Verde’s Laura Friedland Creates Authentic Connections via Social Media
As part of our reporting on the Social Media Marketing World Conference (SMMW18) in San Diego, we’ve been interviewing fellow attendees to discuss their social media programs and learn from each other. We spoke with Laura Friedland, Account Manager for Verde Brand Communications in Boulder, Colorado, and talked about her social media strategies for outdoor markets and how her company promotes brands and seeks to forge authentic relationships with their audience.
Tell us about your background and what you do in social media for your company.
Laura: I started my career as a snow reporter in Vermont – you know, the person who heads to the ski resort at the crack of dawn, evaluates the snowpack and spreads the word on conditions to skiers and snowboarders across the web. From there, I gravitated towards photography and sharing the story of the Sugarbush Resort through our social channels, which then became my full-time job.
I’ve since moved to bigger mountains and work as an account manager for Verde Brand Communications in Boulder, Colorado. I’m in charge of strategizing and building digital content for brands in the outdoor markets.
Laura: I went to SMMW18 because I’ve been religiously following their podcast for a few years now, and I had to see Michael Stelzner IRL! I knew this would be the spot to get the latest on the ever-changing world of social.
I was most excited to hear about the changes in the Facebook algorithm. From this stemmed an emphasis on authenticity – from creating authentic connections between your community members, to reaching your audience authentically through influencers. Social media marketers should never lose sight of this key component – relationships first, business second.
What did you learn at SMMW18 that you can now apply to your company’s challenges (or opportunities)?
Laura: I attended a great panel at the conference hosted by experts in Instagram community growth including Brian Peters of Buffer and the founders of Athletic Propulsion Labs. The importance of consistency, both in post frequency and image style, really shined through. Your followers should see a photo and know right away that it’s your brand (both in the feed and on your page).
On top of this, I took away Instagram story strategy that I am already testing. Stories are set to overtake regular posts in the newsfeed so this venue is hugely important for my brands to be present on. These two tactics will help us improve our community growth, engagement and searchability on the platform.
What’s an example of a social media program or activity that worked well for your company, and share why you think it worked so well.
Laura: When folks are shopping for new (especially technical) gear, YouTube is often the preferred venue for research — to see the product from unboxing, all the way to field testing.
We’ve found success in working with YouTube reviewers (similar to how we work with journalists) to try out our newest gear and share it with their followers. Now we’ve got a really great base of placements from trusted gear experts that all live on the second biggest search engine out there. It’s worked well because reviewers provide potential customers with an honest and visual representation of the products.
Laura: Chatbots! Apparently, you can build one in 45 minutes so I have no excuse now.
Laura: Don’t be afraid to go live! I’ve hopped on camera and always encourage my clients to do it too. I think a lot of folks are afraid of saying the wrong thing or messing up, but that’s the beauty of it! Our audiences love the off-the-cuff feel and it’s been a blast for us to run both internally and with influencers. Plus, you’ve got to adapt to the new Facebook algorithm, somehow!
Laura: Favorite activity when not plugging away on social? Mountain biking and backcountry skiing!
You may also be interested in our other Social Media Marketing World blog posts and attendee interviews:
- From Us to You: Nuggets of Social Media Conference Gold
- Tips on How to Create Great Videos with a Smartphone (SMMW17)
- Tips on How to Create Shareable Social Media Images
- Part 2: Editing Videos on Your Smartphone (SMMW17)
- Prep or Regret! Using Data to Prepare for a PR Crisis (SMMW17)
- How DocuSign uses Smart B2B Social Media Tactics to Build Brand Awareness
- How HCS Manages their Social Media Program for Multiple Brands–Part One
- HCS’s Successful Social Media Campaign for Social Change – Part Two
- Amplifying Success via Social Media–SMMW17 Interview
- Using Live Videos for Storytelling on Social Media