BY BILL PHILLIPS
Five years ago this type of business simply didn’t exist.
Now there are businesses that focus entirely on helping others with their social media presence. If you are doing any kind of marketing these days, some sort of social media aspect is a must. In fact, many marketing campaigns nowadays are only on social media … which has given birth to many social media marketing businesses.
One of those is Pop Media in Prince George. It was started last year by Camille MacDonald, who many know from her days as a reporter/anchor at CKPG.
“It all started when I was at CKPG,” she said of how she got into the social media marketing field. “I was one of the main people who ran their Facebook page. I just really noticed how powerful it was. The stories that we would share on Facebook would get hundreds, or thousands, of more views than stories we just left static on the website. That’s where I first realized, from a professional perspective, how powerful social media can be to get the word out.”
Social media, says MacDonald is different than traditional media in that it’s not always about selling a specific product.
“My background as a reporter is really helpful in the world of social media marketing,” she said. “It’s very different from traditional advertising. It’s not at all ‘here’s a product, let’s buy it.’ It’s about storytelling. It’s about creating connections with your client base, talking to them. It’s just a platform that we haven’t seen before.”
She says her reporting background gives her the ability to look at advertising from a storytelling perspective.
“It’s more about content, good content,” she said. “Things that people want to see.”
And it depends on what the client wants. Sometimes it’s just a single video, other times
MacDonald will take over a client’s complete social media profile … that means posting to Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, posting on Instagram or other platforms. That can mean daily, sometimes hourly posts. For many businesses, already busy enough just running their business, finding time to keep their social media presence up, can be challenging.
“For a lot of people it’s just a hassle to come up with social media content,” she said. “It really depends on their budget and their views. Sometimes it’s nice to have a fresh set of eyes come in and look at an organization. It really comes down to people … featuring long time employees, or customers. It’s all about sharing what your organization is about.”
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, finding clients hasn’t been the toughest part for MacDonald.
“I asked around before I started,” she said. “I had no idea the demand would be this high. I’m limited by working on my own. I can only work so many hours, only handle so many clients. I’ve been really noticing that a lot of organizations realize that they need to do it. This is a really growing area.”
And also surprisingly, or perhaps not, she doesn’t see social media expertise as generational … something only for Millenials.
“I see some people in their fifties who are killing it on social media and there are some younger people who still haven’t signed up for Facebook,” she said. “There’s probably a higher level of skill among Millenials in the social media realm. But most people’s parents and even grandparents are on social media. It’s definitely not something that’s going away.”
Earlier this year she landed the Prince George Chamber of Commerce as a client and is handling their communications and social media.
“I was definitely pumped to start with the Chamber,” she said. “I’ve just dipped my toe into the Chamber world. They have so many projects going on and their members are doing so many exciting things … so many stories. It’s really fantastic. It’s exciting for me to continue doing the kind of storytelling I’ve always been doing.”
As much as MacDonald’s story is about storytelling, it’s also about having the entrepreneurial spirit. It takes some courage to branch out on one’s own and start a business. For MacDonald, it’s all worth it.
“I love it,” she said. “Like any entrepreneur you have a few moments of panic. Overall, I really love being responsible for my own destiny. I’m not relying on anyone … I get my own clients, earn my own money, and make it my own.”
This story was originally published in NewNorthBC magazine. Read the entire issue below.