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posted by Alexandra Frazier Jul 31,2014 @ 03:30AM

the [cross]road ahead

Is this worth it? I could do hot yoga. I could go to a normal gym. I hear Piloxing is a thing. My ponytail is a mess. Good lord, even my hair follicles are sore. Maybe it's time for something different.

I hit the floor for yet another burpee during today's WOD (for the uninitiated: workout of the day). If I were to stretch my arms wide and wiggle, I'm fairly certain that I could create a shadow angel out of my own sweat. I push up, halfheartedly clap my hands above my head, repeat, repeat, repeat … I'm tired, and I just want to get this done.

It wasn't always this way. I fell in love with CrossFit fast and hard, the way I imagine all cultists do when they find their raison d'être. I've never developed runner's high (I find little joy in forcefully separating my shinbones from their tendons), but I regularly experience the CrossFit delirium. An intoxicating cocktail of Olympic weightlifting, high intensity interval training, and metabolic conditioning, CrossFit demands a lot of its devotees. That said, it's also a hell of a lot of fun. With its climbing ropes and rows of colorful medicine balls stacked like candy buttons, my box is essentially a jungle gym for big kids.

But what happens to the little girl who, after one too many falls from the monkey bars, becomes disenchanted with the jungle?


In answering this question of disenchantment, I find myself comparing the personal and professional, one not-quite-new-anymore experience to another. I joined CrossFit nine months ago; I began work at Riggs Partners shortly thereafter. Although the challenges are different—writing perfectly crisp copy is hardly equivalent to a series of hanging squat cleans—postgraduate life and gym-goer ennui make interesting bedfellows.

My first few months at Riggs were nothing short of wonderful, albeit occasionally overwhelming. Every week, I grappled with a distinctive new challenge, a new learning opportunity, a new means of stretching my creative abilities. By contrast, the last few days have blurred together, one round of client edits into the next conference call into the next staring contest with a blinking cursor on a white page. I've begun wondering if I've finally settled into a certain rhythm and familiarity with the work, or if I've just settled. The writing comes more easily now than it did in January. But is it better? Have I embraced my most recent projects with the same intensity and curiosity that characterized my approach to earlier assignments? Has getting it done taken precedent over doing it well? Is comfortable synonymous with complacent? I don't know, exactly.

What I do know is that some projects, much like some workouts, are more challenging than others. I know that sophomore slumps are real. And I know that meaningful self-evaluation is a necessary exercise in jumping this most recent hurdle. Perhaps the way to achieve something different is to forge our own gauntlet, to challenge ourselves to meet a higher standard. Perhaps we're complacent only when we stop asking questions.

Disenchantment, then, is a misnomer: in freeing ourselves from the illusion of the new and exciting, we reach a place of greater honesty and a better vantage point from which to view the playground. We're a little smarter, a little more experienced, and our eyes are open to the magic in the everyday.

So, here's to disenchantment. And magical storytelling. And sweat angels. Here's to the projects that are worth it.

posted by Cathy Monetti Jul 30,2014 @ 11:31AM

How One Brand Ignited A Spanish Revolution

I have just returned from a life list vacation. Four days in Barcelona, four days in Madrid, four days in Valencia. I was overwhelmed with the immersion in history a trip like that provides; it's simply impossible to wrap your head around tour-guide comments like during the Roman Empire and in the 8th century, after the Moor conquest. And yet history was there, in crumbling city walls and decaying columns and guarding gargoyles of every attitude and style. It was there—not a homework paragraph in a World History book, but carved in stones you could reach out and touch, rubbing your hands along the ancient surfaces.


intheoldcity one of a thousand streets in the ancient city of Barcelona


There is this aged history you see and feel and know in all three of the cities we visited. What I found surprising—and, quite frankly jarring—is the contrast between this history and a distinctly 20th century art form wildly prolific there.




Graffiti. Graffiti is everywhere. Graffiti is so profuse in these cities and along the rails as you travel by train it overwhelms the senses and seems to somehow leave Spain's remarkable beauty in shadow.


When I first arrived in Barcelona, I made my way through the city thinking: Obviously the Spanish embrace graffiti as art. What a great example of the wonderful, easy-going European attitude! But it didn't take long until a growing irritation began to color my thoughts.

How on earth did they let it go this far?





Here's what I have learned.

