Social Media Management

How to improve your social media marketing strategy: an interview with Amber Romero

Anna Bredava
by Anna Bredava on April 29, 2021

Article summary

We talked to Amber Romero, a social media educator and the owner of A Creative Co agency to learn about her social media marketing hacks. Amber explains how to plan social media content strategy, how to use hashtags, and what metrics you need to track.

Contents
  1. How to manage your own boutique social media agency
  2. How to design an organic social media strategy
  3. How to plan your content
  4. The most common social media marketing mistakes
  5. How to develop a hashtag strategy
  6. The secret to social media analytics

Listen to this interview!

There’s a common belief among social media marketers that nowadays you can’t grow your profiles without advertising. Amber Romero, the owner of A Creative Co. social media agency, proves that to be untrue.

We talked to her about her social media marketing journey, running a boutique social media agency, and what it’s like to give social media marketing tips on TikTok to more than 800 thousand viewers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Публикация от Social Media Content Strategy (@a_creativeco)

How to manage a boutique social media agency

Anna: How did you first get involved in social media marketing?

Amber: I went to college right after a really big recession in the United States for a medical degree, and I just absolutely hated it. I switched my major to marketing, and from there, it was about 2012 when I graduated. I was able to secure a bunch of internships and positions and things like that and found myself in the marketing world. 

I worked for larger companies, did the corporate America thing, and I was on a big team of people, so I got to see a lot of different aspects of marketing. I did a lot of ghostwriting, proposal writing, and paid advertising on social media. I got to see it all and I found a passion inside of organic social media marketing. I love the content creation aspect because I was able to take creativity and combine it with my love of psychology and marketing. 

So I had the whole corporate career, then slowly transitioned into freelancing, and now own a social media agency.

Anna: How did it feel to start your agency? How did you manage your expectations and the pressures? 

Amber: It honestly happened a little bit more organically than I thought it would. 

After transitioning away from being a marketing manager into freelancing in social media, I had just a couple of clients. I soon realized that the only way to grow my income, my revenue, is to do more.

I founded my agency in 2019 when it was the time for me to take my freelancing to the next level. I created this brand, A Creative Co., and it grew very rapidly: I brought on team members, brought on a lot of clients. And it got to a point, especially during the pandemic over the last year, when I started to hit the ceiling. I thought to myself: "I don't want my agency to become a corporation, I'm not going to be Gary V, I'm not going to be this big agency owner". I definitely don't want the big swanky office. So I think the expectations and some of the things that we might experience if we're growing a large company, I don't have those, which I'm grateful for.

I truly want to develop that boutique model. So I actually lessened my clients, increased revenue and increased prices, and kept my team. I dialed it back because I saw myself getting to a place I didn't want to be. But still having team members and trying to grow business is always scary. 

Anna: What does this label “boutique agency” mean for you?

Amber: Around this time last year, I was hitting about fifteen clients servicing them monthly and, in addition, I would have strategy sessions, one-off projects, and things like that. Now I've really dialed it back. I have less than five clients servicing their organic social media on a monthly basis. Now I’m working back into more of working one-on-one, more of consultations, I'm building out my product space.

That's why I want that boutique feel, is that I can serve my clients at a much higher level by having fewer clients – that’s what that boutique model looks like. 

I have different revenue streams now, whereas before this time last year, my only revenue stream was coming in through those monthly retainer clients, and there's only so much I can do as a person. Obviously, I have a team, but we were reaching our maximum point, and I just didn't want to go any further. 

That's kind of what I view the boutique model as. I'm serving as more than just a social media manager. I'm a true social media expert and partner for my clients versus somebody that's just day in, day out, just doing some administrative stuff. I'm truly your strategist and your partner in this.

That's kind of what I view the boutique model as. I'm serving as more than just a social media manager. I'm a true social media expert and partner for my clients versus somebody that's just day in, day out, just doing some administrative stuff. I'm truly your strategist and your partner in this.
Amber Romero, a social media content strategist

Anna: Having had so many clients, do you have any tips on how to stay organized for a social media manager?

Amber: I actually invested in one of my team members, she's a project manager and productivity expert. If you find that you're lacking organization or missing deadlines, find a partner for your business that you truly can give your trust to. 

Secondly, I used to use Trello for project management, and I found there were limitations with that program. My business partner is also certified in Asana, so I switched my entire team over to Asana. That has been the number one easiest way to maintain organization and deadlines.

So these are my top two tips: find the right people and the right tools.

How to design your organic social media marketing strategy: tips and tricks

Anna: What’s the first thing to do when planning a social media strategy?

Amber: I always recommend to people something I call content pillars. They are called a bunch of different things, you’re going to see them called content buckets, content topics, whatever that looks like. 

In order to jump into the organic social media game, a lot of people just start posting without a content strategy. I recommend that you don't do that. 

@acreativeco

How to create 30 days worth of content for your clients! 😳 #socialmediamanager #socialmediamanagerlife #socialmediamanagement

♬ original sound - Amber Romero

First, you need to figure out our content pillars. Pick between three and five different topics in your business that you could talk about all day long. I always give this example of, if you were given a five-minute notice to give a presentation that you did not prepare for, what would you talk about? 

For instance, my five content pillars are social media tips, content marketing tips, business tips, promotional posts for my business, and then storytelling or personal posts

I line each pillar with a day of the week -- this helps maintain consistency. People that jump into social media organic posting, they'll often post a ton of stuff for like a week or two and then disappear from the face of the earth. But it's important to stay consistent. If you can only show up twice a week -- perfect. Show up twice a week and make sure it's strategic.

