In the world of digital marketing, social media has become one of the most influential and important virtual spaces a business can utilize. By posting on a variety of social platforms, you can reach a large number of people within seconds — if done right.
That’s where our social media marketing team comes in. The Influence Agency’s social media department is made up of eight marketers who have the creativity and platform know-how to take our clients to all new heights. Working in a wide range of industries, they have their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends online to connect with our clients’ audiences.
In this blog, Tanya Cruz, our Director of Communications, highlights the work that our social media marketing team executes for our clients. Let’s see them shine!
Our team manages the social media profiles of clients across different industries including cannabis, hospitality, medical aesthetics, entertainment, and more!
For us, social media management encompasses social content creation, content planning, scheduling and execution, community management, and the integration of organic growth strategies. We use social media as a means to not only help our clients sell their products/services but more importantly, to tell that brand’s story and cultivate thoughtful online communities through educational and entertaining content.
In addition to social media, our team also manages our newsletter marketing services for our clients. Whether they’re solely community-based or e-commerce focused, we specialize in sending out visually appealing and conversion-focused newsletters.
Working in the cannabis space has been both a cool, yet frustrating experience — haha! There’s a lot of red tape surrounding how cannabis brands can leverage social media, and because of the varying degrees of legalization across North America, social platforms (Instagram and Facebook in particular) have taken a more conservative stance on it and don’t allow cannabis brands to promote themselves the same way they allow other brands. It’s very frustrating for the entire industry as it’s quite common for brands to be taken down or reported on for violating community guidelines. In fact, many social agencies have opted not to service the cannabis community because of these barriers — but we’re up for a challenge!
Thanks to the diligence of our team and industry research, our accounts have been able to grow steadily on social media, but it hasn’t come without its daily learnings. Working in this space has forced us to not only rely on organic strategies, but has also encouraged us to think outside the box when it comes to brand promotion while staying within the narrow lanes of community guidelines.
The interesting thing here is that as the industry evolves and cannabis continues to get legalized around the world, naturally platform guidelines and rules will have to evolve with that. So in many ways, The Influence Agency is one of the early adopters in this space which is really neat!
We’ve worked on the Napoleon account for over two years and it’s been really awesome to see how much they’ve grown. The BBQ community is a tight-knit one and the Napoleon audience in particular is super engaged with anything we do on social, which makes this such a fun account to work on. You see the pay-off or response to your work almost immediately because they’re so invested.
When it comes to the work we do on that account, it’s an ideal scenario because we do so much for Napoleon — photo, video, influencer marketing, content writing, etc… so from a social media perspective, we have SO MUCH content at our disposal fueling the Napoleon story, which helps support the growth of the account and increases community engagement significantly.
Napoleon is also such a great showcase of so many of our services working together in one holistic campaign, so this is something I’m not only proud of for the social department, but everyone else that plays a role in it as well.
They’re newer to the client roster but they’ve also been a lot of fun to work with!
As a brand, Staples plays such a huge role in people’s back-to-school experience (growing up and today), and they’re also a huge advocate for cultivating a thoughtful work and learning community — it’s been a lot of fun so far illustrating some of those stories on social media. They’re the type of brand that has so much happening all the time, a lot of which consumers don’t even know about, and being able to take all that and come up with a concise social media and communication strategy so their online presence is thoughtful, intentional, and not a dumping ground of everything they’re doing has been a challenge but a rewarding one.
That combined with some of the incredible graphics and animations that our design department puts together and in just the short amount of time we’ve been on the account, we’ve seen some great growth. And we’re just getting started!
We started as a team of three and now are a team of eight with two overseas staff. The majority of that growth happened throughout the pandemic, which is crazy to think about because when I started, the social media department didn’t really exist! Everyone who made up the department at the time had hybrid roles. For example, I also did content writing on the side, while others did photography or paid media. It wasn’t until late 2019 that people’s roles started to see real definition. The direction that people went in was based on their personal interests and where they personally saw their careers going. Once that was established, we had a defined department and started to grow it in the summer of 2020.
Another big change in our department is some of the platforms we focus on. When we first started, our primary focus was Facebook, Instagram and Twitter only because those were the primary platforms of interest to our clients. But today, that’s also expanded to Linkedin, TikTok and Pinterest. Plus with the constant platform changes, there’s a lot to keep up with but endless opportunities for brands to grow on social media now
The design department (affectionately called the Project Management Office in-house) and the team on Creative Media play a huge part in making our social feeds look good, but they’re both relatively new when it comes to their role in social media management. When I first started, a lot of social media creative was made through Canva. And while that’s still the case, we’re working with PMO a lot more closely these days to create completely unique templates, designs, and animations for our clients so their feeds really stand out. As for Creative Media, their GIFs and AR face filter services really help level up our clients’ social engagement game. And don’t get me started on the branded content we produce — it’s the definition of thumb-stopping content!
All this to say, with the exception of photography and video, the social department used to operate in a bit of a silo when I first started in 2019 but now we work incredibly close with PMO and Creative Media to develop and execute the best content for social possible
On a personal note, what’s going to change for us internally in 2022 is the amount of in-person face time we get with each other. It’s wild to think but we’ve mostly interacted with each other virtually. As things start to normalize, we look forward to more departmental in-office workdays and quarterly social hangs where we just get to hang out with each other. We did our first Social-Social (LOL) in December 2021, and it was really nice to hang out with each other. Regardless of our individual work preferences, it reaffirmed just how important it is to have that in-person facetime with each other. We’re looking forward to more of that this year.
