“Make People Laugh: Humor is one of the most undervalued promotional tactics for businesses.”,

“Make People Laugh: Humor is one of the most undervalued promotional tactics for businesses”, with Julia Enthoven and Candice Georgiadis

Make People Laugh: Humor is one of the most undervalued promotional tactics for businesses. Memes, hyper fresh content, bloopers, reaction videos, and silly quotes are a great way to attract new followers and show off your brand’s personality. Funny posts attract reshares, comments, press coverage, and engagement, and it also gives you the opportunity to relate to your target customers.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Julia Enthoven, the CEO and cofounder of Kapwing, an online video editor for creative professionals. Julia started Kapwing last year after leaving Google, where she and her cofounder worked as product managers on Search.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Of course! When I started at Stanford, I did not expect to graduate with a major in math & computer science. I started college with a strong interest in public policy and first got exposure to tech when I interned for the New York City Department of Education after my freshman year. After that, I took a Computer Science class and was hooked!

When I graduated, I got a job at Google as an Associate Product Manager. I loved my job, but I’ve always dreamed about starting something on my own. A coworker (now my cofounder, Eric Lu) and I started talking about startup ideas and, after two years, I decided to leave Google to work with Eric on a product idea. We both love visual content and wanted to modernize video creation for digital storytellers. That idea turned into Kapwing!

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

Our tools help people create social media content for Instagram and other channels. Tens of thousands of artists, students, digital marketers, entertainers, and creative professionals use Kapwing to make photos and videos they publish to social media. As video has risen in popularity, we’ve learned so much from our community about what posts perform well, how to promote a product or service, and which practices produce results on social media. Through developing the Kapwing product, I’ve become an expert in memes, IGTV, and content marketing.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Last month, Kanye retweeted a Kapwing video! Someone tweeted a video made on Kapwing (with a Kapwing watermark) at him, and he retweeted it to his 28.7M followers. One of my advisors saw it in his Twitter feed and immediately texted me. It was really interesting to see the impact of a major influencer giving your service a shoutout — we saw a big rise in people who Googled Kapwing out of curiosity, but not a big spike in usage. We learned that influencer marketing is less impactful when the function of the product is not apparent or when the shoutout is out of context. But it did help us with brand recognition nonetheless!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

A few weeks after launching Kapwing, we started charging a $1 fee to remove the small Kapwing watermark. We were shocked that anyone would pay money to remove the watermark after embedding text into their video, so shocked that we kept a way to “skip” the payment for fear that we would lose all of our users. Users could skip the paywall if they wrote us “an apology” explaining why they didn’t want to pay. It was hilarious to read the apology notes that came in.

Retrospectively, charging just $1 was a mistake. Now, we charge $6/video, and the price will likely increase soon. We appreciate the value that our simple website brings to users who otherwise would have to hire an expensive contractor to navigate professional video editing programs and have increased value as we expanded the feature set.

My takeaway for other first-time entrepreneurs is to talk to your users about pricing rather than basing it on what you would pay for the same service. You might be surprised to find that your customers are more or less willing to pay that you are.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

LinkedIn has been a great way to share videos

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

Experiment with video: In the last 18 months, video content has exploded in popularity on Instagram. In 2017 alone, the number of videos published on Instagram quadrupled. Instagram is heavily promoting IGTV and regular video posts in the Instagram Explore feed, so experimenting with video posts is a great way to get discovered. Smartphone cameras and online video editing software make it possible for anyone on your team to produce great videos rather than requiring professional hardware or editing expertise. You can leverage new video channels like IGTV and Lasso to get exposure for your business on a rising platform.

Make custom Instagram Story templates to scale branded Stories: Instagram Stories are an excellent media for promotions, announcements, and driving traffic to your website. A 2018 study by Agorapulse actually showed that Instagram Stories drive more engagement than sponsored Instagram feed posts. To maintain quality and visual consistency on your Instagram stories while increasing production volume, make and reuse branded Instagram Story templates. You can share the templates with your team or organization to scale video production at a low cost. Make sure to announce new product offerings, discounts, blog posts, and other companies news items in your business’s Story.

Upload a Custom Thumbnail: Unlike YouTube, Instagram doesn’t have a native tool to upload a custom thumbnail for a video. But custom cover frames or thumbnails are more compelling and make it more likely that people will click and consume your content. Also, cover thumbnails help Instagram brands maintain visual consistency in the feed since you can reuse branded visual elements. To add a custom thumbnail on your Instagram video, create a cover frame and merge it with your video clip before posting to Instagram.

Add Subtitles: On Instagram, browsers tend to look through posts with the sound off, so your content shouldn’t rely on audio to tell a story. For Stories, interviews, customer testimonials, ads, or product demos, make sure to add subtitles to your videos either by embedding captions directly or relying on native closed captions. Subtitled videos are more clear, more engaging, and more accessible on every platform.

Send Personalized DMs: Cold emails have been around for decades, but Instagram DMs are a new channel to reach prospective clients and customers. Since most people spend as much time on Facebook as they do on Instagram, it’s a highly personal form of outreach. If you’re trying to reach a certain influencer, blogger, or brand, try making a personalized video or image and send it to them with an Instagram DM. Make sure that your outreach is human and customized, not automated or robotic.

Make People Laugh: Humor is one of the most undervalued promotional tactics for businesses. Memes, hyper fresh content, bloopers, reaction videos, and silly quotes are a great way to attract new followers and show off your brand’s personality. Funny posts attract reshares, comments, press coverage, and engagement, and it also gives you the opportunity to relate to your target customers.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Wow, this is a meaty question! There are so many issues that I care about and how to contribute to one day. To pick one: I’m a big supporter of Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, CA. He was a mentor to me in college and has done some amazing work for the city of Stockton. Although most of his work is focused on his local community, he’s inspiring to anyone who knows him well and cares about impact on a global scale. I hope that people notice the work he’s doing and go out of their way to support him!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to meet Elliot and Jessica Tebele, the hilarious Instagram creators behind FuckJerry and BeigeCardigan. Their content is amazing, and I’m sure they would have incredible feedback on the product and advice about growing the Kapwing and reaching more casual creators. Plus it would probably be the funniest meal of my life.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


“Make People Laugh: Humor is one of the most undervalued promotional tactics for businesses.”, was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

“Stop wasting your money on Masterclasses that will take you from 0–10k in 30 days; every possible…

“Stop wasting your money on Masterclasses that will take you from 0–10k in 30 days; every possible tip you need to know is free online” with Umar Brimah and Candice Georgiadis

Stop wasting your money on Masterclasses that will “take you from 0–10k in 30 days”. Every possible tip you need to know is free online. You just need to look for it. There are countless Facebook Groups that exist solely for digital marketers to share their tips, experiences and add real value. YouTube channels like AskGaryVee, Sprout Social, HubSpot, Derek Halpern, Anthony Groeper etc give out real advice at no cost. If you’re a creator, channels like Peter McKinnon and Cinecon.net give away free technical tutorials that will level up your proficiency with Abobe’s Creative Suite. Invest your time actively learning by testing strategies and implementing new techniques. Then rinse and repeat.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Umar Brimah, Co-founder of Cedar+Black Digital Media and Founder of Bleux Entertainment. Umar is a resilient entrepreneur with experience working in Investment Banking, Marketing, Experiential Services, and with Startups. You can follow more of his story on Instagram using the handle @UmarBrimah.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always been the type to dive very deeply into the things I am passionate about. I’ve learned a tremendous amount as a by-product of just embarking on different passion projects. In high school, I learned how to use the Apple SDK for iOS and created an app that was a massive database of every car I could find specs for. Looking back, creating that twitter account to promote my app was my first experience using social media to promote a brand.

In college, I worked as an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Avondale Partners in Nashville, TN. My assignments primarily revolved around Nashville’s health care industry. I was able to gain tremendous insight into emerging markets. This experience was a little too analytical for my taste and fostered my desire to have a more creative and hands-on role. Later that summer I was invited to attend the Tilt Summit in San Francisco (hosted by Tilt.com). This gave me the opportunity to view a booming startup form the inside. As an ambassador, I got to watch them grow until they were acquired by Airbnb. After that experience, I knew I wanted to work with early-stage companies.

When I came back, I was fortunate enough to work personally with the CEO of Illevated Sounds to present Waco with its first ever electronic music festival, Illectric River. My primary role was Head of Greek Promotions, but I was able to work closely with the CEO in several areas to execute operations for the event, including pitching to a Houston investor to secure $350,000 in funding.

