Who Influences You?

influenceinfluence: (noun) the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. (verb) have an influence on.

The other day I was in the car with my 17 year old son and I told him that I read a headline where some guy on YouTube made seven million dollars last year.  I butchered his name but my son corrected me and told me his name was PewDiePie. My son watches a lot of ‘influencers’ on YouTube including PewDiePie…mostly to watch them play X-Box games or because they are hilarious.  PewDiePie has 38 million followers…that’s a lot of influence…hence why he makes six figures a year.

My son asked me how he made his money.  I explained to him about what it means to influence 38 million people and that brands pay him to endorse their products or services. (Much like Kim Kardashian getting paid $20k+ for one product tweet) He said that he would be much more likely to buy something from one of his favorite YouTubers than from ANY ad he’s ever seen.  My 17 year old trusts people who make a living playing video games online more than an ad he ‘might’ see on television.  (This generation is going to be much harder to reach for marketers!)

I know I am influenced more by the people in my life than ads as well.  I will see an ad for mascara on tv or in a magazine and not really think much about it but if my favorite blogger writes about the mascara…I might actually buy the mascara. This has happened many times for products that I’ve bought in the last few years…I trust the blogger or I like the way they ‘broke down’ the product in their blog post which will entice me to give it a try.

When a friend posts on Twitter about a new restaurant, I am much more likely to give it a try than just seeing a billboard about the new place.  I put a lot more weight on a friends’ recommendation than an advertisement.

All of this ‘influence marketing’ is huge for brands looking to reach new and different audiences.  This article does a great job explaining why it’s the next big thing in marketing.

Think about the last thing you purchased or new restaurant you tried…who influenced you?

Local Brand Engagement

I just wrote a post about brands who do not respond on social media and how frustrating that can be EurekaPizzaTweetfor the customer.  I found this great example of a local company responding to a tweet.  Here’s what is great about this exchange:

1. The owner of Eureka Pizza, Rolf Wilkin, said “thank you.”

2. Rolf retweeted the tweet with his message, which meant the tweet went out to his followers as well.

3. Eureka Pizza was paying attention!

Social media is no different than face to face interaction…brands need to treat people on social media as they would if they walked in their store/restaurant/law office/bar, etc. Great job Eureka Pizza!


Social Media Engagement

For the most part it seems, everyone is on some form of social media.  If not, you are probably either living under a rock or actively refusing to get on social media.  For many, social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends from long ago and across the street.  It’s also a great source to stay up on current events as most breaking news breaks on social media today.  It’s a great avenue for sharing photos of loved ones and places you are visiting and it is also the place to tell the world what you are up to on any given day.

I believe most social media users are all pretty good at posting content.  Whether it is what they are having for lunch or linking to a blog post they wrote that morning.  There is definitely what I call “over sharing” on social media…I don’t really need to see your post surgery healing or your rants about your ex-husband.

What frustrates me most about social media users is that while they are good at posting, they are not always that good at engagement.  In order for social media to work properly, users and brands need to engage with their followers not just post content.  It’s like this, what if you stood on a street corner in Manhattan NY and yelled into a megaphone all day just spouting off your thoughts.  That is exactly what some people do on Twitter or Facebook.  Social media only works if you engage.

It is important to engage in conversation on social media.  If someone replies to your Facebook post or your tweet, it is only courteous to respond even if it is just to say thank you.  There are brands who get this concept very well.  This past  weekend, I was traveling with my son’s basketball team and I tweeted a photo of the boys eating at Firehouse Subs before the game, here’s what happened:


This was a Saturday and still someone on their social team was on twitter watching. That is great engagement and guess what, we ate there again on Sunday!

Just read this article this week about Hyatt hotels and their @HyattConcierge program.  They do a really nice job of not only posting content but being there for customers on social media 24/7.  Now, this isn’t easy I realize…Hyatt Hotels is a huge company and they have a huge team handling their social media but it is what I expect from a large company.  Small companies do not have the staff to man social media 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you can’t get back to someone as soon as possible.  It’s always good to like, retweet and favorite content from your customers.  If you are a small operation, I think your customers understand that it might be 24 hours before they hear from you but make sure they hear from you. If you are an airline…you better have staff get back to someone within the hour or this could happen.

It is important to remember social media is about being ‘social.’  If someone on the street were to say “good morning” to you, you will most likely say “good morning” back…it’s no different on social media.  If you want to grow followers it is all about give and take.  If someone follows you on twitter and you can determine this person is not a bot, then it’s perfectly acceptable to follow that person back. The ‘favorite’ button on twitter is a great way to say “great tweet” or “I like what you are saying.”  If you think your followers would be interested in the tweet, then a retweet would be appropriate.  The same is true for Facebook, like a post, like a comment or share the post with your friends.

It is that simple! So make sure you are not just posting content but engage with the social media universe as well.  You will not only grow your followers but you might meet someone new.  Plus it makes social media more fun.  So engage already!



Billboard Marketing



How do you feel about billboard advertising? Everyday we are inundated with billboards on our highways.  I am not completely anti billboards, they do have a function and some companies utilize them quite well.  However, I am surprised almost daily at the companies who spend a lot of marketing dollars on really bad billboard ads.

When you are on a road trip and you need to tell the kiddos that McD’s is just ahead…billboards are great for telling you how many more miles to gas, food and lodging.  Too many times, I see billboards that try to be all things to all people.  This does not work in billboard advertising…doesn’t really work in any advertising.

Copy that is too small, calls to action like ‘follow us on twitter!’ (Really? If I’m alone in the car how am I supposed to do that?)  In my opinion, billboards should be nice large images that are compelling with few words.  I literally saw a billboard this week on Interstate I40 that listed every single social media icon…as if I could reach up and physically tap the icon. This tells me that their ad was probably made for digital and they decided to throw it up on a billboard.  Waste of money.

I think clever and funny billboards do a great job of getting someone’s attention and there are many times that I am driving and see a clever billboard and think, that company just got my attention! Here’s an article about really clever billboards. Which one is your favorite?

According to About Advertising, there are six basic rules of billboard advertising. 

1. Six Words or Less is Ideal

2. Don’t Make Your Billboards a Huge Distraction

3. This is Not the Time for Direct Response

4. Billboards should be smart but not too clever

5. The More Billboards the Better

6. Don’t Say it, Show it

Clever Promotion

Saturday the Hubs and I were in Barnes and Noble shopping.  He picked up a couple of Paleo cookbooks and I bought a book about the power of coconut oil (my latest obsession).  After we got home, I found this in the bag with our receipt.  Very clever B&N!


Barnes and Noble Receipt