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Weekly Agency Spotlight — Thrive Internet Marketing

This week we are excited to feature Thrive Internet Marketing in our weekly spotlight.
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The Background

Established in 2005, Thrive Internet Marketing has become an industry leader with offices across the United States and clients around the world. They are a true full-service online marketing firm which provides web design, internet marketing, social media management, and web hosting to “businesses large and small that are looking to broadcast their messages more effectively.”
Originally established by founder Matt Bowman, they have grown into an internationally renowned company with 70 employees managing SEO and marketing for over 200 brands. As a point of context, which exemplifies the meteoric rise of this company, 30 of their employees have been added in the last two years alone! They believe their success can be traced back to their founding ideals which are as follows:

  • Big Picture Thinking
  • Highest Standards of Quality
  • Personalized Attention
  • Results-focused Innovation
  • Exceeding Client Expectations

We had the pleasure of talking with the pillar of Thrive’s social media marketing success, Nhi Shirley. Nhi is the social media manager for Thrive and brings a breadth of knowledge and contagious enthusiasm to the team. She was nice enough to speak with us and give some useful insights on what it really takes to run social media for a small to medium-sized business.

The Advice

Question: What is the most common goal clients approach Thrive with?
As we often hear, the most common goal Nhi is approached with is to either increase sales or leads. She went on to explain that while this is definitely one function and capability of social media, on this particular medium, it is not always that cut and dry.
For instance, if you are a new company or just a company new to social media, you must “establish a presence” before really seeing leads and sales come through. She went on to explain that social is one of the best tools for creating brand awareness, and often creates conversions over time, not necessarily instantly, and not always directly attributable. Nhi emphasized the importance of social media and brand awareness and informed us of a case study by their team which perfectly showcases the power of social media.
Case Study:
Thrive was approached by a pneumatic tool company which mostly functioned in a B2B capacity, and came with the goal of creating more brand awareness, and of course, sales. Nhi admitted that at first, it seemed like a challenging task. She confessed that her initial thoughts were, “how do I make this interesting over social media”.  However, after brainstorming it, their team came up with a plan and to say it was successful would be an understatement.
The team asked themselves, “what do people who love tools, also find interesting?” They researched this question and came up with a specific list of interests which had a considerable crossover.
Some examples of crossover interests Nhi provided were racecar drivers, cars, home improvement, etc…  They used these interests to create lists of individuals then curate and target ads specifically for them. They also ran content highlighting the functionality of the tool along with contests on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus (apparently people do actually use Google Plus).
These marketing strategies were so successful that in a very short amount of time, the company saw a shift from the number one lead driver being organic, to the main source of traffic coming from social media.
This story perfectly highlights the power of social media and the importance of strategy and audience insights when formulating it.

Question: What can a small to medium-sized business expect to spend on ads per month to run an effective campaign?
Nhi informed us that the answer to this question can vary tremendously. Her response was:

“It really depends on the company niche and level of competition. However, social media is pay to play”.

Nhi advised that to really see substantial results, a company should expect to spend at a minimum, around $1,000 per month on social media. She went on to say that realistically though, many need to spend between $2,000-$3,000+ depending on their industry competition, geographically targeted region, etc.

Question: How many hours per week can a company expect to spend managing social media, and what are the most time-consuming aspects?
This quote from Nhi encompasses the overarching theme of her response:

“It’s important to be aware and dynamic”

According to Nhi, the most important parts of managing social media are also the most time-consuming.
The first of these is finding and setting a strategy. This step is imperative to ensuring a high ROI on ad-spend, as well as, the most engagement on social. As was represented in the case study, Nhi emphasized that knowing your audience and what they find interesting is the crux of successful social media management. In this same vein, she explained that this is almost never stagnant. People’s interests change, it is important to stay aware and on top of events which do occur in these fields.
The second category Nhi emphasized is content curation. Similar to the first answer, she emphasized the importance of staying relevant, and that creating enough quality content to stay fresh and consistent on social media is incredibly time-consuming. Nhi explained that companies should post at least 5x a week on every platform they use, and that between content curation, community management, and post scheduling, companies should expect to spend between 5-7 hours per week managing social media. She went on to explain that often customers which outsource to them are very knowledgeable in this area; they simply just don’t have the bandwidth or time to stay on track with it.

The Conclusion

We would like to thank Nhi and the entire Thrive team for taking the time to speak with us. You can learn more about Thrive Agency here:

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