From working on the social influencer development team for Whistler Blackcomb to applying for athlete support for myself, I've discovered that there is a clear path to becoming what is known as a Micro-Influencer.
Spurred by my current adventure in New Zealand, I've tracked down Mikki Williden, a well-respected nutritionist in the endurance sport community to ask her a couple things about how she markets herself online.
Before marketing, Let's talk nutrition.
Mikki has an analytical mind. I can tell she loves a good puzzle. When she hit her teenage years she confessed that she found herself slightly overweight. She accepted the challenge and pored over diet books and exercise guides. Retrospectively, her discovery years of nutrition were based on fad-diets, formal training came later in her days at the University of Aukland. I gathered that her passion came from the joy of replicating recipes, and the process of learning to get active and healthy. The seed for a nutrition career was planted.
The defining dish that sparked Mikki's love for her work?
Meringue Nests with Strawberries. The dessert was part of a trendy diet that she's long since abandoned in favour of the findings from her nutritional science degree but the creative fusion around taste and health is a strong undercurrent in our conversation.
Interesting Fact, please.
Mikki is a twin.
Is Mikki a nutritionist turned marketer or a marketer turned nutritionist?
Mikki laughed, she hadn't viewed herself as a digital marketer, rather a community builder. She thrives on sharing helpful information and breaking down scientific jargon barriers into digestible advice for her fans/followers online. From a marketing perspective, Facebook is her primary marketing tool.
Pictured Above: A recent Instagram post from Nutrition and Endurance Sport Influencer, Rich Roll
What does Mikki's content schedule look like?
She doesn't confine herself to a rigid content schedule, probably because she isn't shy about writing or publishing. Monthly, she contributes recipes and long form content to her blog. She likes to make her content easy to digest (see what I did there?) by using Facebook like a micro-blog platform. She shares her thoughts and well-researched reactions with fluidity rather than structure, almost daily.
Pictured Above: A recent Instagram post from Mikki featuring a tasty recipe
How Does She Come Up With All This Great Content?
Mikki notes recent nutrition questions from clients, combs a few nutrition authority websites and when in doubt Googles "Nutrition Memes". Can't blame her, there are new hilarious images posted all the time.
Mikki has an E-Book, Blog, Podcast, and accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How much do these channels account for her overall lead generation?
Mikki estimates about 60% of her business comes through digital platforms. Not bad for a one-woman marketing team.
One last thing, Where is she looking to experiment in marketing next?
Mikki co-hosts the Fitter Radio Podcast (It's awesome, check it out). She had noticed other podcasters like IM Talk growing with dedication and persistence and employed the same work ethic with strong results. Although she's hesitant about "Live" or Real Time mediums she's optimistic about trying new marketing channels as they evolve.
A couple of these things piqued your interest? Learn more about Mikki on her website: http://mikkiwilliden.com/
We've all done it. A larger marketing project or business plan gets in the way of sharing on our business's social media channels. We pull some random content to share across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Then after the content is live, we wonder if what was shared really worked. Did the content entertain more than build the brand (i.e. classic Seinfeld meme), or did it serve up the hard sell with little to no engagement? Stop shooting from the hip and opt for applying a cohesive strategy, in this case a Social Media Campaign. Here are three reasons why it's time:
- New ways to frame content for your audience.
Community Managers are hungry for content to share. We're looking for compelling images, blog posts, videos and articles that will stir up engagement with followers. For all those one-woman (or man) marketing teams this is often harder to come by. With a strategic focus and theme, creating and executing a social media campaign inspires unique ways of looking at your resort-based business. There is also an opportunity to re-purpose older content by putting a different spin on it, an easy-win when done right.
2. Appeal to your guests or customers on an emotional level.
It's easy to fall into a cycle of constantly hitting our customers over the head with sales messages, especially on social media. But with the average organic reach of Facebook Fan page posts dipping below 1%, this strategy doesn't work. We have to be creative and romance our customers and guests a bit more. Creating a campaign that resonates with people will establish trust, which ultimately leads to a sales conversion anyway. If you still need a nudge in the right direction about connecting with customers check out Search Engine Watch's article: Nine ways brands can Improve Emotional Connections with Customers
3. Measurable results.
Every marketer, business owner and community manager strives to prove the success of their efforts on social media. Applying the strategy of a formal social media campaign brings us closer to understanding purchase behavior and conversions. For example, hashtag campaigns, contesting, and paid-advertising all help us attribute a dollar value per customer or guest. We can get a much deeper understanding of how our marketing is working and if the time spent executing on social is equal to the payout.
Ready to build a social media campaign? Join me for an in-depth workshop at the Whistler Chamber October 3rd, 2016: More Social Media Workshop Details Here
Greg Blanchard is a highly respected voice in the ski resort marketing world as the primary blogger and analyst of Slopefillers. So, it's obviously huge honour to be recognized for our hard work at Whistler Blackcomb in any of his articles or posts. Check out my interview alongside seven other resort marketers focused on Instagram's most recent changes:
1. Appeal to your destination visitors: Schedule Posts and Tweets to go live in harmony with different time zones.
Articles and social media specialists often suggest blanketed days and times to distribute content across social channels, but resort community managers need to think in broader terms than local appeal. A portion of Whistler Blackcomb’s social media audience doesn’t reside in our province or even our time zone. Keeping these destination visitors in mind, I typically schedule Facebook posts and Tweets to go live according to when they are awake and getting back online. Be bold, test odd hours and days of the week. Who knows, you may discover 3am on Wednesday morning is your social media sweet spot.
Be mindful: If you schedule a post outside of working hours, don’t share content
that may require a quick response from your resort’s community manager.
2. Resorts have a variety of guests, stop trying to reach them all at once: Use the FacebookGeo Targeting feature to speak to specific audiences.
Step 1: Determine where your audience is from. In the Insights area of your resort’s
Facebook page, pay special attention to the breakdown of your audience by city,
country and language. Pick your top 3-4 audiences.
Step 2: Decide how you would like to target your message. Facebook will allow you to
target your post without spending money on ads. You can choose to target by gender,
relationship status, educational status, “interested in”, age, location or language.
Be mindful: Adding multiple targets will shrink your post’s reach.
Step 3: Go and create your “Status Update” in Facebook.
Once your post is ready to be scheduled or go live, pick the “Select Targeting” option. There you can choose from a
drop down menu of targeting options.
Be mindful: Remember, geo targeting is not an option when your post has already been scheduled or published.
Step 4: Experiment with your messaging to provoke higher engagement. Take those top
locations from your Facebook Insights research (plus languages if you’re extra savvy)
and segment your posts with messaging that speaks to each of these specific audiences.
A few “Targets” decoded:
Interested in – This will target your page’s fans that have specified in their
Facebook profile that they are either interested in Men or Women
Relationship Status – This option will allow you to target Facebook fans that have
specified whether they are Single, In a Relationship, Engaged or Married.
Location –When selecting this target click “All locations” to review a pop up
window with location options. Here you can target by Country, Region/State, or city.
3. Create a ripple effect of chatter about your new content: Create lists of social media influencers and bloggers to include in your Tweets.
Webisodes, blog posts, Instagram take-overs, and photo galleries are creating a rich
element of digital storytelling for resort marketing is this year. Make your marketing
budget stretch by targeting social media influencers that may be interested in sharing
your content. Think outside of standard endemic and mass media contacts. For
example, if your resort produces a video for children’s snow school, target family
bloggers who have large Twitter and/or Instagram followings.