Guest: Gina Lednyak
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Gina Lednyak is the Founder and CEO of global agency L&A Social Media and has been at the forefront of social media strategy and implementation since Mark Zuckerberg tested and launched ‘the Facebook’ in her University town of Boston. Gina studied engineering and psychology before relocating to Sydney in 2007. She quickly recognised an opportunity in the local market and soon launched L&A Social Media, a full-service strategic social media and digital agency, with a strong focus on creative content execution, analytics, and consumer behaviour. Gina is also the 2016 NSW Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and previous winner of AIMI Future Leaders Award and B&T 30 under 30. L&A focuses on results delivered by people with first hand experience of social media success. Gina regularly gives keynote speeches on company culture, fast growth companies, social media and fostering a culture for female entrepreneurs. Through strategic storytelling & a wealth of experience across a variety of industries and skills, L&A Social Media ensures that their brands stay relevant, innovative and start powerful conversations within their target demographic.
Segment Overview: In this segment, L&A Social Media Founder and CEO Gina Lednyak joins the program to explain the nature of her business. L&A Social Media is a full-service strategic social media and digital agency, with a strong focus on creative content execution, analytics, and consumer behaviour. The company has grown significantly from its humble beginnings in Sydney, Australia now with over 60 global clients across 3 countries. She emphasizes the important role that social media plays in the modern business world.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and I’m joined today in conversation by Gina Lednyak. I hope I’ve got the pronunciation right.
Gina Lednyak: You do.
Wayne: Good. Gina is the Founder and CEO of global agency L&A Social Media and social media is one of those areas where there’s lots of interest. So Gina, welcome to the show.
Gina: Thank you so much. It’s good to be here.
Wayne: Now Gina, because it’s not immediately obvious to me what L&A Social Media do, can you fill us in on what it is you do and who you do it for and maybe even what your footprint is? Given that you’re a global company, give us some idea of where you do it as well.
Gina: Right, of course. So L&A is a social media strategy and implementation company. And what that means is that we work with clients of all sizes on their social media strategy, their content development, posting and management across all of their social channels whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We manage all of that content for you and then we do all the analytics, and all the campaigns and all the social advertising as well. So essentially, it’s a full-service solution for your social media. Now we do this with a variety of different kinds of companies. We work predominantly in the consumer brand space. So a lot within FMCG, a lot within the drinks industry and technology industry. So we work with everyone from companies like Netgear, to Ferrari, to lots of beer brands and a lot of global companies as well.
Wayne: I see. And is this an advertising agency type model, how does the model working Gina?
Gina: So we work on a retainer basis whereby clients essentially outsource all of their social media to us. So we’re a little bit different to a traditional advertising agency model, we’re almost like a management consultant but on your social media. So we come in, we look at a business model, we look at what areas of the business model social media can help with. So for a lot of clients, it might be brand awareness and brand affinity. For other clients who might be driving sales, they’re driving people in store and for other clients it might be kind of proof of why someone has bought something or that safety that you want to give someone after they purchased your products for bigger ticket items. So kind of like business consultants but on social.
Wayne: And does that embrace all of the social media channels, you go across the board?
Gina: Yes. At the moment we’re finding that because Australia is a bit of a smaller market in general. For our APAC clients, we mostly work across Facebook and Instagram but that is due to the nature of the kinds of brands that we work with because we specialize in consumer brands and brands that are a little bit more lifestyle oriented, we do tend to focus more on Facebook and Instagram.
Wayne: Now Gina a few years ago, most businesses in Australia would buy a Yellow Pages ad once a year and they go, “That’s it, that’s my marketing done for the year” and it might have been expensive but it was relatively simple. And now with social media having such an impact, I guess let me start with that question and I guess I know the answer given what you do for a living. How significant is social media to the marketing mix particularly for mid-sized businesses?