So figure out what content you want to post, have a strategy around it, don't divert from it. Those are my big two tips there.

Consistency is especially important because social media platforms’ algorithms take it into account when deciding to highlight your content. 

Anna: What are some common mistakes people make when planning an organic social media strategy?

Amber: There are two that come to mind. 

The first one is that a lot of clients that come to me or just anybody that's in my DMs, they think social media is the end all be all of their marketing and they expect instant results. The thing with organic social media, it's not going to fix all your marketing problems overnight. 

We always hear: "I want the ten thousand followers. I want to make more money, I want to get more clients". But there's a long game, and it comes in the form of strategic content.  We need to develop a strategy over months and months and months.

Number two, I see it a lot and I’ve done it in the past is being disingenuous. Users can read through the best nonsense. 

We, as business owners, really have to serve our audience. We can't just go on Instagram anymore and post about a sale like "Hey, I have 30 percent off my products". No, we have to educate them, entertain them. 
Amber Romero, a social media content strategist

Any time I'm doing some kind of promotional post I love creating memes or GIFs, or a quote post, something that's fun that they can still share on their feeds or Stories. They interact with it, but I'm selling as well.  I never just go out and post: “My product just launched, go buy it”. I'm making sure there's some kind of value or education behind it for my followers. 

Anna: What’s one thing any company could do right now to improve its social media marketing strategy?

Amber: Anything that has to do with video marketing

I could name you a ton of different apps, but I use an app called InShot for my phone and the native platforms’ capabilities like Instagram Reels or TikTok. That is the biggest improvement for any client that I have right now to grow their following and hit their goals.

Again, it comes back to the consistency. Show up once a week on Reels, show up once a week on Instagram Live and share it to your feed. It can be as easy as that. 

We don't need to break out all the expensive equipment anymore. I have tons of equipment, really nice cameras, and the vast majority of the time I'm doing stuff on my computer, on my phone. I always tell my clients: “Let's refine it, let's make it easier” because that's what people want to see too. This content is more relatable. 

Do what you have with the equipment that you have. Figure out how to maximize things on your phone, maximize the tools that you have right now.

Anna: Do you have any tips for a hashtag strategy that people could use?

@acreativeco

Answer to @esmeeck_x Instagram Hashtag Strategy #socialmediamarketing #socialmediamanager

♬ original sound - Amber Romero

Amber: I'm one of the marketers that I still believe you should max out all 30 hashtags that Instagram allows you to use. It's a free resource, it's a free tool, it's free discoverability, so why wouldn't we max out on all of them? 

I have a different set of hashtags to go with each content pillar. So, again, I have five content pillars, I have five different groups of hashtags. And in those groups of hashtags, I do 10 branded or location-specific hashtags, such as #acreativeco, #Tampasocialmediaowner, or something like that. 

Then I go into making sure that I have high competition, medium competition, and low competition hashtags. I'm not going to use a bunch of hashtags that say #socialmedia or #socialmediamanagement because there are so many people using those hashtags.

So I'll use a good variety of high competition hashtags and some that are low competition, for example, #Kanbantips, so that if somebody did look that up or did come across my content, they would discover me a little bit easier. 

The tool that I like using is called flick.tech. It helps me figure out which hashtags are high, medium, and low competition. 

Pro tip

Awario can help you discover high, medium, and low competition hashtags as well. It can tell you how many times people used a certain hashtag, how many people it reached, what locations used this hashtag the most, and so on.

The other thing that I want to say about hashtags, again, people use them as an end all be all type of resource. They think, OK, I'm to max out my 30 hashtags, my content's going to perform a lot higher. And that's just not simply the truth. Hashtags take a great piece of content and spread it to more people. But if your content isn't good, hashtags aren't going to help. 

Anna: Speaking about analyzing hashtags, let’s talk about analytics! What kind of analytics do you track?

Amber: For me, obviously, I'm looking at a lot of different analytics that are not always necessary for every single business owner. I use the software both for scheduling and for analytics called Later, and that gives me a high overview that I can deliver to my clients on a monthly basis since I give them monthly reporting

It looks a lot different for each of my clients. If I have a product-based business, for example, one of my clients is in E-commerce, we care more about her conversion rate for her link in bio. We want people to go to her website to shop products through Instagram. So we care more about those analytics. 

Whereas I have another client who is an influencer and is launching a book. So that's the time when I do care about profile visits and engagement rate and followers because it's going to matter during her book launch phase. 

As a business owner, you have to sit down and think: "OK, what are my overall business goals then? What are my overall marketing goals?" and align that with the analytics.

For instance, last year, I was in a growth phase, so I cared more about my follower count. This year I really just want to get down to the nitty-gritty. I want to see people saving my content or sharing my content. That matters more to me because I want to distinguish myself as an industry expert. I want people to value my content. So those are the kind of analytics I look at over my follower growth this year. It really just depends on your goals, and it's going to look different for different business owners, for sure.

Anna: If you had to choose between Instagram and TikTok, which platform would you choose?

Amber: TikTok. I love Instagram, but I see how revolutionary TikTok is right now. The only thing that's missing from TikTok right now is the community aspect. Instagram still has a very strong connection: I can have conversations in DMs and comments, whereas with TikTok, that is definitely a little bit harder, and the community aspect isn't there. 

But if you're trying to grow your business, TikTok is where it's at. 


You can find Amber on TikTok and Instagram giving out free social media advice. You can also check out her agency A Creative Co

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