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“Why you should treat your social media profile as a portfolio or resume” With Candice Georgiadis & Gabriel Bianconi

Your profile is the first thing people see when they come across your brand. There isn’t a single recipe for a successful profile, but you have to make sure it has high-quality content and reflects your brand’s identity. For example, a brand whose audience is teenagers shouldn’t use the same messaging as one targeted at older professionals, but both should provide consistent, polished, and engaging content. First impressions matter even more when hundreds of thousands of brands are competing for attention on social media.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabriel Bianconi. Gabriel is the founder of Scalar Research, a full-service machine learning and advanced analytics firm. In addition to its main consulting practice, Scalar incubates innovative technology companies. We’re about to spin out our first project, LABEL Talent Management, a talent agency for digital influencers and models. LABEL leverages proprietary technology to create innovative content, campaigns, and events. He began his training as a B.S. & M.S. student in computer science at Stanford University, where he conducted research on artificial intelligence. He’s also worked at Google, Facebook, startups, and investment firms.

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

Absolutely! Thank you for having me.

During my five years in Silicon Valley, I immersed myself in the tech startup ecosystem. I spent time at large companies such as Google and Facebook, startups, investment firms, and research labs.

I started Scalar after noticing a huge gap between groundbreaking academic research in computer science and traditional industries that could benefit from these innovations. Our goal is to bridge this gap and help companies tackle complex business challenges with data-driven products leveraging cutting-edge machine learning and data science.

At this point, Scalar is focused primarily on consulting with existing companies across different industries, but we’re also starting to incubate our own projects. The first one we’re working on is LABEL.

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

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an across-the-board “authority” in social media marketing. It’s such a fast-changing field, and I’m still learning and experimenting with a number of topics.

That said, I’ve found success in coming up with innovative ways to leverage social media for growing businesses. In particular, LABEL makes heavy use of Instagram to connect with hyper-relevant local talent and partners, and distribute our content.

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

Shortly after we started LABEL, we decided to organize a community-driven photoshoot. We reached out to a number of Instagram influencers and professional photographers to organize a pop-up photoshoot at the High Line in New York City.

We were very surprised to find out that all the parties involved were very interested in collaborating. The event was a great success and inspired us to use social media more heavily at LABEL.

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 was that we didn’t realize that you need a permit to have photoshoots at the High Line and almost got in trouble. Make sure to research the venue carefully!

But the biggest lesson came from an earlier mistake. Initially, we didn’t communicate the value of working with LABEL clearly enough. Our conversion rate grew considerably after we iterated our pitch based on the questions we’d get. I strongly believe that iterating quickly with a continuous feedback loop is essential for finding product-market fit.

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?

Currently, we work exclusively with Instagram influencers. The advantage of Instagram is the ability to search for very specific content. For example, the post location feature is very granular; you can often find a lot of content created at a specific venue that’s relevant to your project. This enables us to quickly search for the right people to work with and communicate with them while using our profile as a portfolio and social proof.

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) Connect with people on Instagram proactively

Most companies using social media are focused solely on their own profile — publishing content, and sometimes engaging with their existing audience. Instead, search Instagram for people you’d like to connect with and engage with them proactively.

Rather than waiting for their audience to find their profiles, businesses should actively go after potential customers, partners, and collaborators on social media. The main component behind LABEL is that we partner with hyper-relevant local content creators by proactively searching for and messaging people for those projects.

That said, it’s important to note the difference between what we’re suggesting and spamming others. We don’t blast messages to thousands of unrelated accounts; we manually message specific accounts that could be a great fit for a specific project with tailored content.

2) Treat your profile as a portfolio or resume

Your profile is the first thing people see when they come across your brand. There isn’t a single recipe for a successful profile, but you have to make sure it has high-quality content and reflects your brand’s identity. For example, a brand whose audience is teenagers shouldn’t use the same messaging as one targeted at older professionals, but both should provide consistent, polished, and engaging content. First impressions matter even more when hundreds of thousands of brands are competing for attention on social media.

3) Create value for your audience

Many brands focus on the content they’d like to promote rather than the content their audience wants to see. These aren’t necessarily aligned. Repetitive and spammy content will likely turn off your followers.

Instead, focus on what your audience is interested in. Even if the content doesn’t directly help you increase your revenue, creating valuable content will encourage sharing and engagement, which, in turn, later helps grow your company.

4) Encourage sharing in creative ways

Your audience is more likely to share your content with others if you’re providing value. That said, there are many creative ways to encourage people to share even more so.

For example, giveaways are a great way to encourage sharing. Sunny Co. Clothing, a bikini brand, recently went viral after a (controversial) giveaway that promised a free bikini (S&H not free), as long as people followed their accounts and reposted their content. The profile quickly grew from fewer than 10,000 to over 750,000 followers.

There are many other creative ways to encourage people to share your content, such as tagging friends and reposting.

5) Engage with your followers

Don’t treat your social media profiles as a one-way street. Brands often post content but completely disregard individual customers interacting with it. Instead, consider replying to comments and direct messages. Many brands, especially on Twitter, successfully use social media as a channel to talk to customers.

6) Cross-promote with other marketing channels

Many companies keep their marketing channels siloed, especially on social media. Brands often have profiles on multiple platforms, but they’re completely independent.

Instead, cross-promote your channels on Instagram, and vice-versa. Encourage people to follow your social media accounts on your website and mailing list (and potentially even on the physical product, by adding them to flyers or packaging). Similarly, encourage people on your Instagram to connect with your brand on other channels, too — ideally by offering some value in doing so, such as a coupon code for signing up to a mailing list.

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. :-)

Social media is a place where we idolize people with large followings and meticulously created content. We at LABEL want to make it accessible for everyone and inspire anyone to express themselves in their own positive way.

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 :-)

Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’ve always been impressed by his accomplishments across multiple domains: bodybuilding, business, entertainment, and politics. Most people confine themselves to a single field, but he was able to reinvent himself successfully over and over.

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




In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

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