All of these experiences converged during my last undergraduate semester. I used the knowledge I gained to found Bleux and host a concert at the BSR Cable Park headlined by Waka Flocka Flame. We were able to sell over a thousand tickets within 48hrs of launching just by using organic reach. As a side project, I partnered with a friend to create a Shopify store filled with merch for the concert. We used social media to promote everything and a dropshipping service to fulfill all the orders.

I was then invited by my close friends to join Cedar+Black as a Co-founder in the spring of 2018. This gave me the opportunity to use my skill set to help clients like Bush’s Chicken, a nationwide franchise, achieve the same success in the digital space. Since then Cedar+Black has scaled to surpass a half million dollar valuation and is on track to more than double that valuation in 2019.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

In an age where everyone is a “Digital Media Guru,” it has never been more important to separate the practitioners from the idealists. As someone who has been actively managing brands, creating content and distributing digitally for years, I stand with the practitioners. As both a creator and growth hacker, I offer an in-depth perspective on the dichotomy between the two most important aspects for anyone trying to supercharge their brand on Instagram; content and distribution. As Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Cedar+Black Digital Media, I have worked with large franchises and small businesses to hack growth by driving traffic and creating truly captivating content. I am also the Founder of Bleux Entertainment, a promotion agency that uses the same strategies to attract thousands of attendees to live concerts. “Digital Media Guru’s” frequently forget the importance of experiential marketing in this mix. Consumers are actively seeking experiences over products, so we use experiences to create lasting relationships with our customers. This is one of the best strategies you can use to combat ever-changing algorithms and keep your brand champions engaged.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

When Cedar+Black was founded we made the ambitious mistake of taking on too much project work from clients. Our workload started to fluctuate so much that some days we would have an endless laundry list of pressing work to complete and other days we would have nothing to do. We realized this process would not be sustainable or scalable, so we all sat down and had an intense discussion about productizing our services and creating a completely new process that can accommodate significantly more clients. Internally we have become a brand new company. We’re now using this as an opportunity to rebrand Cedar+Black and outwardly signify the significant internal strides we have made. We will officially launch our new branding this month to kick start 2019.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well… we took some time off for Thanksgiving to refuel our minds and spend quality time with loved ones. It was more than needed considering the workload of building a startup. We came back feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. We walked into our office bright-eyed and chipper just to be slapped across the face by the most unbearably nauseating smell. Everyone erupted into a coughing fit, gasping for air unsure of what was going on. After a few minutes, we realized we had forgotten to get rid of some of our Halloween props… In the corner was a pumpkin that had rotted to the point of combustion. Its moldy innards left all over the floor. The scene was so bad we had to move operations for the day to a local coffee shop. To say the least, we learned to get rid of old props.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Facebook’s platform (including Instagram) has been the most beneficial to our clients. For example, we created @BushsChickenUSA from scratch and built it up to ~2600 followers cumulatively on Facebook and Instagram within a few months. During this period, sales for each Bush’s location under our management rose 10% on average. This was also during a period that had historically seen lower sales volumes. The only change that had been made to their existing marketing strategy was adding Facebook/Instagram, so we were able to confidently attribute the sales increase to the new accounts and geotargeted ads run from them. Growth has continued to trend upward since then.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Stop wasting your money on Masterclasses that will “take you from 0–10k in 30 days”
Every possible tip you need to know is free online. You just need to look for it. There are countless Facebook Groups that exist solely for digital marketers to share their tips, experiences and add real value. YouTube channels like AskGaryVee, Sprout Social, HubSpot, Derek Halpern, Anthony Groeper etc give out real advice at no cost. If you’re a creator, channels like Peter McKinnon and Cinecon.net give away free technical tutorials that will level up your proficiency with Abobe’s Creative Suite. Invest your time actively learning by testing strategies and implementing new techniques. Then rinse and repeat.

2. Be the show, not the commercial.
No one likes commercials. If your content resembles typical clickbaity TV infomercials, users will instinctively skip it. Be intentional about creating content that is aesthetic, entertaining and valuable to the consumer. If you’re lost on how to start, identify the content you personally enjoy and reverse engineer a fit. This will create a significantly more engaged audience.

3. Be extremely cognizant of the way content is consumed on the platform.

On Instagram specifically, the 4:5 aspect ratio is a must. Taking up as much screen real estate as possible is imperative for both catching the eyes of your users and not straining them by making them squint. I would also respect the time constraints. If you have long-form content that you want to share, chop it up into short teasers. Use those teasers to spark interest and direct traffic to platforms that more naturally host long-form content like YouTube or Facebook Watch.

4. Show love to your early adopters.
Pay special attention to the people who are engaging with you. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them because you’re searching elsewhere for more followers. Their word of mouth will carry you farther than you realize. Reply to their comments and continually engage with them. Before you know it, they’ll become brand champions who spread your message for you.

5. Know your audience.
Gone are the days of casting a wide net and hoping for single digit conversion rates. The Digital Age has equipped brands with tremendous amounts of data, the ability to know exactly who their customer is and what platforms they use. Pay attention to the insights you receive about your current demographic. Study your audience and events tracked in your Facebook pixel. Then, use them to create stronger lookalike audiences that you can retarget for a fraction of the cost.

6. Promote your best content
Organic reach is important, but if you have the money to spend on paid promotions then spend the money. Facebook/Instagram give you an incredible amount of data about the results your dollars are generating. Use this data to budget for the results you want.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would start locally in Waco, Texas by inspiring the homeless population. There are a number of manageable entrepreneurial ideas that could drastically benefit their situation. For example, selling cold bottles of water in the midst of Texas summers. You could invest a few dollars to build an inventory of 24+ bottles and sell each bottle for at least a dollar. Then use the profits to rinse and repeat.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Hands down Will Smith. He and his team very recently jumped into the digital space and immediately took it by storm. His socials are a perfect example of what captivating content looks like. His helicopter birthday bungee jump collab with Yes Theory garnered one of the largest live audiences I’ve seen on YouTube. I would love to sit down with him and find out how he continually adapts to new trends and platforms while also staying true to himself and his message.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


“Stop wasting your money on Masterclasses that will take you from 0–10k in 30 days; every possible… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

“Let’s change Social Media into a place where people can be happy with accepting themselves and who

“Let’s change Social Media into a place where people can be happy with accepting themselves and who they are”, with Gabe Ortiz and Candice Georgiadis

I would love to influence the world to be a kinder and more accepting place. Social media is usually in the media due to bullying or something else negative. Why not be able to change the perception of Social Media into a place where people can be happy with accepting themselves and who they are. Showing acts of kindness and encouraging one another to keep their chin up. That would truly be a marvelous Social Media campaign that I would love to be a part of!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabe Ortiz. He is originally from New Mexico and holds a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters in Communication and Public relations with an emphasis on Social Media Marketing. He has been at Urban Bricks for one year as the Marketing Director.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I had always been interested in Social Media when I was younger. When Instagram came out I thought it was something truly unique and simple. I had worked so hard growing my own personal brand for free, but when I realized you could actually make a career out of social media and get paid for it, I got my degree in social media marketing and haven’t looked back since!

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

I think there are so many amazing Social Media marketers doing amazing things in the industry right now. If I had to choose something I do well, it would be making our Instagram experience feel “real”. I am a big fan of creating connections with my followers and making sure they feel something when they see imagery with our logo!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Being in marketing, you learn to make partnerships and relationships with other marketers or media companies. Through one partnership I was able to get some free VIP passes to a Margarita festival. Well we all know how crazy margarita festivals can get, but the icing on the cake was seeing a famous movie star, who will not be named, enjoying some drinks with his wife. I got my selfie and went on my way! It was awesome!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started out as a marketing coordinator, I was with a young company who was trying to find its voice. Well I jumped right in there and started trying out some voices on Twitter, I guess I was a little too forward and sassy and ended up having someone on Twitter cuss at me and call me a name I cannot replicate on here. Needless to say, I learned to do a little more thinking before jumping into something and realizing it is okay to take baby steps when finding your voice!

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

I think all platforms can be profitable, it just depends on who your target audience is and what platform your target audience uses. Our Facebook page has been able to create the most business for us! Our Target audience are millennials and young families so using a platform where young families like to share images of their kids is an ideal marketing platform for us. Our next profitable platform would be Instagram and then Twitter.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Keep the images real, no one wants to see over photoshopped food that looks plastic.

2. Respond to your followers, they want to have a conversation with you!

3. It is okay to like and follow others, it makes you seem real and that you aren’t too big time for them!

4. Utilize ads to bring awareness to your page and your promotions!

5. Now with all the new tools Instagram has to offer, its really easy to market things like your app and even get some online orders in!

