Hello! I’m Morgan Molitor and I am the Director of Social Media here at Snap. I recently had the pleasure of attending the Create & Cultivate conference in Dallas, TX…I am still on information overload. I already know the power of social and the value of influencers, yet, this conference brought me to another level.
About Create & Cultivate
Create +Cultivate is based out of Los Angeles but does conferences around the country and brings attendees from all over the world. Create & Cultivate is a creative conference that seeks to inspire and educate in the digital space. This conference isn’t just dedicated to influencers or bloggers but also brands and business owners.
So today I wanted to share with you takeaways from what I learned and 5 reasons why you should be using social media and influencers within your marketing strategy.
5 reasons why you should be leveraging social media & influencers
At Snap we have three simple philosophies when it comes to the power of social media and influencers; support, engage and interact. A lot.
Being at the Create & Cultivate conference validated what I’ve been doing and how I need to take it to the next level and educate my clients that this is a must. There are a ton of platforms and a lot of noise out there across all social channels and blogs. Are you rising above the noise? Not to mention all of the new algorithms that get implemented, especially by Facebook, on a regular basis. What I always like to tell my clients, you don’t need to- that’s why you hired me!
1. It’s Powerful
If you aren’t using influencers in today’s world, you need to change your marketing mindset. Using influencers and social media within your marketing strategy to deliver your brand within your industry is the big new thing. The world is changing my friends, and extremely quickly. Can you keep up?
When making a buying decision instead of looking at ads, celebrities or even researching the companies information consumers are turning to their friends and people they know and trust for guidance. Some of the people they know and trust are not only their friends but influencers they are following online within social channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat.
One of the panel presentations were about Pushing Boundaries, Not Buttons: Getting creative at your current job.
This panel was led by Brooke Brinkmann of Simon G., Claudia Naim Burt of Framebridge, Alexis Avery Cittadine at Bebe, Nick Stenson of Matrix, Elizabeth Monson of Lou & Grey.
Nick Stenson of Matrix said…”Let’s face it, the new 9-5 is working 24/7.” I couldn’t agree more. When aren’t we working? We are our own brand, regardless of the industry you are in. Which means you are always working and you are always representing you as a brand or products or services that you believe in. From the clothes that you wear to the music you listen to, to the stores you shop at, you are a reflection of the people you surround yourselves with and the products you use.
From a business perspective always make sure you know your audience, who you are trying to target, your goals with a plan in advance and understand how much time and commitment necessary it will take to get there.
“When you are speaking and working with a business minded brand you have to go in with a clear focus”
Another powerful asset with using influencers is that you get free consumer research. Another panel was, The Art of the Pitch: How to present, sell and negotiate your big ideas.
This panel was led by Tina Craig of Bag Snob, Lynsey Eaton of Tomboy KC, Caroline Harper Knapp of House of Harper, and Genevieve Ascencio of Factory PR.
Tina Craig from Bag Snob started by emailing huge brands, such as Gucci and Armani, to tell them how much she hated their bags and how impractical they were for her and how they should design them. Today she is designing bags for these brands as well as her own line of beauty, home, shoes, makeup, apparel, and so much more.
This is a huge advantage for brands that leverage influencers. They can hear first hand from their their consumers about what they like and don’t like without having to pay for consumer research.
“If you don’t like something, change it.”
I learned a lot of great things from Genevieve Ascencio of Factory PR as well. Genevieve is not a blogger but works on the PR and brand side of the industry. Genevieve really honed in and talked about exactly what brands look for in influencers. When finding an influencer you need to be picky to understand the influencer and their power on social. Make sure they are within your niche, they believe and value products or services you offer and that their brand is inline with your brand.
And lucky for you- Snap will do all of the research for you to find your influencer within your niche.
“Being able to tell a story to the brands we aspire to work with is really important”
2. It’s Sexy
When Lord & Taylor had 3 major influencers wear the same dress on the same day and publish to Instagram, it gave a strong message to any women looking to buy that this dress was a must have. The dress was sold out that weekend.