Gina: So at the moment and I guess I’ll answer this question in terms of the market as a whole. But at the moment and for the last kind of two to three years, we’ve really seen most Australian and global brands moving a significant portion of their advertising budget towards social media. And the reason for that is really if we look at society and what kind of behaviors we take part in on a daily basis, it used to be that we would wake up, get ready, maybe watch some news while we’re getting ready, go to work, go home and watch television. And what’s really happening now is that we wake up and the first thing that we do for over 50% of people is we check our Facebook or Instagram. So if as a brand you want to be where people’s attention is, what’s happening is that we’re now as brands trying to plug ourselves into people’s daily behaviors and people’s daily behaviors are increasingly across digital and a lot less across different channels. Now, that might shift in the coming years and in that case, branding, and advertising and how we market will have to shift as well but right now, we’re definitely finding that the best way to reach people is social media.
Wayne: Certainly, the evidence is there if you care to look out the window. You’ll see people almost constantly looking at devices and in most cases, looking at social media channels. Gina for you, do you start with brands through an agency or is this something that brands come direct to you with?
Gina: For the most parts, brands come directly to us. So when I first started the company about eight or nine years ago now, so it’s been quite a while. I started out by partnering with agencies and that was a really good way to get started because social media was just a different section. But now, most of our relationships are direct or sometimes they’re with a distributor. So for example, a lot of the products that we have in Australia actually come through a distributor who has the rights to distribute that product in our market.
Wayne: Yes. It’s the joy of being a little country at the end of the world. We have lots of distributors and not a lot of manufacturers. Gina, how do you see the future for social media marketing? Are you optimistic about where it’s going?
Gina: I’m very optimistic about the fact that as humans living in an extremely connected universe, in a universe where we really like having information and we like having things at our fingertips that something like social media in whatever form, it might look like in a couple of years is going to continue to be a pretty big part of our lives. And my background is actually in psychology, so I always like to look at it from the standpoint of what’s important to us as people going about our day and that’s being connected, that’s having information, that’s hearing from brands and things that we’re really passionate about. So it’s anything I see, social media getting bigger whether that’s on Facebook, Instagram or maybe a whole new channel that doesn’t even exist yet. But I do think one of the key things is that we’re seeing a lot of brands at the moment that are still using social media the way that they did traditional advertising and that I think is going to have to change because unlike Yellow Pages or advertising, you don’t just create one piece of content that you then feed to your audience for months at a time. The idea is that it’s a two-way conversation, so that’s probably the biggest shift that I think will have to continue over the next couple of years is how do we deliver value to people instead of just the marketing message.
Wayne: It’s an intriguing message Gina. How can people of whose imagination you’ve caught, how can they get in touch with you?
Gina: Through social media. I would say if you visit our website, that has a lot more information about what we do, so that’s landasocial.com and you can also find us across Facebook and Instagram and you can find myself on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which is @ginalednyak.
Wayne: And of course, I have no doubt that someone message you on the social media, you’ll be right there because it’s such a big part of what you do. Now Gina, I understand you’ve recently been receiving awards.
Gina: Yes, not super recently but I was the New South Wales Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, last year. So that was a really, really good experience and definitely, something I’d recommend to any young women in business.
Wayne: And that’s a very prestigious award too, the Telstra Business Awards is very highly regarded, congratulations.
Gina: Thank you.
Wayne: Gina, thanks for making yourself available to me today. I realized you’re very busy and I do appreciate your time.
Gina: Thank you so much, it was great.
Wayne: If you’ve just joined us on Business Radio Talkers.FM, I’ve been in conversation with Gina Lednyak. Now Gina is the Founder and CEO of L&A Social Media. We just got a fascinating talk about social media and what L&A Social Media do. And if you’ve missed it, well there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is you’ve missed it but the good news is we’ve got a recording for you. You can pick it up on SoundCloud, YouTube or iTunes where you can listen to a full audio archive of our interview or there’s a transcript on our website if you prefer to read things. My name is Wayne Bucklar, you’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM.