Shop Talk

Real Advice On Social Media Strategy From The BARK Firm (And It’s Free)

Sarah Carper Article

Ahhh, the world of social media. The ever-evolving, ever-addicting, ever-confusing world of best selves, algorithms, and love-hate relationships intermixed with strategy and great content. 

It’s also an endless bank of consumers that want to know you, and your product, directly. 

There are a lot of factors to a good social strategy between all the hashtags, social contests, and paid advertising, but there is one thing that all brands can do as a baseline–and it’s free: consistency. 

Just as we all would want a good friend to be, consumers rely on their favorite brands to remain intriguing, transparent, engaging, and consistent to keep their attention. Here are a few tips to maintain a consistent brand presence on social media that will help to keep your audience hooked and growing organically:

Create High-Quality Content

No, this doesn’t mean you need to rent out a studio to shoot a trendy pic of your morning coffee. Do, however, stay away from your boss’s old flip phone and the bad office or warehouse lighting. Cell phone cameras have improved a lot over the years, and flat-lays on a modern background with soft lighting can go a long way. Plus, they can be done in the office or in your kitchen–work with what you’ve got, and create beautiful, large images that will resonate with your audience. 

Establish a Look and Feel

Speaking of that old warehouse lighting… if you must use it, then USE it. Whatever your brand’s tone, own it from the beginning with intentional styling and stick with it. The best brands on social media create an aesthetic that matches their brand, which can be done with lighting, filters, intentional personality, and even color palettes to edit your photos to match your logo, brand elements, etc. Curate a look and feel for each and every post that makes your home feed look like one gorgeous, cohesive unit–then watch the followers build.

Maintain a Posting Schedule

Imagine having someone in your life who claimed they wanted to be your best friend calling you every day for two weeks, then dropping off the map for a month only to pick up calling you every day again like nothing ever happened. It would be hard to know when to plan on them being around, right? Or it would be annoying to not hear from them at all, then to have them open up on you like a firehouse, no? Same goes for your followers. 

Keep a cadence going, whether that’s one post a week, three posts a week, or once a day (but please, please don’t overshare with your audience by posting 4-5 times per day. There is such a thing as too much content–see firehose comment made above…) Protip: establish a calendar with which posts you’ll share on which days to keep everything in check and organized.  

Be Transparent

In a past blog post, we emphasized the importance of finding your WHY. Hold onto that throughout your social media journey, and let your brand’s personality and honest consideration of your customers shine through. If you make mistakes, own up and apologize instead of ignoring negative comments. If you earn praise from your followers, jump in and thank them for their support and stewardship. A little extra effort to build that relationship doesn’t go unnoticed–your followers are real people, after all, and your brand is also run by real people who probably can relate to them.

Never before have brands had the opportunity to directly communicate with consumers all across the spectrum, from those who are potentially interested to those who have purchased product and are now loyal ambassadors. 

Never before have they had direct, free marketing opportunities at their fingertips through word of mouth that actually results in amazing, high-quality content created by their very own clients and customers. 

But to build these quality and valuable relationships, you have to get into the hearts and minds of your followers and create a relationship-worthy brand. A great start is to establish a beautiful, friendly brand that people will love to follow and engage with, then to share it with the world in an honest, consistent, and well thought-out way.

Need some help creating a brand people will love to follow on social media? We’d be happy to show you how we’ve helped some of our clients and give you a consultation.

You’re Not An Artist; You Solve Problems

Nick Perkins Article

“If we were making a movie or a play, we’d be embarrassed to do this,” Peggy Olson complains to her boss, Don Draper in an episode of Mad Men. Peggy is a copywriter for an ad agency, and she’s hesitant to work on a campaign for a client because, in her mind, it leaves very little room for ‘artistic creativity.’

Perpetually annoyed with just about everybody, Draper doesn’t hesitate to let Peggy know, in no uncertain terms, what her job actually is.

“You’re not an artist…you solve problems.”

And therein lies some of the best advice that a client-focused, brand-forward marketing firm could ever apply to their own agency.

At The BARK Firm, we’re not (just) artists; we’re problem solvers. 

Make no mistake, our team is made up of some of the most creative people in Wyoming and beyond. We are musicians and writers and designers and painters and photographers. But, for you and your company, we don’t just want to make ‘art.’ We want to solve your marketing problems.

Companies face a myriad of challenges every week, every day, every minute. Determining those challenges, addressing them, and solving them is the most important aspect of any business, at least according to Forbes.

“We believe, to do well in the future, companies must resolve that problem solving is the key to business, then develop a robust problem-solving capability at all levels,” a Forbes article once stated.

Those problems or challenges are vast and varied. They range from personal and corporate integrity, hiring the right staff, cash flow, competition and more. Keeping the customers that you have while simultaneously gaining new ones is, arguably, the biggest challenge that businesses face.

The best way to get new customers while maintaining current ones is to have a strong marketing brand, and that’s where we come in. 

 

We’re interested in telling your story, in developing your brand and in helping you stand out amongst your competition. We do that in a variety of ways, with some simple, and some not-so-simple techniques, all of which are effective in producing real, tangible results.

If we are able to tell the story of your business in a creative way, we will be thrilled. But our main priority is not to show Wyoming and beyond that we’re the best at what we do (even though we totally are). Our priority is showing them that you are the best at what you do.

 

So our challenge to you is this: think of the brand challenges that your business is facing, and let us help you find the solutions. Hopefully, you’ve already asked yourself WHY it is you do what you do. Now ask yourself the rest.

Who is your brand marketed to?

What is your purpose?

Where are you now and where do you want to be in 5 years?

When do you want to create ‘art with a purpose’ and take your company brand to the next level?

How can we help?

We want to tell your story, market your brand and make your customers feel.

The BARK Firm develops creative communication that sends a message and solves a problem and that, well, that is the art of advertising.

An Idea Alone is Not Enough

Dustin Neal Article

We may like the notion that our business, brand, product, service, or idea is so great that it can stand alone, but the truth is that none of these things can develop, grow, or be successful by themselves.

You need people. Partners, collaborators, builders, relationships, and connections. Every successful brand/business rallies behind their people. It takes designers to make your product or service come to life. It takes workers to make sure it is delivered to the market and that it lives up to its promise. It takes customers to buy it and give their feedback to you so you can further improve upon it. It takes a team of passionate people who are committed to the project to make an idea happen. No one man can execute an idea to its fullest potential solely.

Welcome to the ocean. We’re all in it. Big fish, small fish, all together in one eco-system. In an ocean where collaboration and creation co-function, who we work with and rely on can determine how far our ideas can go.

So what have we learned?
Well, being a Wyoming marketing firm, we can tell you working closely and partnering with businesses has taught us much about developing successful brands. Here’s some insight into what we know.

We know you have to clearly and simply communicate your brand’s values both in words and in vision.
Your team must define your idea, it’s values, its goals, and its story together before it sees the light of day. How does your product/service impact peoples lives? Does it enrich their lives out of necessity or is it a luxury? And why should people care? With so many options in today’s market, you must be authentic and cut through the noise about who you are, and how you fit into peoples lives. It takes more than one man to accomplish this.

We know that good design sells.
In 2005 a group called The Design Council studied 63 portfolios of companies that traded Financial Times Stock Exchange over the course of a decade. What they learned is that the companies that put their focus on great design did better than the ones that didn’t. The companies that brought on staff for design or hired that part out as a collaboration increased their team and saw direct benefits from it. It takes more than the product/service itself to push the idea.

We know you must appeal to the right market.
In some cases, you may have started a business that reaches out to a demographic that you are not. How could you possibly know anything about the Millennials when you are yourself not one? You couldn’t possibly understand their need for co-op workspaces, beanbag chairs, and an insatiable need to consume products that not only define them but make a difference in the world while also being low impact on the environment. I’m teasing of course, but seriously if your business is going to flourish you better get yourself a team of collaborators to help you develop your idea for this demographic. By enlisting the help of good people who also understand the market you want to be in and are able to further develop your idea and help you grow.

We know that the go-it-alone strategy will only produce a very narrow vision of what the initial idea could have been. Reaching out to other businesses and forming partnerships fosters growth and development for everyone involved. If ideas have the power to change us, shape our societies, and the way we live, then any idea that goes unfulfilled or unexecuted at it’s highest potential is a loss to us all.

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Ask Yourself Why

Sommer Grogan Article

Very few companies can clearly tell people WHY they do WHAT they do. And when we’re talking about WHY that doesn’t mean “for money.” That’s a result. By WHY we mean what is the PURPOSE of your company? WHY do you exist? What drives you? What is it that makes you tirelessly work for your company each and every day? You must believe in something. What is it? And WHY should anyone care?

Good questions, right? We think so. And most of that we stole like an artist from our friend, Simon. But, we believe in the WHY. And at BARK, our WHY is helping you tell the story of yours. If you’re like most companies, you know the heart behind your WHY but the words are hard to come by. It‘s hard telling your story in a clear, concise, and impactful way.

The good news is we’re pretty good at that. We love finding the great stories behind WHY our clients do what they do. And, more importantly, we love TELLING them.

If you need help crafting the words and the story behind your WHY, reach out to us. We’d love to help. But to get you started on your own reason WHY here’s some food for thought.

  • How does your company help people or make an impact?
  • How do you measure your success (aside from money)?
  • What about your business keeps you up at night?
  • And, if you could tell someone one thing that sets your company apart, what would it be?

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