Not everyone knows it, but Tel Aviv is a hot spot for innovation. Like Silicon Valley, it’s a startup capital where you’ll find countless entrepreneurs and innovators working hard to create huge value from a small scale.
It’s in that environment that Lior Shabat set out to redefine social media marketing.
Although he’s only 30 years old, Shabat is not new to the startup world – he previously spent five years as the CMO of a company specialized in trading software. But after growing the company, he came to a realization: “I know how to build a product, but my true passion is marketing it.”
Pivot to Marketing
With that insight, Shabat founded 45 Degrees East, a startup that helps companies and entrepreneurs reach a younger demographic and recruit dynamic employees.
While Facebook is still an effective platform for advertisers and LinkedIn is a wide network for professionals, they haven’t managed to reach the Gen Z crowd. Young adults are more likely to see Facebook and LinkedIn as their parents’ platform – not theirs. Companies that want to target younger customers need a new approach.
That’s where Shabat and 45 Degrees East come in.
“We started out as a digital marketing agency and fell into the world of recruitment by accident,” Shabat says. “Once I saw how many jobs we were able to staff in such a short time, I knew our impact would be huge.”
Shabat’s secret? Using Instagram to connect eager workers looking for engaging and rewarding jobs with companies that have flexible staffing needs.
It’s all driven by a simple but powerful idea: “At the end of the day, marketers need to fish where the fish live. Younger users have adopted Instagram and the engagement rates on the platform is already 52% higher than on Facebook. Instagram has more than a billion active fish – and most of them are biting.”
The Unappreciated Power of Instagram
In some circles, Instagram has a reputation as a hub for wellness trends, fashionable influencers, and #nofilter selfies. But in many ways, it’s an ideal platform for brands and organizations to reach users. “Instagram is enormous,” Shabat explains. “It connects you with your audience in a direct way.” For marketers, it has another advantage over other social media channels: “It’s not saturated yet, so there’s still a lot of untapped potential.”
45 Degree East isn’t the first to tap into Instagram for marketing. But the real difference is the expertise and insight they bring to each social media campaign. Too many companies start an Instagram account and leave an intern or entry-level employee in charge of it and then wonder where the results are. “At its core, Instagram recruitment is about focused, well-developed strategy,” Shabat says, but a lot of companies don’t aren’t seeing a lot of returns from the platform because they don’t treat it seriously.
Tapping into Instagram isn’t just important because of who you’ll reach, but also how you’ll reach them. Gen Z are optimistic, but they’re skeptical about traditional advertising. Shabat has seen too many companies make the mistake of taking a salesy approach when marketing to the younger set. That’s why 45 Degrees East developed marketing strategies that don’t feel like they’re imposed on the user. “All our recruitment is done through organic engagement with content,” Shabat explains, “not paid advertising.”
Driving Results with Agile Marketing
While he is still a relatively new player in advertising and marketing, Shabat has the clarity and maturity you’ll see in those who found their calling.
“I know where I’m supposed to be,” he asserts with confidence, “and that’s right here, at 45 Degrees East.”
In a lot of ways, Shabat embodies the spirit of startup culture – he’s filled with the drive and inspiration that are behind so many digital success stories. “I wake up excited every morning,” he says about his work, “because I know I’m going to be driving real results for our clients and connecting young adults with the jobs they need.”
He’s also keeping the company lean and agile so that he can tailor services to each client’s needs. It also means he can respond to user and market trends in real-time. That makes it difficult to know what’s coming next, but to Shabat, that uncertainty can translate to opportunity.
“That’s one thing that’s unique about startups,” he said, reflecting on his high-stakes work environment, “On most days, the sky feels like the only limit.”