How To Create Social Content that Stops Thumbs

How To Create Social Content that Stops Thumbs

Dooley Tombras, EVP, The Tombras Group, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss raising the standard of creative content to increase sales.

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Full Episode Details

Creativity Creates Sales

If you talk with most people, it seems that there’s a general disconnect between creativity and driving sales. It seems to be a natural assumption that good artistry and fun are the polar opposites of a successful business.

The truth is actually to the contrary, and Dooley Tombras of The Tombras Group has the data to prove it. With a strict focus on increasing sales, his agency has found that the best and most efficient way to do so is to raise the bar for creativity.

The more creative and fun your social content is, the more deeply you can engage with your customers, and therefore your message will spread more organically. In other words, don’t be afraid to have some fun with your next ad campaign!

In This Episode

  • Why the current marketing landscape is beneficial for an agency
  • Why engagement metrics are “soft metrics”
  • How to find the best social media community managers
  • Why creative content translates into more sales

Quotes From This Episode

“There’s never been a better time to be in the advertising agency business.” — @thetombrasgroup

“What separates the winners and losers in the agency business right now is data.” — @thetombrasgroup

The more highly creative the content can be, quite often the better the sales results will be. Click To Tweet

“Be very social on social media, have a lot of fun, and be creative, but pay off whatever your brand promises and you can save a lot of money on the paid side.” — @thetombrasgroup

Resources

See you next week!

