Turner Simkins wanted a way to help local businesses market in new ways. Simkins joined up with Jeremy Mace to found NewFire Media two years ago.
Simkins has a background in real estate development and other business ventures. Mace was freelancing and had his own design business when Simkins approached him.
“It started out of Turner’s desire to help some of the businesses advertise on social media,” said Mace, the co-founder and co-owner of NewFire Media with Simkins. “Instead of traditional marketing, he wanted to try social media. We talked and I gave him some ideas and proposed how we should do it.”
They primarily work with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare and Pinterest. The key to success in using social media is being able to integrate those platforms with the company’s Web site and content strategy, Mace said.
“You don’t just want a Facebook page to have a Facebook page,” he said. “You don’t just want to try to sell stuff on Facebook. If you want to interact with people in the business, you’ve got to clearly communicate with people what they want on Facebook, which is interaction. They want to be asked questions, they want to see photos, they want to be able to comment. But if all you’re saying is, ‘Hey we have this for sale,’ people don’t want that.”
While NewFire Media began as a way to serve small- and medium-sized local businesses, it has since seen an expansion in its client base to include large, national businesses.
“The small, local-size businesses have the same challenges that the big, national businesses have,” Mace said. “Everybody is trying to figure out social media and what they should be doing. We don’t have a cookie cutter system for everybody.”
When working with a company, Simkins and Mace find out the resources that business has, come up with a plan based on how many people the business will have working on social media and look at the business model to figure out what type of communication is going to work for the business.
They also spend time teaching businesses how to use the different social media platforms and each platform’s best uses, Mace said.
“Education is a massive component of what we do,” he said. “We train people on how to add content to their Web sites, how to communicate on Facebook, how to control their privacy settings, teach people how to post content, how to take a quick video and post it on YouTube.”
It is also important for Simkins and Mace to keep educating themselves to better help businesses.
“We also have to stay current and up on the newest things and changes,” Mace said. “Social media is one of those things that will change every five minutes, so you have to stay current on the changes and know how it’s going to affect your clients.”
In addition to social media marketing, NewFire Media also provides services including Web and graphic design, Internet banner ads and help with Web page searches.
The banner ads, known as display advertising, are one of their big services, and they specialize in remarketing, Mace said.
Although the business is still young, the last couple of years have been exciting, he said.
“It’s fun and things are going well,” he said. “I think that a lot of people are interested in doing advertising and marketing but don’t want to do it in the traditional places. They want to do it online. It’s a constantly changing landscape, and we’re looking forward to continuing to change and helping our clients change with it.”