Use (but don’t overuse) hashtags — Hashtags are becoming less important with each new Instagram update, but they’re still somewhat useful for when someone wants to search for that tag. While the # symbol isn’t necessary if you can work the words into your post, they can be helpful for variations. Place them as a comment rather than crowding your post.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Delbridge, CEO of GeekSmash, a pop culture focused marketing agency that manages influencer marketing campaigns for major brands and popular social media influencers. Joe started GeekSmash in 2012 as a blog and converted it into a marketing agency in March of 2016. Also an experienced martial artist, Joe derives many of his business principles from the “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi and he has a passion for teaching and helping others realize their dreams.

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

It’s my pleasure. I love going to comic cons; I have since I was a kid. I knew I wanted to work in the industry, but getting a job in it can be quite the challenge, so rather than wait for a door to open, I built my own door, kicked it in, and now here I am! I’ve found that I’m gifted in creative marketing strategy and in growing brands and have combined that with my passion for the pop culture industry, specifically on the geeky side.

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

I finished my bachelor’s degree in Internet Marketing at Full Sail University in early 2017, graduated Valedictorian, and had multiple awards, including the Academic Achievement Award. I’ve since taken on the influencer marketing space with vigor. I regularly connect with brands that want to grow their businesses through influencer marketing and have provided income opportunities for social media influencers by working with these brands. I’ve managed over 100 social media influencers directly and I’m currently on the forefront of the industry, creating standards in the influencer marketing space on which the brand and influencer can rely. Up until now, it’s been pretty much the wild west in terms of what influencers can charge, what brands should pay to see a good ROI, and some best practices for seeing results.

I’ve even created both Instagram and YouTube engagement rate calculators, which you can find on my website, https://www.geeksmash.com. These calculators show both parties how much a particular influencer should be paid based on their followers, average views, and engagement rate. It’s also a nice tool to help prevent a brand from being taken advantage of by a fake influencer who buys followers.

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

No single story stands out. I think that mostly, I just feel so fortunate to surround myself with exceptional individuals who remind me every day in what human beings can do when they find their calling.

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?

Facebook is the heavyweight champ here. We consistently compare closely with Google Ads in terms of cost per click, but usually fare better. The reason that it works best is because of several factors:

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, so there’s a greater chance that people will find your promotion simply by searching here. Frequently, people will search for brands to view unboxings or reviews on YouTube before purchasing.

YouTube videos tend to continue to get a reasonable amount of views long after they’re published as opposed to Instagram, which tends to slow down to a crawling halt only a couple of days after posting.

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. Tag curators — These are accounts who scrub the web and Instagram daily to curate content that their readers might find interesting, so help them out by sharing your story and your products with them through your posts.
  2. Use (but don’t overuse) hashtags — Hashtags are becoming less important with each new Instagram update, but they’re still somewhat useful for when someone wants to search for that tag. While the # symbol isn’t necessary if you can work the words into your post, they can be helpful for variations. Place them as a comment rather than crowding your post.
  3. Share your story — Everyone loves a good story and you have one whether you think so or not. Use Instagram to chronicle your journey and share this with your followers. It humanizes your brand and makes you more relatable.
  4. Share mistakes — This goes back to humanizing your brand. Don’t worry about being perfect.
  5. Create a curation account — If you can find a way to curate content and grow that account beside your own, you can eventually use it to post your own products without having to pay an influencer or another curator.
  6. Spend money — It’s no mystery that these platforms operate off of revenues from ads, so don’t be afraid to fork over money to gain followers and spread your brand message. Just be sure to include the link to your website or store in your bio.

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. 🙂

I’m oddly passionate about reducing waste. For example, if we could remove unnecessary printed receipts and coupons from grocery stores along, we would have an enormously positive impact on our environment. Plus, it would be a great cost saver for the stores, so I don’t know why this isn’t already happening!

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 🙂

I would love to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger! He’s inspired me since childhood. He’s a habitual winner that plows through any obstacles to obtain his goals. It would be an honor to meet Arnold and share my appreciation for him.

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


“How you should use (but not overuse) hashtags” With GeekSmash CEO, Joe Delbridge was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.