Insta the travel guide: Atlanta edition

I love doing “Insta the travel guide” posts for two reasons. 1) I get to spread the word about how one can use social media platforms to your advantage while traveling! 2) I try to convey to the marketing world and business owners the importance of the use of social media platforms to reach certain markets. For many like me, if we can’t find your business online, we can’t find your business in person.

My first blog post ever was about how I used the Instagram account, ATL Bucket List, to make the most out of my summer in the city! Now, I wanted to do a separate post about my favorite places I found through Instagram! ATL Bucket List and the Atlanta Places tag were great places to start, as well as stalking friends’ and family’s  accounts! Here are my top 9 places in Atlanta!

1. Murals: I am the most stereotypical millennial and loved the murals. They are all over the city and this Instagram account tells you where they all are! My friends from school came to visit and I dragged them all over the city to see them. This particular one is in the heart of the Edgewood neighborhood and definitely my favorite of the ones we saw!

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2. Jackson Street Bridge: This was by far the hardest place to find because most people don’t like tagging its exact location, but I found it! This bridge has the best cityscape view in the city (that I found so far)! Hopefully this helps someone else who had seen it pictures, but couldn’t find it!

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3. High Museum of Art:  I don’t live under a rock. I had heard about the High before, but the photos in the Places tag made me want to go! I wouldn’t say I am “into” art, but I loved exploring this place!

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4. Chattahoochee Coffee Company: In the back of a gated apartment community, there is the cutest coffee place with the BEST view in Atlanta (ITP!) Pull up to the call box, say “Coffee!” and they’ll buzz you in!

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5. Atlanta History Center: While the museum itself was very interesting, the best part is the Swan House out back and its gardens! I had seen photos of this place and had to find it. It’s absolutely gorgeous and a must-see while in Atlanta! It was once owned by the (very rich) Inman family in the 1930s. Today, it’s known for that the Hunger Games was filmed there!

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6. Sweet Auburn Curb Market: Definitely one of the coolest places I’ve been! Sweet Auburn Curb Market was started in 1918 after the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917, as part of the area’s revitalization efforts. Today, you can find really affordable produce and meats, as well as shop at various food court style restaurants! I highly recommend Bell Street Burritos, a local business similar to Barberito’s and Moe’s!

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7. Monday Night Brewing: Although one of the big three breweries in Atlanta, I initially found Monday Night through a friend’s Instagram and I had to go see the tie wall! While I wasn’t the hugest fan of their beer selection (I’m not a fan of really hoppy beer), it has a great atmosphere and hilarious tour guides. Tucked away in West Midtown, this a must try for a fun evening out!

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8. Midtown: Midtown is an obvious must-see, but a picture with the sign in Colony Square is a must-do while in Atlanta! Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

9. Georgia Aquarium: This one is cheating because I interned there this summer and I didn’t find it on Instagram, but it is definitely an Atlanta must-see and their Instagram is always on point. One of my favorite things I’ve ever done was getting to take a yoga class in front of Ocean Voyager! Processed with VSCO with se2 preset

The best thing that has ever happened to me in my life was catching this cutie’s attention and snapping this awesome picture of our staring contest! I love beluga whales.

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These are my top 9 spots in the city! What are your favorite spots in Atlanta?

Whoops! I spoke too soon; Vine influencer marketing is no more

As you’ve probably already heard, Vine is no more. Even after I just wrote an article raving about the ingeniousness of Vine influencer marketing just last week. Now, everyone’s talking about Twitter’s recent murder of Vine. It’s even the first thing that pops up when you type “what happened” into Google.

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Four days ago, Vine posted this whammy to the public and seemed to take many people by surprise. Vanity Fair did a great job of summarizing what really happened inside Twitter and Vine that led to this ultimate decision.

Vine influencers everywhere are scrambling to relocate their following to other social platforms, so maybe it won’t affect their careers too much. Many of them have already used their Vine accounts to gain fame and are already in the public’s eye. Now, they need to work hard to stay in the limelight. I’m interested to see if their sponsorships will adapt and carry over into their platforms or fizzle out.

Maybe the next big hit app will allow for a new generation of internet famous twenty-somethings??? Maybe I’ll have to try it out and see if I can get a movie role out of it one day.

Vine influencer marketing

If you’re a regular user of Vine, you’ll recognize the “Vine Famous,” always in the Comedy section with at least 50,000 likes on each Vine. These names include King Bach, David Lopez, Logan Paul, Thomas Sanders, AlliCattt, meechonmars, Lele Pons, Brandon Calvillo, Zach King, Brittany Furlan, etc. Instead of companies using only their Vine profiles with their own original content, they occasionally use these Vine famous people to promote their product in a creative, subtle way. Big businesses have recognized that they are influencers in the Vine world and that people look up to them. Through a sponsorship, the company gets to reach a new segment of the target market, and the Vine famous user is given money to make their Vines as successful as can be. However creative they may make the Vine, it is still very obvious to the viewers that it is a paid gig and that they probably don’t LOOOVE Z-Up or Dunkin Donuts THAT much to where they would dedicate an entire video to it for free. They also add a “#ad” to each caption, so it is very clear what is happening. These sponsored ads are now very common and somewhat of a goal for Vine users. You’ll actually see some not as “famous” people put in their caption “please sponsor me” or “trying to get that sponsor.”

