Innovate Mississippi

Point Innovation Magazine Winter 2013

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FEATURE Leadify SOCIAL BRANDING THAT BRIDGES THE GAP BET WEEN ADVERTISING AND SEARCHING Lisa Stone W hen you walk into Leadify's office headquarters Take, for example, a rental property in Vail, Colorado. In addition in Ridgeland, you are struck by the nontraditional to deploying messages about the property, Leadify would also post atmosphere. Instead of cubicles, the space is about events in the area, such as a Maroon 5 concert, which might wide-open like a warehouse. Instead of desks or conference tables, draw in prospective clients who otherwise might not have rented there are bean bags and couches. White boards cover an entire the property. These messages are published via social media channels wall with brainstorming notes and ideas. There are young people like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. The next step, and everywhere, casually dressed and working on perhaps the most valuable according to Leadify, is laptops and tablets. to evaluate the results and then adjust the strategy; As nontraditional as Leadify's offices are, so is this step takes place in real-time and is very agile. the company and its approach to social branding. Through this multistep process, Leadify helps Waiting for customers to search for you doesn't clients curate the conversations around their brand. seem like a very savvy business strategy. This is "Social is a conversation; it is word-of-mouth especially true in a world dominated by social media amplified," said Stradinger. "It's about owning your – Facebook has 1.16 billion users; on average, 400 conversation and building authority. It is not million tweets are sent per day; Pinterest has 70 necessarily about how many followers you have. million users; and Tumblr averages 216.3 million The end game is how you converse, how you visitors each month. "With this world of online engage. That takes time." Stradinger contends Joe Stradinger, Founder & CEO, oversaturation, no business can wait to be found," that this engagement results in extending a client's Leadify said Joe Stradinger, founder and CEO of Leadify. reach and influencing consumer decisions. A fully managed social branding service, Leadify has created the The brainchild of Stradinger, Leadify was born during his work world's first "find engine," bridging the gap between advertising and as a social media consultant with Viking Range Corporation, searching. With Leadify's social media services, businesses can find helping the company cultivate the culinary lifestyle beyond just customers instead of waiting and hoping that customers will search kitchen appliances. In fact, Facebook used his work for Viking as for them. This effort is accomplished by engaging in the multitude of an internal case study in social branding excellence. conversations that take place via social media every day. "Think of it With customers all over the world, Leadify works with a number this way … we create new paths through social media back to your of industries like travel, hospitality, fashion and medical, as well as business or organization that were not there before," said Stradinger. government and nonprofits. Through their unique approach, Just how do they do this? First, Leadify maps the conversations Leadify has grown quickly to include nearly 80 clients, including around their clients' brands. These "data maps" include events, Chemistry.com, Dormeuil, 30A Escapes, the Mississippi Secretary trends, activities and key influencers, among other things. Armed of State and HomeAway/VRBO. with this data, Leadify then creates relevant and authentic For Mississippi College, Leadify is using social media to messages; messages that share information as well as promote the proactively find prospective students and donors. They helped the client's brand. university consider the relevant conversations around their mission, 50 Pointe Innovation

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