Influencers are pretty dang sexy. They are a reflection of your brand and their photos are unbelievable. This panel was more so dedicated to influencers but it talked about, Photo Hacks: Workshop diving into the ins and outs of getting the perfect shot.
I had the pleasure of hearing from Ashley Rose of Sugar and Cloth, Sophia Macks of Beyond the Mag, and Matt Crump from Moderated at the Create & Cultivate conference. All of these influencers have remarkable imagery. They all are very artistic and have a great eye for color and design. All three of these bloggers have Instagram accounts to get you inspired.
“Influencers are not only looking to promote your product, but also promote your values”
3. It helps Your SEO
Influencer marketing helps your search engine optimization. The more people talking about your brand on platforms, creates more backlinks, helping your rank higher on Google.
The panel, Brand Vibes: How to create a brand that lives beyond the blog bubble really chatted about how powerful bloggers SEO is. They pay attention to their analytics, they know what drives traffic and results, and they post consistently to grow your brand and increase your sales. They want to make more money, which is going to make you more money!
Brand Vibes was chatted about by Camille Styles, Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam, Lauyryn Everts of The Skinny Confidential, Mary Seng of Happily Grey, and Sophia Rivka Rossi of Hello Giggles.
I really liked this panel. Probably because I knew 3 of the 5 speakers. I follow all these lovely ladies Instagram accounts- Mary from Happily Grey, Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential, and Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam. All of the 5 speakers had great advice but what I really took home was:
- Consistency is key!
- Pay attention to your Google analytics. What works, what doesn’t. Whatever is working, make more posts like it. Learn from your analytics.
- Whenever inspired, jot it down, take notes. It might be your blog post a year from now.
4. Engaged Audience
Social media influencers are connected to their audience, which means you get in front of an audience who cares through influencers. They care and interact with their followers and post consistently. They have a deepened connection with their tribe. Influencers protect their followers from brands and products they either like or don’t like. And believe me, if they don’t like a product, they will let their audience know. When a influencer recommends a product they have tried, know and like, they will recommend it to their followers and they will take note on that product for when they need to buy.
5. Increases Your Engagement
The powerful thing about using influencers on social media is that they will immediately interact with your brand.
The night ended with three wonderful keynote speakers, A deep dive into the success of Elizabeth Culter and Julie Rice of SoulCycle, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Hillary Kerr & Katherine Power of Clique Media Group.
Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power were interviewed by the founder of Create & Cultivate, Jaclyn Johnson which was pretty cool as well. All of these ladies followed the same tips which has ultimately led them to their success.
Know what your consumer ultimately wants from you. Inspiration? Product? Guides? Tutorials? Places to buy? If we start our posts and it doesn’t ultimately give something to our consumer (you guys reading right now), then why am I taking valuable time writing it?
“If you’re passionate about something, you will develop a very strong work ethic.”
These wonderful ladies really honed in that even though patience is key to make sure to find that hole in the market and if you see it, jump, and work your ass off. As a business owner you need to do something everyday to continue to evolve.
“Sometimes success can come from not knowing a whole lot and trying out new ideas“
- Evolve every single day. Do something, even small, to bring you to your ultimate goal.
- Know and stay true to your DNA and channel it.
- Have clear goals for the next 6 months to 10 years and know what it takes to achieve them. Do something, even little, to learn and evolve everyday.
- Work your ass off! Using all of your hashtags for the third comment so your account doesn’t look spammy and gets buried immediately.
- Snapped and PicTapGo apps are great for editing photos.
- Engage with your tribe.
- Know your demographic of who you want to engage with.
- Know your 5-10 year plan of the business you are in, your goals, and what it is going to take to achieve it.
- Be yourself! Don’t try to be like or talk like anyone else. Write how you talk. Your tribe will find you.
- Engage! Engage! Engage! Support! Support! Support!