SEA Media, LLC
Why RingCentral Glip Is SEA Media’s “Ninja Weapon”
As Sara Moore works to close the deals she hopes will make her small but dynamic social media marketing firm a lot bigger, she is counting on RingCentral Glip to keep her team organized and productive at whatever they take on.
Moore is CEO of SEA Media, which she founded three years ago after walking away from a corporate marketing job. “We are huge fans of Glip!” she says. “I always tell people, when they ask me how I run my business and stay so efficient, that it all starts with Glip. It’s my best tool — it’s my ninja weapon.”
Founded in 2013, SEA Media is a social media agency. Although it provides small business customers with a full range of digital services (web design, SEO, online advertising), SEA’s specialty is helping its clients attract customers and build relationships on social networks. Using its proven social media sales process, C.L.U.E.™, SEA helps clients build relationships, create engagement, and spark conversations on key social media platforms that are the lifelines of many small and medium-sized businesses.
SEA also serves as a vendor to larger digital agencies that value its disciplined process for social marketing, sales, and customer engagement.
By mid-2015, SEA was on the cusp of a major growth spurt. Moore wanted to position the company for growth and be able to handle it when it arrived. As she developed her methodology and built her team, she found herself doing too much micromanaging. She had standards she was determined to uphold, but she could see that the way she was doing it would soon become unsustainable.
What she needed was a way of keeping all team members in close communication and aware of what everyone else was doing, regardless of the fact that SEA is a distributed organization where everyone works from a home office. Moore is in Dayton, Ohio, but has recruited other team members in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and California. In addition to improving communication, she wanted to make all the firm’s processes more disciplined so everything that needed to get done on a daily or weekly basis would get done without fail—and customers would never fail to be impressed by the quality of SEA’s work.
Before picking RingCentral Glip, Moore considered several other team messaging and collaboration tools. She picked Glip because it provides more of the team productivity features she needed in one package. Like other team messaging tools, Glip provides an efficient alternative to email communication.
Instead of having to sort through tangled email threads, or sort important messages from spam and low-priority email, Glip organizes all the most important work messages and shared files into focused team conversations. When typing messages back and forth is not enough, Moore can connect with her people in real time. Glip Video Chat, which is based on RingCentral Meetings, allows the distributed team to meet face-to-face and do screen sharing.
What Moore values most of all is how Glip makes creating tasks and events on the team calendar as easy as sending a message.
“You can go from idea to execution, just like that!” she says, snapping her fingers. Integrated task management is one reason she picked Glip over better-known competitors, and it paid off, she says.
Still, just using Glip wasn’t enough, Moore says. “At first, we weren’t using it efficiently.” Then she got serious about organizing her project teams and mapping processes into Glip to maximize its value. For example, SEA color-codes tasks to be performed for clients (blog updates, Facebook, Pinterest), so it is easy to see at a glance what’s happening within any project team.
In addition, Moore began routinely providing guest accounts to customers, such as the Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology in Dayton, so they can collaborate with SEA Media as if it were an extension of their own organizations.
The clients who actively engage through Glip see exactly what work SEA is doing for them on a daily basis. For the rest, a screenshot of color-coded activities displayed on the Glip Calendar is a handy tool for showing just clients everything the agency has done on their behalf, Moore says. Those who might be tempted to dismiss social media as all fun and games think twice when they see the long list of checked-off tasks, she says. “That’s when they realize there is no way I could do all that— no way I could duplicate that — so where do I sign?”
Glip became even more useful when Moore discovered its Zapier integration for automated notifications based on events in other cloud services. Now, whenever she uploads a document into a folder for contracts on Google Drive, that triggers a notification in Glip for her team. As a result, her team immediately gets to work bringing the new client on board.
“Glip is essential for us,” says Logan Riley, a consultant on Moore’s team. Glip recurring tasks are particularly important for helping her stay organized since many of the tasks she performs for clients, such as updating Facebook ads, need to be done on a weekly basis. With the mobile app, she adds, “I can be anywhere and pull Glip up on my phone to make a task right there so I don’t forget about it later.”
When Riley is preparing to post a blog or send out a marketing email broadcast, she first shares it with the client and with other team members using the Glip Notes tool — a web-based word processor used to publish documents and invite feedback. Collaborators on a note can easily mark it up, adding comments associated with specific parts of a document such as a headline or a paragraph that needs to be revised. The Glip interactive viewer for images provides similar functionality for marking up images.
Even better, Moore says, the annotations on a note or image can be structured as tasks. “On one note, I may have five people I need to task with something, and I can tag each of them so they know it’s relevant to them,” she says.
SEA is projecting 267% revenue growth for 2016, compared with 75% last year in 2015.
Moore says having a systematic process for getting work done allows her to pursue bigger deals with confidence. “I can seal the deal because I know my system is not going to fail me,” she says. “We are doing deals with bigger agencies because they can see we have a foolproof, systemized workflow that gives them the confidence that we can take care of their clients, and that’s growing our business exponentially. Instead of doing one deal here, one deal there, I can get 60 sales in a month. And I know we can handle it.”
The team collaboration processes SEA built around Glip were born out of necessity, Moore acknowledges. “We went through a phase when we didn’t know how to organize the influx of business we were getting and how to stay on top of the all the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks we needed to perform to satisfy our customers. If we hadn’t found an online tool to organize our work, we would have been in trouble. Now, I feel like there is nothing we can’t do.”
SEA Media gives brands a voice on social media. SEA increases conversions on social media sites with a methodology called C.L.U.E.™, which focuses on relationship building through engagement.
“I always tell people, when they ask me how I run my business and stay so efficient, that it all starts with Glip. It’s my best tool — it’s my ninja weapon.”
— Sara Moore, CEO, Sea Media, LLC.