Episode Transcript

 
Jay Baer: Hey, everybody. It's Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. Welcome to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media, joined, as always, by my special Texas friend. He's the Executive Strategist of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Mr. Adam Brown. Adam, we had a great show this week, didn't we?
Adam Brown: We did. And it's near and dear to my heart for a couple of different reasons. Not only are we talking to the award-winning best small agency of the year from Ad Age, but we're talking to an agency that was literally in my background when I graduated from college from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Tombras Group is about a block away from the UT campus, and I always envied and wanted to go work at that agency or intern it. And I actually worked for the smaller agency that was a little bit farther down the street.
But what the Tombras family and Tombras Group has done, especially as it relates to social media, you'd think that social is one of those things that the biggest of the big agencies are all over. And certainly they are. But you have an agency and a leader like Dooley Tombras who are doing magical things for brands, not just small and medium, but also some huge, huge brands.
Jay Baer: Yeah, it's really interesting. And one of the things that Dooley says in this episode is that they try to create social content that has stopping power - things that will stop the thumb. And he says in this episode that one of the problems with brands and agencies and social is that they're simply not creative enough. So he talks a little bit about their philosophy on social creativity. Also a lot of coverage in this episode on social measurement and attribution to sales. It is a really good one that you are going to enjoy very much.
Before we get into it, a quick reminder of the sponsors of the show this week. Of course, Salesforce Marketing Cloud. A new download from our friends at Salesforce for you to think about. Look, social is more important than ever for B2B. We don't talk much about B2B in this episode, but we do in many cases. Social's more important than ever for B2B, yet some people in B2B have a hard time using it effectively or measuring results.
So a new guide from our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud can help you. It's called The Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers, and it reveals the best types of content for each segment of your funnel, and Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, even Snapchat. You can discover the role of metrics, social listening, and engagement strategies, and elevating your B2B messaging results. Go to bitly/b2bsocialguide to download it right now. It's bitly/b, the number 2, b, social guide. That's all lowercase. Grab that from our friends at Salesforce.
Also, this week Social Pros is brought to you by our pals at HYP3R, a new sponsor. Man, I love what they're doing. It's a location-based social listening and data collection platform. You geofence your location and it shows you all the social content being created by people inside that HYP3R local geography.
Their CEO, Carlos Garcia, was a guest on this show, that ended up becoming a sponsor, which is cool. And Carlos said if you know where somebody is, you can infer a great deal about what they might need at that particular moment. And he is exactly right. It is a super, super slick platform. It's called HYP3R, H-Y-P-3-R, H-Y-P-3-R. Go to hyp3r.com/socialpros, h-y-p, the number 3, r, dot com, slash socialpros, to do a demo.
They're working with Marriott, they're working with 24 Hour Fitness, they're working with Norwegian Cruise Line, Hard Rock, the Golden State Warriors, and a bunch more. They are making things happen in the geo local social space. Check it out. That's HYP3R.
Adam, let's get on to the show this week on Social Pros. Dooley Tombras, Executive Vice-President from The Tombras Group out of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Our guest this week on the show is Dooley Tombras, who's the Executive Vice-President of The Tombras Group in Knoxville, Tennessee. Named the Advertising Age Small Agency of the Year, one of the top leading independent advertising agencies in this entire country. Dooley, welcome to Social Pros.
Dooley Tombras: [inaudible 00:03:54] I'm delighted to be on Social Pros. Thanks for having me, guys.
Jay Baer: We are psyched to have you as well. One of the things I think is fascinating about your organization is that you are very much at the vanguard of the use of social media for major brands. But you've been around since 1946, and there's not that many advertising agencies or professional services firms of any type that have made it 70 years. And so certainly in the history of The Tombras Group, you have seen some changes, right? I mean, you guys were doing covered wagon advertising back in the day, and now it's all Snapchat. So talk about how you've been able to ride through all the crazy changes and trends in the advertising business across generations, literally.
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, so great question. So we really are a kind of a unique agency in that we are family-owned. And we're arguably one of the only kind of family-owned mom-and-pop advertising agencies, if you will, that kind of operates at scale, really, as a national agency. So my grandfather started our agency in 1946, and as you might imagine, we've lived through a lot of disruption and changes in the agency business.
Obviously when my granddad started, the agency was very focused on print and radio. As my dad came along, we got bigger into broadcast and got really good on the brand creative side and the television side. But one of our kind of core philosophies as an agency is we like to embrace change and we like to embrace disruption. And so we got into digital very early on. And really we got into social media very early on, for a full-service advertising agency.
And I think it kinda goes back to our philosophy of how we run the agency because if you think about it, really there's a couple of reasons that clients like to work with agencies. One is to get an outside perspective. Obviously two is just the creativity side of it and the fact that agencies often can get really good creative talent.
But I think another reason that brands really work with advertising agencies in the first place is the whole innovation piece. It's hard for clients to manage innovation with everything that they've got on their plate. That's always been the case, but I think that has sped up tremendously over, call it, the last 10 or 15 years. And so it's interesting. When you read the trade pubs right now and you talk to a lot of people in the industry, a lot of doom and gloom about margins not being as good as they used to be, and about clients taking work in-house.
But I kind of take a contrarian point of view there, and I think there's really never been a better time to be in the advertising agency business because clients are drowning with all of the change going on right now. There's a real opportunity for agencies to kind of be elevated to the role of true partners and have C-suite level discussions right now to help clients figure out all that change. And that's part of why The Tombras Group has had so much success over, call it, the last 10 years, is we've been pretty fortunate to stay out in front of that change and help clients manage that.
Adam Brown: Well one of the things I know you added relatively recently is an entire division of the organization focused on marketing on the Amazon platform. I'd love for you to talk about that a little bit and how that integrates into other services the agency provides, and kind of what you see as the future there.
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, yeah, thanks for mentioning that. Yeah, the Amazon piece has really been a game changer for the agency. And I was telling this story to somebody the other day. It was actually really different starting an Amazon division versus some of the other changes we've done because at some point we had to say, "Okay, we're gonna be in the search business and we're gonna learn how to do search." At some point we had to say, "Okay, we're gonna get into the website development business, we're gonna get in the social media business." All of those things were challenging for different reasons.
But the Amazon piece, and launching an Amazon division, was a little different in that there's a whole set of complexities that you've got to deal with as an agency on the Amazon side that you don't have to deal with when you're just [inaudible 00:08:12] an ad or putting a media buy together or running a digital program for a client. And basically it's because there are a lot of CPG companies and product companies that have been in business for 100 years, and they're great at making widgets, [inaudible 00:08:28] whatever their product is, and they've had decades to iron out their processes from a distribution standpoint, and a pricing and a margin standpoint in terms of getting those widgets out to brick and mortar, or even doing what I would call traditional e-commerce.
But Amazon is a whole different animal for a lot of clients to deal with. And as an agency, how we got into it was through the media buying side. And that's kind of the logical place as to why a brand would come to an agency to talk about Amazon, and it's running paid search on AMS, and it's helping clients run AMG and programmatic campaigns using Amazon's data through the Amazon advertising platform.
But what we quickly learned when we got into the Amazon business was there's all of these other complexities that we've never had to deal with before, in terms of helping clients manage the supply chain logistics piece, helping them manage things like fulfillment and customer service, and thinking through the whole margin piece and kind of how that works. And so when you get into the Amazon business as an agency, you're doing a whole lot more than just helping clients set up A+ pages and work on content and do the media buying piece. It's really acting as a consultancy on the client side.
And why we saw the white space opportunity there was we saw light bulbs going off with a lot of CMOs about a year ago, where they said, "Okay, the ship has sailed. We're reading the white papers and we're seeing everything out in the news about the growth of the Amazon Prime subscribers. And we kind of put this thing off, but now we know Amazon is for real, and we've gotta do it. So let's figure this thing out." And there were very few Amazon experts internally on the client side. And they were also very few Amazon experts internally on the agency side. So I saw it almost as being kind [inaudible 00:10:41] situation a year ago.
And where the experts were were really in these small, dedicated Amazon-only boutique consultancies. So that's where we found the talent, and we went out and made several key hires and recruited folks in that had a lot of experience on the Amazon consultancy side. Brought them into the agency, and then kind of married them up with our expertise on the content side and on sort of the SEO side and the media planning and buying side, and that's how we got into it.
And it's been fascinating seeing the reaction with clients. I've shown up to client meetings for what I would describe, just a run-of-the-mill day-to-day meeting, where we thought we were gonna be meeting with a marketing director, and because Amazon was on the docket for the meeting agenda, magically the CMO showed up, or in some cases I've even seen the CEO of a company show up to a meeting. So that's kind of the level of importance that clients are placing on Amazon, and it's because they know it's the future.
And also, clients love attribution. That's been a big buzzword in the industry for a while, and it's one thing to think about attribution in terms of key performance indicators on a website happening, or looking at sales increases and test and control stores when you run paid media. But it's a whole other discussion when you sit down with a client and you show them analytics on an Amazon program and they know that they spent X and then they sold Y off of that, and then they know what the ROI is from the margin built in there. So it's a really cool area to be in the agency business right now, and it's probably the fastest-growing part of the business at Tombras.
