In 2014, Hernán Regiardo spent most of his time surfing waves and surfing the web.
Frequenting the best wakes and the best blogs, Hernán’s passion for water sports and travel sites took him to Indonesia for a trip that would change his life.
“I felt inspired and started traveling,” recalls Mate Society’s Hernán Regiardo on the vacation and surf blogs that led him to Indonesia and a fateful friend. “I got to know a Moroccan guy that owned two restaurants and I started doing photos for him.”
Fine tuning his photography skills when he wasn’t on his surfboard, Hernán was no longer just an amateur athlete but now a visual storyteller.
It wouldn’t take long until his new skillset turned into diving headfirst in the food industry.
“We started to create concepts and started to open restaurants together,” Hernán looks back at his adventures with his Moroccan friend. “I had no experience in hospitality before that.”
Working on restaurants and still finding time to travel, Hernán’s second stint in Indonesia would introduce him to Samantha Trottier, a North Dakota native with a similar passion for business and branding.
“I met Sam in Indonesia,” shares Hernán. “We started a company in 2018 with my graphic designer teacher.”
That company was Mate Society: a bilingual branding and storytelling agency based in San Diego.
Hernan and Samantha were guests on our Digital Hospitality podcast, where the social media marketing and digital experts shared stories and lessons.
Specializing in quick and compelling content for clients ranging from Nike to In N Out, Mate is bringing collaboration and clean imagery to brands big and small from all over.
Raised and educated in the digital world, Samantha’s sense for how branding and commerce was changing began in school.
“I went to college for business,” starts Samantha Trottier on the Digital Hospitality podcast. “I grew up with a phone in my hand and knew it was all going online. In college, they had a major that was a combination of business and coding. When I learned that the major was growing at 80 percent and that there was going to be a million jobs per year increase in I.T. I knew it was perfect.”
Learning how to code – and currently coding in five languages – Samantha’s technical education laid the foundation for how she helps brands at Mate, but it’s the marriage of coding and creativity that really excites her.
“Digital marketing is just so much more fun and interesting than strictly coding,” smiles Samantha.
“When I was in college, my digital marketing professor taught us how to build and market an e-commerce website. I loved that class and it’s translated into what I do now. That class was only brought to our university in the last two years.”
Two years ago? Yes, times are changing that fast.
That is exactly why the team at Mate is all about creating content and doing so fast.
“The best moment to do things is yesterday and the second-best moment is today,” laughs Hernán. “Our main approach is just to create content fast.”
Creating content fast doesn’t mean hurrying. Mate is big on making compelling and thoughtful content that’s true to their clients. This means plenty of research and conversation before creation.
“We try to learn as much as we can from a prospective client’s digital presence,” notes Samantha. “We really try to get to the heart and the soul of a brand. A lot of time founders feel passionate about their brand but have a hard time getting it across. Once we talk to them, we really get the feel, the energy and voice of the brand and reflect that online.”
By building relationships and listening, Mate Society is able to understand the wants and needs of their client.
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“Our approach is very honest,” says Hernán. “No one wants to guess things. We put it in a simple way and we’re easy going. The most important thing is being consistent. Be present. If you’re not present online, you’re not anywhere.”
For Samantha and Hernán, being present online means making the most out of the content they create for all of their client’s social channels.
“You can always repurpose content on different platforms and that’s why we feel it’s important to have lots of fast content,” shares Samantha. “It’s just important to keep creating, keep letting your voice be heard.”
To the team at Mate, being consistent means having your voice out there more often.
Still, for those new to social media your voice doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect from Day 1.
“A lot of it is just about putting more content out there,” Samantha says. “It doesn’t have to be perfect because the more content you put out there the more you’ll get from it.
“Rather than spending so much time worrying or having fear that you won’t do the right thing on social media, the truth is there is no right thing! You just have to keep putting it out there and being consistent.”
While being consistent to many can mean posting every other hour on the hour every day, Samantha and Hernán don’t see it as being quite that calculated.
“Hernán was always someone who said, ‘Screw the algorithm, just post!’” laughs Samantha. “If it’s good quality content people are going to like it and they’re going to see the next one. Show the vision, show the voice and that’s what’s most important.”
Yes, you don’t have to be a robot or hire one to be effective on social media.
Still, the tricks of the trade do possess some merit.
“Hashtags and posting times are important,” admits Hernán, “but it has a limit.”
Instagram Marketing Strategy:
When it comes to starting or growing a business online, Mate Society is high on the power, reach and resources of Instagram.
Not sold on Instagram yet? Let Samantha and Hernán change your mind.
“An Instagram account can grow with any budget,” believes Samantha. “It can grow for free as long as you’re engaging with your customers and producing good, quality content. It’s not expensive, it just has to be thoughtful. You just need to keep going at it no matter what. Learn from your mistakes and learn from the insights.”
The audience and insights provided by Instagram are sure to register with any business owner.
However, Hernán and his generation only see Instagram becoming bigger and more powerful.
“The TV is going to be dead in a couple of years and all the companies are going to start putting their huge budgets into Instagram,” predicts Hernán.
“The whole world is changing and there’s not much difference between the countries, only maybe the apps. It’s who we are and the way we are communicating.”
This shift is major for Mate Society and their power as a bilingual agency provides them with the chance to have clientele from all over the world.
Future of Marketing:
As the industry shifts to more online brand building and increased motives to work remote, Mate has the chance to undercut the corporate competition due to their fresh ideas and nimble team of creators.
“Big agencies are dying because they became too big, have a ton of people to pay and everyone is scared of their asking price,” says Hernán. “I think the future is freelancer, diverse and flexible.”
The future could most certainly be freelancers and collaborators for all of the industry, but it’s most definitely now for Mate Society.
“We call in when we need freelancers or collaborators rather than hiring a bunch of people,” notes Samantha. “That’s definitely the way to work. Everyone is working online anyways so you might as well pick the best person for that project no matter where they live. Especially if they’re from a different culture because they’ll provide completely new perspectives and ideas. Whereas sometimes agencies can get that group-think and keep doing that same thing over and over and they die.”
With a tight team and a circulating crop of collaborators, life is good for Hernán and Samantha at Mate.
“You need to just bring in new ideas, new perspectives and embrace new ideas always so you can grow and evolve,” Samantha says.
With a black book full of creators from all over, don’t expect Mate Society to be running out of ideas or stop growing anytime soon.
- Learn More online at https://matesociety.com/
- Email Mate Society at firstname.lastname@example.org
- INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/workbymate/
- FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/Mate-Society-1302371229905037
- LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mate-society/