Bare Bones + @ADashofdolly = A perfect partnership!

Selecting the right partners for your social media influencer strategy takes skill and savvy and when you choose wisely, great things will come from it. Recently, we saw this play out with one of our clients, Bare Bones, who brings all time-honored benefits of bone broth and collagen in a convenient and ready-to-use package. Recently, they partnered with an influencer named Dolly Sengsavang (@adashofdolly) who has expertise in creating delicious Whole30 recipes and spreading self-love and positivity. So not only is she a well-versed authority in our space but given her energy, she is also the type of brand alliance that is favorable for the client.

On Dolly’s feed, you will see beautiful photos of her food creations along with their respective recipes on her blog. She used to be a Whole30 certified coach and has highlighted the use of liquid broths in the past. The Whole30 diet is similar to the paleo diet, which encourages eating unprocessed meats as a source of protein. This background made her a perfect pairing for our client.

This collaboration began with a giveaway on Dolly’s Instagram account, as well as a takeover on Bare Bones’ Instagram Stories, signaling the launch of the product in all Whole Foods stores nationwide! The giveaway included four pouches of Bare Bones liquid broths, as well as their Collagen Peptides. In the giveaway post, Dolly explained how Bare Bones liquid broths are Whole30 approved and went into detail about all of its incredible benefits. She also shared the creative ways she loves to use bone broth by featuring a mashed potato recipe right on the Instagram Story.

Dolly doing a takeover on a Bare Bones Instagram Story made the followers aware of the giveaway and drove traffic to Dolly’s page showcasing all of her amazing recipes. Because she is an expert on the Whole30 diet which incorporates bone broth, Dolly can speak authentically about the usefulness of those Whole30 approved products. Her audience trusts her to be an expert and trusts that she’ll only recommend products she believes in.

Not only has Dolly been a great ambassador for the product, but she has also contributed creative ways to incorporate Bare Bones in the recipes she creates on her feed and on her blog. For avid readers of her blog, this gives even more exposure to the brand and shows the functionality of the product in Whole30 approved recipes.

Because her audience is niche and pairs so nicely with Bare Bones, her recipes and posts have generated earned comments by new potential customers, sparking up a conversation around the brand.

 

Earned Comments:

What we really love about Dolly, is that she puts in the work when it comes to comments. We say it all the time, that it is one thing to just post about brands and another to go deep in the comments. Not all influencers do that, so make sure you investigate before engaging one. Here she facilitates a conversation and we jumped in there too, to create a deeper connection with our newest fan.

Choosing the right influencers for your brand can create so many possibilities. In this case, Dolly, a well-educated Whole30 expert, was able to speak authentically about the use of Bare Bones, to create recipes that entice her followers to put the product to use AND helped facilitate sales. This is a real win for all parties and the reason we will be working with @ADashofDolly again, real soon. :)

 

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Instagram abandoning ‘Likes’ is a good thing…

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Instagram removing ‘Likes” on posts is a good thing. Here’s why:⠀

1- It removes reliance from a marketing POV on this vanity metric and will encourage marketers to look for deeper, more meaningful interactions. In the trenches, I have seen the algorithm tailor itself more towards rewarding different metrics of engagement such as comments, DMs, and Story interactions.⠀

2- Facebook (owner of IG) has already been encouraging people to be a part of groups for their high engagement and personalization over pages and I have personally seen a major uptick in the amount of content that I see on my newsfeed from different FB groups that I am a member of.

3- Instagram is sniffing out the fakes and even shutting down accounts that violate terms. The Social Network is continuing the conversation of getting social media back to what it was originally created for: Bringing people together to be social.  Marketers getting back to authenticity is a good thing for all of us.

4- By removing ‘Likes,’ brands will be forced to rethink their strategy and get back into the awareness and/or sales game.

Brands should have smart tactics in motion to achieve awareness/brand exposure at scale (social media is excellent for this) and/or should be running ads to drive sales on their domain, Amazon and/or in retail (social is excellent for this too). I have always felt that LIKES on posts sat in the middle of the tennis court so to speak, on this topic and really provided little actual value.

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Sircle Squad Intern: Eve Serfaty

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Hi! My name is Eve Serfaty and I am a rising senior at the University of Maryland studying Communications. Today sadly marks my last day as a summer intern here at Sircle Media. Interning this summer has truly opened up my eyes to the many different aspects of the social media world. Prior to this internship, I never realized how important social media was, to be honest. It has become an essential component for every brand and it involves quite a bit of work. I am grateful that I received the opportunity of being an intern here as a Social Media Manager and have learned a ton.