Adam Brown: Dooley, that is fascinating, what you're doing with Amazon. And my question is, do you believe that that's indicative of the larger kind of marketing communications agency business? I think 10 years ago we saw kind of your traditional PR and advertising agencies kind of begin to call themselves marketing communications agencies because they began to realize, well, PR and marketing are very much the same thing.
We also know, at least at Salesforce, we did a State of Marketing survey of 3,500 CMOs this last year. And one of the big things they told us is that marketing executives, CMOs, are beginning to focus their org charts less on function, like a advertising team, a PR team, a digital team, a social team, and more on outcomes.
With your example of what you're doing at Tombras Group with Amazon, with the consulting pieces of this, is this emblematic and indicative of what's happening kind of with the quote, unquote, advertising agency? That the industry is having to evolve and change, and really be more focused closer to that actual transaction, as you kind of noted, and what does this mean for ... And if you're able to do it as a smaller, but still very powerful agency, what does this mean for kind of the larger agencies? Is, because of your size, does your ability to move and be agile ... Is that a really key benefit?
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, so, I'll answer that kind of two ways. I mean, one, I think every industry is getting disrupted by technology and changes in the economy right now. There is no doubt that advertising agencies are being disrupted too, and they've got to evolve. And there are going to be winners, and there are going to be losers.
And I think what separates the winners and losers in the agency business right now is data. Because you kind of hit the nail on the head. Clients are very focused on outcome right now, measurable sales lift that they can get with direct attribution from advertising programs. And there's really no better example of that than Amazon right now.
And so The Tombras Group, we repositioned the agency in about 2010, and kind of our positioning and philosophy is connecting data and creativity for business results. And so we structured the whole agency around that, and that's really what I would call modern marketing. And when you look at the CMOs that we work with and talk to around the country, that's what they're focused on. So I think you've got to ... Agencies have to structure themselves around delivering [inaudible 00:15:10] because that's sort of what the marketplace is demanding right now on the client side.
And I think there was maybe a follow-up question there. Help me out on ... because there was kind of two parts-
Jay Baer: Well one thing I wanted to ask you is that ... Your philosophy on that measurement and attribution extends to social as well, right? One of the things that I think is interesting about how you approach social as an agency is that you almost purposely kind of walk away from engagement metrics and interaction metrics, and really look at click metrics and traffic generation, both digital and foot traffic. Can you talk a little bit about how you handle that? Because certainly it's different than some brands, how they look at the value of social, and certainly agencies as well.
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, I think we are totally differentiated as an agency in terms of how we approach social media. It's funny, it's like a personal pet peeve for me when I see brands and CMOs and agencies hiding behind what I would call soft metrics on the social side, and you see brands still bragging about the growth of their social channels or their engagement levels, or even kind of referral traffic into websites off of social. And at the end of the day, that's not why brands have marketing departments, and it's not why they hire agencies.
It's all about delivering a business result and driving sales. And social media can do that, because it's where all the eyeballs are. I don't think there's really any magic to social media. I think it's just looking at where consumers' attention is, and right now consumers' attention is disproportionately on mobile, and it is disproportionately on social media.  And so what we like to do there is help clients win and get a disproportionate share of the attention there, and tie everything that we do back to the sales.
And kind of when you hear that, at first glance you might think okay, well maybe Tombras approaches it in a very boring, robotic way because it's all about sales, and that's not the case. The great thing about social media is you do get kind of an instantaneous feedback loop of the soft metrics there on the engagement side, and there's great nuggets reading the comments when you throw content out. So I like the real-world feedback loop on social.
And what we found is the more disruptive the social and the more highly creative the content can be, quite often the better the sales results will be. And kind of how we approach measuring the success on social is we like to set up test and control markets ... and if you look at what Facebook is in particular now, it really is a pay-to-play platform. And you hear a lot of people talking about the algorithm changes that happened with the news feed recently in the last month or two. I kind of view it almost as a non-event because from our perspective, organic reach was already dead on Facebook, and had been for quite a while, particularly for larger brands with bigger followings.
And kind of the magic of Facebook is that it's got the scale of television, but you've got far better targeting capabilities there. And so what we like to do with retail clients is just set up test and control groups with different stores, or test and control groups with different markets, and then go out and A/B test different messages there, and look at where we're actually getting the sales lift. In the case of kind of CPG or product brands, we'll do the exact same thing.
