The Expivia Social Media Marketing Plan: The Secrets of Becoming an Influencer (on the cheap!)
Expivia is a 500 seat USA contact center outsourcing organization located right on Lake Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania (B2B organization). When we were first starting up 8-9 years ago, we experimented with many different methods to get traction regarding brand awareness
We tried blog writing, social media, AdWords, Facebook ads, videos. Really anything and everything. In this post, we want to tell you what we found that worked and how we have raised our brand awareness and followers to all social accounts by about 250% year after year.
We will dig deep behind the scenes of everything we did and do now at Expivia from tricks to surprises that shocked even us when it came to what works with social marketing. We have now developed somewhat of a social marketing plan that is VERY cost-effective while still providing the awareness we are looking for in our market.
What Social Accounts and Networks Do We Use?
Below are the social accounts and network that we found to work best for Expivia. We now have stopped all AdWords and Facebook Ads. We may promote a post on Instagram or Facebook but that is very rare. What you will see here is this is something that anyone can do and is very organic.
- Expivia Facebook Page
- Advice from a Call Center Geek Facebook Page (This is a podcast we created)
- Expivia Twitter
- Tom Laird (Expivia CEO) personal Twitter
- Advice from a Call Center Geek Twitter
- Expivia LinkedIn Account
- Expivia Instagram account
- Advice from a Call Center Geek Instagram Account
- Tom Laird (Expivia CEO) Personal LinkedIn account
Expivia Social Marketing Overview
You have all heard the phrase that is known to all marketers that “content is king”. I agree with this statement but there are some ways you can “cheat” the system a bit with how you get content out there. When we started our company, everyone said to write high-quality blog post after high-quality blog post and promote those posts, that was the golden ticket! So that’s what we did with minimal success when it came to brand recognition.
We have found a better way. One that still rewards anyone that wants to create their own content but can definitely speed up the process. Keep reading, we will get to that!
To feed our social platforms we use a mix of created content and aggregated content from the web.
- Expivia Blog Content:
When we started this place, we were knocking out one blog post a week. We thought that was good. To be honest it really didn’t do much although we have a great catalog of content that we can re-post and re-purpose without much effort. Creating high-end one-off posts is still the best way to create content but we don’t think it’s a must anymore.
- Expivia Video:
We tried and failed at creating a YouTube Channel called “The Contact Center Muse”. Without having a video or full-time graphics person on staff it was relatively easy to shoot the videos but very time-consuming to edit. Still, we have videos on our blog that have call center operations content that we use from our first go at it.
We also have used movie creation sites like Animoto to use pics and short videos to create behind the scenes and promo videos for Expivia. We like the grassroots look of the videos without any stock footage. Using an Animoto type of site can give you high-quality video in very little time and with very little cost.
- Expivia Pictures:
We take a TON of pictures here at Expivia to feed our Facebook and Instagram accounts. When in doubt take a picture of birthdays, anniversaries, new hires, training classes…people really enjoy behind the scenes looks at your operation as we have found. The more engagement you show of your organization the more engagement you will get in terms of likes, follows and shares.
- Feedly Content:
This is the trick.
There are many content/news aggregators on the web to be utilized. To be honest we thought when we started to that not only was it cheating but that it would be a waste of time. We were totally wrong.
We have found out that consistent content over many profiles day after day after day is the number one way to become an influencer, gain social followers and enhance your brand recognition.
We use Feedly to aggregate posts and feeds from keywords that our correlates with our business. We follow #callcenter, #customerservice, #contactcenter, #Customerexpereince to name a few. We look at this daily and post the articles that we think are the most relevant to our business and most interesting to us.
CONTENT POSTING SUMMARY
How we break down our posts:
- 10% Expivia Created Blog Articles
- 10% Expivia Created Pictures
- 5% Expivia Created Videos
- 75% Feedly Aggregated Content
If you have ZERO content and are just starting, look at one of the feed aggregators (Feedly, Pocket, Digg…) and pull content pertaining to your business channels and Start Posting! Then start to create your own content on your time. If we had to do it all over, we would have done that from the start.
We use the time-saving awesomeness of Buffer to post to all our accounts except our CEO’s personal LinkedIn account as he will personally create each one of his posts.
Buffer is a super inexpensive and effective social media scheduling tool. It costs us $12 a month…that’s it. For $12 a month you can post from up to 8 social accounts. Not only can you integrate Buffer with Feedly, but you can add the Buffer plugin to your chrome browser so anything you find interesting on the internet, including on your blog, instantly can be posted over multiple social accounts without having to log in to each account separately.
