MILO and Me ft. Billy

Hey friends!

Today I want to talk to you about my boss. His name is Billy Strawter, Jr. a.k.a. Boss Bill, the founder of MILO Digital. I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve given him the credit he deserves. Introducing Billy in this blog was daunting to me because his larger than life personality and passion for the industry cannot be accurately expressed in such few words. But I’ll try… 

Watches on watches

I’ve never had a boss like Billy. He’s not just a boss, but a leader. He cares about seeing his employees grow and learn new skills within his company. Even though I am not around as often as my other coworkers, being that I’m also a full-time student, I still feel like an important part of the team. Former president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said that you should, “work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.” I can truly say that Billy has invested in me and my future in the Digital Marketing world at a time when I felt like no one else would. 

To give you a glimpse into the man behind the MILO Digital scenes and how he came to run his own business, I sat down with him and asked the “real” questions. 

 


Q: What made you want to be an entrepreneur? How long did you know you wanted to be one?

A: I think the first story that I remember about me being an entrepreneur was we were at a place called Ponderosa … I remember sitting there as a kid, and I said to my parents, “I wanna eat steak every day when I grow up.” They said, “You know if you want to have steak every day you need to be a lawyer or a doctor or own your own business.”

It was really all about the idea that I asked a lot of questions and I was told frequently that it wasn’t my job. I wanted to figure out how to make it my job. I spent my life trying to find the right business to be in.

Being an entrepreneur comes with failure and trying lots of different things, but I feel like with MILO and advertising, I found my home.

 

Q: What have been some major struggles in creating MILO?

A: I guess the answer is I never wanted to own an agency. I just wanted to do cool stuff. MILO was born out of Social COOP – I wouldn’t have been able to do MILO without what I’ve learned with Social COOP. The hardest part was I went to school for marketing, but I never worked in an agency. What I loved was figuring out how to take traditional things and translate them into digital. Then the people – saying goodbye to people, managing people, and all the different personalities. And sometimes being misunderstood, I think that’s the hardest part.

 

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I try to give people freedom; to make decisions, to fail, but allow them to have a safe place to fail.

The only thing that I ask is that they learn from it and that they own it. That’s so important – not making excuses for why you failed, but finding what that reason is and trying to avoid it the next time around.

 

Q: Who is your biggest role model/inspiration?

A: My dad. In the face of adversity, he decided to start something, to build something. He stuck with it and is still doing it. He’s been firm with me but he’s also been very fair, very loving. My leadership style is servant leadership, and that’s me emulating my dad.

That’s the thing I took away from my dad, it needs to be bigger than me and that we lead by serving.

 

Q: Who or what do you look to for support? 

A: Obviously there’s my family, and then there’s my Leadership Detroit crew. They’ve been really helpful for bouncing ideas. It’s just been an incredible experience working with them. And of course, Jen’s [Billy’s wife] probably heard me complain about more things than anyone. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now had she not gone back to work when I decided to start doing advertising. 

There’s that sacrifice, living with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. 

 I couldn’t even have done it without Savannah [Billy’s daughter]. She’s made a sacrifice of not having her dad around as much as someone that works a 9-5 would be. 

Birthday Buddies

And then Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] is my right hand. 

 

Q: Okay. You have your idea, now what? Is there a specific starting point, or is it different for every business?

A: Just do it. There are all sorts of reasons you can talk yourself out of starting a business, but it would be a shame to silence whatever little voice that told you “you should” and “you could,” because clearly there’s a reason that you’re considering starting something.

 

Q: What is something that many entrepreneurs may not be prepared for?

A: For me, I had to be prepared to lose everything.

You can certainly plan to mitigate some of the risks, but you also have to be prepared for that – It’s a real possibility.

 

Q: If you don’t have a lot of personal funding to start, what do you recommend?

A: Get creative. You may have to work lots of hours, you may have to wear lots of hats. I learned how to do what I could do, and anything I couldn’t do, I’d find someone in my similar position that could assist.

 

Q: Have you ever had a rough patch or feeling of doubt? If so, what did you do to keep going and be successful?

A: I just have to quote Yoda, “There is no try, only do.” There’s no other option. When I wake up in the morning, there’s no one telling me I need to get up at 5:30 in the morning. There’s no one saying I need to be here until 8 or 9 p.m. or 1 a.m., it comes from inside. It’s just a drive that I’ve always had and wished that I could give that to people, but you have to find that drive internally.

 

Q: Where do you see yourself and MILO in 10 years?