But it is not just putting out robotic, boring content. We have found, when you look at all the case histories internally at the agency, the more highly creative the social content can be, the more disruptive it is, and the better return you can get. And so the way we look at it is, if you want to save money as a client, be very social on social media, have a lot of fun, be creative, but pay off whatever your brand promises, and you can save a lot of money on the paid side by having some fun there.
Adam Brown: And I know a brand that you had a lot of fun with, a brand that you used your spirit of creativity on and won some national, and even international, awards, is MoonPie. And for those of you who are listening who are not familiar with MoonPie, you, unlike me, who grew up in Tennessee and talking here to Dooley Tombras, Executive Vice-President of The Tombras Group in Knoxville, Tennessee, Dooley, how would you explain what a MoonPie is?
Dooley Tombras: Great, great question. So a MoonPie is basically a graham cracker, marshmallow sandwich smothered in chocolate. And it's pretty delicious, and it's an icon of the South. And they're about a 100-year-old family-owned CPG company down in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And with MoonPie, they're probably one of my favorite brands that we get to work with, because they're in the snack category. And let me tell you, if you're not having fun and putting good content out in the snack category, you're probably doing something wrong. We're not selling toilet paper here, or some complex [inaudible 00:20:36]-
Jay Baer: Or term life insurance.
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, or a considered purchase B2B thing. Not that we don't love all those kind of categories too, but with MoonPie, you've got permission to have a lot of fun. And it's such a cool brand, and it's such a cool name, and it's been around forever. Like I said, literally, that's a 100-year-old family-owned company.
And we've been working with MoonPie probably for about going on three years now. And we started sort of in a broader digital role where we were helping them with digital transformation and building a new website for them, and building out their e-commerce platform, and then golly, probably about 18 months ago, we started to work with them on social media.
And kind of ... When you dig into MoonPie's business, they have a very successful business, but with some research they had done, they told us that their unaided and aided awareness, and their household penetration and sales, were much stronger with older consumers. And it kind of dropped off as you got in with millennials. And MoonPie does not have a large marketing budget to run a TV campaign, but even if they did, I would've told them TV is not the way to go if the business objective is to recruit in new millennial users.
And we saw a really nice opportunity to revamp their social media program, because they had previously been doing what I would call the blocking and tackling of social media. They had programs in place, they were posting, they were showing the product, they were kind of following the rules of CPG, but they were relying a lot on nostalgia, and they were doing what I would call not [inaudible 00:22:21] content. They were doing what I would call basic usage [inaudible 00:22:22] content. And said, "Look, let's go test some crazy stuff with you guys."
And it's been interesting working with them over the last 18 months on social. What we have found is that the crazier we get with the content, the better the sales results get. And they're a great client to work with. We've got a great relationship, there's a lot of trust there. And what one of our clients, the Vice-President of Marketing there, said was, "You know, Dooley, we just gotta trust you guys and know that while we're not the target audience, what you guys are doing, tapping into this millennial voice, is working, and we've gotta get comfortable with it." And we've gotten to do just some amazing stuff for them.
I think the big breakthrough moment was last August, around the eclipse. And we actually planned almost a year ahead on that. When we were doing the annual planning for the year for social media, back at, call it, the end of 2016, we circled the day on the calendar in August for the eclipse. And we said this ought to be MoonPie's Super Bowl moment because it was the 100th anniversary of the brand, and our idea was, how about we sponsor the solar eclipse? Because our name is MoonPie, right? And who says you can't sponsor an eclipse?
So we ran a national campaign where we were intentionally, of course, being ironic, which is part of the whole MoonPie strategy, where we were announcing that we were the official snack cake of the solar eclipse. And we were introducing a usage occasion, which was, we were encouraging folks to eat MoonPies when they had their eclipse parties.
And of course, there was a really nice tie-in in terms of building memory structures because we knew that there was gonna be a lot of national media coverage around the eclipse and we wanted to associate MoonPie with that and kind of keep MoonPie top of mind. 'Cause it's not a considered purchase category. It's a very irrational category that's impulse-driven, and how you win in the snack business is just using social media to keep the brand top of mind, to have the mental availability so that when the consumer is in a C store and they see it, they go, "Oh yeah, MoonPie." They wanna grab one.
And we wanted the same ... We were trying to leverage the national media [inaudible 00:24:39] with the eclipse so that every time somebody thought about the eclipse, they talked about MoonPie. And lo and behold, it worked. They had their strongest sales month ever in the month of August leading up to the eclipse. And we had a lot of fun with the content that we were putting out.
And then there was a really nice opportunity that we got to take advantage of. We've got a social media command center at the agency. So we've got about 25 social media community managers in there, and we've got big walls of monitors, and we've got Google Trends up there, and we've actually got a really cool social media listening tool that we built in-house, where we pipe in a lot of the off-the-shelf listening tools, and it does data visualization, and you can see what's going on. And we'll typically look at the chatter of not only what consumers are saying about our clients' brands, but we'll also look at what they're saying about competitors' brands.
