children, enjoys a four season active lifestyle skiing, biking and hiking.
“I created Kootenay Socials, to help [businesses] achieve a client and follower base that allows [them] to grow,” said Meadus in an email. “I specialize in building profiles for brands, content management and engaging with clients to create a strategic marketing plan. Many questions arise when using social media to promote a brand. For example, when the best time is for advertising content, how to take advantage of the algorithm or which hashtags to use.” Meadus’s pricing is project-based with packages or hourly work. “My most affordable package starts at $80 per month which includes weekly content and networking.”
Meadus believes there is a “Four E” rule to effective social media strategy. Education, entertainment, engagement and emotion. “With a social media profile, businesses can educate clients about their products, leaving customers empowered and trusting you. People love to be entertained, entertaining while educating is what your followers are looking for. Engagement is most important, as people comment and have questions, they are looking for immediate response.”
She believes emotion is the most powerful of the ‘four E’. “As your customers gain trust and are happy with a business’ products, others will become engaged and become interested in their products or services. As their client base grows, they see satisfied customers commenting and creating positive emotions on their feeds.”
Each social media platform has a unique audience in aggregate. If you’re an Invermere real estate brokerage, does it make sense to be on TikTok? “It really depends on the type of business. I think a local contractor or realtor would have a tough time gaining growth [on TikTok] but if you are a ‘from-home-based-entrepreneur”’in the sales business such as fashion, make-up or any brand products ,then I would definitely suggest TikTok.
There are plenty of misconceptions about social media. Meadus is aware. “[It’s] because anyone can use it and the public is never fully informed what really happens with their content.” Nonetheless, she believes that with enough education (of which she is happy to share), and straight-forward strategies, she is capable of custom tailoring social media to your business needs. “If you run a business no matter the service you offer you should be using at least two social media platforms to showcase your business and its story. Most companies use more and I say the more the better,” said Meadus.
Kootenay Socials specializes in serving the tourism market but also works with local contractors and the real estate industry. Find out more at kootenaysocials.ca.