  • In Spain, graffiti is illegal and considered vandalism.
  • The graffiti movement is a counter-cultural revolution that began in the first years of Spain's transition from a dictatorship to a democracy during the early 80s. According to Skate and Urban Street Culture Barcelona, "Young people began to write their names everywhere, on walls in the street, in the metro, wherever. The materials they used were from a view of nowadays rather rudimentary. Among them were 'Edding' felt-tips, shoe polishes and paint sprays. Also they made their own utensils, adapting for example pens with a wider tip using gasoline burners to create this effect or they prepared the nozzles of the sprays to achieve a wider marking style. During this time it was more common to steal the equipment from big warehouses, car shops or stationers. Today there are still some artists remaining that practice this kind of style."
  • "The art form changed" in 1994 when a new type of paint spray can was developed specifically for graffiti writers and introduced by a company called Montana Colors.

According to the Montana Colors website:

In the early '90s, graffiti was considered, by all of the American and European spray paint companies, to merely be an act of vandalism. It was of no interest to any of the companies, because it wasn't yet considered to be profitable. At that time, the discovery of this passionate cultural revolution was what propelled the founders of Montana Colors to lay the groundwork for the creation of the first spray paint made especially for graffiti and, in that way, fill that hole in the market.

Today, Montana Colors is a major brand. Again from the website:

All brands have a path and a record in history, as well as an appellation of origin which guarantees its authenticity. Ours began 18 years ago in Barcelona, at a time when, after the launch of our first spray product, the word spread across Europe, and writers and artists from France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy began to arrive to fill their car trunks with Montana and bring it back to their countries. From that moment up until now, the Montana Colors brand has expanded to a presence in more than 30 countries in the world and to 15 official points of sale: Montana Shop & Gallery, in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Montpellier, Brussels, Amsterdam, Nottingham, Lisbon, Montreal, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and San Paulo.

The root of the proliferation of graffiti in these ancient Spanish cities comes down to two things: (1) personal statements of rebellion and independence following a dictatorship, and (2) the introduction of a product that "filled a hole in the market."

And if that's not a statement about the cultural power of branding, I don't know what is.

posted by Apprentices Jul 29,2014 @ 11:54AM

The Inman Experience

I recently spent a week in San Francisco learning about all things digital, marketing, and technology (with some real estate thrown in).

The Inbound Team is all about innovation and staying up to date with all things digital. When this opportunity presented itself, I booked the first flight out of Columbia.

This turned out to be one of the best learning experiences I could have had, and I was invited to share that experience with Riggs.

Below, you too can see what I learned in my time in the great city of San Francisco. Enjoy :)

posted by Apprentices Jul 24,2014 @ 12:42PM

"Weird Al" Wins the Internet

Weird Al Yankovic just got his first number one album. It’s his best performing album since he started making records in 1983. You may not have noticed, but it’s been a while since Huey Lewis or Cindy Lauper topped the charts, and when they did, they weren’t beating out Justin Bieber and Jason Mraz for the top spot. So how does a semi-obscure 80s accordion player end up at the top of the Billboard 200 in 2014? By figuring out viral media marketing, that’s how.

The fact that this man understands how the internet works shouldn't surprise you. The fact that this man understands how the internet works shouldn't surprise you.

The world has changed a lot since the 80s, and Weird Al has adapted. More importantly, he realized what didn’t change. Where teens were once on MTV, they now watch YouTube, and the same love for his parodies still exists. His audience didn’t change, but the most effective way of reaching them did. As Al puts it, “MTV is not music television anymore, the internet is essentially the new MTV and the Internet consumes things very quickly." He figured the best way to raise awareness was to release a new video every day of release week. In a landslide of hype and engagement, Al released eight music videos in eight days, and by doing something that had never done before, he found media attention that only fueled the viral frenzy he started.

Of course, his content had to be worth watching and sharing, and whether it was intentional or not, his album is full of diverse, relatable content. There’s everything from a Crosby, Stills & Nash parody about corporate jargon, to an Iggy Azalea tune about home improvement. Whether your favorite tune is being lampooned, or the subject matter hits close to home, almost anybody has a reason to tag and share.

