When Adam Brown began GrubLife, a company dedicated to connecting college students with local businesses (think Groupon-on campus), time and time again he interacted with businesses that were having trouble navigating social media platforms. This was a major impediment, as they couldn’t appeal to their tech savvy customers. Size didn’t matter: companies both large and small struggled with the same difficulties of implementing a social media strategy effectively.
Identifying social media strategy as a real pain point, Brown founded Sircle Media, a social media strategy firm. Part outsource agency, part alternative community manager, Sircle Media differentiates itself from other similar agencies by offering a spectrum of services. Other agencies lower costs by offering itemized, “plug-in” social media plans, while larger agencies offer consultants, (typically at high price tags), but don’t provide true community management options. Alternatively, many businesses seek to hire in-house community managers, but without people on their teams who understand social media, they often end up making the wrong hires. Or worse they hire someone who could be great, but the business lacks any sort of senior level “know how” to train and keep those employees on staff.
Sircle, Brown says, is a catchall. “When it comes to social media, you want to put out messaging that is authentic to the brand, something that feels human and genuine. Sircle is more like a staffing agency that fills that void.” He says that Sircle stands apart mainly because it avoids the cookie cutter approach to social media. “A lot of people think social media is a marketing vertical—it’s not. It is more of a horizontal layer that touches all parts of your business. Sure, it is rooted in marketing, but it is much more holistic in nature.” Although social media isn’t necessarily pure marketing, Brown feels very strongly that it does generate sales and much of it can be traced back to a real ROI and KPI’s- both of which are true marketing terms. “Much if it is very measurable and trackable making it much more attractive than traditional marketing aimed at moving the needle for a brand.”
Brown says the biggest challenge for Sircle so far has been that some people don’t understand the importance and/or impact of social media. “More often than you would think, we are just speaking with the wrong person. A lot of senior marketing members at companies aren’t even on social media personally, so talking about this stuff is completely foreign to them. Sometimes it’s the younger staff members who really understand the merits of outsourcing the company’s social media strategy and are giving the nudge to dive in.”
What Brown loves most about his work at Sircle is that it constantly allows him to be creative with different brands. “I get to play entrepreneur on various projects daily, and that’s what excites me. The only consistent thing about social media is its inconsistency. It is not static and is always changing, so we’re constantly helping our brands adapt each and every day.”
Photographs by Lauren Kallen