My supervisor, Lexi Levy, has been a great mentor to me and assigns me daily tasks that are not only challenging and rewarding but also quite enjoyable. I had the opportunity to assist her with a few cool, healthy CPG clients: Real Food From The Ground Up, RETHINK, and Bare Bones Broth. Some of my daily tasks included: building out influencer and brand collaborations, creating captions to accompany photos, videos and graphics, crafting tweets, joining in on client calls, and engaging with Instagram and Facebook communities.

Each Social Media Manager listens closely to their clients’ needs and gets a feel for their vision and end goals for the brand. Every brand has its own unique style and the Social Media Managers do an outstanding job of bringing their client’s personalities and ideas to life. The President, Adam Brown, has been a wonderful mentor and his warm and approachable personality has created an amazing environment. I look forward to keeping in touch with the Sircle Media Team and further expanding my knowledge in this field.

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Sircle Squad Intern: Leticia Machado

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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF:

Hello, my name is Leticia Machado and I am interning with Sircle Media this summer. I am entering my senior year at Hofstra University, majoring in business marketing. Ultimately, I wanted to work for a marketing company in Manhattan with a specific focus on social media management and Sircle Media was the perfect fit.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SIRCLE MEDIA:

My experience here at Sircle has taught me a lot about the social media industry to be honest. I came in open-minded, ready to learn as much as possible and I have found there is just so much to know. Every day we utilize various social media platforms for our clients and we oversee all activities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (sometimes some other platforms too, where warranted). I’ve learned that the smart brands in the space have hopped on the social trend and utilize social platforms to promote their product or service. Depending on the clients’ specific needs and voice, Sircle creates content (photos, videos, motion graphics, etc.) that help convey their unique message. The agency is very good at balancing art (content) and science (sales and other KPIs) well for each and every brand they work with.

HOW I HELP MY SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER DAY-TO-DAY:

I have the good fortune of working under Sara Heiden, who is awesome and is a Senior Social Media Manager at Sircle Media.  Each day she assigns me tasks such as engaging with followers on Instagram and Twitter, sitting on client calls and taking notes, pulling content inspiration, writing tweets, sourcing brands and influencers to collaborate with and understanding how we can best achieve each client’s goals. What I have learned more than anything else, is that engaging with followers in the comments on posts is crucial. Your brand can have great content and clever captions but if there is no conversation, especially in response to user comments, then the brand stands to lose customers and prospects. As a result, we all lean in and spend quite a bit of time, being highly responsive and engaging. This is a key differentiator from other agencies and even internal social media managers I have learned.

MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT SIRCLE MEDIA:

A few of my favorite tasks thus far, have included helping write monthly reports, (as I learned more about the analytics + post-month reporting), participating in photoshoots, and listening in on client calls, as I was able to better understand each clients’ goals and ideas. My first week at Sircle I had the opportunity to go to a client’s, (Caswell Massey’s) photoshoot (featuring a photo from the photoshoot below) which was very cool.

CaswellThis was exciting because it allowed me to meet our client face to face and see a bit behind the scenes. I love to get out of the office and take pictures outside; clients are always looking for more content for their account in new and fun environments. One of Sircle’s photographers used me in one of her shoots for Uplift Food and the client loved it and approved it. :)

Leticia

Sara gives me the opportunity to pitch ideas and contribute in a meaningful way. This is so rewarding and such an important ingredient of the Sircle Media intern experience. I love the Sircle team, as they have been very friendly and helpful during my time here. I am looking forward to learning more this summer and hope to continue with the agency next semester if they will have me!

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On Competitor Analysis…

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On this episode of the Inner Sircle Podcast, I talk about doing some competitor analysis to help you make some decisions for your social media strategy. If you are on the fence about certain topics or tactics, look at what some industry leaders are doing and then follow suit. I reference some ideas mentioned in this Social Media Today article. Here are some top suggestions:

1. Sign up to receive email updates

2. Analyze video content

3. Track social media presence

4. Review top-performing content

7. Monitor changes to a competitor’s site

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Snapbac + Santia Deck = Influencer Gold.

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As we’ve stated many times before, at Sircle Media, we love to forge partnerships with thoughtful, authentic influencers. Recently one of our clients, Snapbac, (a line of compression-based sportswear that helps you warm up, work out and recover, all in one garment with revolutionary heat and ice therapy pods) partnered up with the incredible Santia Deck, an Olympic USA rugby hopeful and USA flag football athlete. Not only does Santia have a following of 328,000+, but many of them are real athletes who love to engage with her posts. Meaning she has width and depth.

The partnership consisted of some Instagram feed posts and Instagram Stories each month over many months. On Santia’s feed, she went above and beyond the terms of the contract, because she really found value in the product. This is such an important, though often overlooked ingredient to true collaboration with people of influence. Many get paid to promote products they don’t even use, to be honest, and that is just not the real deal. Santia sported their gear organically during her sprinting exercises and rugby workouts because they help her perform at her best, which is the intent of the product in the first place. These posts resonated well with her audience and she was the “featured actress” and Snapbac was just the supporting cast.