It isn’t rocket science — by understanding how to reach his audience, and delivering a relevant product, an artist was successful. What makes this newsworthy is who did it. It wasn’t Jay-Z or Kanye that dropped a new chart-topping album, it was the author of My Bologna and White and Nerdy. He was able to rocket past other artists simply by posting his videos online strategically. That’s the power of social media in full force. Weird Al Yankovic, of all people, managed to dominate the internet and the music industry in eight days. In releasing a string of viral videos for his album, he did something that had never been done and it paid off in attention and album sales.

Don't act like you didn't see one of his videos, which one was your favorite?

posted by Apprentices Jul 23,2014 @ 08:01AM

Calls are the New Clicks: Seven Secrets to Beating Competitors

MarketingProfs recently held a webinar called Calls are the New Clicks: Seven Secrets to Beating Competitors.

This informative webinar had so many interesting take aways, that we thought we would share.

  • More smartphones means more mobile searches
  • These will pass desktop searches by 2015
  • Tapping on a click-to-call link is easier and faster than filling out a web form on a smartphone
  • Google says 70% of mobile searches have clicked “call button”
  • 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call
  • Clicks are easy to track and manage

Secret #1: Track the Source of Inbound Calls

Track calls back to the exact source that originated them- and through to revenue; works for any marketing source.

Knowing what keywords, PPC ads, and landing page variations lead to calls and sales improves bidding and ROI

Secret #2: Assess your expected traffic for most appropriate segmentation

Evaluate what kind of traffic you are bringing in and by what means

Secret #3: Measure revenue from PPC not just conversions

Not all calls are high-quality sales leads

Optimize campaigns on sales, not clicks

Measure ROI by revenue generated, not raw lead totals

Secret #4: Segment your data to identify key insights about performance

Secret #5: Analyze Clicks and Calls Together in Universal Analytics

You can add mobile analytic data to Google Analytics

Secret #6: Messaging to Improve Call Response

Ad Copy = The gateway to your customers

As you continue with your tests, whether testing your creative or your landing page, segmenting your call traffic allows you to make a fuller comparison of actual call performance.

Secret #7: Marketers Should Control How Calls From Search Are Routed

What are you doing to make the phone ring?


posted by Apprentices Jul 17,2014 @ 10:44AM

Bélo, Bélo


The past week or so has seen Riggs Partners' Inbound Marketing division do more globetrotting than these guys. It seems only fitting that popular home-renting service Airbnb decided to roll out their new brand platform today, with a focus that shows a Airbnb hosting as your home away from home. The service never had a particularly stunning unique brand identity (their previous logo was straight forward and bland, but worked well for a company that was in a hurry to get their service off the ground). Not anymore. Enter: The Bélo.

In the few times that I've mentioned Airbnb to friends, some have rejected the idea of staying in another's home. The Bélo looks to change that - showing users that wherever they see this logo is now home. According to Fast Company, Airbnb is looking to expand into new products and services (including a new key-exchange service, ride sharing, or even a banner outside restaurants to let guests know they're Airbnb-friendly) and the Bélo looks to capitalize on that idea of sharing, community, and home.

Time will tell if the Bélo will become the 'universal symbol of sharing' the company wants it to become, but it's certainly an inspired step in the right direction.

posted by Michael Powelson Jul 15,2014 @ 06:24AM

Spirit of the Lowcountry In New Spots

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.43.00 AM


Went in search of some Lowcountry soul and met great folks with unique perspectives on patient care at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Hope to have done both justice with these new spots.


Suzanne Larson from Michael Powelson on Vimeo.


Mike McCarty from Michael Powelson on Vimeo.


Jo Anne Tudor from Michael Powelson on Vimeo.


Special thanks to director Joanne Hock and GreyHawk Films, our partners in crime on this rewarding project.



posted by Keely Saye Jul 11,2014 @ 05:41AM

Inbound Marketing Goes International: Part Two


Fri, Jul 11 2014 13:38:47

St. Petersburg #RussiaSocial

Keely Saye takes on Russia from St. Petersburg to teach even more about social media.

