Sisarina is a Bethesda, Maryland-based branding and marketing company that doesn’t just “do” – they also teach their customers how to do everything. Not only do they know branding and marketing, they do an awesome job of it themselves. Just check out their website and you’ll see what I mean.
I recently spoke with their CEO Melanie Spring about Sisarina’s online marketing efforts and how they put together a strategy that works for them. Here are excerpts from our conversation:
What kind of online marketing do you do for Sisarina?
Melanie Spring: We started on Twitter and doing tweetups, or in-person events, to build our online marketing list and get people together. Then we got into blogging and sharing small business tips instead of talking about branding. Those are the two biggest things we did from the beginning. It’s taken a lot of time to grow, but our tweetups have grown from 10 people to 100+.
What has worked best on Twitter for you?
MS: Setting ourselves up as experts in marketing, branding and websites, and in growing a small business. Because we are growing, we know how to grow as a small business, and we can share the successes and failures we’ve had and talk about the processes we’ve put into place as we’ve grown.
What have you found works best for small business owners when they’re doing social media marketing?
MS: A lot of business owners don’t like talking about themselves. In reality, it’s just a way to set yourself up as an expert. You can say, I’m reading this and staying on top of trends and sharing it with you. Share what other people are doing so you can show that you’re in the industry. It will make you the most interesting person in the room! Keep sharing information about others with your name next to it.
Are you using Google+?
MS: Yes, we are – we use Hangouts. We want to do more Hangouts for our Wednesday morning Cup of Inspiration sessions (see video below). Hangouts are really great, because you have multiple people looking at each other – and we’ll have people showing up from all over the nation and the world.
What about Pinterest?
MS: We use it to create mood boards for our clients. We also have boards that show off great branding and fun lunch ideas and healthy food. We have our clients share their branding boards with us so we have a visual of what they want their branding to look like. Some are public, some they keep private.
How do you use email marketing?
MS: We use it just to share information. In yesterday’s email, we talked about hiring and how we did it and what you can do to make the process easier. It’s a lot about what you can do in your own company, and we’ll have people email us back and tell us that what we shared really helped them. We get a 40% open rate, so we’re really proud of that.
It’s also about being consistent and helping someone. Yesterday I was at an entrepreneurship conference, and this speaker Michael Port said that when you give value, give as much as possible even if it feels like too much – and then give a little more. That is what we try to do.
What online marketing advice do you have for small businesses?
MS: You have to know your brand well enough to gear your content marketing towards that branded voice. It’s hard to explain who you are if you don’t have a voice. Also, choose a platform that your clients are on and use that one. Ninety percent of our social media efforts go through Twitter. It’s where our clients are, and it’s where our referrals come from.
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