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News

SOCIALSHARKS GEORGIA: Conquering the local market in 2 years

1.02.2017
Company: Socialsharks s.r.o.

Why Georgia? This is the question I get asked very often. When I decided to open Socialsharks in the Czech Republic, my vision was to manage clients internationally and manage their social media presence globally.

It was August, 2014 when I met with Nick Bolkvadze, whom I acquainted few years before when I was about to establish Socialsharks in Prague. We met in the café early morning and exchanged our ideas briefly. Then, he mentioned that he was interested in working together and I happened to offer him a job as business manager for Czech Republic.

It escalated quickly when on pre-Christmas December evening he wrote me that opening a branch in Georgia would be interesting, as the market is quickly developing and there are opportunities for us to bring our expertise and experience in that region. Everything looked too obscure until we were sitting at the public registry, establishing a company.

I didn’t know much about Georgia, before I met with Nick and as many of us do, I had my prejudices. Travelling to a post-soviet country with cash in my pocket seemed like a movie plot, although I was positively surprised when I realized that opening a company takes only 20 minutes and very little paperwork is required. More about how it looks in Georgia, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook etc.

Our Georgian office recently celebrated its 2-year anniversary. During this period, we managed to work with country’s largest companies be it CPG, Banks, Airports or charity organizations. Toughest part was hiring the team to seamlessly deliver quality service and implement current social media features in campaigns. We have managed to convince business owners that social media is not only the communication vehicle, but it can serve tangible results by creating relevant content and advertising strategies.

With over 12 people in the local office, we manage over 20 clients and 50 social profiles. Our monthly ads visibility is over 50,000,000. There were cases when we sold 29 real estate units in just 16 hours, or increased ads efficiency by 60%. We helped Georgia’s largest broadcasting company to increase their video viewability by 900%.

My personal takeaways from this risky endeavor are:

  1. Be committed. Don't be afraid. It will be painful, it will require your utmost determination but if you are not willing to persist, don't even try.
  2. Don't compromise. Stay focused on quality. The approach to social media can vary a little bit in every country but you must keep in mind your original mission.
  3. Marketing, marketing, marketing. The biggest part of our investment in Georgia was dedicated to marketing. Attract the right people, the best clients, seek new opportunities. Let the market take care of the rest.
  4. Dedicated team. The skills can be acquired but it means nothing without enthusiasm and talent as they will change the perception of marketing on the market.
  5. Optimism. There were moments when no one, including our Financial Manager and COO, didn't believe we could make it. They told me to give up on Georgia. It might have been our end. But I always believed we will make it, and it came true.

Tags: Business Development | Media |

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