  1. "Don't make me think. Give me one thing to do and I may do it." @maryvale #RussiaSocial
  2. Мы говорим об этике. О влиянии социальных медиа на события.
    Мы говорим об этике. О влиянии социальных медиа на события.
  3. Lots of interest in web analytics at St. Petersburg workship, with in-depth presentations by Mary Nahorniak and Keely Saye. #RussiaSocial
  4. Презентации @maryvale на русском и английском по теме #RussiaSocial вы можете найти здесь:
  5. Второй день ценных знаний. Мэри Нахормиак – smm редактор газеты USA Today рассказывает об особенностях продвижения в социальных сетях
    Второй день ценных знаний. Мэри Нахормиак – smm редактор газеты USA Today рассказывает об особенностях продвижения в социальных сетях
  6. @USATODAY produces more than 500 pieces of content a day. Some are good for #socialmedia but some aren't. via @maryvale #RussiaSocial
  7. Я люблю справедливых Русских синими глазами !!! #TeamRussia #RussiaSocial #Russia #RussianBoys
  8. Говорим о #RussiaSocial с Keely Saye на мастер-классе по SMM в межвузовском бизнес-инкубаторе QD.  #смм #smm #сммбезкотиков
    Говорим о #RussiaSocial с Keely Saye на мастер-классе по SMM в межвузовском бизнес-инкубаторе QD.
    #смм #smm #сммбезкотиков
  9. Just learned about Magisto, another online video editing program similar to Animoto. It rocks! #RussiaSocial
  10. @USEmbRu: RT @KeelySaye: презентация по медиамаркетингу в соц.сетях для бизнеса - смотрите онлайн: #RussiaSocial
  11. Pretty much everyone in the room in St. Petersburg has both Facebook and VK accounts, a quarter or so Twitter and LinkedIn. #RussiaSocial
  12. Знание своей аудитории - необходимое условие нового маркетинга в социальных медиа @KeelySaye #RussiaSocial
    Знание своей аудитории - необходимое условие нового маркетинга в социальных медиа @KeelySaye #RussiaSocial
  13. Last day of #RussiaSocial workshop, last day in St. Petersburg, last day in Russia.
  14. Изучаем аналитику активности в соц.медиа. @Rcovington4 @KeelySaye и @maryvale дают мастер-класс #RussiaSocial в #СПб
    Изучаем аналитику активности в соц.медиа. @Rcovington4 @KeelySaye и @maryvale дают мастер-класс #RussiaSocial в #СПб
  15. [SLIDESHARE] Социальные медиа Маркетинг для бизнеса - #RussiaSocial
  16. Great Russian examples of social media marketing dos and don'ts from participants in St. Petersburg workshop. #RussiaSocial
  17. Полезные советы от @maryvale о лучших способах создать интересный контент для читателей соц.сетей #RussiaSocial #СПб
    Полезные советы от @maryvale о лучших способах создать интересный контент для читателей соц.сетей #RussiaSocial #СПб
  18. #KeelySaye on posting frequency of interest to Russians in St. Petersburg seminar. #RussiaSocial
  19. Выбор платформы важен так же, как и содержание - советы успеха в соц. сетях от @maryvale и @USATODAY #RussiaSocial
    Выбор платформы важен так же, как и содержание - советы успеха в соц. сетях от @maryvale и @USATODAY #RussiaSocial
  20. "A story with emotional impact will always do well on social media." ~ @maryvale #RussiaSocial


posted by Apprentices Jul 09,2014 @ 08:18AM

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

The Inbound Marketing Department is taking flight.

We have been posting all about Keely's fabulous trip to Russia, and now I have some news of my own to share.

I am off to San Francisco! Just last night, I won a ticket to the 2014 Real Estate Connect San Francisco Conference next week.

This conference is mainly for Realtors, but will be a great insight for a marketer, like myself, as well. I am extremely excited to listen to the likes of speakers from Hubspot and Basecamp.

I won this ticket, thanks to my dad, the real estate agent. I am excited to come home and not only share my experience with my peers but also my family.

Feel free to follow my adventures on twitter.

@MaryCateDuffy #ICSF

posted by Keely Saye Jul 08,2014 @ 09:26AM

Inbound Goes International

#RussiaSocialTwitter is buzzing with all of the great things Keely Saye is doing in Moscow.


Our Inbound Marketing Director, Keely Saye, takes on the country of Russia to teach them about social media for business.