And we saw a tweet where we say that Hostess, obviously one of MoonPie's biggest competitors, had come out and said that they were the official snack cake of the solar eclipse. And one of the nice things about having a command center is everybody is in there, and we actually had a community manager spot that that didn't even work on the MoonPie account. They showed that to the person on the MoonPie account, and they were like, "Oh my gosh. This is a great real-time opportunity."
And so we jumped in and basically re-tweeted the Hostess tweet and responded in a very ironic, millennial voice, which we've created for MoonPie, and our response was, "Lol okay," which is kind of unexpected to see a CP, a conservative CPG brand using that kind of voice. And it just took off like crazy.
I think we got over half a million likes, a couple of hundred thousand re-tweets. It was one of the most engaging brand tweets in the history of Twitter. And consumers just loved seeing MoonPie throw a little bit of shade at Hostess. And we thought, "Why not, guys? Our name is MoonPie. We ran a campaign saying we were the official snack cake of the solar eclipse." And so we got a tremendous amount of earned media coverage coming out of that.
And it was interesting. A lot of the grocery stores around the country were running low on supply because sales had been [inaudible 00:27:05] of the eclipse. And so literally there were grocery stores selling out of the product. And there was actually an article in the Chattanooga newspaper about it. But MoonPie got hit with so many reorders when grocery stores sold out of product that they literally had to shut down the factory for a couple of days. So that's kind of my favorite sound bite about MoonPie, is a five-character tweet literally shut down a factory, which is like every CPG and brand agency's dream come true.
Jay Baer: That is absolutely fascinating, Dooley. What impresses me most is what you did for MoonPie was truly what you said you're trying to do with all of your customers, kind of go away from those social media metrics that we've all kind of grown accustomed to and comfortable with - likes, followers, and even some of the basic engagement. But you were able to, with this program and this campaign, actually show sales attribution.
What's the secret there? What would you recommend and suggest to other brands, other social media marketers, other marketing practitioners in general, so that they can start to drive the business in that particular direction? Because that's not easy to do.
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, it's not easy. I think there's really three things. I think one is just setting a goal and getting the measurement in place, which isn't easy. And I think that's where a lot of brands struggle. But it's just having the proper measurements in place where you can do some testing controls and you can look at when you've launched a social campaign and getting a good read that you're actually lifting the sales. I mean, I think that's just the most basic thing is just being committed to doing it, figuring out and getting the testing there.
I think the second component to it is knowing that you've got to be more creative. Just because you're focused on sales doesn't give you liberty to kind of back off from the creativity side of it. And it's amazing to me how many Fortune 500 brands I see out on social media that run highly creative television campaigns, and you just see really boring, safe work going on in the social kind of space.
And the big litmus test for us at the agency is we want to run social content that has stopping power. We know everybody is consuming the content on mobile, everybody's scrolling through quickly with their fingers on their phone on mobile. And we want to have content that stops people in their tracks, consumers, to create the attention, to get the media impressions, to give the brand a chance to drive sales. So I think that that's kind of the second component to it, is committing to the creativity on it that you need to break through and be effective.
And then I think the third component on it is having the paid media support. Because in this day and age, in 2018, with where most of the algorithms are on the platforms, you're probably not gonna get to where you need to be from an impression standpoint and a reach standpoint as a national brand to drive sales if you're solely relying on organic content. And you need to put real dollars there from a paid perspective. And it's our perspective that you need to test and learn your way into the right budgets.
And that goes back to kind of point one, having the right measurements in place there to prove out the ROI, to have the confidence to spend real dollars there. But I think that's the formula to measurably lift sales through social media, is have the measurements in place, actually do social content that has stopping power, that can have share-ability, that can amplify the effect of the program, and then be prepared to trust the data once you've done the test and put real dollars behind it to mash down on the gas and get the impressions and reach that you need to really drive sales growth.
Adam Brown: Dooley, I love those three things, and I think we can all focus in, no matter what our industry or business may be, on those three particular things. I've got one more question for you before I hand off to Jay. And as you talk about the ways that you're doing things there at Tombras Group, as you talk about creative stopping power, as you talk about looking at social non-traditionally, what does this mean for how you hire new marketing communications consulting social media practitioners? Are you looking for a different type of person? And since this is Social Pros, we're gonna kind of focus on social media practitioners. And do you think that with where this entire industry is going ... I know another area that you're very interested in is artificial intelligence and AI ... How does, where social is today, how you approach social at Tombras, and where social is going, change the types of qualities and attributes you're looking for in your growing agency?
