By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
When Siraaj Woods joined Kappa Alpha Psi’s Zeta Chapter at Ohio State University, he took charge of the fraternity’s social media. A sophomore at the time, Woods didn’t have experience in social media marketing. He was studying to become a computer scientist.
But, Woods quickly realized he had a knack for the trade. He even started a side hustle, making social media flyers for other students and organizations on campus.
In 2020, during his senior year, Woods decided to take a leap of faith and switch his major to digital marketing and entrepreneurship. He also opened his social media marketing agency, SWCreatives.
“We specialize in helping small businesses improve their content strategy on social media. What really separates us is the fact that we work on supporting Black-owned businesses, especially in the Baltimore City area, in terms of getting them more online visibility,” said Woods. “The overall goal is to help bring more money into the Black community by empowering small, Black businesses.”
Starting during the pandemic gave Woods the opportunity to lend his services to businesses that were starting or moving online. He was also able to help businesses ramp up their social media presence to keep customers engaged while the world was forced to stay at home.
Woods redesigned logos and websites, created flyers and helped businesses gain more followers on social media.
“The two most important things you can do in business are marketing and selling. I feel like social media has now pretty much surpassed all other forms of marketing,” said Woods. “I think it’s probably the most powerful form of marketing.”
When Woods secures a client, he starts by creating a social media document that identifies their objectives, the platforms they use, the influencers they have in their company, the hashtags they like to use and their industry niche.
SWCreatives then devises a content strategy and creates a social media schedule to ensure posts are timely and consistent. Woods uses a data-tracking software to automate content posting and analyze the posts’ engagement and reach.
“I really feel like I was made to market on social media, and I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity,” said Woods. “I want to give other people the opportunity to use their God-given talents to make the world as best as possible.”
Geri “Coach G” McCarter, executive director of Coach G Academy, employed SWC Creatives to boost her organization’s visibility. Coach G Academy is a mentoring program, and it’s home to Baltimore’s only city-wide step team, Fatal Attraction.
Although the step squad performed at noteworthy events and won first place in several out-of-state competitions, McCarter felt that not enough people recognized their impact and success.
“We were doing so many amazing things and not getting the visibility and recognition that we deserved,” said McCarter. “We performed at Gov. Wes Moore’s inauguration, AFRAM, and Artscape, all these places and we didn’t really have any private donors supporting our efforts.”
McCarter met Woods at a pitch competition. Woods was judging the competition and approached McCarter after to explain why he didn’t score her well. McCarter said she felt refreshed by his professionalism and his constructive critiques.
Although she had always been skeptical about paying for social media marketing, she decided to follow up with Woods and learn more about his business.
“I didn’t really see the value because we’re a grassroots organization. I thought it could be costly, and I could be putting the money toward programming or something else that could benefit the girls,” said McCarter. “But, eventually the visibility helped benefit the girls. Now, I’m just going to work it into the budget because it’s very necessary.”
Woods identified a target audience for McCarter, enhanced her social media captions and ensured posts were being published consistently. With the help of SWCreatives, Coach G Academy’s social media reach grew from less than 1,000 people to more than 10,000.
“In 2024, we’re hoping to go to the largest step competition. It’s in Texas,” said McCarter. “We’re starting a campaign for that next month, and Siraaj will be leading it.”
Megan Sayles is a Report for America Corps member.