May 25, 2020

Beat the Algorithm: Meet Jamie Ratermann, Social Media & Brand Strategist

By Emily Merrell

How important is social media in your life? If it’s not, you’re incredible. While social media is typically important to build a personal or professional brand, it can be hard to navigate alone. Meet Jamie Ratermann, a NYC based social media strategist who helps brands (especially wellness focused companies) catapult their platforms to a bigger status through partnerships, content and beyond. 

SDS: As a brand strategist, what does a typical day look like? 

JAMIE RATERMANN: A typical day starts with catching up on any news about social platforms, checking what’s trending, seeing how posts are performing for clients and then answering emails. Depending on the day, I will either hop into strategy meetings about content or potential partnerships, creating updates for websites and email newsletters, and of course coordinating content calendars for my clients and my brand

Before all of this though, I like to start my day with some bulletproof coffee, journaling, meditation and reading. Brand and social media marketing is a specialization with lots of updates and distractions – so starting with a grounding morning routine has been super helpful for me. 

SDS:  You’ve had the luxury of working with many health and wellness focused brands. Why is that genre important to you? 

JR: Health and wellness has always been an obsession of mine – partly because I’ve tried all the fad diets, trending modalities and popular exercise classes. As someone who consumes a lot of health related content, I have a grasp on what’s good for me, but I know that it’s hard for people to decipher that for themselves. 

Because of this, I love working with health and wellness brands who are spreading a positive example of health, giving value often and aren’t trying to clickbait people into buying. It’s hard to be heard when you aren’t as flashy, but there is a better way. I want to be that person who helps them navigate the always changing online space. I soon will be adjusting my brand slightly, offering health coaching sessions in addition to getting my certification this summer. 

SDS: With all the changes to Instagram, specifically the algorithm, what’s the best way to stand out from the crowd? 

JR: Stop fighting the algorithm and start building community. Unpopular opinion: we need the algorithm so that people actually see what we’re doing on these platforms. The social platforms aren’t out to get us but instead are rewarding accounts who’ve built not only large followings, but communities. The brands that are continuing to do well on social are the ones who post with purpose and know their audience – because they communicate with them each day. 

Standing out from the crowd is not only posting valuable content for your audience (or desired audience), but also spending as much time courting that audience through comments on their posts, stories, etc. It’s like going out to dinner with someone who spends the whole meal talking about themselves vs. someone who shares and shows intentional interest in what you like and are doing. I’d follow and buy from the latter. 

Brand and social media strategist Jamie Ratermann. Courtesy of Diana Davis Creative

SDS: What is the most overlooked social media platform that moves the needle? 

JR: Pinterest. It’s become more of a visual search engine, but it creates much more longevity than all other social platforms. Twitter posts last around 24 hours, Facebook and Instagram around three days, LinkedIn five days and Pinterest three months or more. While Facebook is considered the top traffic social platform, there’s a barrier to entry because of their algorithm and advertising focus. Pinterest is the second traffic generating platform, but takes much less time and money to see results than if you were just starting your Facebook page.

SDS: What’s the best way to detox from social media? 

JR: A tactic I like to call “the unfollow”! I have difficulty digesting how everyone has found social media to be so negative because each person can customize the type of content they consume each day. If Instagram scrolling doesn’t make you feel inspired, take a look at who you follow. 

I used to follow lots of body building accounts wanting to get that bikini body, and at one point I decided that I was punishing myself by comparing myself to these picture perfect accounts. 

So now I scroll with purpose. If I don’t like a post in my feed or it doesn’t make me feel so great about myself, I’ll go over to that person’s profile and see if I like any of the last five posts. I unfollow if their content doesn’t spark joy, challenge me in a positive way or inform me creatively. I still follow fitness accounts, but they are full of realistic approaches to attaining optimal health, not just parading results without explanation. Aside from what you consume, it’s always good to put boundaries on all your technology use. I use screen time limits on my iPhone to remind me of the time I spend on each platform. 

SDS: You’re currently enrolled in IIN — how do you see social media playing a role in your physical health? As a health advisor do you have any favorite accounts you recommend following? 

JR: Social media can be a plate full of cookies or a bowl of guacamole – both tasty but one’s going to give you a bellyache later. The other will keep you full and nourished for the rest of the day. Similar to a well-balanced diet, the way in which you use social media can be healthy or unhealthy. I’d like to encourage it as a healthy place to create meaningful connections, find accountability for new habits and share your purpose. It can improve your outlook on life and longevity. 

Jamie Ratermann. Courtesy of Diana Davis Creative.

As for health accounts, right now I love:

1.@shutthekaleup: A mom who takes a genuine approach to health with her adorable two boys and shares her ups and downs, which I enjoy.

2. @drmarkhyman: Handing out health knowledge left and right that I always feel like sharing. 

3. @positivelypresent: A digital artist who infuses her illustrations with mental health tips.  

4. @exercise_snacks: An account by @ochosystem, giving short workouts to do throughout your day – especially helpful now with quarantine and during busy days when you don’t have an hour.

5. @max_lugavere: An author whose focus is improving brain power through nutrition and exercising, with the goal of preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life.

Jamie Ratermann. Courtesy of Mira Zaki.

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