6. Get involved with Instagram Bloggers and Influencers. Its really good to have those relationships especially when you have a new store opening up. All the media attention is great at getting people in the door!

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to influence the world to be a kinder and more accepting place. Social media is usually in the media due to bullying or something else negative. Why not be able to change the perception of Social Media into a place where people can be happy with accepting themselves and who they are. Showing acts of kindness and encouraging one another to keep their chin up. That would truly be a marvelous Social Media campaign that I would love to be a part of!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

One person I would love to talk with would be Anderson Cooper! He has done so much good for the people around him and I have loved seeing him report on the news over the years. I think he has a big heart and has had so many adventures during his career. He would be full of great stories and lots of laughs!


“Let’s change Social Media into a place where people can be happy with accepting themselves and who was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Martin Stoll on why you should never underestimate the power of a hashtag

Never underestimate the power of a hashtag. With the algorithm constantly changing, hashtags have consistently remained a best practice to expand the reach of your posts. But like everything else related to social, hashtags must be used strategically. Keep on topic and be selective using the “Goldilocks Rule” of hashtags: not too broad (#TGIF) and not too unique (#SparkYeahItsFriday). Same with phototags and geotags. This boosts visibility and gives users another resource to click through to see how others are using your product — not just the brand.

I had the pleasure to interview Martin Stoll. Martin is the founder and CEO of Sparkloft Media. He focuses on the continued fundamental changes within social media, and its impact on all aspects of our lives, personally and for organizations of all sizes and industries.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I previously worked in the airline industry, which like social media, is ultimately about connecting people. After many years in travel, I branched out to develop a social software company, which, after a slight pivot, resulted in today’s social media-focused agency, Sparkloft Media.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

Sparkloft Media has been involved in social media since 2006, and my experience in the social space began with the medium’s conception. When we started our company, brand pages did not exist on Facebook; you had to be “friends” with your favorite product. Of course, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitch weren’t even a consideration for taking up hours and hours of time on newly released “smart phones” in those early days. We were one of the first to concentrate solely on social media marketing. Today, Sparkloft Media has grown into an organization with more than 50 social media experts, who do nothing else than think about, engage and develop social media every day. As the CEO and founder, I have the privilege to work with and learn from my amazing team, daily.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting thing I’ve learned in my social media “career” is the realization that social media can be used to make predictions for future user/consumer behavior, at a much more affordable cost, in terms of both time and money. Every single person using social media creates publicly available digital data. A few years ago, the tools that ran in-depth analysis on this data were prohibitively expensive. Today we have the tools to analyze the massive amount of data and can identify relevant signals our clients and their brands can utilize for a more effective program. For example, it’s easy to make predictions about what the next “big thing” for vegans will be. We can build a panel of the 1,000 most important vegan bloggers, analyze billions of social media data points and see emerging themes without actually clicking and reporting on random blogs or social media accounts. The insights we gain today, using publicly available social data for core business decisions are fascinating and a huge opportunity — an overall interesting concept that has changed the way we do business.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I will share a mistake that was one of the biggest learning lessons for us, but it was anything but funny.

A long time ago one of our airline clients, for whom we managed social media, accidently sent an email to their entire database — millions of people — telling every single recipient they had been upgraded to gold status in their frequent flyer program. The internet celebrated on all social channels for a couple of hours before another email was sent explaining this was a mistake. Of course, things became extremely interesting following that second email… Sparkloft Media ran community management on the main social channels and, from detailed experience, a brand can only apologize so many times. While most people understood that it was a mistake, a select few users were unable to cease expressing their frustration over social media — in some cases, for weeks!

What did we learn? As a brand, as a business, you must know who your most loyal customers are, and play close attention to who your biggest fans are on social media. Those are the people who will come to your defense if you are unfairly attacked. Your loyal social media followers are able to say things that you cannot say as the brand; a third-party validation. It’s more important than ever to know who those people are and foster a great relationship with them — you’ll never know when you may need them in your corner.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Social platform success depends on the business. As a general statement, Facebook is the most effective platform for B2C businesses because of the unparalleled targeting options for paid social. Instagram works the same way for advertisers and is growing much faster than Facebook, but it does not have the capability to drive traffic to a website. For B2B instances, LinkedIn works well, but users can’t expect quick results or effective shoestring budgets.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Native platform features are your friend

Yes, native platform features ARE your friend. Use them. It’s surprising that many businesses try to overcomplicate campaigns by spending hours developing super-curated content, when Instagram can do most of the work for you. Remember, authenticity is key. When you stick with what’s already familiar with your followers, you are more likely to come across as genuine and trustworthy, rather than recognized as an ad. Instagram Stories, the fastest growing area of Instagram with 400 million active users, provides an immersive, full-screen, mobile-first experience, complete with native stickers, text and effects to seamlessly integrate into your content strategy. Brands taking advantage of these features tend to see more successful posts.

2. There are no shortcuts to quality

There’s no surprise that social media, when used correctly, takes up significant time and effort — something especially true for Instagram. It might be tempting to save time cross-posting between platforms or signing up for tools that auto-like posts or auto-follow accounts. Don’t. Do. This. Your followers will see right through these old (and frankly annoying) tricks. Even worse, your account can potentially be shut down for using third-party services.

3. It pays to pay

All major social platforms require a solid strategy for paid social, and equally strong budgets. The upside: within the Facebook ecosystem, which includes Instagram, businesses are offered unparalleled targeting options. For clients who have e-commerce and channel attribution capabilities, we continue to see better conversions from social than from display or search. The trick is to really define audience segments with targeting options in mind, and then develop specific content for each audience.

4. Tag it — Hashtags, Phototags, Geotags

Never underestimate the power of a hashtag. With the algorithm constantly changing, hashtags have consistently remained a best practice to expand the reach of your posts. But like everything else related to social, hashtags must be used strategically. Keep on topic and be selective using the “Goldilocks Rule” of hashtags: not too broad (#TGIF) and not too unique (#SparkYeahItsFriday). Same with phototags and geotags. This boosts visibility and gives users another resource to click through to see how others are using your product — not just the brand.

5. Social commerce

Shoppable posts, shoppable stories, and shopping collections. Instagram users have been provided fantastic new ways to interact with their favorite brands. And even better, these features actually provide positive results. If you sell physical goods and don’t have a shoppable Instagram yet, set one up immediately. If you do, make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential. Remember, 75 percent of users take an action after seeing a business post, whether they click through to a website, shop or tell a friend.

6. Test, learn, optimize, evolve

The Instagram you know today will not be the same a month from now — who knows what will happen next week! The platform continues to roll out new features, transforming the photo-sharing app into an engaging and highly-effective marketing platform for businesses. As Instagram evolves, so do user expectations, and so should your channel strategy. Take time to test and learn. Establish internal benchmarks to better understand your audience’s likes and dislikes. Put the time and effort in to completely optimize your platform.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Movement is a strong word, but I certainly have a vision for a change that can be driven by social.

The social media world has a huge impact on our lives: e-commerce would be different without ratings and reviews, Wikipedia would not exist, the Arab Spring or #MeToo movements may not have reached their strong global awareness levels without social media. The world is so much more connected, much more transparent, and so much more informed because of it.

At the same time, social media has its downsides — misinformation spreads quickly; cyber-bullying, swatting, etc. Social platforms like Facebook or Twitter rightfully get called out for not doing enough to fix these issues.

We have a responsibility as social media users, to be more thoughtful in how we use these podiums. Better judgement must be practiced before we like or share. I would love to see a “movement” for a more responsible use of social media on the user level.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

It’s difficult to limit my choice for a lunch meeting to just one influential social personality. To make this meeting as efficient as possible I’d like to invite Taylor Swift to talk savvy business deals, Sheryl Sandberg to talk about the future of social platforms, and Michelle Obama to discuss life, in general. To meet the 1:1 ratio, I’d invite my two daughters to tag along and participate!