Dooley Tombras: Yeah, great question. So what I'll say is social has gotten more specialized, as many different parts of the ad agency business have. Interesting is, back in the halcyon days of, call it 2010, when there was a ton of organic reach, we used to hire community managers that were literally one-man bands, where you would hire a young guy or girl out of college and you would just hope they could do everything. And of course, there was less content. Video wasn't driving social like it is now, and really there weren't even as many images. And it was more just finding funny, young people that understood social media that could go do everything.
But social media was very unmeasured at that time, and clients were not spending real dollars on it. And what's happened is, as social media has become very measured, and as clients have started to invest more dollars on the production side and the media side, social media has gotten more specialized.
And so what we look at are very different types of people. We look at analysts that are very analytically driven to be the social analysts. We look at paid media people that are naturally inquisitive and want to do small test and learn experiments to be on the paid social side. We look at highly creative people to work on our content team. But I think obviously what you guys will be most interested on this podcast is what about on the pure play social media side, with the community managers who are still arguably the most important piece kind of on the team there?
And really, what we look for are people that are just voracious in their appetite for digesting popular culture stuff. We look for people that have very active personal social media lives, not just on one platform. And we look to hire people that are just all over popular culture, movies, music, blogs, meme culture, weird stuff on the internet, they like to listen to podcasts.
And I think you've got to have those people because ... I'm glad you like that ... because the internet is such a moving target and social media is such a moving target, and consumers' tastes are changing so fast now, that you've got to have naturally inquisitive people that have got their tentacles in a lot of different places and have their receptors open. And those are the best social media community managers.
We have our best success as an agency is when you can marry up a community manager like that with the big-time brand strategist and brand creative folks that really know the client's brand, and then you marry that up with the content factory, the paid social team, and the analytics team, and it's sort of the conversion of all of those people that kind of create the magic on what I would call on our best social media accounts and our best social media case histories.
Adam Brown: That's a great segue to the two questions that we ask all of our guests here at the Social Pros podcast, including Dooley Tombras, who's the EVP of The Tombras Group in Knoxville. First question we ask everybody, Dooley, is what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro?
Dooley Tombras: I think the one tip would be go follow every blog that you can, go to every meme site, go to every aggregator site, listen to every podcast that you can, and don't shut it off at 5:00. You've got to be a naturally inquisitive person that loves doing it and wants to do it on their personal time, after 5:00, and wants to keep reading and keep listening and keep absorbing everything.
Because if you're not that passionate about it, you're probably not gonna love doing it if you get the job. And you need to be that passionate about it because social is sort of a 24/7 thing, and it's like drinking from a fire hose, and it moves fast. And so that would be my one big tip.
Jay Baer: I love it. What I always say to people, both face-to-face and onstage, is that if you don't love social media, you probably suck at social media.
Dooley Tombras: (laughs) That's right. I think that's fair.
Jay Baer: Last question for you is if you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be and why?
Dooley Tombras: Oh gosh. Yeah, I'm gonna need to think about that one for a second. Gimme one second on that one. Any living person. Probably Warren Buffett, and I would want him to give me a glimpse into the crystal ball into where he thinks the economy is going. The Oracle of Omaha doesn't miss very often, and I'd love to hear where he thinks the hockey puck is gonna be in 2019 and 2020.
Jay Baer: We could probably get him on the show. We'll work on that. I'm from Nebraska originally. I'm sure I know somebody who has to know somebody. We can figure that out.
Dooley Tombras: I would appreciate that. That'd be awesome.
Jay Baer: All right, we'll let you know. We'll bring you back on. Dooley, thanks so much for taking the time to be on Social Pros. We really appreciate it. Congratulations on all of the great work. Not just right now as the agency really gets into AI and Amazon and big data and everything else, but of course your success over now 70-plus years, which is absolutely remarkable. Congratulations, of course, to you, but also your dad and your granddad for starting one of the truly great independent American agencies. So thanks so much for your time, and congratulations.
Dooley Tombras: Really appreciate it. It was an honor to talk to you guys today.
Jay Baer: We'll do it again sometime. We'll check back in with you and see what kind of crazy stuff you ... When you start doing telepathy or whatever your next adventure is-
Dooley Tombras: That'd be great.
Jay Baer: ... we'll have you back on to check in that.
Dooley Tombras: I'll definitely be up for that.
Jay Baer: All right, right on. Dooley, thanks so much. On behalf of Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, I am Jay Baer from Convince and [inaudible 00:37:48]. We'll be back next week with another fantastic guest here on hopefully your favorite podcast. This is Social Pros. Don't forget - every single episode, more than 300 of these shows, is available at socialpros.com. Complete recordings, transcripts, the whole deal. Go there and check it out. We'll talk to you next week. Thanks so much.
 
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