As a full-time social media strategist and SEO blogger, I spend the majority of the day immersed in virtual communities. I am the online “face” of eight companies from across the country in a variety of states and cities from Texas to Colorado, and along the central coast of California.

I believe in the power of social media and how this innovative platform can be used for more than building a following or increasing sales. The power of social media lies in the connection you can create with someone whether they are a block, a state, or several continents away. When working with any of my clients, I stress the difference between working with Silver Light Media as opposed to other public relations firms is my insistence on Creating Inspired Connections.

Many people don’t know that I started Silver Light while enrolled as a full-time college student at Boise State University. I had a limited budget and minimal amount of time to dedicate to the marketing of my business. After graduating from college in May of 2014, I had time to start thinking about my marketing efforts like I never had before while I was enrolled in college.

I relocated from Boise, Idaho to Denver, Colorado and wanted to connect with new people through social media as well as in-person. During this time having people submit photos to a hashtag on Instagram was a somewhat new practice that was taking off. I decided I wanted to have a hashtag for my business that would be inviting enough for others to submit photos to it as well.

Crafting A Hashtag

If you are using social media for your business and don’t already have one, I invite you to consider crafting a hashtag for linking and community-building purposes. In case you don’t know the purpose of a hashtag is to link related content together for search purposes. Being aware of its use you can see how having a hashtag specifically for your business can help with user-generated content creation. Whenever I start working with one of my clients on a social marketing campaign, I always add in user-generated content if it is applicable because it is highly efficient and easy to generate if you take strategic steps, first. I will save those steps for my next post, but I will share a little more from my brainstorming session.

Many businesses use their company name as a hashtag. I thought about and often do use #silverlightmedia as a hashtag on some of my social media posts. The only problem with this hashtag was for me; it didn’t give anyone a reason to use it. So I started to think of ways to tie my business name to some action or feeling that other people could associate with when posting their photos.

Since my company tagline is Creating Inspired Connections, I pulled from my rhetoric. I’ve always loved the word inspire and its derivatives. To me, the word reflects positive emotions that captivate us to feel something. I began to think of how I could combine “Silver Light” and “Inspire” since I knew all the words, together, would be too long, so I took the first letter from each word “S” and “L” with the plural “Inspires.” It wasn’t my first instinct to use a character but the look of the tag “#SL_Inspires” seemed more ecstatically pleasing than “#SLINSPIRES.” I typed the tag into Instagram and found out no one had used it. My new hashtag and one of my smartest branding moves I’ve ever made for my business finally manifested.

Building A Social Media Community

I will be the first to admit the first month starting any content strategy campaign is TOUGH. Mentally prepare yourself if you are ready to take the leap. Social media platforms are hindering organic reach more each day so be prepared to revise your strategies if needed and don’t give up be consistent in your posting, especially during the initial stages of starting a new platform.

When starting my hashtag, I had seen countless of other posts that I was using as an example. It seemed easy, “Use this hashtag on your post for a chance to be featured.” Seemed to be the general breakdown of what every photo sharing platform was emphasizing, the trouble is how do you know when people are going to start submitting to that hashtag? If you are persistent, probably sooner than you think, I started using it on my posts and including a call to action at the end. One day I checked my #SL_Inspires hashtag and was excited to see another user had used the tag.

My First Tagger – Jacque B from Pagosa Springs, Colorado

If you are looking to build a hashtag interacting with the first few people that engage is critical. I was ecstatic the day Jacque B – @jacquebblackie on Instagram used my #SL_Inspires tag. Jacque B was the first person to use it apart from myself. I immediately shared her photo to my following thanking her with credit. When you are in the beginning stages, make sure to give as much praise as possible.

You never know if you say something the person likes they could “Regram” the photo sharing it with their followers in turn, or at least you will get the person engaged enough to use the tag again. This stage is where community building starts. If you are looking to build not simply a following but a “virtual community” you MUST be willing to be as active in that community as possible. After, Jacque B’s feature more users started to use my #SL_Inspires hashtag. My community grew with photographers taking gorgeous landscape shots and sunset captures.