Martin Stoll on why you should never underestimate the power of a hashtag was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Why being authentic is the most important principle for success in social media, With Kristine Neil

Be Authentic. The quickest way to get people to zone out is to show them exactly what they see on everyone else’s accounts. You’re not keeping up a robust posting schedule and all that goes with it to blend in! Users are quick to notice when someone isn’t being real. When faced with an endless scroll of pretty, polished, manicured personas, offering an authentic picture of who you really are as a person (or as a brand) can be a breath of fresh air. Brands and influencers alike shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves out there; I’ve found that the messy behind-the-scenes posts usually generate the most engagement. If you’re hesitant to post anything less than perfect to your grid, that’s what Stories are for! You can be silly, speak directly to your followers, play with fun features like gifs, polls or questions and still maintain the picture perfect main profile we all strive for.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristine Neil. Kristine is a creative entrepreneur, who believes that world-class branding and technology should be available to every business — no matter its size, years-in-business, or industry. She uses Instagram as a platform to connect with peers, prospective clients, and design enthusiasts by sharing cultural, experiential, and portfolio content for both her personal brand and the creative studio she owns — Markon Brands. Kristine loves consulting business owners on how to create a cohesive brand on Instagram.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

In my early days as a brand designer and strategist, I learned that brands needed to be able to effectively portray themselves on social media and not just in traditional ways like print or other static marketing. It wasn’t enough to create a great logo; it was understanding how it would be viewed on a mobile device. It wasn’t enough to know how to work with long-form copy for an advertisement; I needed to know how to help them communicate in blurbs and snippets. Love it or hate it, understanding the nuances of social media can make the difference between building a successful brand and a mediocre one.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

I’ll admit that I was slow to jump into social media back in the day, but it didn’t take long to realize the power it was going to have to influence how businesses are discovered and ultimately change the way brands interact with customers. The communications and public relations rules that companies have always followed still apply on social media, they just operate on a much, much faster timeframe! My background in communications helped me tremendously when I started forging my own way on social media, then when I started working on my business accounts, and ultimately when I began managing and consulting for clients. It’s hard to be an authority on something that evolves as quickly as social media marketing, but I treat staying ahead of the trends as part of my job.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Apparently watching a thousand different episodes of Dateline didn’t help us know to be wary of blind dates with clients from the internet. Unfortunately, catfishing exists even in the business world which we learned the hard way after agreeing to coffee with a potential local client who followed us on social for a while before sending an inquiry about a new project. Flash forward a few hours after sitting in a coffee shop wondering if he was going to show up at all and my teammate and I found ourselves watching slideshows in some random guy’s basement office while frantically trying to find a reason to cut the meeting short. As it turns out, he didn’t actually have any real work to offer and just wanted to “pick our brains” in a (too long) free consultation. Hot tip: screen those types of inquiries by phone before committing yourself for an afternoon — or worse!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’m a pretty critical person, so it’s hard for me to think of any mistakes as funny. Rookie mistakes usually involve things like not proofreading posts and publishing careless typos or pushing the wrong image for a campaign seemed like major fails at the time but looking back I can definitely laugh about them. As I said, social media moves fast so luckily most mistakes will be buried by the gaffes someone else is inevitably going to make tomorrow.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Instagram is by far the most effective platform for me and my business. As web designers, our work is inherently visual, so it works well to show some behind-the-scenes shots, preview finished projects and interact with clients and peers there. The tough part can be directly connecting engagement with increased business revenues. Unlike retail industries where low price points can result in impulse buys and direct correlation between promoted posts and content with sales, it often takes clients getting to know us over a long period, liking our work and then — when the time is right — reaching out to work with us to see results. The funniest memory is a client that finally (after following us on Instagram for a while) came by our office to talk about working together. She was shocked to discover that our office is just like it appears on Instagram! I guess she was used to a lot of people who put out super altered photos and portray them as their own that she was just impressed to find out that we were real!

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Be Authentic
The quickest way to get people to zone out is to show them exactly what they see on everyone else’s accounts. You’re not keeping up a robust posting schedule and all that goes with it to blend in! Users are quick to notice when someone isn’t being real. When faced with an endless scroll of pretty, polished, manicured personas, offering an authentic picture of who you really are as a person (or as a brand) can be a breath of fresh air. Brands and influencers alike shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves out there; I’ve found that the messy behind-the-scenes posts usually generate the most engagement. If you’re hesitant to post anything less than perfect to your grid, that’s what Stories are for! You can be silly, speak directly to your followers, play with fun features like gifs, polls or questions and still maintain the picture perfect main profile we all strive for.

2. Ignore the Haters
People on Instagram tend to be nicer folk than those over on, say, Twitter but the platform is not without it’s fair share of trolls. They can often crop up in unsuspecting ways, such as a competitor who follows you just to copy your style or a jilted past customer who just won’t stop leaving negative comments. We’re all for free speech but honestly, your Instagram is your property and you have the right to police it in any way you want including blocking people or using the profanity filter to censor out specific keywords or phrases. This can help make your page a more enjoyable experience for the people you really want to connect with and allows you to keep your focus on more positive activities.

3. Be Consistent

Some of the best brands on Instagram aren’t necessarily posting multiple times per day, but what they are doing is posting consistently. This can mean that they are posting on the same days of the week, the same times of the day or even with the same themes that their followers can count on seeing. The key is to find what works best for your audience and stick with it! It’s sad when we set a client up with a beautiful content calendar that they stick with for a month and then drop the ball on. Keeping the momentum on your feed going doesn’t need to take up a ton of time, either. Use a scheduling app to queue posts up and work on a week’s or month’s worth of content at a time. This way, you can post consistently day-to-day and reserve your active time for engagement and connecting.

4. Define Your Brand Aesthetic — and Stick To It
Instagram followers may not be able to put into words just exactly why they like certain accounts over others, even within the same industry. But as a designer, it’s easy to see that what they are attracted to a cohesive brand identity. They know what to expect, and they like it. Working to define a brand color palette, photographic style and even a caption style that aligns well with your brand identity and messaging in the real world can pay off big time on Instagram. For brands, especially solopreneurs or small brands, this would also include defining what’s not Instagram-worthy. Examples of things that don’t belong on a business account are family pics, posts about personal politics or other affiliations and almost anything shared from another account. Your business feed is about your brand, not someone else’s, and definitely not about your personal life.

5. Meet Them Where They Are

One of the most under-used buttons on Instagram is that little magnifying glass icon in the bottom tray. The discover tab is a great place to explore industry hashtags, connect with peers and see what everyone else is up to. More than that, it’s a place to learn more about what your ideal clients are interested in. What are the accounts and hashtags they follow? Is there anything you can learn from them? Styles or content ideas you can tweak and make your own? Doing some exploring away from your brand’s own notification tab will help you expand your circle and grow your network.

6. Focus on Engagement, Not Likes
We all love when that little heart counter ticks up and up but likes aren’t the metric brands should be paying attention to on Instagram. When we look at our analytics, the posts that have the most likes are almost never the same as the posts that have the most comments and guess what posts convert clients? You guessed it — the ones with higher engagement. You can encourage comments by asking questions or being conversational in the captions; it all comes back to being authentic. Followers want to connect with the real people behind a brand. The likes are just a bonus.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

We’re at a place in history unlike any other when it comes to access to such a large amount of information at the tips of our fingers. So much of what happens in our real lives, in our communities, in our classrooms, in our town halls, and in our boardrooms is affected by or has the power to be shaped by the information that we get first online. Unfortunately, technological illiteracy is a real problem and those of us who work every day online and with technology often forget how overwhelming it can all seem to those that don’t. Teaching everyone how to use, manage, evaluate, and understand technology and information online is as critical a subject as reading or math. I believe that we have a civic responsibility to make sure that not just our students but other demographics that are routinely marginalized online have the tools they need to access information and engage in the conversations that will shape our collective future.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’m a Catfish fan from wayback so if Nev Schulman is still on the hunt for a guest co-host, I’m available!

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


Why being authentic is the most important principle for success in social media, With Kristine Neil was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Why you should go out and meet people who follow you in real life, With Stephanie Lucas & Candice…

Why you should go out and meet people who follow you in real life, With Stephanie Lucas & Candice Georgiadis

One of my favorite benefits of Instagram is getting offline and meeting people I follow or who follow me in real life. It is always eye opening to have coffee with other brands and to learn more about their process and ideas. Every time I meet in real life I learn something new and I make a new connection. I recently had coffee with an influencer who is very close to 10,000 followers. We discussed her posts and stories about reaching for that magic number and about how she connects with followers to grow her brand.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Lucas, owner of South Lumina Ave, a boutique marketing and communications company based in Charlotte, NC. This niche firm focuses on helping customers promote their passion, by managing their public image and reaching their full potential using all aspects of social media.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

For most of my career I’ve done what I love — marketing — but for someone else. After becoming a mother, I really started focusing on what would fulfill me professionally while allowing me to spend the most time with my family. My oldest is now and 5 and I finally found the courage to venture out, build my own brand and help people build theirs.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

With over 15 years of experience, I have gone from marketing a major city to marketing luxury real estate. In this time, I’ve been an integral part of building new brands and taking peoples’ dreams and companies to that next level. I understand how overwhelming and confusing social media can be for some. While working with clients, I get to see the lights turn on as we discuss how the tools I utilize will grow their business.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

In addition to working with customers, I manage my own social media accounts and keep in contact with friends, clients, acquaintances and followers. I had a friend direct message me on Instagram. She asked if South Lumina Ave is my company and if I can help her launch a new travel brand. Having worked in the tourism industry for years, I was ecstatic to be a part of her new venture, especially starting from a launch. This will be an incredible project as we work together to grow her new brand.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I started South Lumina Ave, I built a website on a platform that wasn’t the best fit for my brand. I had to learn new software and rebuild the website before I launched. At the time it wasn’t funny, but it served as a reminder to research before committing and that I can learn new technology very quickly when pressed for time!