You can also schedule content to be posted throughout the day. We schedule posts daily through all our social accounts (We will get into what accounts get what kind of content)
The only thing that is a bit of a bummer, is that Twitter will not allow you to post to multiple twitter accounts at the sometime. We do understand why they do that, you just have to create different posts each time.
We know this may be blasphemy to many bloggers and content creators but if we only had one choice, to create our own content, or to use Buffer and Feedly we would choose the latter all day. Not even close.
We have found that being out there all the time is important. People talk about quality over quantity when posting, we would only somewhat agree. We would rather post more often with good content then post less, with great content.
We also try to dominate a couple specific hashtags so every post we tag #callcenter #contactcenter #custserv #CCTR #CX and #callcentergeek. We do this every time we post.
Another AWESOME social entity we have created is the “Advice from a Call Center Geek” Podcast. “Advice from a Call Center Geek” is a weekly podcast with a focus on all things call center and contact center. We discuss topics such as call center operations, hiring, culture, technology, and training and have fun doing it!
To do the podcast cost us about $150…TOTAL! We bought a 99.00 Yeti Microphone and signed up with Buzzsprout to host the podcast. We are doing weekly episodes. We have found it takes half the time of doing a video channel with many more engagements. We are only 11 episodes deep into the creation of the geek but have over 1200-episode downloads. We have been asked to speak at multiple conferences as well because of the content. Highly recommend especially if you are in a niche podcast channel like we are. There are not a ton of call center operations podcasts so it was a little easier to gain traction.
What Should You Post to What Accounts?
We believe that you should have multiple accounts and that you should use the medium of the social account for what it is best at. For example, here is the guide to what we post on all our accounts. First, we have an importance value for each:
- Expivia Corporate Facebook Page
We only post Expivia related material. We use the Expivia Page as an employee engagement site and a site to show off our culture, this is not as a selling site for us. Pictures of the day, employee games, how we engage. We are very selective with what goes on this site and we one-off all posts, meaning we do not use Buffer to schedule posts on Facebook.
- Expivia Corporate Twitter
The Expivia Corporate Twitter Account does use Buffer. We schedule 4-6 posts a day. We focus posting from the Expivia Blog and from Feedly. We focus mostly on trends and technology posts in the customer service and call center realm. We want to post things that give a bigger picture of the overall industry.
- Tom Laird Twitter
For our CEO’s personal Twitter, he looks for things that he is interested in having to do with the call center space, customer service, technology, call center ops and what colleagues would find interesting. We do use Feedly, the Expivia Blog and anything cool that he reads that we think his colleagues could find value in. We do use Buffer for his personal account and have 5-8 posts scheduled a day. This method has instantly made his name and personal brand more noticeable. He also try’s to have a small comment to everything he posts like “Really cool article” or “Must read” if he thinks it’s good.
Oh BTW, make sure you read the post before you post.
- Tom Laird Personal LinkedIn Page
Our CEO’s personal LinkedIn account is his favorite and most thought about property. He only posts the best of the best articles that he can find online. 90% of Tom’s LinkedIn posts are either his own created content, Expivia content or pics that enhance my brand and tell the story of Expivia and how he fits in to the picture.
- Expivia LinkedIn Page
The Expivia LinkedIn Page is used much like the Expivia Twitter account but a little more personalized. Many of the Expivia Twitter Articles get posted here as well. We also will put in pics of the company. It’s a mix between our Facebook and Twitter account when it comes to content.
- Expivia Instagram Page
The Expivia Instagram page is all about Expivia only. It’s like our Expivia Facebook page, but more in picture and video form. We will pass around a camera for reps and supervisors to take pictures of their teams. Anything that we can snap a pic at that shows out people or what we are doing shows up here. This is used at an employee engagement format
- Advice from A Call Center Geek Twitter
For our Podcasts Twitter account, we post 4 days a week. It contains Expivia Blog material that correlates with the week’s podcast episode and anything else that we find interesting in Feedly strictly on day to day Call Center Operations.
- Advice from a Call Center Geek Instagram
- Advice from a Call Center Geek Facebook Page
Both the Podcast Instagram and Facebook pages secure material posted that deal with that week’s episode. That may be 4 posts in day or 1 post for the week.
We post to 9 accounts at this time. We vary the content of each social account to compliment the strengths of each network. We make sure we are engaging our employees, providing quality content to colleagues and posting regularly.
Multiple social accounts posting different content about the same topics, thats the key. Notice not once did I say we sell on these accounts. We don’t. All we post is interesting content to become more recognized and to start to become an influencer. If you can accomplish that the sales will come as you have proven you know what you are doing, and you have a strong voice.
We have found that consistent content over many profiles day after day after day is the number one way to become an influencer, gain social followers and enhance your brand recognition.
Hope that this helps you create brand awareness and begins your journey to influencer status.