Influence Marketing Tips

!cid_70ee5e4c931584e140b132e0bc6f44e0Clients are looking for Influence Marketing Tips and I give them a few that I know are universal for building a team of influencers Have a goal in mind The most common mistake of all businesses, especially those seeking influence marketing tips is the focus on tools and tricks rather than solid business goals. The value of working with influencers is immense as measured by return on investment. However, we see many missed opportunities because they are trying to do many things that look like in your marketing rather than define a specific goal to get started. Whether you are looking for brand recognition, market buzz, leads or bottom line profits, an influence marketing program can help. Pick one thing you need, and can measure. Then build a program for that. Quality is better than quantity Most of us were raised in a time when the 20th-century paradigm of “More is better” and that the person with the biggest mass in mass media could win over someone with less budget and less connections Today, quality is much more important. You can find one person, one connection that leads to new leads new sales and profit, you can hear that and make a permanent difference in your business If you can connect with one good influencer and get results, we know that there are thousands more available and you can repeat the process. With the technology we have today you can have a personal relationship with influencers that have a small quality of following but a quality of giving you an increase market share in there and little niche. Multiply this by many relationships and you soon have extremely fast growth with extremely good return on investment Focus on attracting influencers not pushing out product information The paradigm of mass marketing taught us to create a message that we thought a consumer would like to hear and then push it through whatever channel we could. Today tools allow us to tailor that message to the person that is listening… Or better yet, listen to the needs of that one person and tailor content for them Influencers you work with are often producing content on their own. Help them provide value to their audience, support them and encourage them to create more content. It’s okay that would want that to be favorable to your company, but my best influence marketing tip would be to sponsor content by an influencer, regardless of subject and you become known as the company that cares, the brand of choice for that influencer. It’s natural for the audience of your influence to connect and share your brand with each other Proper influence marketing is central to business success today. Treating all customers, especially influencers as partners and addressing their needs can make for more profitable relationships in today’s market.
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Social Media Unicorn Social Media Services

IMG_4078This last weekend as I was judging a pitch contest for startups at SXSW in Austin, Texas, it hit me just how unique Social Media Unicorn and our social media services are. As a concierge social media services agency we don’t just handle the creation of award-winning photo and video content or the management of engaging social media communities for brands. “What you do is so much more than just social media,” one of our luxury brand clients raved to us just the other day. Every member of our team is a social media influencer in their own right, so not only do we understand each social media channel and the audience, but we understand how the influencers within the restaurant, cannabis, and luxury industries want to interact with brands.
IMG_4095Our social media services, regardless of budget, is a concierge social media experience that leaves the audience feeling connected on a deeper level to the brand. From small businesses serving a regional area to huge household brand names, we are the secret weapon team behind explosive audience growth, knock your socks off engagement, and bottom line results that deliver. As award-winning fast growth entrepreneurs ourselves, we know that the measurable results- the butts in seats, the increase in sales, the additional units shipped- all matter to you as a business leader when you’re considering a social media team. Our 24/7, 365 always on social media management and monitoring developed because we believe, much like you do, that your 3AM client matters just as much as your 3PM client. Our social media team laughs at office hours and there is always someone from our social media team available to you.
IMG_4124The success of Social Media Unicorn’s social media services is your success. As a boutique agency exclusively serving fast growth restaurants, cannabis, and luxury brands, we align ourselves with your team. Our past and current clients are our raving fans because we believe in them just as much as they believe in us. When you’re ready for a concierge social media experience that delivers bottom line growth give us a call to see if we might be a fit to add some magic to your brand.

How Influencer Marketing Builds Your Business

There is currently a lot of buzz around the phrase “influencer marketing” and how it gets the best ROI (return on investment) from your marketing budget. Can you believe these reports? Yes, because it’s just a new name from business practices we been using for years.. updated for social media and internet marketing, and measured in ways you can better track results. What is Influencer Marketing? influence marketingWe define influencers as people who recommend, advocate and influence others to take action. We are all influential on some topics for some people. Every day, we persuade of friends and family to do what’s good for the, to look at a new product, attend an event or look at a funny photo. In marketing surveys, these recommendations get counted in surveys as “word of mouth” and “saw it online” and generally rank at the top for “Where did you hear about us?” questions. Some influencers do more. They write for a blog, post more photos on Facebook, share where they are, what they are doing or entertain their fans. And some people have a lot more influence because they have a large fan base, share more often, and have learned how to share their excitement for brands and products they love. Influence Marketing is the practice of finding the best influencers, building relationships with those influencers, and enabling their sharing. Types of Influencers Who Can Help Your Business Until recently, we knew that certain people would help build your business, but the cost of reaching each individual was prohibited. Now we use online connections, special programs and VIP treatment to connect a brand with three types of influencers. Celebrities Some influencers have a large enough audience that they have been courted by traditional media and marketing and paid for reach. Celebrity endorsements can be big stars, online phenomenons (like YouTubers or Video streamers), online reviewers, bloggers and social media super users. More media means more celebrities, and endorsements are available with any sized budget. Niche Specialists A new breed of influencers are subject matter specialists. They cover your market, limited by topics, industry or interests. In the last decade, millions of blogs and new media producers has created content that is generally unsponsored.  They may not have the reach of a celebrity, but their audiences are passionate about the content and the relationships they have create a deeper bond than most celebrity brands. We find and encourage these influencers and together we create specialized content, and brand specific programs that yield short term ROI and long term brand love. Ambassadors In every audience or customer database there is a group of fans that love the products and tell their friends. A recommendation from a friends has been measured at 6-9 times the value of a celebrity. If you have a good product, give great customer service and care about people, these folks will tell everyone. Ambassador programs formalize what used to be called the fan club, providing resources and recognition to your super users and enabling to do what they want to do naturally. Influence is Personal In the 20th Century, a brand could use mass media to greatly increase the reach of a campaign with interruption of programing, signs and ads everywhere and the company with the loudest voice usually won. Today with the Internet, we can find the people who are asking for a solution and already talking about your industry. We can listen and engage individuals better than ever before. Research in persuasion, behavioural economics, social psychology and sales point to principals that can be applied to your messaging. We know what clicks with customers. People want to do business with other people that they know, like and trust. Mass media still lets individuals know about products, influencers are trusted friends who share what they like. Relationships are formed and that leads to trust. Traditional ads and pushy sales message are an interruption and avoided. Influencer marketing builds trust in a brand for people who want to buy. Human beings and relationships are messy compared to a mass marketing push, but the investment yields so much more.

Social Media Basics for Business

A lot of people think social media is a new way of marketing and connecting with people, but the reality is that social media has its’ origins in Compuserve back in 1969, followed by the first email being sent in 1971. Arguably mainstream social media began in 1995 with the launch of the first personal website platform, Geocities. Social media hit a major milestone in 2012 when Facebook achieved one billion users, but the rapid growth of social media into our daily lives has led small business owners to look for ways to utilize this platform to grow their bottom line.

Small town social media for modern day business.

The reality is that social media is merely the digitizing of the way people have been conducting commerce since the 1900’s. As a small town girl from a rural town in Central Washington, social media is technology applied to my one stop sign town where cows outnumber people. LinkedIn is the digital banker, who always knew what business was hiring and what talent was out in the marketplace. Twitter is the conversations that happened each Sunday morning in the pews of our local church about who was doing who and what was happening that the newspaper wasn’t covering. Instagram is the classic yearbook, where who you are and what you are passionate about is captured in snapshots. Facebook is where we all come together and in our town that was the farmers market each Saturday. If you needed fresh picked apples for an apple pie you were buying them at farmers market and your purchases and preferences could be summed up in that one space. When I moved to the big city social media helped me to connect with like minded people and made my world feel a little warmer.

How to use social media for your business.

