Month: December 2016

The Duo Shaking Up Social Media – Andrew and Pete

The Duo Shaking Up Social Media – Andrew and Pete

To celebrate the fact that they’ve just been asked to speak at the global phenomenon that is Social Media Marketing World 2017 next year in San Diego,
I thought I’d grab a quick five minutes with two of the UK’s most inventive social media gurus and regular contributors to Social Media Examiner, Andrew and Pete.

Congrats on being asked to speak at SMMW 2017! Can you give us a sneak peek into what your hot topic will be?


Ooo yes but don’t tell anyone else ok? 😉 The official title is ‘How to Create Retweetable Content’ – which is basically all about a process we use with our clients to help them create content that is on brand and share-worthy. ‘Trust and Attention’ are the two biggest assets to businesses in this day and age, but because there is so much competition out there it’s hard to stand out.

Did you know there are over 2 million blog posts published every day? Social media timelines are even crazier, so to stand out in this ‘Content Crisis’, we all need to find our unique way of creating content that gets noticed, shared and consumed again and again. We call this your ‘Content Stamp’ and once you have figured this out, your audience will grow naturally and you will create super fans.

When you’re asked to speak at these events that are happening say 6 months away, is it hard to predict what will be the trend everyone will want to find out more about?

Andrew and PeteThere is definitely an element of that, which is why we try to keep ahead of the curve… but at the end of the day, the same principals apply to every platform. Keeping up with new features or platforms or new tools and strategies is always great but at the core, it’s still always about providing value and building relationships. In fact, one of the biggest problems we see all too often is business owners spreading their efforts too thinly by trying to be on all the platforms and feeling the need to jump on board with all the new ones. We want to challenge you to focus on the right platform for your audience and put 110% effort into growing your audience on there.


You’re both known for creating amazing content for social media. Can you tell me a bit about ‘ATOMIC’ and what it offers SMEs?

Oh thank you! 😀 Sure, ATOMIC is our membership site for the small but mighty business owner, because we believe they have so much potential! ATOMIC takes them through our 7 step process that shows small business owners and solopreneurs how to build a brand, create amazing share-worthy content that your audience loves AND convert all that into sales.

And best of all… it makes marketing your business fun and exciting again! There’s weekly masterclasses and there are session in there from amazing guests such as; Andrea Vahl, Kim Garst, John Lee Dumas and loads more. What we love the most though is the members – we have a members only group who are just the best, if anyone ever has a problem, everyone is there to help and support.


Andrew and Pete ATOMIC

What advice would you give a business setting out on a social media journey for the first time?
Good question, we would say our best advice would to be have a consistent time slot in your diary to create amazing content AND a consistent time slot to proactively engage with others. If it’s not in the diary as a priority then it will get put on the ‘I’ll do that later’ list – which never gets done! Consistent, great content plus engagement, leads to trust and super fans.

Andrew and Pete

What are your top 5 tips for businesses struggling to get any meaningful results from their social media strategy?

  1. Be proactive e. go find people and follow them first rather than sitting back, engage first rather than sitting back, and get to know others first rather than waiting to be engaged
  2. Focus on building solid relationships, in fact put in your diary every day to just simply talk to people – Twitter lists at great for being more strategic with this. Don’t simply use social as a blast out.
  3. Don’t be afraid of your face! People can’t fall in love with a logo, show your face, and get used to being on camera. It’s one of the reasons Snapchat has taken off so much. Twitter video replies are immensely powerful because it’s a real connection you’re making.
  4. Be more organized so that you can stay consistent.
  5. Make it easy for people to make that first step from social connection to potential lead. What do you have in place to convert them? A download, a free session with you? Sometimes you can be proactive with this too. If we’ve got to know somebody on social, and we know they would find great value in something we have going on, we simply ask them if they’re interested in a friendly way!

What’s your favourite social media platform that you use personally and why?

This is tough! For personal use, Snapchat is our favourite to use because it is fun and allows for so much creativity. For business though it’s Twitter, because it’s so open and you can reach out to anyone. It has helped us the most keep up with contacts, grow our audience, and reach out to influencers.

Regrettably, this is the end of my fun filled but educational interview here. What great advice, tips and hints from Andrew and Pete – follow these guys and learn from them! I do!

