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“Learn About Your Audience Through Two-Way Conversations on Social Media” with Jacqueline Ball and Candice Georgiadis

In the old days advertising was a one-way street. A company would pay big bucks for a print or TV ad and hope for the best. Today, through direct messaging on Instagram, you can have a two-way conversation with your customer and ask them direct questions related to your product. This interaction can increase conversion […]


In the old days advertising was a one-way street. A company would pay big bucks for a print or TV ad and hope for the best. Today, through direct messaging on Instagram, you can have a two-way conversation with your customer and ask them direct questions related to your product. This interaction can increase conversion rate and learnings on a more personal level. For example, I knew of a woman who opened an online boutique, and instead of purchasing inventory to sell, she would ask her customers what they were more likely to purchase with side by side visuals. Her audience would tell her and she would purchase the highest-rated inventory. It took the guessing out of the game.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqueline Ball, the lead creative director and digital strategist at Sozoe Creative since 2015. Her passion for helping brands elevate their visual impact with a design-focused marketing approach dovetails into the industry coverage she provides. In addition, Jacqueline specializes in creating a synergistic relationship between design and the digital marketing space.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure! In 2015, I was a marketing consultant for a large franchise company based in Florida. During that time, I worked with a few other independent contractors on a brand development project. Once the project wrapped, we realized how much we had enjoyed working together and decided to form our own company, Sozoe Creative. It’s been over three years, and we all love working together just as much as when we met. A dream team can exist!

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

As digital strategist and creative director at Sozoe Creative, a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in design optimization, I have extensive experience managing the paid advertising side of Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Our company not only works with large e-commerce retailers using Instagram to generate online sales, but we also work with local brick and mortar stores on the regional and national level to help local businesses drive foot traffic to their location. For one of our clients, The Dapper Doughnut, we actually trained the franchise owners on how to drive sales, foot traffic and convert email subscribers for their email marketing lists through Instagram and Facebook. We provide presentations, hands-on training and paid ad support.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

At Sozoe Creative, we’ve been blessed with all of the clients we work with, but the most interesting story is related to building The Dapper Doughnut brand. We were given the task to shape and mold this brand to be cutting edge, both aesthetically and digitally. Being a part of the foundation and watching the Dapper Doughnut grow rapidly into a national brand have been the most interesting and rewarding experiences since our inception.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It’s definitely funny to look back to see how far you have come, because in the moment you can be red in the face from a silly mistake. One of my early mistakes as a business owner was thinking I could do something I could not. I felt confident I could handle designing a web layout for a new client before hiring a graphic designer. The mockup presentation ended up being a train wreck, as my Photoshop skills were just not cutting it. I couldn’t get inspiration, the work looked disconnected, and the client was confused with my direction. Overall, it was a weak presentation, and I learned hard and fast to hire and trust people with stronger skills than you in particular areas. Once I gave up control of areas that I really couldn’t thrive in, it changed the game for us. I became a better leader and had more time to service the areas I was actually good at!

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience? Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

Instagram can dramatically improve businesses for the following reasons.

  1. It Pays to Play

If you’re looking to dramatically improve business, then Instagram paid ads is an incredible opportunity to quickly expand your reach. You can get specific with targeting, messaging, creative testing and more to figure out how the Instagram audience can serve your sales goals. We have an e-commerce client who consistently averages a 6:1 ROAS (return on ad spend) for this platform. Instagram paid advertising is run through the Facebook Business Manager Platform, giving you all the Facebook ad perks on a much more intimate platform.

2. Promote Events

Instagram is a great way to promote in-store and online events. The Instagram audience is so engaged because the screen is not muddled with countless other banner ads. The focus is on the organic post or sponsored ad only, and this can be leveraged to direct people to an event you to promote.

One of our clients is The Dapper Doughnut, a national franchise selling hot mini doughnuts. Our agency runs the franchise’s Facebook and Instagram ads to help them promote their local in-store events. Our owners have seen success at their grand openings due to the organic posting and audience-building in the weeks leading up to an event.

3. Drive In-Store Traffic

If you are a local business, then Instagram is your platform! It’s critical for local businesses to have a presence on Instagram. This is where kids, millennials and moms are hanging out. When we train a local business on the best posting strategies, we feel a daily story in the story feed along with a daily or frequent news feed post is the most beneficial. This is a big communication tool because it gives businesses an opportunity to share product launches, store hours, specific sale information and more. Our client, Fort Worth Running Co., is a local running shoe store that specializes in a custom fit process. Its Instagram activity is a big channel for it to recap store events and drive repeat business into its shop.

4. Launch a Product Live — Shoppable Tags

With the new shoppable tags on Instagram, brands can enable a direct link to purchase their product right on the platform itself. This positions the user closer to the goal conversion. This shoppable feed is the future of all social media visuals since people can be in a buying mode when scrolling through these feeds. JumpSport Fitness uses social influencers to post content involving their fitness trampoline products. When JumpSport Fitness reposts this content, they add shoppable tags which redirects users to the site to make a purchase. This functionality is big for Instagram since they used to only have links from their paid ads or in the profile bios.

5. Learn About Your Audience Through Two-Way Conversations

In the old days advertising was a one-way street. A company would pay big bucks for a print or TV ad and hope for the best. Today, through direct messaging on Instagram, you can have a two-way conversation with your customer and ask them direct questions related to your product. This interaction can increase conversion rate and learnings on a more personal level. For example, I knew of a woman who opened an online boutique, and instead of purchasing inventory to sell, she would ask her customers what they were more likely to purchase with side by side visuals. Her audience would tell her and she would purchase the highest-rated inventory. It took the guessing out of the game.

6. Build A Loyal Community Through Omni Channel Marketing

You can build a loyal following on a channel like Instagram and then leverage this following on other channels like Facebook, Pinterest, email marketing and the Google Display Network. This ‘warm’ audience can be the initial prospecting touch point and expand into other networks with simple retargeting tracking.

One of our clients focuses heavily on engaging an audience on Instagram, and then saves that audience for remarketing purposes. We can then tailor the engagement parameters to be the past 60 days so we only carry over the individuals with the most recent interaction.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Entrepreneurship for kids. This may sound odd, but I truly feel our school system doesn’t support the idea of being a business owner one day. I would love to be involved in a program that teaches children about business skills and implements entrepreneurial ideas at a young age. Children see the world in such a unique and creative light, it would be fantastic to inspire young kids to think big and create for themselves.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

Mark Cuban, because he is a triple threat: cut throat, kind and confident. His balanced approach to business and self-evaluation has molded him into one of the top leaders in the business world. What I love about him is his mutual respect for a business owner of any size. If you have ever watched him on Shark Tank, he is authoritative with his vetting process, but when letting someone down, he empowers the contestants with constructive criticism. This level of compassion and humility is sometimes hard to find amongst the uber-successful.

I’d also love the opportunity to sit down with Joanna and Chip Gaines. They are in the midst of their rise to fame, and their business approach seems organic and methodical. I would be curious to know what their biggest learning lesson has been and how their core staff supported them along this ride.

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