Rather than giving you case study after case study of how social media is done incorrectly, I am going to assume you’ve seen your old friend from high school who uses their Facebook feed to report to you on every daily activity in excruciatingly painful detail. Since you know when it’s being used wrong, I am going to provide you with the basics of what you need to be should be doing right NOW- in 2015- to maximize all social media platforms for your business.
Set a goal. If you just want everyone to know about you, then set a goal for how large you’d like your audience to be and create initiatives around that. If you are looking for maximum conversions, look to engage with platforms that will offer you trackable conversions from viewer to reservation or purchase. Have a clear goal and make sure you are measuring at least monthly, if not weekly.
Use the same profile and cover images, which should be branded similarly to your website and other creative collateral. Your bios will need to be slightly different to match with each platform’s voice, but they shouldn’t use different verbiage. If you’re a “Customer service focused unlawfirm focused on proactive solutions” on Twitter, you shouldn’t be “Ambulance chasing bottom feeder” on Instagram. Keep your brand messaging consistent and keep your social media handle the same across all platforms to make it easier for your customers to find you on their preferred platform.
It’s tempting to share your Instagram post on Facebook and Twitter. DON’T DO IT. Think of each social media platform as its’ own country. You wouldn’t go to France and expect them to engage with you as enthusiastically in English, would you? The same content can be shared, but it needs to be crafted for each respective platform. On Twitter that means 2-3 hashtags with a compelling headline. On Instagram that means 8-10 hashtags. On Facebook that means one post with one hashtag and 2-3 sentences.
If you aren’t a social media person and you don’t have the budget to engage a team to be present on your behalf: don’t do it. It is better for your brand to not have a presence on social media than for you to have branded accounts that you don’t check on daily. Nothing is worse for a social media savvy consumer than to tweet you a question or share an experience they had at your establishment only to get back silence. It’s the equivalent to a bad customer service experience, so if you are going to be present on social media, choose wisely and be present at least once every 24 hours.
Organic reach is dead. This means that if you expect to throw out a Facebook page and have people naturally find you, it might happen somewhere around 2025. You don’t just want anyone following you anyway, so set a third party advertising spend to target the audience you want to follow you and run ads to promote your twitter account, facebook account, or a particularly compelling post on Instagram.

You can’t argue with the results.

Our digital and social media strategy team is made up of successful entrepreneurs who each share our own story of how using social media helped us to create, grow, and exit businesses in a variety of industries from dog grooming to entertainment management to babysitting. We have success stories from general contractors who are entirely business to business and hair salons who are entirely business to consumer and e-commerce retailers who do business out of their garage. Modern business is only getting more digital and for the entrepreneurs who understand how to create digital lead funnels, provide real time customer service on social media channels, and build engaging audiences on social media platforms, bottom line business growth is explosive.

