Story Meets Strategy at The Social Firm

Digital marketing agency The Social Firm focuses on the single most important question any business should be able to answer – why? Why are you pursuing this business? Why your target audience? Why choose The Social Firm as an agency, and they choose you as a client?

With a knack and passion for technology, a lot of trial and error, and a keen sense for how the internet was changing marketing, self-taught firm Founder Matt Erney got in on the ground floor of digital marketing.

Designing websites since the early 2000s, as search engines gained popularity in 2005-2006, Erney noticed the potential for businesses to cash in on search engine optimization and search engine marketing. In 2008 he was approached by a design studio that was interested in tapping into digital marketing. After spending two years growing the business’ digital team into the most profitable arm of the company, he decided it was time to do his own thing.

“I saw an opportunity to shift more energy into the area of social and wanted to do things differently, so I began planning The Social Firm,” Erney says.SocialFirmLogo

At first The Social Firm focused on search, social and reputation management, but, “We knew all along that web was important so we tied these strategies into website re-design and development,” Erney says.   

He says to think about all that comes up in a Google search. There’s paid advertising, organic search rankings, information from a searcher’s social channels, and reviews and ratings.

“We knew that our approach would cover all of these areas,” Erney says. 

Under the umbrella of strategic branding and marketing, The Social Firm offers a host of services. Pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization are key components of their search marketing strategies. Social media marketing covers tactics like paid social media ads, community management and helping businesses acquire and engage followers.

The Social Firm’s reputation management services help a business stay abreast to their web presence by monitoring and managing online chatter. An easy-to-use website created through The Social Firm’s web design and development services makes a strong first impression on a client’s customers. Video and graphic design services can add another level of cohesion.

The full-service agency likes to work with their clients across disciplines since each piece is so intertwined.

“A typical client for us is a company that’s headquartered in Central Ohio,” Erney says. “We like to have that close interaction with our customers.” 

They’re after more of that medium-sized company that has a dedicated marketing person that’s not the owner. Locally, they’ve worked with the likes of Salon Lofts, Eco Plumbers, Short North Pint House and Forno.

Their goal is to help their clients tell their story – their “why.” The Social Firm’s motto is even “Where story meets strategy,” because in a crowded marketplace where many businesses are offering similar products or services, “You’re going to pick the one you relate to the most,” Erney says. 

Since 2010, The Social Firm has grown from a single-man operation with one client to a team of nine with many clients. And Erney initially grew the firm in what seems to be the old-fashioned way now – by hiring his interns. He tapped into talent at OSU for the first round of hires, and since establishing a core team, has been able to get more specific at hiring people that are really good at what they do.

The firm has spent the last few year refining procedures and processes, working towards their stride. In an ever and rapidly changing industry like social media, “We have to continually learn and manage our workflow,” Erney says. 

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