An Interview with Elizabeth Beskin of 5th Avenue Digital
Social Media marketing can sometimes be a dilemma. How much time and energy should be invested? It is an ongoing question especially for businesses that have flourished and grown without Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Many of our clients at Be Visible fit into just that profile. Meeting for the first time with decision makers I often hear these kinds of comments:
- “I don’t use Facebook personally, and I have no idea how it could benefit my business.”
- “We have never needed to market, all our business comes from referrals.”
- “Our competitors don’t use Social Media, so why should we?”
- “We are growing, so why should we invest in Internet marketing?”
- “I’m really stupid when it comes to Social Media”
It’s very understandable to me how Social Media could be a topic that many would like to avoid, for all the reasons stated above. But if you are someone who makes decisions about the future of your business, try to think of Social Media as a way to touch your target market in ways that were never available before. Once you do that, it begins to make sense.
Elizabeth Beskin is one such decision maker. As the president and CEO of 5th Avenue Digital, a successful corporate and special event photography agency, Elizabeth saw the value of using Social Media very early on. She and her staff have fully embraced blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and and now Pinterest. With a modest investment of time they have achieved visibility for the company that would never have been possible before. And, most important, the efforts are affecting the bottom line: 5th Avenue Digital has never been busier.
I sat down with Elizabeth recently to find out how she does it so well and what other businesses could learn from her tactics:
BK: How do you use Social Media in your business?
EB: I use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to connect and build relationships with the people that recommend my services, especially event and wedding planners. They look to us to find out what we are doing next – and I mix-in relative industry information along with our own posts. Social Media for me is like networking in my pajamas (yes I actually do it in bed!) so I stay connected daily.
BK: Do you think it has helped your business, and why?
EB: Our colleagues follow us watch what we do on Social Media. They bring it up when I see them in person and what’s really satisfying is when they ask about a new product or service that we have launched, shared on Social Media, and then they contract with us to use it!
BK: What do you do on a daily basis/weekly basis?
EB: We try to follow a plan as closely as possible. Pre-scheduling blogs and Facebook updates really helps. The most important thing is to make sure that 5th Avenue Digital’s marketing is at the top of the list and doesn’t get pushed down as we get more client work. I would say planning is the most crucial part of what makes our marketing successful.
- Daily – Facebook postings and Twitter
- Weekly – Pinterest postings
- Bi-weekly – Blogs about our recent events and what our team is doing
BK: Which Social Media platform works best for you, and why?
EB: Facebook lets us connect to the important people who follow us. We have worked very hard to build a community around us of people who can recommend our services. Facebook enables us to keep them up-to-date about what 5th Avenue Digital is doing in a way that they see value for their clients. And it is a nice way to touch base without filling up their email boxes.
BK: Can you give me an example where it has worked and what the results were?
EB: Sure, here’s a good one: I had no idea that a prominent event planner was following us on Facebook and was reading our blogs. She didn’t like, comment on, or share any of our content; so was not really considered a prospect for deeper engagement. But out of the blue she called and booked a job with us because she saw the video about our new Social Media Portal on Facebook. If I had used the old-fashioned cold calling technique to reach her, it would not have worked as effectively. Buyers want to buy, not to be sold to.
BK: Given your business is so visual, how are you using images in your Social Media tactics?
EB: Choosing an image for a “story” (blog, Facebook update, Pinterest pin) is one of the most important parts of our marketing. And it’s one of the most fun. We have so much to share. My philosophy is that our website is our brochure and our blog and Social Media shows our personality – and we want our personality to shine!
BK: What do you see in the future for your use of Social Media? Are you going to try anything new?
EB: There are always new platforms emerging in Social Media and it’s very tempting to try them all, but no one in business (unless there is a huge marketing department) can test every platform in a measurable way. I feel that we are going to increase our usage of Pinterest because it has totally changed wedding planning. We find it really effective to send our brides and grooms to our Pinterest boards to see how other wedding clients have used our YouBooth photo booth and other services we offer in wedding photography.
Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your story!
Elizabeth Beskin is truly a unique leader in her industry when it comes to Social Media. I am sure that many of her competitors are trying to catch up. At Be Visible we are very aware that many businesses would like to use Social Media as effectively; that’s why we have developed solutions to help use these new digital tools. We consistently publish easy tips on managing Social Media in-house on Facebook and our blog, we offer Social Media management services (blogging, community building, engagement, reporting), and we have workshops to teach and coach company staff.