4 Free Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs

My first business was created by cashing out every penny of my 401k fund and investing in myself out of consumer frustration. Not only did I not have a marketing plan, I didn’t do any market research and went with my gut. Yes, my trusted gut that had only ever worked for massive companies with huge marketing departments in house. How hard could it be to market a business in a country where I was a brand new immigrant and didn’t have a friend, let alone any business contacts? Allow me to share with you the four free marketing tips that saved my business and helped me become an award winning fast growth entrepreneur. TELL EVERYONE: Word of Mouth Marketing is King It’s not about who you know, but who you know who knows someone you need to know. Create an affordable postcard and set about spreading the word guerrilla style. Enlist your neighbors, the parents of your child’s classmates, your daycare lady, anyone you know to help you get the word out. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone why you began your entrepreneurial adventure. If you have a brick and mortar, share your passion with each customer who comes through your door. If you are a service provider, share your story with each new client. It’s not about fancy marketing pieces, but it is about knowing your why and sharing your passion for why you are doing what you are doing with everyone. Passion is contagious, so build your own buzz in the community. You are going to be the best publicist your brand could ever have. PARTNER UP: Build an Army Who Care If you are giving someone your business, then they need to be spreading the word about your business. Auto insurance agent already has someone else in your business that they refer all their business to? SWITCH. Pay more. It will be worth it when you gain a business partner who is invested in helping you grow your business. One of my biggest referral sources was my local wine store, which I frequented for both sanity and gifts for referral partners. Every day we vote with our dollars and if the people you give your dollars to aren’t invested in your business, move on to more enthusiastic business partners. SOCIAL MEDIA: Your New Best Friend Not sure about this social media thing? Learn to love it. Buy Dave Kerpen’s “Likable Social Media” and dive in because social media is going to be your best friend in the free marketing world. Think of social media as a small town square. LinkedIn is the local banker, who always knows what business is growing and who is hiring. Twitter is the church, where everybody is always chatting and carrying on about what is new in real time. Facebook is your local store, where what you love and buy says a lot about who you are. Being from a tiny town myself, social media always made perfect sense to me because it was the way my small town worked, but online. As a new entrepreneur back in the MySpace days before Facebook was on the scene, I just started by spending an hour a day chatting with new people. Gradually that grew and grew and, as new social media communities like Twitter and LinkedIn came on the scene, I dove in because my MySpace friends had already helped guide me to the best restaurants, baby stores, and gyms in my community. Find a social media community that clicks with your style of communication and master it before trying to be all things to all people. Better to be a master of Facebook than a jack of all social media trades. GIVE BACK: Do Good and Good Will Come To You You’re a busy, talented, important individual who has something to give to the world. I know this because you took the rare leap into the shark infested waters of capitalism. Congratulations! Now, don’t just hoard all that talent with your business. Find a cause. Preferably something that you are equally as passionate about. Every entrepreneur should have a philanthropic cause that they contribute to at least one a month. It will grow your network and keep your priorities in line. As you get to be an even bigger deal, give back more. Not necessarily more money, but more time, more resources, more of whatever it is that you have to make the world a better place. My passion for entrepreneurism comes from my core belief that we all have something to give. You were put on this Earth to do more than just make money and setting aside a day each month to step outside of your business to put your time and talent to work for something bigger than yourself will keep you humble and sane. The more good you do, the more good will come to you and your business.

2015 Social Media Tech & Automation Tools

Our social media team has been having a great time discovering some social media tech tools that are sure to make your life easier. If you can’t afford to have a professional social media team creating content campaigns and monitoring your social media accounts 24/7, these are some tech tools that the pros use behind the scenes that could make your life easier. MONITORING & POSTING: Sprout Social is the love of my monitoring and posting life. It’s affordable, offers more in depth monitoring and sexier report options than Hoot Suite, and it is idiot proof. If you can use Facebook, you can maneuver your way around the Social Sprout system. Not sure you have mastered it? They give you a 30 day free trial and handy introductory webinar to walk you through it step by step. Need more? The customer service is around the clock. Our rep emailed me at 11PM and 7AM. I was impressed. Throw in that she was funny and I am one happy social media strategist.  They don’t have reporting for LinkedIn or Instagram yet, but they are working on it and you’re going to love how this simplifies your ability to know what is happening with your audience in real time. INSTAGRAM ENGAGEMENT: Instagram is a tough platform because it can be so time consuming. You need to be liking, following, and commenting constantly to maximize engagement. Instagress is a handy automation tool that will set you back less than $10 each month. It will automatically like, follow, unfollow, or comment on what you set it to do. It won’t eliminate your need to be posting quality content with appropriate hash tags, but it will save you some serious time. WARNING: Watch your key words and your comments. I was setting up a restaurant and used the key word “hungry” with our pre set comment that “You should come in to try our feast!” Wasn’t even thinking that charities promoting feeding hungry children in third world countries or anorexics would be using that hash tag for totally different reasons. Also, keep it set to slow. For hash tags you can’t beat Tags for Likes, which will help you to begin learning what hash tags will help you promote what photograph. Have a ton of photos and want to time their release? Check out Latergram for scheduling. It is crazy handy and ensures your audience doesn’t get drowned with content. HASH TAG TRACKING: Hash tags are a handy way to track what is happening across all social media platforms. However, checking each platform can be time consuming. Enter Tagboard. Tagboard is a fantastic free tool that tells you what is going on with a specific hash tag in real time. At the #NABShow and want to know what’s happening? Just drop it into the search and there you go. TWITTER ENGAGEMENT: The biggest trend in social media right now is live streaming. Imagine if you are a florist and can live stream your tips for brides shopping for a wedding florist. CEO of a huge company? Take down the corporate veil and answer questions about your products directly from your consumers. Incorporating Periscope or Meerkat as a weekly engagement initiative can help you to connect and engage authentically with your audience. Don’t do it without a plan and have something to say, but be open to taking questions as they come in. PERFECT POST SIZE AND TIMING: On Facebook you want to use less than 40 characters, Twitter less than 100 characters (to make it easily re-tweetable), Instagram at least 8-10 applicable hashtags, LinkedIn less than 25 words, Google+ 50 characters or less, YouTube videos should aim to be 2 1/2 minutes at most, and blogs thrive around 1500 words. The best time to post changes often with analytical data, but if you check in with Klout on the content posting side, it will give you the top three times for that day when you are likely to get the most engagement. We have found that between 1-3PM is best for Facebook posts, 1-3PM for Twitter engagement, Pinterest is any time after 7PM, Google+ 9-11AM, Linked in 7-9AM, and Instagram 12PM-2PM. All of these times are in PST since we are based in Las Vegas, so if you are in a different time zone make sure you account for that. Never post just for the sake of posting. The ultimate guideline is that you should post great content when you have it to post. Some of my highest engagement has come on a Sunday afternoon, which is totally contradictory to all the reports we have. Do you have a social media question? Reach out to me directly on Twitter. We are here to help you connect, engage, and activate more people to become your raving fans.


