Branding, Marketing, Advertising, Social Media & PR

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Branding, Marketing, Advertising, Social Media & PR

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Hey there, this is Matt Skallerud from Pink Media and the #ILoveGay Network, and today I'm diving into how your company's branding, marketing, advertising, social media, and PR can seamlessly merge into one powerhouse strategy.


Let's kick things off by rewinding to the roots of mass advertising. Remember Mad Men? That show paints a vivid picture of the beginnings, where print and television dominated the advertising scene. As we fast forward through the decades, we witness the emergence of cable TV and a proliferation of niche magazines, which paved the way for advertisers to connect with smaller, specialized communities, including the LGBTQ+ audience, through publications such as Out Magazine and The Advocate. In addition, regional print in the form of local LGBTQ+ newspapers also began around this time.

Then, along came the internet in the 90s, democratizing media creation with websites catering to every conceivable niche. Fast forward to today, where a single individual armed with a smartphone and social media can wield the influence of a media conglomerate. In this landscape, everyone—from influencers to media to brands to everyday users—is generating content, blurring the lines between creator and consumer.

In this environment, everyone is now on a more level playing field, each with their own set of followers and engaged friends, family, professional contacts, collaborators, followers and more. What's important here is that if you're a media or marketing firm, your advertisers and clients are going direct to their audiences more now than ever before. They've been going direct for years with their own websites, but with the advent of social media, they are able to communicate their message to their ever-growing list of followers on the various social media platforms they are active on today. They are also becoming more and more proficient in the use of content creation, including video, as both marketing and advertising assets when promoting themselves to their various audiences online.


In this age of social media, where every user is a potential media entity, it's crucial to understand how each platform operates and how to leverage them effectively. Let's focus on the concept of discovery—where users stumble upon content serendipitously—rather than actively seeking it out.


Now, let's dissect some key social media platforms. Facebook stands as the juggernaut, integrating various content formats like photos, videos, and reels. It's a hub where both personal and business interactions thrive, albeit with differing performance metrics. We see a two-pronged marketing strategy split in the marketplace today... vertical content in the form of these stories, reels & TikToks, and horizontal content in the form of Facebook, LinkedIn, Threads and X posts,

Our focus here will be on the horizontal content strategy, which can use written content, photos & videos AND links to landing pages for a user to follow up and learn more.

Keep in mind that these two strategies, although evolving on separate paths, do have cross-over in that vertical content can also be used in a horizontal content strategy and horizontal content can also be used in a vertical content strategy, but again, our focus will not cover the intricacies of stories, reels & TikTok videos.

Facebook is the one social media platform most folks understand best, and at a 5,000 max, 2-way engaged set of connections (meaning both parties have to agree to be connected), Facebook has become both a benchmark and a great training ground for where to go from here. In general, Facebook is great when it comes to personal post performance, and not so great for business post performance. But that is changing, and we'll talk more about that in a bit.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, amplifies networking capabilities with its extensive reach and potential for posts to go "mini-viral." LinkedIn is like Facebook on steroids, with a 30,000 max, 2-way engaged set of connections AND the ability to easily reach 2nd degree "friends of friends" connections. This is huge, as this allows you to reach beyond your roster of followers to reach folks that have a higher predisposition for wanting to learn more about you and your products and services as well. It's what allows a LinkedIn post to go "mini-viral".

And note, what does engaged mean in this context? It means you are showing interest in others, including your followers, liking, commenting and sharing some of their content that resonates with you. It's the key to turning any social media marketing strategy into a true powerhouse... it's the magic, the glue and the secret ingredient that makes this entire strategy work whereby you are putting in a small amount of marketing labor each day in exchange for organic, free marketing.

Instagram, with its visually-driven interface, appeals to many but often requires paid boosts to reach beyond immediate followers. You can only follow 7,500 people, but to really perform organically (aka for free) you need more than 7,500 folks to follow you back. Thus, the rise of Instagram influencers and the heavy focus on their follower count. It's a very "linear", 1-way relationship... the more followers you have, the more impressions and eyeballs your posts receive, along with the requisite likes. But it's hard to reach outside of your set of followers with your posts, unless you pay Instagram. Now Instagram is slowly changing this here, just like Facebook, so that your posts CAN reach outside of your network, but it's a very small percentage at this moment in time.

