How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business, With Vicky Llerena , CEO of Social Vibes Media
…My movement would focus on cultural exchange experiences. I swear if this were to happen we would be happier people . We would have an appreciation and admiration for differences in culture, language, skin colors, and music. We would be more open-minded in realizing that the world is smaller than we think. Ideas would surface, inventions would be birthed, and creativity would flourish because of such global exposure. Ok, I guess I would replace college education with world-traveling college education. I would propose this type of movement. That , my friend , would be worth a $30K semester investment.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicky Llerena , CEO of Social Vibes Media, a digital marketing agency focused on helping organizations increase their brand presence. In 2017,Vicky was named Top 25 Brand Builder by Leading Women Entrepreneur . She works with organizations, such as Rising Tide Capital, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ, Fownders, and Small Business Development Center to teach entrepreneurs how to obtain online customers through social media. Her articles were featured in NJBiz, Huffington Post, CEO Blog Nation, and many more media outlets. And, did we mention she happens to be Latina!
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 found-her, that’ how I became a founder. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I was sick of an 8–5 job and I knew that the fidgeting at my desk was a sure symptom of entrepreneurship fever. I itched for more, I craved for more, I desired for work that created value in my life. I was working for PRNewswire before I started the business . PRN is a corporate wire distribution service .
During my time at PRN, I learned about multimedia marketing and how technology helped connect people to a company’s message. This is where I really took off on my idea to start my own marketing agency — but still, it was a mess at the initial stages. Glad I’m not there anymore.
The freelancing eventually transformed into paid campaigns and that forced me to learn more on my industry. I would read articles, watch videos, attend seminars on inbound marketing. It was learning on the job!
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I like to identify myself as a content creator. I create content that tells a story. Preachers tell a great story and they connect , sales people tell a great story and they sell, directors tell a great story and they create blockbuster hits, speakers tell a great story and they sell out arenas, con artist tell a great story and they become millionaires. You get me , now? It’s all in the art of storytelling. This is exactly what I wanted to do for other brands and small businesses : teach them how to tell a great story.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
EVERYTHING is interesting because it’s completely different compared to my corporate job. At my corporate job, I sat down from 8–5 PM and completed tasks for my department that was part of a larger organization. When I launched the agency, I had the opportunity to reinvest myself. When I was awarded winner of Withum CPA Entrepreneur strength story, I was invited to Bloomberg corporate headquarters to record a radio promo. When I was awarded brand builder of the year (by Leading Women Entrepreneur) I was able to meet even more successful women who are killing the game. During these past two years, I’ve met millionaires, governors , senators, musicians, artists, and influencers . This experience alone has had a huge impact in my life because It made me realize that we have the power to change our lives. Those doors only open if we chose for them to open; if we take action to change our lives.
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?
The funniest mistake is probably one of the most expensive mistakes I have made. I spent over $10K in software and video equipment when it was unnecessary at that time to invest in equipment. I increased my overhead expenses but failed to focus on my sales capacity. Every small business owner should focus on sales : how can you acquire more business? I focused so much on the product, the service, the delivery, that I failed to focus on the one thing that sustains a business: THE CLIENT ACQUISITION. I implore you, avoid my mistake. If there is one thing I learned it is that you have to reduce unnecessary costs when you firsts begin your business. Ask yourself: how is this cost making us more money or allowing our business to scale in size? Do we need this now?
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 often get asked at social media seminars, which are the best social media platforms to be on — the truth is, start off with two social platforms. Start creating posts, publishing posts, reviewing your analytics, see which posts perform well or poorly, and then perfect your strategy. This is how I started — no shortcuts taken.
BUT, always focus on good content. The biggest trend predictor for 2018 will be social media content. Your website traffic will decrease by 20–30 % because users will spent more time on social media feeds than on a company website or blog page. Perfect your storytelling skills. Screw impressions; your biggest ROI will be engagement on posts, such as comments, likes, and shares. Your posts should connect with people, teach people, and bring value to your prospects. Storytelling skills are key to good content.
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.
Yes — Instagram is definitely picking up in popularity.
- Change your description to you have bulleted one liners on who you are and what you do (make sure to add with emojis)
- Create Highlights and have a graphic designer create highlight covers . Think of these at categorical covers that highlight your services or brand
- Make sure to ONLY use high resolution images. Instagram algorithms favor high res images and will push your post up the feed
- Create 5–10 IG stories a day. Instagram will begin to push your account up the IG story feed if you do this every day.
- Make sure to tag organizations or individuals you admire on your picture . This notifies the account that they were tagged which may get you noticed. IG allows you to tag up to 20 accounts
- Make sure to ADD lots of emojis. Emojis attract attention and they allow the eyeballs to take a pause and naturally transition into the next text
- Download the app called HASHTAG — if you are stuck on which hashtags to use for each post
- Be Personal, avoid sounding like a robot because people connect with people and not robots
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. :-)
The most amount of good to the most amount of people? That’s a tough one. Ok, perhaps to travel more, be more open minded, and expose yourself to different cultures. My movement would focus on cultural exchange experiences. I swear if this were to happen we would be happier people . We would have an appreciation and admiration for differences in culture, language, skin colors, and music. We would be more open-minded in realizing that the world is smaller than we think. Ideas would surface, inventions would be birthed, and creativity would flourish because of such global exposure. Ok, I guess I would replace college education with world-traveling college education. I would propose this type of movement. That , my friend , would be worth a $30K semester investment.
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 :-)
Someone please get me a sit-down lunch with either Chris Voss, Jordan Belfort, Phil Jones , or Jeb Blount.
Jordan Belfort is the author and creator of the Straight Line Theory and Chris Voss authored the book “Never Split the Difference”. These two individuals are masters at the art of negotiation. They nail the art of psychological manipulation. I learned tremendous amount of knowledge from these two men. The art of business and sales has everything to do with psychological strategies. I would love to sit down with either of these two experts.