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

I always recommend starting a company’s social media with Facebook. With over 2.23 billion active users, this site is a no-brainer to have a presence on. I also want my clients to do one thing well, rather than spread themselves thin trying to be everything to everybody. While I recommend having a presence and posting relevant content to Facebook, I lean towards Instagram for maximizing your brand. The number of users is growing every day and Instagram is a platform that people use to be visually stimulated. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, so we can absorb more info more quickly with Instagram.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

As the founder of a marketing start-up, I can attest to Instagram being a key tool you can use to grow your business. From IG stories to promoting blog posts, Instagram is the fastest, free way to gain followers. It’s even a teaching tool.

1 — Make your Instagram account a business account.

Instagram allows you to convert any account to a business account. This is step one in building your business. It’s free to convert your account and you can track analytics to really drill down into who your audience is. You can also run ads, once you convert your account to business, which you can’t do when you only have a personal account. One of my clients had her mind set on what her customer demographic was, and she catered to that market. Once she set up her business Instagram account, she realized that her target market was off, and she quickly redefined her marketing plan to increase her profit margins.

2 — Be Consistent

It is key to be consistent. The more you post the more you will appear and the more you appear the more people will follow you. You’ll build credibility on being an expert in your niche and people will rely on you for content. Build rapport with followers and convert them to clients by engaging with them. Ask questions in your posts and respond to the answers. A follower of mine commented regularly on my posts. I would always like their comments or respond to them when relevant. After several months, this follower requested an RFP for a project she was working on. We had built a relationship through Instagram comments.

3 — Learn from and remix what others are doing.

We follow people we admire. We look to them for their business acumen, their beautiful feeds, their mission. Look at those accounts and dig deeper into what it is you really like about them. Is it the flow of colors in their feed? Maybe they always have the newest features Instagram rolls out. Or maybe it’s the way they present their message that resonates with you. Take what you learn and make it your own. This past summer, a baker client noticed her real estate agent friend had Instagram stories highlights on her page. She knew this would be a great way to feature cakes she had created and promote her best work in an organized way, so we added highlights to her page.

4 — Network through DM and Stories.

It’s easy to get lost in the online world. People still need to feel a connection, so build relationships through your stories by sharing bits of personal information as well as sending direct messages. Think of DMs as little sticky notes where you can congratulate, cheer on, or support the people you follow. This helps them get to know you and feel connected and will increase your credibility.

5 — Connect with influencers and grow your tribe. Build a community within your niche and make your feed beautiful.

One of my favorite benefits of Instagram is getting offline and meeting people I follow or who follow me in real life. It is always eye opening to have coffee with other brands and to learn more about their process and ideas. Every time I meet in real life I learn something new and I make a new connection. I recently had coffee with an influencer who is very close to 10,000 followers. We discussed her posts and stories about reaching for that magic number and about how she connects with followers to grow her brand.

6 — Post relevant content but stay true to your brand.

Use new content, repurposed content, and user generated content to be consistent in posting to your Instagram page. Make sure to stay true to your brand through the photos you publish and the information you share. Keep your feed visually appealing and keep content relevant to your offerings. Always remember that you are building a business and your Instagram feed is a snapshot of your public persona. Put your best images out there!

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. ?

As a female we are told from a young age that we can be anything we want, but as we grow up, we put ourselves into limiting boxes. We suffer from fraudy feelings and hold ourselves back when we should be pushing ourselves and other women forward. One of my very accomplished, awesome mom friends told me she looked up to me — to me! — and that I was a power mama. This gave me such energy because she is such a super woman herself. We need more support and love in our girl tribe!

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them ?

There are so many amazing people who use their influence to accomplish greatness across all platforms. P!nk has been a source of inspiration and helped me push outside of my comfort zones. Breakfast or lunch with her would be such an incredible experience. There would be kids running all over, it would be loud, and it would be completely girl power.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


Why you should go out and meet people who follow you in real life, With Stephanie Lucas & Candice… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

“Why you should repurpose content to reach new audiences” With Candice Georgiadis & Frank Kerner

Repurpose content to reach new audiences. We’re continually improving on our content repurposing. We currently use videos on YouTube, Facebook and IGTV. We turn them into blog posts and announce those blog posts as stories on Instagram. We also have plans to turn all of that content into bite-sized videos and posts for Instagram and Instagram Stories in the future. Your audience is diverse, and they each prefer specific types of content, so diversify to reach everyone!

I had the pleasure to interview Frank Kerner, of Pelican State Credit Union. Frank got his start in digital marketing by running and subsequently selling, a blog-turned-website called Geek Preview. He has been featured in Inc Magazine, Facebook Boost Your Business and The Financial Brand. As the Content and Digital Strategist, he oversees all digital, social and content marketing for Pelican State Credit Union, the largest state-chartered credit union in the state of Louisiana.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure! I got my start in high school by creating a blog. I wanted to talk about video games and film as an art form. It grew quite a bit, and I got to interview some pretty high profile composers and art directors in the entertainment industry. I found myself getting more enthralled in growing my readership and increasing my retention and fanbase.

As I entered college, I thought film would be a great major for me since I loved the art form so much. However, I increasingly enjoyed writing blogs and newsletters, running and researching ad campaigns, finding new ways to attract people to the business. I ended up getting an offer for my website, so I sold it, changed my major and focused my efforts on marketing for businesses.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

I’ve been doing marketing within social media for almost 10 years now, which is crazy to think about. Growing up and realizing the potential of the internet early on has allowed my skill set to grow with the platforms. I teach classes and do one-on-one coaching for people that need help with their personal branding on social media.

I’ve helped develop strategies for a huge assortment of businesses — software development companies, authors, mechanics and even rodeo queens! At Pelican State Credit Union, we’re currently ranked pretty high on the “Power 100” rankings for financial institutions on The Financial Brand. We’re #62 for overall social media, #61 on Facebook and #48 on Youtube — no small feat!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I’d say the most interesting thing that’s happened is when I was personally invited to speak at Facebook’s official Boost Your Business tour in Baton Rouge. It was kind of surreal to get contacted from Facebook about a really awesome experience. Being able to get in front of a large audience and share my experience using social media for business was one of my best professional memories.

We talked about growing your online community, ways to reach your target market and how to get the most return for your money on the platform.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of the funniest mistakes I’ve ever made is actually pretty embarrassing, but I enjoy telling it. It was years back when hashtag strategies were essentially “add them to get exposure.” Well, it was a picture taken at an event with a celebrity impersonator, and there was a joke that they made at the event to go with the picture.

Without thinking, I’m in the middle of laughing at this caption, and I decide to leave a hashtag for the followers to be more personable: #ImDead. In all of the laughter, I forgot that the celebrity is actually deceased, so the hashtag may have seemed a little tasteless when it wasn’t meant as so. I still cringe when I think about it. I always tell the story to remind people to re-read your hashtags and captions once more before you post. It could come across pretty bad when it’s not meant to.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Lately, this one’s been a tie. Facebook is still slightly ahead at increasing revenue, but YouTube has been really growing for us lately. A lot of this depends on your content and strategy, but they both have their perks.

When we launch a campaign, Facebook and Google Display Ads are the main conversion drivers. People come to our website, visit a location or call when those ads are running. With YouTube, there are a lot of perks that marketers and business owners forget about. The view rate for ads is high, as is the retention rate. What it does for awareness and product/brand consideration are incredible.