Meanwhile, Twitter/X is like both Instagram and LinkedIn, allowing for either a 1-way, linear posting strategy or a 2-way, engaged posting strategy. And Twitter/X allows you to reach those 2nd degree contacts... those "friends of friends." Overall, these 1-way posts only work well for larger, more established media companies, brands, celebrities, etc. who are speaking TO their large follower count, while these 2-way posts with tagged profiles and an engaged following can work like LinkedIn and personal profiles on Facebook, and can even perform like LinkedIn on steroids when managed right, where you're speaking WITH your audience, reaching your followers AND some of their followers, friends & connections. And by the way, Twitter/X has an unlimited capacity for followers. No caps.

Now going back to Facebook, they've adopted a bit of this Twitter/X engagement strategy into their business profiles as well. You can change your persona to your business profile and engage with your audience as if your Facebook business page. Personally, we find this only mildly effective while a bit too labor intensive for our taste, in comparison to what we get out of LinkedIn and Twitter/X when following this same strategy.

Groups, whether on Facebook or LinkedIn, serve as potent amplifiers, connecting users across degrees of separation. Imagine a virtual business networking event where engaging conversations replace intrusive pitches—this is the essence of an effective social media strategy.


What's the best way to visualize this strategy? Imagine being at a business networking event, and someone just jumps up on a table and yells, hey everyone, look at me... I'm a realtor and I'd like to sell you your next home, and then the next guys jumps up and says "I'm a web designer, but I just saw something Pete Buttigieg just said and I want you all to hear it from me". That's what so many folks are doing today with their social media strategy.

The right way to do this is to look at your strategy as a more human-centric tactic, where you're chatting with folks one-on-one and in a small group, educating and influencing these folks the way people have always communicated, but now with the power of these amazing high-tech social media tools taking our conversations to scale, and to that next level, reaching not just a few but many, while still keeping the message focused to a targeted group that would tend to have more interest in what you have to say.


Now, how does this tie into your overarching branding, marketing, advertising, social media, and PR strategy?

Marketing manifests through your social media presence, encompassing everything from blog posts to user-generated content. Your branding is the sum of your interactions—likes, comments, shares—projecting your identity to the digital world. These engagements not only define your brand but also foster connections with influencers and like-minded individuals within your target demographic. In this human-centric approach, some of the profiles you're engaged with will now start paying more attention to you and reciprocate in-kind with likes, comments and shares. This is the key to being more relevant in the various social media feeds, where your post impressions and engagement will go up, your follower count will go up and your video views or click-throughs to your website will go up.

Dos and DON’Ts:

It is our advice that when building your brand in this way, think twice about interjecting your political or religious beliefs and opinions into this mix. And be cautious about engaging too much with adult posts. Save all of this activity for your alt profiles. Otherwise, everyone can see it and it becomes part of your brand.

Once you have your marketing & branding via social media working as a smooth, well-oiled machine, you can throw some advertising dollars towards some of those more important posts and videos, targeting your specific audience demographic along the way. Simply put, more relevant individuals, including some of your own followers, will more likely see your posts and engage with you as well, at a minimum of cost and at a highly efficient use of advertising funds.

In essence, advertising complements this overall ecosystem, amplifying key messages to a broader, yet targeted audience. However, without a solid foundation of organic engagement, paid promotions risk falling on deaf ears.


This is where LGBTQ+ media and marketing firms like ours come in, leveraging our expertise and extensive networks to elevate your message further. Through a holistic approach encompassing media, social media/PR, and advertising, we ensure your brand resonates authentically with your target audience. while providing marketing reach 24/7, 365 days per year. We're a social-first LGBTQ+ media company with our #ILoveGay network reaching almost 2 million followers across 200+ profiles, and growing. And we're an LGBTQ+ marketing company, helping companies reach their targeted audience via social media, video, mobile apps, email campaigns, banner ads and more. We lie between the worlds of media, social media/PR and advertising.


In essence, it's about cultivating genuine connections in a digital landscape inundated with noise. By dedicating even a fraction of your day to these activities, you can exponentially increase your reach, engagement, and ultimately, your bottom line. It's not just about spending ad dollars—it's about investing in meaningful interactions that drive lasting impact and business growth.

Learn more about our Entry Level programs to get started!

Are you interested in being a part of these LGBTQ+ conversations? We work with any budgets (starting at $500)... call us at (323) 963-3653 or contact us here to get started.

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