Q&A with Dakota Kidby of Social Centric
Last year I met Dakota through a mutual friend when I was looking for a Social Media Specialists for a client of mine. Since then we have had the opportunity to work on a project together and I really appreciated her approach, process and the general business guidance she was able to provide her clients. Dakota and I were very much aligned in our approach, being small businesses ourselves we help to fill in the gaps, from business planning to setting up contracts. In this month’s Q&A I wanted to learn more about her background and how she managed to end up in the niche field of social media marketing and how she is growing her business.
What is your background? How did you get into social media marketing? I have been in the PR industry for more than eight years and in every position I’ve had, I have had the opportunity to work with social media. About four years ago I was chosen by one of my previous employers to work on a large campaign with a local non-profit organization. The project was intense, with 24/7 monitoring obligations and the service of social media was very new to the organization I worked with. It was then that I found the desire to simplify, streamline and apply my own ideas to social media services for clients and decided to go out on my own.
What does social media marketing encompass? What channels are you active in? Social media marketing encompasses SO many things. In 2019, social media has mostly been about brand awareness and storytelling, which when done strategically can translate into sales and growth. Getting this done correctly includes many components – a good content marketing plan, an understanding of inbound marketing, photography and videography production to ensure content is unique and tons of research and community engagement. It easily translates into the same best practices you might find in traditional PR and marketing.
What services do you provide? Social Centric is proud to offer monthly management services, content creation services (including professional photography and videography), workshops, training (from one-on-one to a full room of professionals), social media marketing strategies, audits and live event social media coverage.
How do you develop content for your clients? Social Centric’s content process is unique and curated from the source, the client! Our team has over 15 years’ experience in photography and we work with a brilliant videographer to capture clean, beautiful content that is strategically tied back to marketing objectives and tactics aimed at consumer engagement while harnessing tactics such as geo-targeting and audience research.
How do you measure your social efforts? Analytics are looked at daily and clients are educated on and given reports monthly or even weekly if required. We stay on-trend by consistently attending conferences, webinars and doing daily news scans for the ever-changing industry that is social media. We are always applying new trends to our content to ensure it is working.
We are also teammates with our clients. If they are the face of their brand, we offer training in things such as live video creation and Instagram stories to ensure content is also in-the-moment – which, tidbit alert – is HUGE for 2019.
How does a social strategy tie into a client’s overall marketing strategy? I’m glad you asked! First and foremost, clients should have a marketing strategy. We must remember that social media is a TACTIC of marketing. It generally lives in the digital portion of your marketing plan and we always want to ensure that social is where our clients’ consumers are as well.
What is your process to finding new clients/contracts? Social Centric tries to plan/attend a few key conferences and events per year and we are always working on our networking. But mostly, we have been very lucky to gain about 90 per cent of our clientele through word of mouth. That is done by simply doing a great job, keeping on task and ensuring process are tight to ensure clients are getting the best bang for their buck.
How big is your team? Do you plan to grow your team? As of right now, Social Centric is made up of owner and consultant Dakota Kidby and our Social Media Strategist. In trying to differentiate ourselves form the traditional agency model, we have more than eight contractors we work with on a daily basis to get items such as graphic design, videography, marketing and media relations support. We have found this model to be much more attainable for clients as we are then able to offer competitive pricing for the best of the best in Calgary. We also pride ourselves on supporting local talent and (in our humble opinion), we work with the very best people in Calgary.
What are your biggest challenges for growth? Social Media can be complicated and ever changing. Staying on trend is key. Our biggest challenge for growth would likely be losing any ability to stay fresh on news and changes. However, we ensure this is not the case.
What are your favourite types of projects to work on? We have been so lucky to have worked with some amazing brands and clients and we love it all, but really any client who’s willing to let us think outside of the box and get really involved in their business is our favourite.
Do you have a size of business that you like to work with? We do not discriminate.
What industries do you like to work with? We specialize in tourism, non-profit and real estate but we also work with some restaurants and lifestyle focussed business as well as few land developers and builders.
How do you measure your results? As every client has very different goals and results, a blanket answer would be: when our clients advise us of growth, recognition and word-of-mouth results, we consider our management and projects successful.
Most memorable project you’ve worked on? There are so many. But my favourite project has to stem from one of our first clients: For about two years now we have organized a campaign around family violence prevention for the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective which has seen thousands of engagements, reach in the millions and has successfully garnered key partnerships with sports teams in Calgary. Keep an eye out for the #pinyourpurple campaign this fall during Family Violence Prevention Month in Calgary!
What qualities do you value most in your clients/vendors/partners? Innovation, a no 9-5 mindset, flexibility, trust and the desire to be adventurous with promotion and business.
What are the biggest challenges of being a business owner? Choosing to be a business owner is a lifestyle change.
Most people think owning your own business will afford you more time and the ability to be super flexible. While we may be able to go on an errand when we choose or take a vacation that might be longer than normal, we are still working and time taken away must be made up. You are responsible for everything from clients to operations and you are also accountable to all of your clients, staff and contractors, which is very different from being accountable to your boss. It’s a team environment like no other and you will find yourself very invested, much like a work family.
What does the future hold for Social Centric? It’s our third birthday on June 1st and since opening our doors in 2016, we have grown our client roster exponentially and engaged many amazing partners and friends to help us and our clients succeed! The biggest and most exciting thing for us at the moment is our new hire as well as some amazing projects coming up!
Stay tuned and follow along on Facebook and Instagram @socialcentricinc
And feel free to drop us a line at www.socialcentricinc.com