From being included in selfies to getting tagged on social media posts, carving a digital footprint is the best way for social movements to gain traction, said Thomas Sanchez, CEO and co-founder of Social Driver.
“We are the digital heavy hitters. I always kind of talk about us as almost being like the SWAT team for digital,” Sanchez said of his Washington D.C.-headquartered digital marketing firm, which he co-founded with Anthony Shop in 2011.
Digital is the DNA of mission-oriented campaigns, said Sanchez whose company provides such services as website design, social media, digital advertising, and creative content to help clients engage and inspire their stakeholders. Most of Social Driver’s clients are non-profit organizations or socially-minded companies that believe their digital presence and creative social promotion are more than just add-ons, he said.
Click here to learn more about Social Driver.
Both Shop and Sanchez grew up in the Kansas City area, they said, and were ecstatic to be a part of the 2018 Back2KC program, which annually invites a curated group of highly skilled former Kansas City-area residents back to the city to reintroduce them to the growing innovative spirit and creative culture of the metro.
“We have deep connections in Kansas City, and over the last eight years, we’ve grown all without any outside debt or any outside investment,” Sanchez said about the speedy growth of Social Driver and expansion this spring into a new office in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.
Back2KC, now a program of the Kansas City Startup Foundation — which also is the parent organization of Startland News — asks participants like Sanchez and Shop to reinvest in Kansas City through mentorships, direct investments, partnerships, local job creation or relocation.
When technology and creativity meet, magic begins to brew, said Orion Kincaid, the director of user experience at the Kansas City office.
“We’re starting to see a lot more social integration with physical web projects to help clients really transform their brands,” he added.
Clients like Country Hill Motors, American Academy of Family Physicians and Fike Corporation in Kansas City want to know how to build more traction for people to support their cause, Sanchez said.
“Our clients are looking for a long-term partner,” Sanchez said. “They may have a project that is for today, but they’re looking for somebody who’s going to come in with flexible ideas, and strategies that might be at their budget level.”
The firm uses strategies based on social media trends and offers solutions that have been tried and tested with clients at multiple locations including Chicago and Seattle, he said.
Developing an augmented reality experience through filters on Instagram and Snapchat, as well as using chatbots to have one-one communication, are among recent successful methods, Sanchez said.
“A lot of companies don’t share the secret sauce with their clients, but we think the project’s going to ultimately be successful when the client can take over parts of that project as it gets moving,” he explained.
The co-founder was recently elected as the secretary of The Trevor Project, a national non-profit organization that aims to prevent suicide and provide crisis intervention to the LGBTQ community. Social Driver launched a digital campaign called #loveSDelivered, which helped raise $2000 for The Trevor Project, according to a news release.
“We actually also started a philanthropic initiative with our company called the Driver Foundation, through which our team members can support causes that are really important to them,” Sanchez added.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.
This story was produced through a collaboration between Missouri Business Alert and Startland News.