Owner: Robbin Reay Denham
Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a true prairie girl born and raised in Saskatoon, SK - and my career has taken me all across this beautiful country chasing my dreams in public media & marketing. In March of 2018, I started a new gig here in Ottawa with Rogers Media to host a daytime radio show called 'The Robbin & Ryan Show' on KiSS 105.3 FM Ottawa, and it is an absolute blast! Being a radio host allows me to connect with so many people in such a personal way every day, and I love that we are highly involved with many charities and events throughout the year. That said, I also love having my own challenge of running a social media business on the side! It keeps me on my toes. I love the daily challenge of creating content for all my different clients from chefs, to psychologists to brand influencers. When I'm not on the radio or planning my next social post, you'll likely find me taking in the local festivities, playing and/or watching sports, booking my next trip abroad, or on a rooftop patio with a cold glass of sangria. :)
What drove you to start Spade Social Strategy?
Social media has always been a very important part of my life. Personally - it helps me stay connected to family and friends all across the world, but it has always played a very important part in my professional life as well. As radio hosts we aim to make connections on the air, but building a trust with your audience on social media can be just as powerful as what comes out of the speakers. I've managed the social platforms of some of Canada's largest media companies and I've learned so much about the power of branding and marketing online and how it correlates to running a successful & trusted brand. In 2016, I was laid off from a previous job in Edmonton, and consciously decided to take 9 months off to travel the world (31 countries and counting!). Being free of all contracts in media gave me much-needed clarity; it was then that I knew I wanted to create a passion-project for myself - "side hustle" as I like to call it. I was so inspired after meeting creative individuals of all ages in all different parts of the world living their dreams and making a stable income from their laptop. I also loved coaching people on social media strategies and I knew that I could turn my expertise into something valuable not just for myself, but for others. That's when I decided to launch SPADE Social Strategy and the result has been astounding! I love being an integral part of the overall success of my clients, and I love to dream about running a business from just about anywhere in the world. #bucketlist
What is the single most important thing for a business owner to consider in their social media strategy?
Social media is CONSTANTLY changing and evolving. To stay relevant, you MUST keep up. Consistency is key, creativity is essential, and it's important to put the time and effort into marketing your brand on the appropriate platforms. #keepup
How does one select which social platforms to use and how do they know where their target market is hanging out?
A simple social media audit can tell you A LOT about your audience and where to find them. Take into consideration your ideal client, your target audience, and what niches you fit into.
With all of the available social channels constantly evolving how do you keep up on all of the trends?
This is the single biggest challenge that many of my clients face; they just don't have the time to keep up with social media! That's why there are many social agencies and freelance marketers like myself to help business owners keep a relevant social media presence while they continue to focus on running their business. I offer consultations with clients to teach them exactly what type of creative content they should be posting, the most efficient ways to manage their pages, and all the new trends, tips and tricks from hashtags, to hues. I have clients who will book consultation sessions with me once a month just to make sure they are staying on top of trends and keeping up with the competition.
You are originally from Saskatchewan, do you find there is a big difference in business here in Ontario?
The pace of life is much faster in Ontario. More people, more competition, higher risk, higher reward. I love to constantly be challenged, and I always felt that if I could accomplish my goals in Ontario, I would definitely consider that a success.
Do you get to travel back west often?
I get home to Saskatchewan about twice a year, and I also try to make as many trips abroad as possible. I've been lucky enough to have explored such a large portion of our beautiful country, but nothing quite beats watching the sun go down on a warm prairie night at a lake in Saskatchewan (not to mention some spectacular Northern Lights displays). I also love to travel in general; the new perspectives you acquire when experiencing different cultures and practices is absolutely priceless and has shaped me as a person in so many ways. #wanderlust
We hear that MySpace is big in Alberta, is that true? :)
Haha! I lived in Alberta for 7 years and I can confidently say that not 1 client has ever asked me to manage their MySpace page - but I wouldn't shut it down if they did! We all had a page, I'm sure mine is still out there in cyber space somewhere...
When you aren’t busy with helping clients measure and develop their social strategy or busy on air at KiSS 105.3 what do you do for fun?
Any type of social setting is pretty much my happy place! I love to participate in local festivals, events and charities, and I'm totally a self-proclaimed foodie. I love spending time at all the trendy restaurants you see pictures of on Instagram! I also play soccer, volleyball and badminton - and I coach a girls 12 and under soccer team on weekends. As previously stated, I have a pretty severe case of wanderlust as well, so I'm constantly researching my next trip abroad.
How has Ottawa been as a city to launch your own business?
I actually launched the business in London, Ontario while I was there on a work contract - and many of my clients from London have stayed with me despite the move. I love Ottawa and so far the city has been incredibly receptive! There are so many businesses here that really shine on social media, and it's very encouraging to see.
What is your favourite neighbourhood in Ottawa?
That is such a great question but also a very hard one to answer! Being new to the city I have loved playing tourist in all the different neighbourhoods - but I have to say there is something quite magical about the Rockcliffe/New Edinburgh areas. The history, the architecture and the nature that surrounds it all makes it a pretty magical area to spend time in. That, and I'm always trying to catch a glimpse of our PM or bump into the Ambassador of France at the French Embassy (haha). I'm also a huge fan of Lansdowne Park. Being a foodie and a huge sports fanatic, it doesn't get much better than going to watch a soccer match at TD Place and following it up with great food & drinks on the patio at one of the local restaurants.