  1. Enjoyed interpreting at the MSU Social Media Workshop so much, now carpe donut! #russiasocial
    Enjoyed interpreting at the MSU Social Media Workshop so much, now carpe donut! #russiasocial
  2. Wrapping up the final day of #russiasocial training at Moscow State U. with @KeelySaye and @Rcovington4. Tomorrow: On to St. Petersburg!
  3. "A social marketing campaign is only as good as its incentive," says @KeelySaye at Moscow workshop. #RussiaSocial
  4. "Russia is ready to explode" in its use of social media: Mary Nahorniak, social media editor of USA Today. #russiasocial
  5. [SLIDESHARE] The Business Approach to Social Media presented at Moscow State University --> #RussiaSocial
  6. U.S. and Russian experts teaching a workshop om social media today at Moscow State Univ. #russiasocial
    U.S. and Russian experts teaching a workshop om social media today at Moscow State Univ. #russiasocial
  7. Introductions by Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Journalism School at Moscow State University #RussiaSocial
    Introductions by Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Journalism School at Moscow State University #RussiaSocial
  8. Introductions by Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Journalism School at Moscow State University #RussiaSocial
    Introductions by Elena Vartanova, Dean of the Journalism School at Moscow State University #RussiaSocial
  9. We are currently working on a social media campaign for next year's Nashestvie festival! #russiasocial
    We are currently working on a social media campaign for next year's Nashestvie festival! #russiasocial
  10. .@KeelySaye mocked a Twitter ad to find out how many Russians on Twitter like soccer: 256,000 #russiasocial
    .@KeelySaye mocked a Twitter ad to find out how many Russians on Twitter like soccer: 256,000 #russiasocial
  11. Follow #russiasocial for insights from @RiggsPartners' own @KeelySaye who is presenting on social media for business at Moscow State Univ.
  12. [SLIDESHARE] The Business Approach to Social Media (Translated in Russian) #RussiaSocial
  13. Day 2 at Moscow State. Looking forward to seeing Russian examples of social media use. #russiasocial
  14. @maryvale @USATODAY Thank goodness brands don't have to post quite as much as media outlets! Whew :-) #RussiaSocial
  15. In depth presentation on social media techniques from Keely Saye, sharing US best practices with Russian participants. #russiasocial
  16. Just learned about @FamousNiki, the most popular Russian kitteh. Now we're getting somewhere. #commongroundincats #russiasocial
  17. Facebook referrals bring more traffic to @USATODAY website than Google search. via @maryvale #russiasocial
  18. Social media referrals account for 8-10% of @USATODAY website traffic. #russiasocial via @maryvale
  19. I'm in heaven. Listening to @maryvale talk about @USATODAY's social media content strategy. #russiasocial
    I'm in heaven. Listening to @maryvale talk about @USATODAY's social media content strategy. #russiasocial
  20. Graduation ceremony w/ @Rcovington4 and Moscow State University Dean of Journalism. #russiasocial
    Graduation ceremony w/ @Rcovington4 and Moscow State University Dean of Journalism. #russiasocial


posted by Kevin Smith Jul 03,2014 @ 06:50AM

CreateAThon Helps Launch Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise is capitalism for a cause, and a growing business model.

Client Profile

Epworth Children's Home offers congregate care to children ages four to 18 who are victims of abuse or neglect. Funding sources include the SC Department of Social Services and the Methodist church. Seeing funding diminish over time, Epworth Children's Home formed Friends of Epworth as a 501 C-3 focused on fundraising.

As part of its strategic plan, Friends of Epworth realized that traditional nonprofit fundraising tactics such as events were not going to be able to substantively contribute to Epworth's mission. As a result, the Friends of Epworth sought to begin a social enterprise.


Founded as an orphanage in 1895, Epworth once operated a dairy. It has been serving peanut butter ice cream to students and alumni in its dinning hall since the Great Depression, thus ice cream was a natural endeavor for the social enterprise. The Friends of Epworth envisioned Epworth Ice Cream on supermarket shelves with 100 percent of profits benefiting Epworth Children’s Home.

What we did for them during CreateAThon

We developed a brand strategy, logo, package design, sales sheet, online strategy, website wireframe and marketing plan.

Potential Impact

Our hope is to grow the enterprise to $100,000 in annual profits over three years, and ultimately, raise $2MM per year through national sales.


Others contributing pro bono services to this endeavor include law firms, Nelson Mullins and Adams and Reese, The University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business and truematter interactive consultancy.