It was mid March in Austin, Texas and as I went from SXSW event to SXSW party people were buzzing about the release of two new live streaming applications: Periscope and Meerkat. Ever the rebel, I instantly fell in love with Meerkat over “the man” of Periscope, which was owned by Twitter. I began following Meerkat creator Ben Rubin and live streaming all over Austin. It was the perfect party and audience to celebrate new technology in the social media world. However, after the first few weeks my love affair began to fade. For the brands that I work with- exclusively entertainment and restaurants- the vast majority of their audience isn’t available on a moment’s notice to tune in, so I kept hearing about how Periscope saved the streams for 24 hours, allowing for more engagement after the live stream. Alas, “the man” and his fancy technology won out. In early April I moved all of my brands and myself over to Periscope. Having happily landed on Periscope, I thought I would stay there for much longer and I do think it is brilliant. However, Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook have CHANGED THE ENTIRE live streaming game with their Facebook Live feature. Why? If you have a verified account on Facebook (they are doing a slow roll out, so I expect this will grow to include everyone over time), you can use the Mentions feature to live stream what is going on right now in your life. Here’s the clincher and why brands are going to FALL IN LOVE: it does’t save it for 24 hours.Facebook Live saves it forever ever on your Facebook page as a post, so your fans can like, comment, or share it. Yup, mic drop. Facebook Live just took the world’s largest social media platform and gave it the functionality of live streaming. The future has arrived! If you haven’t fallen in love with live streaming, here is why I adore it: *It is the ultimate in authenticity. For the chefs in the kitchens of the restaurants I work with it empowers them to share behind the scenes moments and answer questions from around the world. The access is incredible and people love it. Live streaming has become the new television. *It is the ultimate in community. You are building a channel and community just like YouTube, but you have all of the lovely features of social media that we adore. You get real time engagement PLUS you get the commenting and sharing that can happen after. *It is the ultimate in access. At the Emmys in September I will be taking you along as I meet some of television’s biggest stars and, rather than me asking them my questions, you will get to ask them YOUR questions. It isn’t all love and magic. The tough part is that the existing audience is fairly technologically and social media savvy. My grandpa isn’t on live streaming. He just mastered how to accept friends on Facebook, so I anticipate it will be slow to grow to the older generation that was already struggling to adopt new technology. Also, I don’t get dudes asking me to show my boobs on Twitter or Instagram everyday, but every time I live stream I get at least 2-3 morons that I have to block because they say disgusting sexual things. If you are a hot female you should be aware of that. Today I am live streaming my entire day on my Facebook page. Check it out and join me here. Happy live streaming my friends!