Amaara started her career on the brand side, so she brings that unique perspective and understanding of a brand’s needs. She’s also a content creator herself in the food and home cooking space, so she brings a lot of her learnings from her personal channels to the social media team and her clients. And when it comes to creating feed aesthetics or vibes, she’s your gal!
Social media management isn’t just what you see on-feed, it’s what happens behind the scenes too. A lot of social media management revolves around client communication and coordination before content even goes live and Jess is the master of both. Whether clients send curveballs or tons of content her way, she always finds a way to streamline processes to ensure we’re still getting content live and in a timely manner. She also has a knack for infusing some fun and lighthearted content into corporate brand accounts
Angela currently works with a number of clients who work in fast-moving industries. Planning ahead isn’t always their strong suit, but she’s quick on her feet and adaptable to her clients’ needs, especially ones with last-minute changes or short deadlines. She handles those requests with grace and a smile! Angela also works as a content creator on the side, which also informs the great insights she brings to the table with her social clients
Taylor has a sneaky talent for design! She’s produced some of the most visually appealing newsletters and social media creative that we’ve seen. If she can create it on Canva, she can do anything! She’s also quite the natural on being the primary face of our agency’s TikTok, which makes sense. When she first applied for the role, she won us over with a very vibey TikTok she created, that Sam (TIA’s Creative Director) and I still rave about to this day!
Mahi won us over with her fun nature and charisma, something she also infuses into her client work every day. She plays with fun captions and content to help bring her feeds to life. She also brings a wealth of knowledge on TikTok, where she works as a content creator on the side rating some of the best eats in the GTA. She’s our newest to the team, and in such a short amount of time has grown and accomplished a lot. The best is certainly yet to come!
I really admire her resilience and passion for learning. Joanne came to us as an engagement coordinator and then transitioned to social, but what’s unique about that is she didn’t have the same social or marketing background that some of us do. She’s just picked it up along the way or learned it through us and is now juggling a number of accounts like a pro! She’s also leading some of our Pinterest management with come clients, and she’s already had some major wins on that platform
Numbers, numbers, numbers! Ariel is extremely data-driven, which is great because it informs the engagement strategies we integrate and the monthly follower goals we set for ourselves. He’s also a communications chameleon, as he engages across almost all our client accounts — responding to comments and answering DMs, all in the brand’s respective tone. He really puts the social in social. OH! And if there’s anyone who knows Excel hacks, he’s your guy!
Skrrrrp — that’s the sound of a record scratch in case you didn’t know. We’re going to take the mic from Tanya for a second here in order to share some kind words about what she adds to the social media team as TIA’s Director of Communications, brought to you by Tom Yawney, our VP of Business Development!
As a company, The Influence Agency manages over 75 social feeds for a diverse range of businesses in a variety of industries. Developing communication strategies for such a broad group of businesses is no small feat — and marrying the written word with a unified aesthetic approach is even more challenging. As the Director of Communications at The Influence Agency, Tanya Cruz assumes this responsibility with conviction, grace and poise. Tanya has an incredible ability to remain calm and balanced in the face of challenges and adversity — and that is surely a requirement in the world of social media. That balanced demeanour extends throughout her team, and the organization, as we continue to grow and assume greater challenges as a collective group. We are incredibly lucky to have a talent like Tanya on the team!
Thanks, Tom! Now back to you, T-Diddy.
I don’t think there’s one standout moment for me, it’s more an accumulation of milestones, including:
While every individual team member has their own unique superpowers, what I love most about the team is the level of care they put into their work, clients, and — most importantly — each other. They’re all incredibly smart and talented individuals, and they lead with a lot of heart. They’re always willing to help one another and celebrate each other’s wins, big or small. I’m so proud of them and what they’ve accomplished not only for this department but most importantly, themselves as individuals. They’re great teammates but even better individuals and for me, when the quality of your character not only matches the quality of your work but surpasses that, there’s no better feeling. That’s what makes me proudest to be part of this department. It’s a privilege to work with them and I’m excited to see all the things we have yet to accomplish together.5
"At Universal Music, we are frequently tasked with launching new albums and products with little to no notice which can prove challenging for traditional agencies.
The team at the Influence Agency have proven time and time again their ability to be both nimble and efficient at delivering influencer campaigns that are strategically targeted, creative and most importantly impactful with our artists audiences."
"The Influence Agency is phenomenal. They’re incredible outside-the-box thinkers and we’re a great alternative to the traditional marketing efforts taken for the NFP I work for. We worked directly with Stephanie and Tom, both who had a high level understanding of the industry and a completely professional approach to social promotion. Looking forward to working with their team again!"
"As a creator, it was so easy working with The Influence Agency. They've put me forward for a number of awesome campaigns and have given me full creative control to execute them. I can't wait to work with them in the future!"
"The Influence Agency has been a huge part of our success for The Rose Picnic!! We love working with the team and look forward to many more great years together!"
"The Influence Agency is by far one of the best agencies I've worked with in Toronto. They provide so much value to each and every one of their clients, and I've had the pleasure of working with them on many different campaigns. Not only are they professional, but very personable. They are a delight to work with, and I would recommend them to anyone interested in growing their brand or business in an meaningful and creative way."
"Having blogged for 10 years and having worked with a plethora of agencies, The Influence Agency team has been one of the top agencies I've connected with. Their ability to both balance creator relations and interests, while maintaining the priorities of their brands is incredibly impressive. As a creator, the team is always supportive and responsive and truly makes developing branded content seamless! I always look forward to working with them!"