We ran a campaign back in 2017 called Fall Into Savings to promote our share certificate rates and get more deposits. It was a simple concept: we’d tie into the current season, put some fall leaves and fall-esque sounds to appeal to all of the senses, and then created Display and Bumper ads for Google, YouTube and Facebook. Our highest lift came from YouTube and Facebook, which reached hundreds of thousands of people for 7 seconds each. We saw a huge bump in organic search traffic during the promotional period, and referred almost 16,000 people to our landing page.

We increased our deposits by $7,000,000 in a very short amount of time, and we spent a tiny fraction of that. We got views on Facebook and YouTube for less than a penny a view! You really can’t beat those kinds of returns on investment.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

Of course!

· Strategize, strategize, strategize! You can’t improve your business without a strategy, so why should you approach Instagram any differently? When I first approached social media marketing years ago, I didn’t really think about strategizing. It was always, “What will I post today?” By knowing your voice, content and approach on Instagram, you’re taking guesswork out of the equation and are able to make more of an impact with consistency.

· Create a calendar and stick to it. I used to use a tool called Trello to keep organized, but our entire marketing team has been using Wrike, which has been outstanding for social media calendars. We can see upcoming and current content at a glance on the calendar, including previous and future Stories and IGTV videos.

· Repurpose content to reach new audiences. We’re continually improving on our content repurposing. We currently use videos on YouTube, Facebook and IGTV. We turn them into blog posts and announce those blog posts as stories on Instagram. We also have plans to turn all of that content into bite-sized videos and posts for Instagram and Instagram Stories in the future. Your audience is diverse, and they each prefer specific types of content, so diversify to reach everyone!

· Make content because you have something to say, not because you have to say something. This goes back to “What will I post today?” There are days where we don’t have something to say, so we don’t post. Guess what? That’s completely fine. Posting just to say something can do more damage to your brand than saying nothing at all.

· Be real. I see a lot of marketers that want to look like “big brands.” I’ve found that they will forego being their own “real” brand. Being real is a great differentiator — add some personality in your posts! Use pictures, stories and videos of real people to show that you’re not some stuffy, corporate brand page. Being polished is great, but losing all personality to look clean doesn’t do well. Spend time honing in on that brand voice, and you can remain real and look polished at the same time.

· Don’t forget that it’s not about you. One of the biggest problems businesses have with Instagram is that they forget about their followers’ needs, wants and dreams. Keeping these in mind can help you craft content and posts that can make an impact in your followers’ lives. When’s the last time you polled your customers/followers to see why they follow you?

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d really like people to know that within social media and on the internet they have the power to create their own happiness. You can choose to see what you want, and there are algorithms in place to show you more of that. If you took just a minute out of each day to like, share and choose happiness and growth instead of engaging in negativity, you’d see more of that.

We are in a unique position with the internet to create the world that we want to live in. If you don’t want to see negative news, don’t read it or seek it out, and it will not be shown to you. If you want to be a better artist, you can surround yourself with other artists and get live, real-time feedback on your work. If your dream is to only see cute pictures of baby animals day in and day out, you can live in that world.

It’s actually easier to do this than most other things. You simply have to not click or read things you do not want to. Hide them from your internet if you wish. Do that enough times in one small week and you will see a huge increase in your happiness. Create the world in which you live well.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Ooh, that’s a tough one. It’d probably be Pete Docter. His storytelling skill set is out of this world, and the movies he’s directed and worked on at PIXAR have been very impactful and inspirational in the way I approach content and marketing.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


“Why you should repurpose content to reach new audiences” With Candice Georgiadis & Frank Kerner was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Target psychographics as well as…

How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Target psychographics as well as demographics”, With Candice Georgiadis & Michelle Chuang

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world right now with advertising revenues just right below Facebook and Twitter. The advertising platform enables a brand to target its customer not only by demographics but also psychographics, making it one of the most efficient way to finding the right customer. But it’s essential for brands to post regularly and consistently. The most effective frequency is once per day. This volume may be daunting for companies that are struggling to produce content, but to establish a strong relationship with your customers, consistency in the frequency of communication is vital.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Chuang, Principal of MMS Brand Consulting, LLC and the founder of lifestyle blog www.MimiStrawberry.com. With more than 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles at marketing-driven organizations such as Starbucks and Chevron, Michelle has developed effective marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, drive customers loyalty and deliver revenue growth across online and offline channels for multiple businesses.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was an aspiring journalist back in college and had a fantastic opportunity to work abroad in Beijing as an on-air talent for CCTV in China. Due to unexpected life events, my relocation plan fell through. Instead, I ended up joining Starbucks and began this incredible journey developing an exciting career in marketing for the last 15 years. When I look back, marketing and journalism are similar in many ways. Both are about telling a meaningful story and engaging your audience. The only exception is that journalism is based on an unbiased viewpoint, whereas marketing is about taking a strong position on what the brand represents.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

The beauty of marketing is that it is ever-changing. Marketing is about connecting products and brands with people and through technological innovations like social media, people now have unprecedented access to connecting with products, businesses and each other. The emerging growth of social media marketing in the last decade has really presented social platforms as an effective and engaging channel for marketers to connect with their target audiences. Instagram alone grew five times from 100M users to more than 500M users in just the short span of 3 years. That is why I invested my energy early on in learning social media, to thoroughly understand the capabilities of multiple social platforms and the best way to utilize each of them to more impactfully engage with consumers to generate the result that we aim to achieve. Then in the summer of this year, I started www.MimiStrawberry.com, a lifestyle blog site with the purpose to inspire readers to live a more well-rounded life. MimiStrawberry.com is my creative platform but also a gateway for me to further engage, experiment and experience to gain insights into the world of social media. Also with influencer marketing now exceeding to become a billion dollar industry, MimiStrawberry.com provides me with an inside connection to developing a holistic social marketing strategy involving influencers that will drive brand advocacy.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Hmm, this is a tough one. Since I’ve been in marketing for nearly two decades now, I feel that there are so many exciting stories, but at the same time, none are particularly fascinating. I will say that marketing is a very dynamic career to pursue and no two days are the same. Many may feel that it is a glamorous profession with parties and events, but there are also tough days like being on your feet all day staffing a trade show booth or walking the streets for a grassroots marketing program. I’ve had my share of attending cool events and meeting celebrities like Ryan Gosling and Mylie Cyrus, but I’ve also spent countless days traveling through airports and endless nights working in front of your laptop to meet deadlines. The critical thing to recognize is that there is no substitute for hard work but the more you do, you will get better at it. And the better you get, the more satisfaction you’ll get from your job.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

As a first-generation Chinese American, I never immersed myself in the American pop culture growing up. I never followed the top 40 charts nor did I listen to hip/hop music or followed any celebrity news. Then when I started working for a large retailer, I started dealing with strategic partnerships that required dealing with PR partnership and celebrity appearances. One day we were in a meeting strategizing about an upcoming product launch, and the team was discussing which celebrity we should invite. A bunch of names was thrown out, and one person suggested “The Black Eye Peas.”

I couldn’t help but follow up with a sincere question to the team, “Is Black Eye Pea a person or the name of a snack?” There was a long silence followed my question then an outburst of hysterical laughter filled the meeting room. As you can imagine how embarrassed I was. Right then, I realized that being good at your job is very different from doing well in school. You may be well-versed in all the business principles, but a well-rounded professional also needs common knowledge in the field that you operate in, to be successful in your job.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

When it comes to selecting the right social media platform to increase business revenues, it would depend on the type of the business, price point, stages of the marketing funnel and transaction process of the sale.

Generally speaking, Facebook is the most effective social media platform due to its algorithmic capability in targeting a specific audience group through demographics and psychographics. Facebook’s industry-leading capabilities are rewarded with leading in ad revenue at 11B+, while its sister company Instagram is another effective platform due to the ability for users to shop directly on the image, within the app. Particularly for small businesses such as fashion apparel or other mom & pop shop that has lower price points, Instagram is a great way to engage with the intended audience and drive sale conversion, all at the same session within the app.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share six ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Growing the brand awareness of your business

Instagram helps you find and engage with your target audience (through hashtags.) There are over 500 million users on Instagram daily, and those users are always looking for what interests them through hashtags and “look-alike” aka, people that Instagram suggests to follow. This enhances the relevancy of content and connects the brand closer to its intended audiences. And because Instagram is visual-focused, (image, short video, etc.,), it broadens the scope of reach of the audience through other in-app features such as Instagram stories, live TV, etc.

2. Increased engagements with your targeted audience

Brands can quickly engage with audiences through Instagram through engagements of Like, Comments and Saves. Brands generally see engagement rates 10x higher than Facebook. This creates a personal touch to connect with your customers and also presents positive brand image through its social sentiment. For businesses that are looking to conduct customers research/feedback, Instagram is an incredible platform to implement simple questionnaire as a way to gain input from users. Plus, the more businesses engage with Instagram users, the more exposure your feed will receive by the Instagram algorithm.

3. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the market and the competitive landscape

Instagram is also an effective way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the market and also with competitors. By following key trade partners and competitions, companies gain a good pulse on crucial announcements in the industry as well as what promotions that are happening with their competitors, securing an edge in the business they operate in.

4. Utilize as a source of benchmark to stay up-to-date with your customers.

The Insights section of Instagram is a brilliant way to provide current metrics about your business. You can utilize the metric to determine the effectiveness of your content strategy, which headline and copy is generating most engagement and which Call-To-Action is triggering most conversions.

5. Instagram as a method to survey and “test-and-learn.”

If you’re thinking about a product or consumer research, then the Instagram story function may be a great way to ask questions and get immediate feedback from your customers (followers.) Not only it will present you with the data that you are looking for, but it also shows customers that you’re interested in gathering their feedback, adding positive sentiments to the relationship that you’re looking to build with your customers.

6. Cultivate a strong relationship with your customer

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms in the world right now with advertising revenues just right below Facebook and Twitter. The advertising platform enables a brand to target its customer not only by demographics but also psychographics, making it one of the most efficient way to finding the right customer. But it’s essential for brands to post regularly and consistently. The most effective frequency is once per day. This volume may be daunting for companies that are struggling to produce content, but to establish a strong relationship with your customers, consistency in the frequency of communication is vital.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I always think the world can use more compassion and I believe a more compassionate world starts with loving ourselves. Love is like a three-tier pyramid. We must first love ourselves by building a foundation of healthy self-esteem and self-respect, then we can give more love to the people and things around us, offering more help and minimizing prejudice. Finally, when we’re good to ourselves and great to others, we will end up with a better world.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I’ve recently been reading AI Superpower by Dr. Kai Fu Li, the world-renowned expert on artificial intelligence. In the book he argues because of unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will occur much sooner than many of us expected.

And what’s more fascinating is that as the US-Sino AI competition begins to heat up, the US and China needs to both accept and to embrace the great responsibilities that come with significant technological power. Most experts already say that AI will have a devastating impact on blue-collar jobs. But Lee predicts that Chinese and American AI will have a substantial impact on white-collar jobs as well.

I share Lee’s vision of AI, and the need for us as humans to embrace this science. Just like industrialism advanced the world of agriculture. AI will make us smarter and better at our jobs and in our lives. We just need to embrace it and have the drive to learn.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Target psychographics as well as… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

“How to create social media content that your audience will value” With Candice Georgiadis &…

“How to create social media content that your audience will value” With Candice Georgiadis & Adwaiz CEO Patrick Smith

The goal with each Instagram post should be to captivate and engage your audience. For example, if you are the owner of a food or drink brand, your posts should aim to make your following hungry or thirsty. For a restaurant it is important to showcase more than just food and drinks. Take your audience behind the scenes and show them what the people working behind the bar and grill are up to. Showcase a facet of the restaurant that people wouldn’t see through traditional channels. You need to create content that will be valued by your audience, rather than simply create a video because everyone is saying you need this to succeed. Always ask yourself, what does your audience expect and does your post deliver that.

I had the pleasure to interview Patrick Smith, the CEO of Adwaiz, Patrick started his entrepreneurial career at age ten DJing at parties and weddings, while at the same time showing a great interest in building websites with photo editing tools such as Photoshop and Lightroom. When he first came to London three years ago, Patrick’s passion for photography and technology spurred him into creating his own Instagram account, ‘Londonfoodboy’, which showcases London’s best food and drink, and is now one of the most respected ‘foodies’ in the London scene. Shortly after, Patrick founded his own social media and influencer marketing agency, Adwaiz, in April 2017, with headquarters in Central London.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

In August 2016 I started my own Instagram account, ‘Londonfoodboy’, with the aim to document the best of the London bar and restaurant scene. The success of this account quickly became greater than I could’ve possibly dreamt of. Not only did Londonfoodboy become really popular amongst my followers, but I also noticed that my account caught the interest of the food and drinks industry.

As an Instagrammer myself, I quickly identified that there was a substantial gap in the market, and specifically that brands and influencers had no easy way of connecting, which ultimately inspired my first venture within this space.

I decided to launch a series of events called Someetup, with the objective to start a conversation between brands and influencers. At Someetup, companies such as UberEats, JustEat and Shake Shack were able to meet with some of London’s most influential social media stars, and exchange their respective business needs with each other. Hosting these events, we soon began to get approached by the attending companies, who would ask if we could help build content for them, and manage their social media.

This was when I realised the business potential of what I was doing.

In April 2017, I rented a desk in a friend’s office and less than a month later, I had ten paying clients and hired my first employee. This became the start of my company, Adwaiz. Today, less than a year later, we are a fully formed social media and influencer marketing agency of 30 people, and have worked with world famous brands such as Glenfiddich and Moet Hennessy.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

As an influencer myself, I have a true passion for digital storytelling, and insider knowledge about the social media space that many other founders of agencies of our kind are lacking. With over 4000 influencers in our network, we help our clients — which range from established brands to stellar start-ups — to be more engaging and inspiring across all social media, particularly focusing on content creation, social media management and influencer marketing. We are hugely proud to have worked with some of the UK’s top names such as The Ivy Collection, Jamie Oliver, superstar chef Richard Corrigan and Stonegate, just to name a few.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Before I moved to London, a close friend of mine gave me a phone number which belonged to a very influential real estate agent in London called Gary Hersham. I was told to only use this number ‘in case of an emergency’.

I moved to London without knowing anyone, or having any business connections and experience within the UK market. One night, I got talking to a young gentleman at a local bar, who wanted to introduce me to a man he had recently met.

He arranged for me to meet him 3 days later at a restaurant in the renowned London department store, Harrods. We got on very well and by the end of the meeting, I asked about the contact I had and whether he knew him by any chance. Surprisingly, he asked me why I wanted to get in touch with him, so I explained how I got the number. He then revealed that Gary Hersham had been his closest friend for 30 years, and that I did not need to call him.

I deleted his number immediately and the new connection I made in Harrods is now a very close and dear friend, as well as my mentor, who has helped me progress through every step of my career ever since.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us on what lesson you learned from that?

When forming my C-suite team, I was close to making one of the biggest mistakes of my career by not recruiting the right person for the role of CFO.

At the time, it was obvious to me that I had already met the right person for the job, it just happened to be that the most qualified candidate was also the person I was engaged to.

I was advised time and time again not to get my fiance involved in my company, because of the potential negative effects this would have not only on my relationship, but also on my company. For a brief period of time I was considering looking elsewhere for a CFO, but in the end, I followed my instinct and hired my fiance.

As a company founder, this is one of the best strategic decisions I have ever made, and just as I had expected, my fiance is now one of my most valuable team members.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

It generally depends on the brand’s target audience and on the campaign’s key objectives, but for all food and drink brands, the most effective platform tends to be Instagram. Instagram is particularly effective because you are able to showcase your products using captivating and engaging content.

For the brands that I’ve worked with, I have seen a significant ROI from using Instagram. More footfall and traffic has resulted in not only increased brand awareness, but also significant increases in revenue. Some of the clients that we work with have seen an impressive 40% increase in revenue by working with us for only six months, and using social media as their main marketing channel.

We know that 30% of millennials would be less inclined to visit a restaurant if it had a weak Instagram presence. With this in mind, the goal for every marketer should be to treat their social platforms, and especially Instagram, as their shop window.

Ultimately, the most effective platform is the one that works best for you and your business.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

a) Content is everything.

The goal with each Instagram post should be to captivate and engage your audience. For example, if you are the owner of a food or drink brand, your posts should aim to make your following hungry or thirsty.

For a restaurant it is important to showcase more than just food and drinks. Take your audience behind the scenes and show them what the people working behind the bar and grill are up to. Showcase a facet of the restaurant that people wouldn’t see through traditional channels. You need to create content that will be valued by your audience, rather than simply create a video because everyone is saying you need this to succeed.

Always ask yourself, what does your audience expect and does your post deliver that.

b) Context

You should know your style, tone of voice and how to portray your brand in the best possible way. Use your personality and the concepts you have created for your brand.

Find out what works for your brand. From my own experience, I have noticed that authentic content works better than polished (magazine quality) content. Be consistent no matter which direction or platform you choose.

c) Make people rave about your products.

