Network Makes the Dream Work

It’s true what they say: it’s all about who you know. If you are a professional, chances are you have been invited to, or have attended a networking event. Although to some it may not seem like networking events can impact your business, the connections you may encounter can possibly add huge value to your organization. There are a number of benefits associated with networking, like learning valuable tips from experts in your industry and especially making your brand more visible in the community.

While some individuals thrive in social situations, we know that introducing yourself to others can be a little more difficult for the introverts in the room. We have some helpful networking tips if you are new to the professional world, or would just like to brush up on your social skills for events in the community.

Move Around the Room – If you are more on the shy side, introducing yourself or starting a conversation out of the blue can fill you with dread. However, typically at networking events, there are smaller conversations happening. Mingle around the room, and stop to linger for a conversation that may sound interesting or beneficial to you. If there is already someone you know in that conversation, even better. A shared connection gives you the opportunity to be introduced to a new group of people and ideas.

Quality over Quantity – Some individuals define a successful networking event by walking home with a bundle of business cards. While that may feel satisfying at the time, it may not be the best approach. Our magic number is 3. Focus on establishing 3 solid connections at your event, and really get to know these people, instead of checking them off on an imaginary  list. Scout out the type of people and organizations that you would like to connect with and why they could be beneficial to you and your organization. This makes the connection more strategic and valuable to you and your business.

Market Yourself – For some, it can be difficult to praise yourself and your successes to the world. Remind yourself that you have just as much to offer at this networking event as everyone else there… that’s why you were on the guest list! People coming together sharing ideas from different experiences is what makes networking valuable to us all. Realize what you bring to the table that adds value for others.

Nonverbal Communication – While it is very important to choose your words wisely when pitching a new idea to someone, sometimes it’s what you don’t say that speaks volumes. While having a conversation with someone, always make eye contact with that person. Having your focus on them makes the person feel more validated, and will be more likely to open up to you and share information. Body language is also the key to appearing  more confident and, in return, increasing others’ confidence in you. Be aware of fidgeting or moving around while speaking. A strong stance with your arms comfortably at your sides (not crossed!), and your feet firmly planted on the ground gives the impression of confidence and dependability.

Follow-up – After attending the event, it’s important to conduct follow-up emails to your new connections. Our founder, Eleni Sokos, suggests creating an email template for following up with new connections. Of course, this template should include friendly greetings, and mention common connections or opportunities for collaboration. Go one step further by customizing each follow-up email with a couple key tidbits that demonstrate your appreciation for the time you spent engaging with that person. Try to remember things like their spouse’s name or an upcoming vacation to establish a personal relationship. Always include a subtle call to action whether offering to buy them a coffee, or encouraging the person to join your company’s email list, or invite them to send you a Facebook friend request. These last steps in the process of making your networking goals become actions will help deliver results from your outreach efforts.

We hope that these tips to network will make the whole experience less intimidating to our more introverted friends. After all, networking is supposed to be fun and beneficial . When we come together to share ideas and innovate, we create a better community.

Our talented team of Marketing Rock Stars regularly attend networking events representing our clients in the community. If you would like to become one of our clients, email hello@sokossocial and let’s get networking!

Our Clients Feel Like Family

It’s safe to say that the work that our team does day-in and day-out would not reach such a high level of quality if we lacked passion for what we do. Sokos Social specializes in meeting the marketing needs of clients in three main sectors: financial, hospitality and nonprofit organizations. Our team loves bringing vibrant, upbeat energy to the workplace every day. But what really motivates us is watching our clients grow their businesses thanks to their work ethic and passion for their mission.

Many of our clients are entrepreneurs who have cultivated their dream into reality. Some clients are nonprofits whose work is close to our hearts. Nonprofit organizations create a vision of how the world should be, and then get to work implementing it! Experiencing first hand their commitment to such important causes inspires us every day to become better, both in and out of the office.

When our businesses and organizations select Sokos Social as their partner in brand development and marketing we understand the tremendous amount of trust they place in us: their dream, livelihood, and vision for their business. These responsibilities motivate us to establish the best working relationship possible. Our values of working closely with clients are fundamental to a successful working relationship. And as Sokos Social grows and expands as a business, we know that individual human relationships have the most impact on delivering results and exceeding expectations. These personal relationships also lead to our own increased business development – the statistic our CEO, Eleni Sokos, takes most pride in is that 97% of our clients were referred by a friend or colleague.

Each staff member at Sokos Social can identify with a client. From the moment of client on-boarding, to recapping the end of a successful campaign, our team works one-on-one with our clients to ensure their goals are met, allowing us to develop a personal relationship with our beloved clients.

For example, our Client Success Specialist Kendall Lewis loves working with Anna Maria Oyster Bar. Kendall is new to Florida and enjoys the Gulf Coast, old Florida, fun-loving feel that the Anna Maria Oyster Bar brand exemplifies…margaritas included! When she works on Anna Maria Oyster Bar projects, she is invested in the work because she genuinely enjoys the brand. Working with this client helps her feel closer to the community as a new resident. We are thankful for the relationship that each of us have with Anna Maria Oyster Bar. We truly feel like an extension of their staff and more importantly, part of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar Family. Whether it’s joining them on a trip to the annual Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Marketing + Operations Summit or having fun at one of their many events throughout the year.

“It makes coming to work easy knowing that we are making a difference,” remarks Marketing Coordinator, Dylan Howell, about working with our nonprofit organizations. Dylan actually found Sokos Social after volunteering for the Women’s Resource Center. Her passion for helping women who need it the most translates into a true desire to support the missions of for our nonprofit clients like The Women’s Resource Center, HOPE Family Services, Foundation For Dreams, and more.

