Social Gets Local: Gary Honig, Creative Capital Associates
Gary Honig, president of D.C.-based Creative Capital Associates (CCA), provides accounts receivable financing to emerging businesses. Currently CCA has more than $10 million in available funding reserves with which they purchased $100 million of commercial invoicing last year. Now with offices in Denver, CO and Red Bank, NJ, CCA continues to fund nationwide. In an industry dependent upon relationships and referrals, Gary has very effectively harnessed the power of social media to raise awareness about his business, as well as to grow his personal and professional network.
Q: How has social media impacted the way you market your business?
A: As an early adopter of the power of social media, I began to incorporate the communication platform as an integrated part of our overall efforts. This allowed us to effectively get our message into the corners of business communities that had been previously hard to reach. Because the entirety of social media is an evolving mass, the excitement and anticipation of new concepts and applications drives the strategies. To successfully use social media marketing you must be nimble, pro-active, and quick to adopt fresh techniques.
Q: What social media tool do you use the most?
A: This changes as my needs require. A site like LinkedIn might help promote me as a subject matter expert, while Twitter might help me reach referral sources in a fast cost-effective way. The important thing is to cross-pollinate all these tools.
Q: How much time each day do you spend using social media?
A: Some days it seems as if I spend all day reading and writing. If you have enough self discipline to get in and get out of the social media spaces quickly, you can be very effective with 20 minutes here and there a couple times a day. The self discipline to not click on tantalizing subjects is key. That said, I think the threat of “wasting time online” does not mean that the tools are ineffective.
Q: Do you consider your time on social sites “time well spent”?
A: I have measurable results from the efforts to effectively use social media.
Q: What percentage of your new clients comes from social media?
A: Our business is relationships; possibly half the new relationships we acquire come through the social media marketing campaigns.
Q: How are you gauging “ROI”?
A: I believe we could be more effectively tracking our analytics. We are actively seeking to outsource some of this work to optimize the results.
Q: Can you describe your “social media successes” at the local, regional and national levels?
A: Local: We’re meeting good, strong resource partners by participating in events found through social media. Regional: We’re building awareness with better referral sources. National: We’re increasing our visibility as subject matter experts.
Q: Do you encourage your sales force to use social media? How or in what ways?
A: Yes, we believe that increasing the brand footprint by using social media is a great way to stay in front of new business. By staying on top of Twitter chat, working our keywords in discussions, and monitoring those keywords we can be first to respond when a question arises.
Q: What would you say to other local business owners about social media?
A: Be prepared to develop a plan that uses all the tools as a matrix strategy. The tools feed off each other. Use your time effectively, watch out for time drift and have discipline.
Q: What question do you have about social media that you’d like to ask your local business community?
A: What’s the last thing you read or attended that really stopped you in your tracks?
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