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“We sent them product to give away and asked them to gather some comments to tweet, post pics to our Facebook, or even make a video if they wanted to while they were at the event.”

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Real Bullets Branding is not about YouTube views, or Facebook comments, they are about success. Caitlin McCabe, the founder and creative director of Real Bullets Branding believes that strategy isn’t just a “really cool idea”, strategy to her should focus on things like market opportunity, brand advocates, great content ideas and finding all the great little secret sites that your audience is hanging out at.

This is why Real Bullets Branding works. They develop unique plans for everything, even if you only have six Facebook fans. They know online is important, but they also know how it fits in to events marketing and how to make it all work together!

Caitlin McCabe, Real Bullets Branding - Founder

MO: What makes you an expert on social media marketing?

Catilin: I’ve been in the social media space for about 6 years, or ‘forever’ in online time. I started using Myspace to promote events for companies because we’d run out of money for promotion. We actually started to see huge jumps in our attendance from doing that. From there I learned to use just about every new technology and site on behalf of brands. I think ‘expert’ can only come from getting in there and actually working with the tools and technology.

MO: What is the biggest mistakes companies make when blindly utilizing social media?

Catilin: I see a lot of overwhelmed companies out there who have set up a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, blog, and 12 other channels and then don’t have the team or strategy to keep them engaging or even updated. It’s ok if you have a one or two person marketing team, but you have to be honest with how much time you can really spend and find the one or two places where you can make the most impact.

MO: You have a lot of repeat clients. Why do you believe this is?

Catilin: I think it’s because Real Bullets strategies take a number of things into account: specific goals, online marketplace opportunity, and marries it with the company’s resources and what they will like to do. Honestly, if the strategy gets people excited, they will be more likely to stick with it and you won’t have empty channels out there.

MO: Can you give an example of how you have creatively integrated online marketing and in person marketing at events?

Catilin: Events are a great thing for companies to use for their online presence because they are full of content! For one client, we were talking to several large sites that were attending a lot of events. We sent them product to give away and asked them to gather some comments to tweet, post pics to our Facebook, or even make a video if they wanted to while they were at the event. We ended up with a huge variety of content that we could use later and our friends at the site were happy because they had items to give away.

You can write articles about events, interview people, create several videos and take tons of pictures. This can, in a short time, give a company a library of content that they can use later.

MO: I love your statement that you moved from “Caitlin Freelancing” to “real company” in the space of a year. That is a big deal. Tell us about making the switch.

Catilin: I thought it would be really simple to change from ‘freelancer’ to ‘business’ but there is actually a lot involved. When you are freelancing all you have to worry about is paying yourself. When you incorporate all of the sudden there is this other entity that you have to be branding and not just yourself. On the other hand, it helps immediately with your work life balance because you work for a company whereas when you are the company it’s tough to separate.

I would say for people thinking about making the jump that the best time to do it is when your income has become relatively steady and you have the capacity to worry about branding another company (yours).

MO: What company’s social media would you love to take over and create an entirely new strategy for?

Catilin: Hands down Dr. Pepper! I love their old advertisements and I think they could do a lot with the old ‘I’m a Pepper’ concept and make it updated and fresh.

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