Our very own Chief Executive Socializer, Eleni Sokos has lived in Manatee County her entire life. She is a foodie who has a passion for travel and creating immersive experiences, whether in person or online. Growing up in a family of restaurateurs and other small business owners, she sees her family’s hustle, resourcefulness, and community spirit in each of our clients.

There are a million reasons to love your job, but at Sokos Social we find new reasons every day. Watching the growth of our business comes from the amazing clients who inspire us every day.

Female Leadership Survey

Attracting and retaining talent to the Bradenton-Sarasota area is a top priority of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, an organization which Sokos Social supports as an Investor-Partner.  Eleni is the Events Committee Co-Chair and a Board Member of this organization which builds brands through creative storytelling in the digital age.

Caitlyn Haley, community relations coordinator at Firkins Nissan, Manatee Young Professionals Leadership Committee member, MBA student at USF, and friend of Sokos Social, created the following survey as a research project for her MBA. There is especially a dearth of females in leadership roles, and in particular, leadership roles that are accessible and available to women.  We wanted to share Eleni’s submissions to the survey as insight into the talent attraction and retention crisis that our region is currently facing. Caitlyn graciously shared all of the survey responses with us, and we’ll share some insightful responses anonymously below.

Q: Are you involved in any non-profit boards, volunteer groups, community advocacy, or business networking groups? (List up to five)


  • Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s Manatee Young Professionals, Leadership Committee, Networking Chair
  • Leadership Manatee Alumni Association
  • South Florida Museum, Marketing Committee
  • Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Events Committee Co-Chair and Board of Directors
  • Manatee Seminole Club, Board of Directors

Q: What made you originally decide to live and work in this area?

ES: After college, I wasn’t entirely sure which field to pursue despite having a number of interests, but I fell into a great opportunity and built a career out of it, including eventually growing my freelance enterprise into a company that employs 6 people, grew 125% in 2018, and is on track to continue that growth by a slightly more manageable 60% in 2019.

ANON:  Weather, people & water!

Q: What positive things has this area brought to your business?

ES: The local business network, especially in the Manatee-Sarasota area, is incredibly strong and supportive.  Our marketing & sales efforts have relied nearly 100% on referral/word of mouth, which is the most valuable marketing tool.

ANON: Where do I begin…this area has provided so much! A sense of community, collaboration, a thriving population of young professionals. An active chamber of commerce which has made such a difference in my business. The networking opportunities and volunteer opportunities in our area are wonderful allowing me to give back, help, educate and improve my business.

Q: List one challenge that your business has gone through from being located in this area

ES: The talent pool of college graduates looking for a job in their senior year/upon graduation is extremely small.  And companies like ours have a tough time competing against larger players with better compensation packages, despite more hands-on learning experience and better work culture.

Q: What would you currently say is your biggest achievement from working within this company or the local community?

ANON: Working with the community has helped me achieve building relationships with people who are different from me.

ES: Our clients’ successes are our greatest achievements.  We had four clients win major local AND national awards in 2018, and each attributed some portion of their success to our marketing plans.

There are so many reasons to love the Tampa Bay area and Manatee County. Sokos Social, as well as our fearless leader Eleni Sokos, is committed to contributing to the growth of Manatee County. We love our home and are blessed to be a part of amazing networking circles, nonprofit and charity resource development, and our clients’ success.

What’s a Marketing Plan and Why Do You Need One?

Every organization has objectives and goals that they would like to meet. Setting a Marketing Plan makes it easier to track and execute goals for your organization. Sokos Social works with our clients to develop and implement an Annual Marketing Plan. Our team focuses on reaching your goals through digital channels, and together we map out action steps and objectives on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis through your digital platforms as well as print media, public relations, community outreach, and other types of traditional media. These objectives help meet your sales or fundraising needs through creative content to promote events, communicate new products & services, and execute strategic campaigns for your business or organization.

Sokos Social tracks the return of investment on your advertising dollars to make sure your marketing investments will directly benefit you and your organization. Paying for marketing services without a Marketing Plan is not only ineffective marketing… but wasteful to your business and resources with no way to track progress.

Our Marketing Plans involve creating a narrative each month that ties into driving sales and goals to our clients. These narratives come to life through content marketing, via blog posts, email newsletters, website content, and social media. It can be a call to action, a seasonal holiday campaign, or other strategic promotion for specific time-sensitive content.

For example, during the holiday season Sokos Social creates campaigns for our nonprofit clients surrounding the season of giving to encourage supporters to donate. Each of our clients has different objectives and goals to meet, but Sokos Social rises to each unique occasion thanks to our custom-tailored Marketing Plans.

Using a defined timeline of action steps within an Annual Marketing Plan, communication between the departments of your organization will run more smoothly as well. Sokos Social works as an extension of your in-house team to support achievement of your goals – bringing dreams to reality. With information strategically defined at a birds-eye-view level for the entire year, it’s easier for those team members outside of the Marketing & Advertising departments to embrace long-term vision for your brand and its marketing and communications.

Our clients and their teams are some of the most determined and talented individuals that we have ever met. However, even the most successful and talented organizations need an expert in the marketing field to make their goals and objectives come to life. The team of experts at Sokos Social look over your business operations & marketing with a set of new eyes to add a fresh perspective to your organization. Let our marketing rock stars invent creative and strategic Annual Marketing Plans for your organization.

Email to see what your advertising budget can really do for you.