A: Ideally I’d love to see MILO in the hands of the people who helped build it and doing big things. I see it being bigger than me and it no longer being about Billy, but being about MILO and the family that we’ve built, just on a bigger scale.

Boss Bill

 

Q: What’s the biggest reward from being an entrepreneur? 

A: Getting to do something that I believe in every day and watching people grow.

Seeing people start somewhere and taking them from being shy or not quite confident in what they do, to watching them blossom into their own person is really incredible. Watching them turn from someone that is maybe an intern, to a leader. And working with the clients because they’re just good people. 

 


I’ve only known Billy for a short while, but he has made a huge impact on my life. He’s taught me so much but one thing Billy has said that stuck with me the most is,

we never fail, we learn.

This is how he looks at life. It’s fearless.

Here is something we should all think about today: have you ever backed away from a challenge in fear of failure? Billy had a long winding journey on his road to success, but it never stopped him from waking up the next day and working harder than ever. He is an inspiration to all those who know him, yet the most humble man I’ve ever met.

-Ashley

5 Sprout Social Tools to Take Advantage of in 2018


If you’re in the business of social media marketing, how do you manage social media marketing tasks?

At MILO, we use Facebook Business Manager and Sprout Social to help us manage our clients social media activity.

Next to Buffer & Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media management platform that can help streamline workflows and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time. We’ve identified five tools that can help you integrate with the platform to maximize its capabilities.  These tools enable users to find content efficiently, review social media analytics in real-time, and connect with the audience all within the same web environment.

Tool #1: Find Content/Content Suggestions

Looking for content quickly? Turn to the Find Content section under the Publishing tab.

Sprout Social recently announced Content Suggestions as a way to find current and engaging content. This tool aggregates shared content from various social channels to help the user find articles from trusted sources, posts from industry blogs and other brand-related media.

The content is aggregated from links shared on Twitter and based on an algorithm created by Sprout’s Data Science team, each article is matched to one of the featured content categories.

Tool #2: Reports

Getting ready to present social media updates to a client? Turn to Sprout Social for automated analytics!

Using the Group Report option, you’ll be able to see all of the analytics for the channels you have connected on the platform. The report gives you the opportunity to analyze your social strategy and compare data to understand what works well for the account. Included in the reports are: Impressions, Engagements, Audience Growth and Link Clicks.

Sprout Social also gives you the opportunity to review each profile in full depth. This is an opportunity to analyze data for individual profiles including audience growth, total engagements, top posts and impressions.

 

                                                 

 

Tool #3: Messages & Smart Inbox

Interact with your audience without leaving Sprout Social by using the Smart Inbox! Located in the Messages tab, Smart Inbox provides users the opportunity to monitor and engage with conversations across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. It also allows users to customize their inbox feed, monitor keywords and hashtags, assign tasks to other team members and keep in touch with viewers.

Tool #4: Discovery

If you are interested in seeing what others are saying about a specific topic, use Sprout Social’s Discovery tool. This tool allows you to find conversations and people to engage with based on keywords relating to your business. You can even narrow the search by adding a location to find a highly geo-targeted audience.

Along with finding new conversations, you can increase your follower count by following accounts. Additionally, clean up your account based on Sprout’s suggestions. Using the Suggestions, you can see the account’s Twitter followers and who to follow back, accounts you’ve held a conversation with and those who have mentioned you at some point.

 

Tool #5: Hashtag Analysis

Studies show that tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without hashtags. Because hashtags can help generate engagement for an account, Sprout Social provides a hashtag analytics tool to help find popular topics and hashtags.

By utilizing the Trends Report, you can see the most commonly used hashtags and topics when the account is mentioned on Twitter. Apply the hashtags listed within the report to help increase your engagement.

Take advantage of the tools on Sprout Social to maximize your efficiency and improve your social outreach skills. Maximize your time and ROI on social media by implementing these time-saving programs.  

Looking for some more in-depth help? We’re happy to consult and/or bring you into the office for a one-on-one session with our in-house expert. Let’s talk!

 

5 Ways to Show Customers Social Media Love All Year

It’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means – it’s all about love today! Throughout the country, brands are making sure their customers are feeling loved in the digital world, but what about all the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day? Are you making sure customers are feeling the love year-round on social media?

If you are unsure how to best show customers love on social media all year long, have no fear – MILO’s Digital Ninjas are here to help with 5 easy ways for your brand to connect!

1. Engage with them. Yes, it’s really that simple! Be there for your customers and brand-faithful. Answer their questions, acknowledge their comments and most importantly, do so in a timely manner. There are many tools available to help monitor your social channels, so no comments, questions or issues go unnoticed.