With that being said, I’m really okay with it. These people are “famous” for a reason. They’re funny people that make funny videos. Except now, they just make funny videos that include a specific product and get money for it. It’s never fake; for example, a boring review or they pretend like they’ve never heard of something and they’re just now trying it, but already love it. They make it clear they’re getting paid. It could be the poor college student in me that commends them for turning their hobby (Vine) into something they can benefit from. A very wide range of companies that have used this influencer marketing, such as 7-Up, 5 Gum, Xfinity, Intel, Fanta, Velveeta, Best Buy, Budweiser, Coca-Cola,  Dunkin Donuts and more.

I’m not sure if this form of advertising is effective in terms of sales numbers, but in my opinion, it is effective in terms of brand awareness. The fact that Velveeta cheese and Intel can advertise using the exact same method makes Vine an interesting, dynamic platform. It is a unique hybrid of native advertising and influencer marketing.

Is sponsored Snapchat Lens marketing becoming the new norm?

Is it just me or has Snapchat marketing been booming the last couple weeks? Every day that I open the app, there’s a new Sponsored Lens to use. They’ve been marketing everything from new movies to cereal lately and I love it. As a marketing student, it’s interesting to get on and see which brands are trying to reach my demographic. Snapchat marketing is a smart, effective way to reach consumers from 10 year olds to 30 years old. Many consumers in this age range are using Snapchat as a main source of communication, as well as entertainment. I wouldn’t say that all of these Lenses are going to make me go out and buy their products immediately, but it’s great for overall brand awareness.

Some critics feel as though Snapchat is not an effective marketing strategy for products, like consumer goods. I agree that Snapchat is not the place for products like consumer goods IF the company’s goal is to actually sell me the actual product. It improves my opinion of the brand, but not much else. For example, last week on National Coffee Day, I loved Starbucks’ mermaid Lens. They weren’t offering any deals like Dunkin’ Donuts was because let’s be honest, they don’t need to. However, Starbucks was still able to participate in the “holiday” through Snapchat and increase overall brand awareness.

I do think that for products such as movies, it is a very smart move to use Snapchat to try to directly sell me a movie ticket. I think Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children did a great job in their movie promotion. The various filters they created allowed me to generate interest in the product itself. Why does the one with the hat disappear? What does the creepy, razor sharp teeth/mouth for eyes mean?

My advice to brands interested in marketing with Snapchat? The key to Snapchat is making the right Lens (or filter) for your brand or product that engages the consumer. Know ahead of time what you want it to accomplish. Do you want to increase brand awareness for a specific demographic or do you want to sell them your product? Now more than ever, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t just do it because everyone else is doing it. It should contribute to your overall marketing goals and how you want to reach your consumers. It’s also important that you give it you 100% or don’t do it at all. When there are some great Lenses out there, it could reflect negatively of yours is boring. Engage the consumer so that they are inclined to continue to be engaged by looking your product up or ask their friends about it.

Here are a few filters from the past week or so that I’ve rated hot, not and room temperature. Excuse my faces. Most of these were taken on my way to class at 8am. I’m not a morning person.
Hot: 

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Lukewarm: 

      
Not:

Sorry, Chevy. Snapchat is not the place to sell me a car; no matter how “fun” you want the car to seem.
BONUS: This one isn’t Sponsored or anything, but I just think it’s hilarious. 

Wildwood Revival knows its audience

Last year, my friend and I discovered an amazing local music festival and immediately fell in love with it. Wildwood Revival features over 20 folk/americana artists each year and takes pride in that it is not “your average music festival.” Artists perform in the cutest barn on Cloverleaf Farm in Arnoldsville, Georgia. I went again this weekend and it was amazing.

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This place is always hoppin’. I attended last year and again this year. BOTH years have completely sold out. While they have a relatively limited number of tickets for sale due to the smaller venue space, it can still be hard to get 1,400 people to buy $78 regular admission tickets and $278 VIP tickets when you’re such a small, local event. However, Wildwood Revival knows how to reach its target market and sells out every year.

The usual crowd is mostly mid-20s and 30s hipsters with a few college students (me) and a few older hippies/empty nesters. These demographics are heavy Facebook and Instagram users (if they use social media much at all), so Wildwood Revival makes sure to effectively reach their target market through both of these platforms. While this may seem obvious, they reach them from two angles and then really hook them in on their website.

Wildwood Revival promotes themselves on their brand’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, but also, all 20+ artists heavily promote the event on their accounts, as well. This reaches 20+ times the amount of the target market that are very likely to purchase a ticket. If their favorite artist will be there, as well as 20 other similar artists in the same genre, they’re sure to at least consider it. A regular artist will usually Instagram a picture or tweet once or twice about a show, but at Wildwood Revival, artists will post about it 3-4 times on each of their social media accounts.

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Once a potential customer reaches the website, they’re sold. I want whoever their photographer is for my wedding one day. The photos are gorgeous and really capture how amazing the event is. They highlight all of the artists and food vendors in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way. Almost all of the food vendors offer dishes made with organic, all natural ingredients. They sell reusable cups onsite, so there is not one plastic cup used all three days and it avoids tons of wasted plastic. They have various craft vendors that sell various sustainable products, from recycled metal jewelry to all natural hair care products. Their website highlights all of this, which they KNOW their hipster target market will love.

You may be thinking “Is that it?” It kind of is, but this works for them. Wildwood Revival relies on Facebook and Instagram as far as digital marketing is concerned, but also heavily relies on word of mouth. Their target market loves the fact that they don’t advertise that much and they feel special when they’re one of the lucky ones that finds out about it. Wildwood Revival has 4,362 followers on Instagram, 3,581 likes on Facebook and I’ve told every single person I’ve ever met about it; so overall, it’s an effective method in my opinion. 🙂

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