Today, in this new era of social media, anyone that comes to a restaurant or bar and tries your product is a potential influencer. Make sure to use every opportunity to create brand ambassadors and encourage user generated content to be posted. Maybe invest in a small light from Amazon to hand around and make sure the restaurant social media handle is available for everyone to see.

Engage with the people that have posted online about their experience at your restaurant and maybe offer them a drink on their next visit as a small thanks.

I recommend using micro influencers to support or amplify a message. As a part of my influencer marketing offering, we have created a model we call 1/9/90. By using specific influencers whose audiences fit a desired demographic, they act as the 1% who will influence the 9% of engagers (who comment, contribute and share) who will then go on to influence the remaining 90% of the market (who read, rate and consume).

d) Attract talent, not just customers.

Instagram is a great platform to attract talent and send traffic to any job ad. Utilise your workforce to showcase why anyone should work with you. This is ongoing work (not just when you are looking to recruit people) and you have to include everyone in the team. Create a strategy and send the login round for people to share stories and build content. Don’t be afraid to show or give away too much.

e) Motion creates motion

As in all businesses, motion creates motion. That applies to social media too. In this logic, you need to give out ten likes to get one in return. Make sure you treat your followers as a community. Engage, share and encourage/motivate them to respond. Give them a reason to follow you and be more concerned about them unfollowing you, rather than not gaining enough followers.

f) Make a plan and create a strategy

My father always said to me, ‘You need to make a proper plan, because proper plans prevent piss poor performance!’. Find out what works for you and utilize the content to produce new content. Create a strategy and a set of pre-planned posts in advance. This will solve your everyday hassle of finding something to post.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Since moving to the UK I’ve been appalled at how kids eat and the lack of healthy options available, especially in the restaurant trade. Most children’s menus consist of empty calories, white carbs, fried foods and sugary drinks. I would like to challenge all restaurants to create smaller portions and make more options available.

I would love to use my influence to support great people like Jamie Oliver and his campaign to reduce unhealthy food choices in British schools and support the youth of the future to make better and healthier choices. I would be extremely proud if I could help inspire a movement which taught kids how to appreciate the value of buying and eating local, fresh and healthy foods and I believe a change in the restaurant trade would help us achieve such an attitudinal change.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

My fiance and I are huge fans of the Obamas, and a double date with Barack and Michelle would be an absolute dream for both of us.

We spend everyday working on communication strategies for our clients and I would be really interested to learn how they have both managed to effectively communicate to mature audiences but also appeal to younger generations.

Personally, I have always been fascinated by how Mr. Obama is able to skillfully communicate with such great enthusiasm, and really get his message through to people around the world, of all demographics, and across all platforms.

It was also during Barack Obama’s presidency that social media really exploded on a global scale. The year Obama became president, the White House joined Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, iTunes and MySpace, in 2013, the first lady posted her first photo on Instagram and in 2015, the president sent his first tweet from @POTUS. And in 2017, the White House posted its first official story on Snapchat. Barack Obama is arguably “the first social-media president”, and in my opinion, the biggest influencer out there.


“How to create social media content that your audience will value” With Candice Georgiadis &… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

“Why a founder needs to be highly aware of trends as they pop up” With Pokeworks Co-founder Kevin…

“Why a founder needs to be highly aware of trends as they pop up” With Pokeworks Co-founder Kevin Hsu & Candice Georgiadis

One story I would say isn’t really a mistake, but more of a funny coincidence, was when the new “Pokémon Go” mobile app game came out. There were a lot of correlations between Pokéworks and Pokémon, even to the point of media reaching out to us for comment. To our surprise, we did start getting a good amount of Pokémon Go players to our store to catch Charmander. This did help attract a new audience for us, which ultimately taught us the lesson that we need to be highly aware of trends as they come up and to be ready to act on them immediately.

I had the pleasure to interview Kevin Hsu, the Co-founder of Pokeworks

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Social Media platforms have exponentially become the single most important marketing tool to utilize to channel brands to the “right” audiences. So, it was only natural (not only for Pokéworks, but what I believe a large percentage of marketers out there) to either adapt or be left in the dust.

For me, social marketing truly started at Pokéworks with social marketing our first store in Midtown. Our product being very photogenic with the vibrant colors and the different combinations and textures, immediately became “Instagrammable” and something that was readily shared amongst friends, family and colleagues.

In 2015, Instagram was just starting to be more prevalent for food influencers, therefore between myself and Pokéworks’ other co-founders, we would constantly seek out ways to benefit from the platform, A/B testing different content strategy, and keep track of analytics like a hawk to find better ways to reach new followers and engage with our existing fanbase.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

Honestly, I don’t believe in anyone being an authority on social media marketing, mainly because the platform is ever-changing. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter will always have new features and tools that change the game on how audiences consume content. There is always that constant challenge of finding a pattern that achieves goals based on the newest ways that audiences receive content and engage in the digital space.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

When we first started at our first NYC location, we had setup a “Instagram your Creation” wall, which would feature Pokéworks fans’ poke bowl creations on the wall. Of course, this wasn’t the most technologically advanced way to feature fan photos, but it did inspire eaters that came into our restaurant to take a picture of their order and share.

From there, office colleagues, friends and family started noticing these colorful photos on their feed, which inspired them to race over to try Pokéworks for themselves. Soon after, these photos started garnering attention from national media, including a foodie video showing our Poke Burrito creation that went viral in 2016, resulting in 50+ million views across the world. From there, we knew we had to accelerate our knowledge on social media in order to continue nationwide growth expansion.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One story I would say isn’t really a mistake, but more of a funny coincidence, was when the new “Pokémon Go” mobile app game came out. There were a lot of correlations between Pokéworks and Pokémon, even to the point of media reaching out to us for comment. To our surprise, we did start getting a good amount of Pokémon Go players to our store to catch Charmander. This did help attract a new audience for us, which ultimately taught us the lesson that we need to be highly aware of trends as they come up and be ready to act on them immediately.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Each social media platform appeals to different audiences for different purposes. For the food and restaurant industry specifically, Instagram rises above the rest as it is more of a visual outlet. Our target audience as a restaurant brand can be easily reached via Instagram vs. other platforms since our concept is highly visual. For this reason, Instagram allows us to easily share our core product with our target audience.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Build Your Audience: Share your content on Instagram through your own channel, but also share across by hashtag or collaborating with other influencers. All these avenues are great building up brand presence. At Pokéworks, we value influencer relationships and encourage influencers to visit our restaurants as these influencers can play a vital role in furthering brand awareness.

2. Listen to Your Customers: Provide an open channel for feedback. We have learned first-hand that when you engage in two-way communication with your customers, you open the door to receiving unique insight into your customer preferences of the brand, product and overall experience.

3. Engage, Engage, Engage: Although it’s important to constantly reach new audiences, it is just as important, if not more to keep an active two-way engagement with your audience as well. When you engage with your audience, you can establish loyalty amongst your customers and audience.

4. Content with Intent: If your brand has a cause or mission statement, it is important to be transparent with that upfront and keep it consistent with your social media posts and stories. Your mission does not have to be in every post, but you must ensure your audience understands what your brand is all about.

5. Insights in the Details: Although Instagram can improve on providing more analytics capabilities, it is important to track very closely on how each of your posts performs and determine how it can improve in future posts. We have learned that if you don’t review analytics and insights, you will never be able to grow your social presence or your brand.

6. Instagram Stories vs. Posts: We are beginning to see more engagement with stories, but it is still important to keep posts going just the same as your posts to keep your brand relevant and visual so long as they are regularly shared. Stories offer unique engagement tools to gather feedback from your audiences which can be critical to brand and social presence development.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I personally strive to be conscious of the food that I eat and conscious of what I am putting into my body. I appreciate when restaurant brands have transparency with their customers in terms of the food being served. Healthy eating is not just a trend, but a necessity to ensure you are eating something that is good for your body. At Pokéworks, we are striving to deliver more clarity on the sourcing practices we have with every item we serve. Brands like Sweetgreen, which I personally admire, are on the forefront of this and we believe we can do our part to encourage healthier lifestyles.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

This is more of a personal request, but if either Danny Meyer, for the great successes with growing Shake Shack from simple ‘burger + fries’ concept to a worldwide brand, or Eddie Huang, for the similarities in backgrounds growing up and being a key influencer for Asian American entrepreneurs out there (and being a Taiwanese 1st generation as well). I would love to just be able to kick it with them.


“Why a founder needs to be highly aware of trends as they pop up” With Pokeworks Co-founder Kevin… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.