An Interview with Social Coasting LLC Founder Natasha West & Marketing Consultant Laura Shanks

Lansing Mosaic caught up with Natasha West, Founder and Marketing Consultant of Social Coasting LLC and Laura Shanks, Marketing Consultant and Photographer of Social Coasting LLC. These two striving women entrepreneurs are on the move helping businesses & organizations grow their social media platform here in Lansing, Michigan.

Headshot - Natasha West.jpg

Courtesy Photo: Natasha West, Founder of Social Coasting LLC

LM: Tell us about Social Coasting.

SC: Social Coasting is a remote social media agency headquartered in Lansing, Michigan. As a remote social media agency, we get a lot of questions on how we
work as a 100% remote business. Luckily for us, most of our work can be done online. We’re able to help our clients with their social media strategy and policy,
development, social media management, customer engagement, graphic and web design, and live event coverage. As remote consultants, we provide quality
work without the associated costs of having in-house employees, such as office space, computers, software, and company benefits.

LM: How long has Social Coasting, LLC been in business and what are your clients like? 

SC: Social Coasting has been around since 2015. We’re still a new agency, but as a company we bring with us six years of experience, specifically in social media. Before moving to Lansing, Natasha worked in Washington, DC for a few years, which helped her build an amazing network. Our clients include behavioral health nonprofits, political candidates and higher education organizations.

Headshot - Laura

Courtesy Photo: Laura Shanks, Marketing Consultant and Photographer

LM: What types of services are offered by Social Coasting, LLC?

SC: Our services are categorized into seven different sections:
– Social Media
– Consultations
– Graphic Design
– Web Design
– Photography & Events
– Email Marketing
– Projects & Campaigns
We’re always adding new services, but our main focus is social media strategy,
development, and management. It takes someone who is experienced,
organized, determined, and data-focused to carry out a successful marketing
plan. At Social Coasting, we advise clients on what platforms to use, what type of
content to post on each platform, how to measure success online, and what
future steps to take to keep seeing consistent growth. We can also provide
weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual reports to show common trends
and highlight the success of the business.

LM: What makes Social Coasting unique?

SC: Our most unique feature is being a remote agency. As we mentioned above, our
clients receive quality work without the associated costs of having in-house
employees. Remote consultants are new(er) to the industry, which can make
some companies uneasy and that’s understandable.
The truth is, being remote allows us to work more flexible schedules, making us
readily available to our clients. Communication is a vital component for any
company, which is why one of the first things we do is establish an open line of
contact to address our client’s needs and encourage constant feedback. As
remote consultants, we have joined voice and video calls, attended conferences
where we live-tweeted and streamed the event, and sent detailed reports so clients can see their online growth. Not being in-house can be an odd transition,
but our clients have found that we blend in with their work culture seamlessly
while also saving them money in the long-run.

Logo Stacked - Social Coasting

LM: Where do you get your inspiration from being an entrepreneur?

SC: As cheesy as it may sound, we get most of our inspiration from our clients. We
have been lucky enough to work with clients whose mission is to help those
around them. Inspiration can be hard to find when you’re working behind a
computer all day, especially if you’re trying to develop new creative material.
Not everyone is lucky enough to find inspiration from the people they work with,
so we are grateful to have these kinds of opportunities.

LM: What are some of the most common fears that prevent individuals and businesses from fully embracing social technologies?

SC:  Social media is incredibly time-consuming and many companies view it as just
another thing to do on an already overloaded plate. Ultimately, social media
gives businesses the ability to directly connect and interact with potential
customers. Roughly 70% of all Americans use social media to connect with one
another, engage with news content, share information, and entertain
themselves. The more integrated and engaged our clients are with social media,
the more they will benefit as a result. Social media allows businesses to gather
relevant customer data and use that information to make smarter business

LM: In terms of building a loyal network, just how important is it to build loyalty? And what are some ways to do so?

SC: Our reputation is what can make or break us. If our clients aren’t happy, we
might as well not be in business. Meeting and working with people is why we
started our business in the first place. With our clients, we have in-depth calls to
determine what their expectations are from us and vice versa. We want to make
sure our clients have no reason to worry. Through constant communication, we
strive to keep our clients updated and happy every step of the way.

LM: Do you think businesses today are missing out if they’re not nurturing relationships on all the major social platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Google+?

SC: Absolutely. Engagement, especially now with Facebook’s new algorithm change,
is incredibly important for brands. Many companies may not realize that social
media isn’t just for pushing content out, it’s also a great customer management tool. Consumers are expecting brands to respond quickly and with personalized
messages. If you ignore their concerns, there is the chance you will lose them as
a customer.

LM: What are some of your favorite/preferred social media platforms?

SC: Our personal favorites are Twitter and Instagram. This really depends on your
goals and target demographic, though. We personally enjoy Twitter for the
Twitter chats and how quickly you can engage with people in your industry.

LM: What are some highly recommended social media summits/conferences/seminars you’ve attended? 

SC:  One of the more interesting conferences we have been to is National Council for
Behavioral Health’s NatCon conference. Every year, National Council chooses
five Social Media Ambassadors to attend and live tweet their NatCon
conference. The ambassadors give their audience an insider’s view of roughly 20
tracks, including: Population Health, Marketing and Branding, Clinical Practice
and Peers and Recovery. The Social Media Ambassador program is a great way to
integrate social media and help extend the reach of information beyond the
walls of the conference center.

LM: What advice would you give to a company that is just starting to get into social media?

SC: Don’t be intimidated! We would be more than happy to help get you started,
even if you’re wanting to keep your social media in-house. Reach out for a
consultation and we’ll help steer you in the right direction. We’re always happy
to connect with businesses around Lansing.

LM: When not working on Social Coasting LLC what do you like to do in Lansing, MI?

Natasha: When it’s warmer out, I like to kayak on the Grand River and take my
dog for walks on the Lansing River Trail. I come from a place where we couldn’t
casually bike places because there were too many hills, so I have recently gotten
into riding my bike from Lansing to East Lansing and back. Since I spend most of
my days in front of the computer, I make it a priority to get outside as much as
possible. I’m always looking for new things to do around town, so feel free to
reach out if you have any recommendations!

Laura: Lansing has quickly grown close to my heart! A few of my favorite things
to do are attend the festivals/fairs going on most weekends, taking walks along the river, and trying all of the new restaurants in Lansing! I’ve also made it a mission to try as many Michigan-made beers as possible!

Social Coasting LLC

Company Phone Number:   (616) 841-5644

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