2. Ramp up your Facebook Live game. Everyone can do FB Live, but not all are producing quality content. This is where you can ramp things up and continue showing customers all the love! When going live, be sure the subject matter is relevant to your audience and that you’re providing value in the session. Watch for questions and answer them as they come in and enjoy showcasing your new products/services!

 

3. Roll out special social media sales. Again, this boils down to making the customer feel special and rewarded for interacting with you on social media. Drive sales and website traffic by offering a social media only deal; e.g “Mention that you saw this on Instagram and receive 25% off your order.” Increase your reach easily by boosting the post to ensure that it will be served to your followers.

 

4. Give your customers shout outs. This should be a no-brainer for your brand! The customers show you love by posting photos, leaving reviews or tagging themselves at your location, so why shouldn’t you return the favor? If you see a photo you like that a customer has shared, by all means, give them a shout out or feature them in an upcoming social media post!

5. Create a Facebook Group. Loyalty is always worth rewarding and by creating a Facebook group for your customers, you’ll be doing just that. Those in your group can get sneak peeks of new products or a first chance to buy them. You can also provide them with special sales and discounts periodically. The main purpose of this group is to keep the conversation going all while showing love to your loyalists

Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at MILO Digital and, of course, the Digital Ninjas!

We hope that you’re able to easily incorporate these 5 suggestions into your brand’s social media strategy! If you’re struggling to implement them or perhaps need some guidance on a solid digital strategy, we’re ready to get down to business for you. Let’s chat!

MILO and Me – Social Media Management

Hey friend, welcome back!

This week I thought I’d go over what my “normal” day at MILO Digital looks like – if there is such a thing!

Social Media Manager

Our company currently resides in the TechTown building in Detroit’s New Center, where all the MILO social, digital and creative magic happens. I’m a part of the social team, with my official title at MILO being “Social Media Manager/CEO/Creative Director/HR Manager.”

Ashley Bio

This may seem like a lot of responsibility for someone who’s only worked here for a few months, but I actually got these titles through my team joking around and putting me in positions that forced me to push myself as a worker and as a person. 

For example, we have creative briefs where a few people look over content that the creative team made. In order to get my opinion on the content first, they started calling me the “Creative Director”. From there the title evolved to include “HR Manager” and then to “CEO”. As you can see, I wear many hats here!

I manage some of our client’s social media accounts and co-manage the MILO page accounts. The social platforms that I handle for these clients include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I am responsible for daily postings, which means as soon as I get into the office each morning, my day is already in full motion.

When to Post

By using an online program, a majority of the posts that I create are scheduled out ahead of time to be published at different points during the day. Now, there is a certain “science” to picking which time you would like something to be posted. A general rule of thumb is to not post anything from 5 – 7 p.m. This is due to that fact that people are, for example, leaving work, running errands and figuring out dinner plans. There is not a lot of online traffic during this time so it’s best to post earlier or later in the day.

Original Content 

The explanation of when to post leads me to the discussion of what to post. Now this varies from client to client, however, the things I post range from original creative content to third-party content. Original content includes graphics, events, blogs, and articles that relate directly to the client, are made by the client or are created by MILO for the client. For example, our creative team made this original quote graphic for one of our clients. I would share this on all their social media platforms and vary the copy to tailor to each platform. This would involve using hashtags on the Twitter copy but NOT on Facebook.

Original Content

Another example of original content is when our client is hosting an event. I would be responsible for promoting this event on their social media, and when necessary, boosting (putting ad money behind) the posts related to it. Or, if our client writes articles or a blog on their website, I would make sure those go out into the social media world to receive some recognition. This is original content.

Third-party Content 

Conversely, third-party content includes articles and posts from other people/sources. I would either share or retweet these on the pages I manage. For example, if a local news organization posted an article about the QLINE, my audiences for the accounts I manage would most likely be interested in that content. So, I would share the article to my channels and give the news organization credit.

Engagement

Another very important part of my job is interacting with my audience on social. How I engage with our clients’ followers sets the tone for the account. I must weed out the negative comments (“trolls”) and respond to the positive feedback.

This must also be done in a timely manner because if there is a negative/hurtful comment on a post that I created for more than a day, other followers will see that and it reflects poorly upon our client. This also gives the impression that we don’t interact with the audience as an agency. We want to make sure each of our clients receives the attention they need to have a caring and attentive voice online.

Now that’s just a taste of what I customarily do here at MILO. Join me next time to read more about MILO behind the scenes. 

Being productive

See you soon!

– Ashley