Epworth_copy2Epworth_copy Epworth_mockup

posted by Kelly Davis Jul 02,2014 @ 08:00AM

A Smashing Success: PR Case Study

For the past year and a half, several of us at Riggs Partners have immersed ourselves in the “better burger” fast casual segment of the restaurant industry. Through our work with two separate franchise owners, we’ve helped to open the first three South Carolina locations of Smashburger, one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the nation. Smashburger’s corporate office in Denver places a strong emphasis on public relations with limited paid advertising supplementing the marketing effort.

Smashburger grand openings follow a formula established by their corporate marketing team. This tried and true plan has guided the company through more than 240 store openings in the US and several international markets. Our grand openings include four private events before the public opening: a “Friends and Family” preview event for the franchisees’ closest friends, associates and vendors; a media event for the “ceremonial first smash” with a local celebrity; a VIP event for local dignitaries; and an “Eat and Tweet” for local food bloggers and online influencers.

For each store opening, Smashburger’s franchise owners have partnered with a local charitable organization in their respective markets. In Columbia, the partner is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia. In Charleston, the partner is the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children’s Hospital Fund. Our clients don’t just want to write a check; they want to have a long-term, ongoing relationship with these organizations that make a meaningful impact on the lives of children. For each of the first store openings in the Columbia and Charleston markets, the respective franchise owners agreed to donate $1 per Smashburger or Smashchicken sandwich sold during their grand opening month to their charitable partner, with a minimum commitment of $5,000.

One traditional component of a Smashburger grand opening is the “celebrity smasher.” For both Columbia and Charleston, the charitable angle opened the door to a wonderful tie-in for the celebrity smashers. In Columbia, we invited two pairs of “Bigs” and “Littles” with Big Brothers Big Sisters to be our smashers. A Big Brother/Little Brother pair and a Big Sister/Little Sister pair served as our smashers, which was the first time that children had served as celebrity smashers at any Smashburger. In Charleston, we invited a 13 year-old girl with a very rare disease who has been treated at MUSC throughout her life. She smashed burgers alongside the Mayor of Summerville, who just so happened to have worked as a short order cook one summer as a teenager. It was fun to see them in the kitchen smashing the store’s first official burgers together.


Hayden, age 13, smashes the Summerville store's first burger. Hayden, age 13, smashes the Summerville store's first burger as her mother Cindy looks on.

Each of the grand openings has been a “smashing” success with terrific media coverage and a smoothly executed series of events that brought hundreds of guests through each store during their preview events. The two Columbia stores combined have raised more than $10,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, while the Summerville store raised $8,147 for MUSC Children’s Hospital as a result of the overwhelming sales in its first month.


"Bigs" and "Littles" from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia teamed up to smash the Irmo store's first official burgers. "Bigs" and "Littles" from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia teamed up to smash the Irmo store's first official burgers.

Some of the lessons we’ve learned during these retail grand openings include:

  • Practice makes perfect. Have a “dress rehearsal” to iron out the kinks beforehand.
  • Get local. Find a charitable partner or some other community tie-in.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Packing hundreds of guests into the restaurant may build curiosity from the outside, but we’d prefer that guests enjoy a leisurely paced meal and an overall great experience.
  • Make it fun. Be sure that guests aren’t just treated to free food, but also enjoy a festive atmosphere. We’ve hired balloon artists, ordered fun promotional items and given out coupons for repeat visits.
  • Build ambassadors. By pulling back the curtain into the store’s menu and operations, we’ve secured a great deal of goodwill for the restaurant and its owners.
  • Evaluate. Always take time to do a “post mortem” meeting during which you discuss what worked, what didn’t and how you can improve next time.

While Riggs Partners has developed a strong reputation through the years for our work in the nonprofit sector, we find just as much reward when we work with business owners who have a deeper sense of purpose – something that motivates them to develop and deliver upon a mission that may or may not be obvious to their customers. The next time you bite into that burger or slurp that shake, keep in mind that you just might be helping someone in need.

posted by Keely Saye Jul 01,2014 @ 05:39AM

CASE STUDY: SC Farm Bureau Insurance Social Media Program

Client: Farm Bureau Insurance of South Carolina


In 2013, South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance faced the daunting challenge of establishing a social media presence online. The program needed to increase social media reach, be sustainable and manageable by internal staff, and build engagement over time. Results had to measurable, so analytics needed to be tracked and processed regularly for executive review. We took the bull by the horns and increased Facebook reach by over 146,000% and overall social media reach by more than 84,000%.