She also did a Story takeover and she discussed the benefits of the heat and ice therapy pods as well as why she loves the compression on both the top and bottom part of the body. Before the takeover, she announced that she would be doing so on her own Instagram Story. During the takeover, Santia did not post on her own feed, so it felt like she was genuinely taking over the Snapbac account for the day.

Her takeover offered real content from a fitness maven, explaining exactly how to use our product (=content Gold) and it also provided 2-3X the amount of impression consumption on each Story (in comparison to 200-300 which is the norm). We also had a spike of 100 followers that day along with DMs about our product and pricing (=buying questions!).

Santia Deck has been such an incredible influencer to work with. She is awesome, a real inspiration in fitness and a great partner. Not only did she wear Snapbac’s apparel in posts directed towards the brand, but she also wore the apparel in posts where she was advertising for other brands (=added value).

Working together with influencers that resonate with your brand and understand how to represent the product is what makes the right partnerships so successful. This is why Sircle believes in the power of a fully integrated partnership with real influencers who wield actual influence AND know how to play the game and really collaborate with their brand partners. Just another reason, why @trackbaby001 is a star!

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Sircle Media + GrowNYC Volunteer Day

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On June 28th, the squad and I volunteered to help GrowNYC build benches, paint signs and make our city parks better.  Despite the extremely hot temperatures, paired with our very black t-shirts, the team had a blast and we really came together to do good work for a great organization. I am proud to be a member of a team that cares to do things like this for others.

Our new content creator Zach, brought along a camera and captured the day on film. Check it out:

 

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A day in the life of a Sircle Media intern…

Katie LHi, my name is Katie Leffel and I am a summer intern with Sircle Media. I was asked to do a brief summary of my experience so far, so here goes…

I have been at Sircle Media for just two weeks now and I have learned an incredible amount during my time here. Not only have I learned about Sircle as a social media agency and how it came to be, but also the important role it serves for the brands it works with. The added cherry on top has been getting to know the kind and energized employees of Sircle (known as the SircleSquad), who really are the foundation of this place.

A typical day for me at Sircle starts by walking a few short minutes from Grand Central to a nearby WeWork and taking the elevator up to the sixteenth floor. I then walk down a long hallway filled with interesting businesses and startups as I make my way toward Sircle’s corner office. When I enter, I am welcomed by the friendly people of Sircle each day. Right from the moment I walk in, my day is pretty structured, which I greatly appreciate, by Michelle Paltan – the Social Media Manager I am working under. Michelle sends me a schedule of my tasks for the day via Evernote and I am on my way to complete these to the best of my ability.

Sometimes these tasks include meeting with the Founder and President, Adam Brown, and learning about his passion for the company and what brought him here, reading an important article posted by Social Media Today, researching influencers for a brand, or listening to Adam’s newest podcast, on important industry topics. Other days my tasks include sitting in on a call with a brand, curating images from Instagram for a brand to repost, researching competitor brands, updating a brand’s Pinterest account, drafting Tweets, or just engaging with the community on Facebook. If I am ever confused with a task I feel comfortable asking Michelle or other Social Media Managers (SMMs) for help, as they are very supportive and approachable. I really cherish the time I get to connect with Michelle or any of the team because it allows me to talk and connect with people I otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to, in an exciting industry that interests me.

Every day at Sircle has been unique and I think that is one of my favorite things from my experience here thus far. I love how I go into every day not knowing what it will bring and even better, that I will learn so much throughout the day and be even better and more knowledgable than I was the day before. Overall, a typical day for an intern at Sircle Media is exciting, educational, interesting, and perhaps most importantly – fun! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far and I am just getting started!

 

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Stop motion mastery…

Take a peek behind the scenes, with Sircle Media photographers Ilana and Ticha for our client, Real Food From The Ground Up. Sometimes, it takes a team effort to ensure that we stick the landing for our clients. This is our goal every single day!
When shooting stop motion animations, everything has to be taken into account. Changes in lighting, time of day, shadows of people walking by, camera movements and much, much more. You must pay attention to every detail if you want the quality and user experience to be sound.  Tools like wireless remotes to control the camera for you are key, instead of the photographer touching the camera and potentially moving it, even on one single frame, which can be enough to ruin the whole concept.
Our stop motion assets are optimized to show a brand’s product in practical use.  Here we have the client’s packaging in the frame which allows for subtle awareness while being entertained by the fun animations created with the chips. For a relatively new brand, that really wants to push consideration and trial at retail stores, this is exactly the type of approach that makes sense. We also are getting the most out of Instagram’s algorithm by turning a regular photo, into a fun engaging video. Videos perform better and the message is retained more by the viewer.  That’s a win in our books!
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