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Growth, entrepreneurialism and diversification in the face of Brexit

Growth, entrepreneurialism and diversification in the face of Brexit

I consider myself extremely privileged to be working with some very exciting companies and marketing agencies in Kent. Having seen through economic highs and lows over the years, I am totally fascinated and in awe whilst watching bold moves carried out by ’Zest The Agency’ which has literally doubled in size in the past year – plus carried out a full agency re-brand!

Zest’s Managing Director Belinda Collins, took time out to explain to me how the business is managing growth, taking on entrepreneurs, forging strong alliances and partnerships resulting in a diverse and strong team of creatives.

Belinda Collins MD Zest the AgencyExplain the strategy behind your rapid growth?

Zest’s focus on growth remains undeterred by the recent political European referendum. Of course, we are mindful of the uncertainty that lies ahead, but at the same time, we feel that it is incredibly important for a traditional marketing business like Zest, to expand its offering across a truly integrated and holistic set of services. This allows us to offer services either in isolation or in combination to meet clients’ ever changing requirements, budget and scope.

Tell us about your diversification and how you have adopted entrepreneurialism to enhance this

We are an income based agency, specialising across five different core disciplines – strategy, media, creative, digital and PR. It is of utmost importance that within each service strand, our offering is robust both vertically and horizontally. Hence why we keep our digital options CMS neutral and we make it our business to become experts on all e-commerce; PPC, SEO, SEM etc. and develop cutting edge innovations around the development, gaming and AR stages. Similarly, with PR, we don’t just develop a ‘normal’ PR offering – we have created a commercial / entrepreneurial minded team who examine those areas of specialisation and hone in on the details including crisis management; hence giving a total PR solution. The need to segment our clients’ audiences from today’s ‘Generation Z’ to all the way back to ‘traditionalists’ is essential.

We recently employed Duncan Larcombe, former Royal correspondent and Defence Editor for The Sun. This move broadens our specialisms to crisis communications, reputation management, personal brand promotions and media training. He has huge aspirations of forging relations with South East and London-based journalists. We don’t just want to be using journalists we want to create a leading edge space where news stories and latest practices can be shared. Watch this space!

We have recently forged an exclusive partnership with Ben Towers, “No 1 Times Super Teen Power” and recognised as “one of the UK’s most exciting entrepreneurs” by Richard Branson. Ben’s innovative skills will be used to help reach and influence the behaviours of consumers – particularly young people – and create and build advocacy in Zest’s client brands. He will also work with the team training clients in how to manage, engage and deal with crisis situations across social media channels.

This has been an exciting year for you personally, what were your immediate ambitions for Zest?

Having taken over the role behind the scenes in January 2016 (before taking up the full permanent role in June 2016), I immediately looked at the structure and the breadth of the agency. Nearly a year on and we’ve doubled in size; through strategic alliances, partnerships and physical recruitment growth within the team. Of course, we have seen a slight increase in expenditure, but then we were operating purely just a small team of marketing strategists. We are now able to boost the PR and digital teams and grow with creative talent both from Kent and out of London. Alongside this we have raw talent straight out of university and are committed to internships and gap year students of which we find invaluable.

So, how was Zest affected by the Brexit vote? 

Many of the companies we pitch to rely on some form of European funding. In the aftermath of the announcement, there were at least 2 proposals pending that were put on “permanent hold”. We were further affected by the uncertainly of the UK Prime Minister which thankfully was resolved very quickly. The current PM’s silence on the subject hasn’t helped industry confidence.

What has been abundantly clear is that our clients whose business stretches into Europe and further afield have not been as affected by confidence, as those smaller businesses with no European connections currently sitting and awaiting to feel their fate.

How will you position yourselves strategically 2017?

Business for us has remained stable. I believe this is because we are close enough to our clients that we have been able to help them strategically. We have been through recessions before but research shows that those clients who continue to spend (albeit at a reduced level) do remain buoyant and have stolen the march on their competitors. Immediately after the last recession we experienced a lot of our customers had arrived at the other end of the recession with complete confusion over their client and customer base. They had lost touch with their primary audiences as any customer was a good customer and we were able to help a number of our clients to crystallise their point of difference and re-identify their customer types through a number of research methods including personification profiling and segmentation.

What is your mantra Belinda?

“Attract, secure and keep the best talent. Be constantly mindful of your customers’ challenges and adapt the way you deliver your services to help your customers meet these challenges.”

The End

If you have an exciting business making rapid changes and exciting marketing moves, would you like to be interviewed by me? Let me know feel free to visit Rackham Marketing & Communications for more details.