Blending sound and culture BoomBox comprised of producers and DJs, Russ Randolph and Zion Rock Godchaux hit the Gothic Theatre on December 29th for a 3-night run that lasts through New Year’s Eve! Who’s ready to get down to their electronic blend of vintage blues and rock?! Made to get fans moving on the dance floor they incorporate Psychedelia, Backbeat, and Funky House sounds to create their hybrid style.

Check the recommended video from AEG Live for a preview of the jams you’ll be grooving to at the event.

Like what you see? Enter our GIVEAWAY powered by AEG Live Rocky Mountains for your chance to WIN to free tickets to the concert on December 29, 2016.

Click Here >> BoomBox at Gothic Theatre for your chance to WIN  🙂

DOORS open at 8pm, BUY TICKETS by CLICKING HERE! Thanks Jennifer Bjerke Lessard for the Featured Photo at the top of our post. Can’t wait to see everyone at the show!

boombox

If you follow me you know I’m active on social media. Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn I make sure to cover the basics, but my favorite social networking platform is Instagram. I fell for how creatives use it to share their inspiration, being a sucker for sick photography edits; I love the way Instagram pioneered visual storytelling.

In the last few months, Instagram upped its features. In case you haven’t noticed, Stories have been introduced and recently updated on November 10, 2016, to include Boomerang and Mentions. The platform is even starting to test links inside some stories (hint) that upgrade may be coming for everyone shortly.

Boomerang 

This feature lets you turn any moment into something unique. You don’t even have to leave the app, take a Boomerang inside Instagram. Swipe right from your feed, and you’ll be able to open the camera used to share a story. If you are familiar with sharing stories, you’ll notice a new format picker that lets you select Boomerang mode. Tap to record and the camera will put a series of photos into a movie that plays backward and forwards.

Mentions

Already a staple, if you’re used to sharing updates on Instagram. Now the app lets you share who you’re with just mention them in your story. Mentions in stories work the same way they do in captions and comments. After adding text to your story type “@” followed by a username, then select the person you would like to mention in the post. The username will appear underlined when the link is clickable. Click the user mentioned, and you’ll see a pop-up appear that takes you to their profile.

The person mentioned in the story will also receive a notification via Direct Message that they were mentioned in someone else’s story. Tap the preview button to go to the story for as long as it’s live. If you are mentioned by someone who doesn’t follow you, the notification will appear via Message Requests.

Coming Soon

The ‘See-More’ Link Feature is now appearing in select stories. Watching someone’s story and feeling inspired to dig deep? Soon you’ll spot ‘See More’ Links at the bottom of stories. A test phase is taking place that let’s verified accounts add links making it easier for their followers to learn more. Discover newly released music or read a related article just tap ‘See More’ and swipe the app up, there you can view the link right inside.

Want to learn more about these Instagram updates? Click Here to view our Contact Page, a great place to schedule a complimentary consultation with Silver Light Media to discuss any of your social media, branding, or publicity needs. We offer consulting, training, and account management.

New to Instagram Stories? I’ve captured screenshots below of our views for insight into the numbers you could be gaining by using the feature. Call 208.284.5570 to learn how to be more influential to your audience with a custom Instagram Strategy.

Love & Light

Aryonna Richard

IG: @aryonnarichard

TW: @aryonnarichard

aryonna-richard-4

Lemaitre takes over the Bluebird Theater on Tuesday, October 25th who’s ready to hit the first stop on the fall tour? Bringing his unique version of electronic pop music you don’t want to miss this performance 🙂 Check the featured video P3 Christine Live: Lemaitre feat. Stanaj “Playing To Lose” provided by AEG LIVE Rocky Mountains for a preview of what to expect!

Like what you hear? Enter our TICKET GIVEAWAY powered by AEG Live Rocky Mountains for your chance to WIN a FREE pair of tickets to the event this week.

