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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2021

Jami Eidsvold, Founder and CEO of Smarty Social Media: ‘Our charge is to use the power of social media to reach and educate people, connect them to our clients’ products and services and ignite them to action’

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“Our firm belief is that the only way to create social campaigns that drive customers into action is to test, learn, optimize, and repeat.”

Smarty Social Media is a California-based, award-winning social media marketing agency specializing in healthcare marketing and social media training programs. Since its inception in 2013, the company is helping organizations of all shapes and sizes leverage social media to drive consumer and customer demand.

Jami Eidsvold: Interview Excerpt

Delineate about your services in brief.

Smarty Social is a social-first healthcare marketing agency. We pride ourselves on finding solutions that drive growth and disruption for our clients. We are inspired by innovations in the healthcare and wellness space that can improve and even save lives. Our charge is to use the power of social media to reach and educate people wherever they are in their journey, connect them to our client’s products and services, and ignite them to action.

We’re a full-service social media marketing agency, and our core services include social media branding and strategy, social advertising campaigns, influencer marketing, content creation, and community management, along with our proprietary Smarty Social Academy training program. Our clients range from well-established healthcare companies to medical device start-ups looking to disrupt their space. Our team has a long history and expertise in managing social media marketing within these highly-regulated industries.

The main driver of Smarty’s success has come from the growth of direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing among the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Our company has thrived by doing the hard work with clients and their legal and regulatory departments to build trust and collaboration that allows progressive social programming despite heavily regulated environments. Today, one of our core capabilities is successfully implementing social programming for companies in regulated spaces, and we have become a trusted partner in exploring and advocating for innovative campaigns.

Q. How do you maintain the balance of exclusivity and attainability of goals for the brands through your social media marketing strategies?

Smarty Social is known for creating smart social solutions for our clients. While we have a “traditional” list of marketing services, we have developed a proprietary approach that allows us to custom tailor each recommendation based on each client’s unique business challenge and needs. No client gets a cookie-cutter plan or one-size-fits-all strategy – we strive to craft up custom solutions that drive our clients’ business objectives.

We initiate each client engagement with a social media audit and extensive research. Our approach is always data-driven and focused on client-specific KPIs. We use our extensive industry knowledge, exhaustive performance data, and customer insights across clients to inform our approach and strategy.

Q. A well-strategized marketing strategy will help the company build trust with consumers, potential clients, and customers. How do you create a roadmap/campaign that will meet the clients’ demand?

Our proprietary approach is what I like to call a fluid formula that we customize based on each client challenge. We always start with understanding our client’s unique business challenges and goals. We begin every assignment by asking ourselves two fundamental questions:

  1. What are the ultimate business goals we are trying to achieve?
  2. How will success toward that goal be measured at each stage of their unique buyer journey or funnel?

Once we fully understand the business objectives, we get curious. We roll up our sleeves and do the work to research, mine the data, analyze the competition, and spend time understanding their target audience(s) needs and desires.

We think big (and scale as appropriate), identify the right social channels, develop thumb-stopping creative, and couple that with a strategic distribution and amplification strategy that puts the right content, in front of the right people, at the right time. Then we work closely with our clients and their agency partners to bring it all to life. Our firm belief is that the only way to create social campaigns that drive customers into action is to test, learn, optimize, and repeat.

Q. Tell us about your content development. What are the factors that will contribute to the engagement level?

There is an art and a science to content development.

We always start first with the science of our craft, looking at the performance data of previous content or campaigns to drive a strategic brief before we get our creative juices flowing. On social, the creativity will differ depending on the goal we are trying to achieve, so it’s important to start with our client’s goals and reference relevant data points. For example, if we are designing campaigns to drive conversion (i.e., find a doctor or buy now), the creative will look very different from an organic post designed to drive engagement (i.e., watch this video). Understanding the end goal will make for a better, more informed brief for our creative team.

Then there’s the art. Our producers write a brief for each piece of content, using the goals and insights to inform the strategy and guide design. We also have a deep understanding of best practices, which can be unique by platform and vary by type of content and objective. For example, if we want someone to watch an in-feed video, our creative team knows that the first six seconds of the video are the most important for brand awareness and to “stop the scroll.”

Once we’re in-market, the art and science work together even more closely. We constantly evaluate our creative once its in-market—performance data, social community comments, and feedback is monitored by our social CX team and shared with producers creating a constant feedback loop that drives creative iteration and refresh. The constant feedback loop between art and science and ongoing real-time optimizations are the keys to success on social platforms and part of Smarty’s secret sauce.

Q. How do you market your services?

The vast majority of our business is referral-based, which is something we are very proud of. We go above and beyond to do what is right for our clients, and the trust and respect that come out of that relationship leads to most of our new business opportunities that come with a glowing referral of trust. We also use our own social channels to promote our work and have won numerous industry awards to validate our experience.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

While not entirely new per se, we are constantly improving and expanding our Social Academy program. The Smarty Social Academy is a customized social training program for small businesses, franchises, executives, and healthcare providers. We are continually adding to our roster of customized social media training programs. We now offer social strategy development, online training programs, live training events and workshops, 1:1 coaching sessions, and content development packages to kick start social media marketing for underserved businesses by the cumbersome big agency model.

Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?

With most of our clients operating in the healthcare space, we have seen a strong bounce back from the heights of the pandemic. Many of our clients have lifesaving and life-changing products that play a big role in returning to a new normal. Whether that be helping people understand the potential impacts of delayed treatment and testing to having economic confidence to invest in self-care and aesthetic products, we see strong indicators of investment and consumer interest and action moving in a positive direction. And navigating new changes in data management and tracking post-Apple ios14 updates are the things that both challenge us and fuel creativity and new solutions.

The Visionary Leader

Jami Eidsvold, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Smarty Social Media, has strategically navigated the waters in the ever-changing social media landscape. Her passion for social media led her away from traditional PR to explore what she saw as the future — influencer and social media marketing. She has been honored with several accolades over the years, including being featured as a two-time finalist in the ‘Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business Awards,’ a ‘DM News 40 Under 40’ recipient, and growing Smarty Social to get listed in the prestigious ‘Inc 5000’ list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies in 2020 driven by a three-year agency revenue growth of 56.5 percent.

Additionally, Ms. Eidsvold is an Advisory Board Member for Health4TheWorld, a non-profit dedicated to filling the gap in unmet health needs worldwide. She has been invited to speak at two American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) Annual Sessions, eight Align Technology Ortho & GP Summits, and the inaugural Women in Ortho conference, speaking on the topic ‘social media marketing for medical practitioners.’

“One of our core capabilities is successfully implementing social programming for healthcare companies in regulated spaces, and we have become a trusted partner in exploring and advocating for innovative social campaigns.”