Buyer Personas - Before any execution of work could begin, a discovery session was scheduled to allow in-depth exploration of the psychographic profiles and consumer behaviors of the target audience. Typically, it is during this process that audience segmentation begins to uncover pain points and hints at how a product or service might alleviate them. Most often, areas of interest that intersect with those pains and potential solutions are also illuminated.

Content Categories – The results of buyer persona research provided insights into the four main topics that the social media content strategy should focus on.

  • Safe driving
  • Home improvement
  • Agricultural education
  • College sports

Keyword Research – To confirm our assumptions on the content strategy, basic keyword research was performed to identify specific topic areas around the content categories and monthly Google search volume associated with them.


  • Channel Development – The top six social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube and Google+ were opened and optimized with custom branded graphics and keyword rich descriptions.
  • Content Resource Development – Trusted content resources and online influencers associated with the four content categories were followed in every network. At Riggs, we call this “getting down with OPC" (Other People’s Content).
  • Microblog Scheduling – Once the foundation of the content strategy was in place, the news feeds were full of interesting and relevant material. Facebook posts, tweets, Linkedin messages and Google+ posts were then scheduled days in advance and dripped into the news feeds through the social media management system, Hootsuite. Pinterest and Youtube were used primarily to find multi-media content to share in the other networks.
  • Live Engagement – It is important that news feeds not become over-automated with scheduled posts. Therefore, live engagement practices were adopted daily. The social media team used Facebook as a page daily to like, comment and share content from other content resources and online influencers. In Twitter, tweets were retweeted and favorited regularly.
  • Social Media Marketing Campaign – See CASE STUDY: Down and Dirty for details related to the Dueling Dirt campaign.



  • While starting at zero, the Facebook page converted 1,520 new followers.
  • 2,200 Facebook users liked, commented or shared content on the client’s page.
  • 216,000 Facebook accounts were reached.
  • 430,000 impressions were earned.
  • 6,800 clicks were recorded.


  • 170 new Twitter followers were converted.
  • Up to 35,000 impressions were earned in one month at the peak of the campaign.
  • Limited social media metrics are available for ongoing measurement in Twitter.


  • 316 new company page followers were converted.
  • 15,000 impressions were earned.

All case study results were recorded from July through October 2013.

posted by Keely Saye Jul 01,2014 @ 05:33AM

CASE STUDY: Dueling Dirt Social Media Campaign

Client: Farm Bureau Insurance of South Carolina


In 2013, South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance developed a social media program to grow online reach and engagement for the brand. At the time, the company had very little social media presence with virtually zero followers in any network. We created a multimedia campaign to help SC Farm Bureau Insurance return to its roots and develop a groundswell of social engagement.

Dueling Dirt


South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance has a wide target audience making it challenging to segment the audience for online promotions. The company wanted to return to its roots and focus on its agricultural heritage, so a strategy was developed to narrow the target audience based on educational programming related to agriculture. During a time when consumers were suffering from “contest fatigue,” the campaign strategy needed to break through the clutter of typical contests or sweepstakes. Dueling Dirt became a competition targeting South Carolina schools during the submission period and then parents, families and friends of the students during the voting. The classroom with the most votes won $500 toward a community garden project.

Dueling Dirt Landing Tab


Campaign graphics and contest rules were installed to the SC Farm Bureau Insurance Facebook page complete with a cover image, app icon and landing tab. Graphics were repurposed in an Animoto video which can be watched on YouTube at All campaign materials were promoted in each social media network, and promoted posts ran in Facebook and Twitter. Emails were sent to school districts during the voting period to encourage submissions, and follow-up emails were sent to all participants during the voting period to encourage competition and, as a result, sharing.

dueling dirt voting period


The greatest growth in Facebook corresponded with the submission and voting periods totaling 393 new page likes in August and 791 in September. Engagement spiked in Facebook during campaign months with the voting period in September setting record highs in the following areas:

    • Talking About This – 1,171
    • Clicks – 3,300
    • Impressions – 176,316
Dueling Dirt Results
All case study results were recorded from June through October 2013.





By the numbers

youtube is 2nd largest search engine