Click Here to Enter >> Lemaitre at Bluebird Theater

BUY TICKETS by CLICKING HERE!

Aryonna Richard 

Founder – Silver Light Media

IG: @aryonnarichard

TW: @aryonnarichard

This last weekend August 26th and 27th Pretty Lights returned to Telluride, Colorado for a two-day festival at the Town Park. A banner welcomed attendees; fans lined the streets anxiously waiting, and the music was pouring from the venue while Derek Vincent Smith performed a three-hour set each night. Blending music and innovative production with the beauty of a historic mountain town, the event must be experienced to be understood. Who’s ready to learn about his most anticipated show of the summer?

PL_Live_Telluride-8

PL_Live_Telluride-13The photos in this feature are courtesy of Chris Kocher, a festival photographer, and owner of CMK Photography visit www.cmkphotography.net for more stunning visuals. Follow him on Instagram @tophercmk. Based in the San Fransisco area do not hesitate to contact him as he is an avid music and landscape photographer currently traveling around the US in hopes of calling Boulder his new home.

PL_Live_Telluride-7Arriving in Telluride on Thursday, August 25th a day before the first day of the festival was a perfect way to begin my first time exploring the San Juan Mountains. What an incredible drive! I had never seen the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park before, and all I can say is Colorado is a unique state with landscapes that change it feels like every twenty miles. After arriving, I watched a hail storm from the condo balcony and enjoyed looking at the aspens that cover the area. That night I went to the Mountain Village for the first time for a round of drinks at the Black Iron Kitchen and Bar and then for dinner in town at Brown Dog Pizza.

PL_Live_Telluride-12

Friday morning I enjoyed a little sunshine while exploring. Out of the mountain towns I’ve been too Aspen, McCall, Sun Valley, Park City — Telluride now holds a special place in my heart. The rugged beauty provides chill vibes that make you want to kick back and enjoy the views while also inspiring you to get up and take in all the area has to offer. Despite some afternoon rain, I was able to explore the Town Park Camping and met up with Chris Kocher who as stated contributed the gorgeous photos.

The first night began with music shortly after eight o’clock when Derek Vincent Smith took the stage with the Analog Future Band, Episodic 3; who’s members include Chris Karnes, Borhem Lee, and Alvin Ford Jr. Due to the rain, there are no images from Saturday night, but you can enjoy the photos from Friday. Night one consisted of classics likes “Someday is Everyday – Passing By Behind Your Eyes” and “Sunday School” along with new tracks. After the show had wrapped around 11 pm, it was time to hit the Late Night Radio (Vinyl Restoration) + Marvel Years (ft. Colby Buckler) + Mickey Thunder After-Party at Fly Me To The Moon a sick time that kept jamming until two that morning.
PL_Live_Telluride-11

PL_Live_Telluride-5

PL_Live_Telluride-1

Night Two was a party and the highlight of my weekend in Telluride. Having seen Pretty Lights perform around ten times, I can say that the second night was one of my favorite performances only behind my first time seeing him at The Gorge Amphitheatre. He dropped “Dark As The Sky”, “Yellow Bird”, “World of Illusion,” “Drift Away”, a sample from the Beastie Boys and had time for an epic rap session. Performances at The Sheridan Opera House was an excellent way to bring a dope weekend of music to an end. The after-party featured Borahm Lee w/ Chris Karns, Colby Buckler, Eliot Lipp (Special Vinyl Set) and Party People.

PL_Live_Telluride-9

PL_Live_Telluride-4

PL_Live_Telluride-3The next morning I returned to the Mountain Village to ride the Gondola while it was sunny. Before leaving, I took photos from the San Sophia Overlook where my friends and I spotted a waterfall on the other side of the mountain. What an incredible weekend I will never forget can’t wait to drop media coverage next year! Thanks to my friend Chelsea Strauch for inviting me wouldn’t have made this unforgettable trip without her 🙂