“A picture speaks a thousand words right? So you better make sure your pictures do that.” with Vivek Chugh and Candice Georgiadis

Content marketing. Instagram, maybe more than every other platform is all about quality content. A picture speaks a thousand words right? So you better make sure your pictures do that. Otherwise why will people follow or engage with your photos?

I had the pleasure of interviewing Vivek Chugh the founder of Listables. Vivek started Listables two years back after realizing that there had to be a better way to use checklists. He has also worked at senior positions for the best companies on the planet in their respective computing verticals, and managed world class product, engineering, and operations teams worldwide.

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

I really have always had a desire to start my own business, but never really had that spark or idea. Until one night, at 3 am trying to debug a major deployment issue, I wondered why couldn’t we make checklists more collaborative, interactive, auditable and community oriented.

I started digging deeper into the idea, looking for services that would fit, but I couldn’t find anything just right. Either they were too complicated, or not built well enough. So I decided I wanted to build something to fit my criteria. Fast forward a couple of years later and here we are.

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

When you are the founder of a startup, if frequently requires you to wear many different hats. You are the CEO, you are the marketer, the customer service, project manager and so on. Since that is the reality of a startup, it allowed me to very closely work with our marketing team over the past couple of years to really hone in on what our marketing strategy should be, what works best, our ideal customer and other KPI’s.

Through this process I really think I have become very experienced in social media marketing from content marketing, to influencer marketing and other strategies.

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

I think one of the most interesting things about my personal journey is leaving a very secure six figure job to pursue my own business. It wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly but, one that I am very proud and grateful to have made. I truly enjoy working on my own business and the challenge of making it succeed.

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?

When I first started, I was working very long hours. One particular night I was up very late finishing a build for the app. The next day I had a very important conference call with some potential partners, 10 minutes into the call I dozed off for a few minutes. Thank God I wasn’t snoring because the other people on the call just thought I got disconnected.

From that point on, I made every effort I could to make sure I was getting enough rest. People always champion hard and long work hours, like you are stronger than the next person. However that is not the case. Giving yourself proper rest, and daily breaks will allow you to work more efficiently, and produce better quality work as well. Plus you won’t fall asleep on conference calls.

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?

The social media platforms that we found to be most effective for Listables, are Facebook and Instagram.

Using paid Facebook and Instagram advertising combined with influencer marketing we have been able to grow over 200% year over year with an incredible ROI.

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.

Instagram is certainly one of our favorite social media platforms and makes up a large part of our marketing penetration strategy.

Here are 6 ways we leverage Instagram.

Content marketing. Instagram, maybe more than every other platform is all about quality content. A picture speaks a thousand words right? So you better make sure your pictures do that. Otherwise why will people follow or engage with your photos?

Use stories. We try and use Instagram stories as often as possible. It is a great easy way to communicate with your followers and the best part about it, many people don’t use it. So while you are competing for screen time on your followers time line, when they are viewing stories, less people are posting so you will show up more often.

Engage with your followers and other users. It is important to take some time each day to engage with your followers and other users who might be interested in your business. Like their photos, make a comment, even repost one of their images.

Use influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is one of our very favorite ways of using Instagram. The concept is simple, find a popular influencer who has a similar demographic to your business, and pay them to post. For this to have the best effect you should try and have the post be of some value. Good information, a funny meme, something that will get high engagement while not being to advertorial usually works best.

Boost your posts. Like Facebook, Instagram has changed their timeline algorithm making it more difficult for business to get in front of their followers. They best way to solve this is to have good content. Aside from that, boosting your posts is a great way to increase engagement as well as get in front of current and new customers. It also doesn’t have to cost a fortune. $100-$200 per month will do the trick.

Use paid advertising. Similar to boosted posts, however this is a more structured direct sale or advertisement. For example we very aggressively use Instagram paid ads to promote the download of our app. Whereas boosted posts is more branding and awareness. With the paid ads we are trying to get a user to take a specific action.

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. 🙂

Like many people currently, I think this world can use a little more empathy and more people to lend a helping hand. I always loved the thought of the pay it forward movement, and we actually have diligently been working to build up the community section of the Listables app where users can share checklists with the community. Offering up skills and knowledge that other people in the community might find valuable. For example we partnered with the American Cancer Society to create checklists like “6 steps to help lower cancer risk” and others to help spread cancer awareness and prevention.

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 🙂

The first person that comes to mind has to be Michael Jordan. I feel there are many things we can all learn from Michael. From his work ethic, to his dedication, to his business prowess.

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


“A picture speaks a thousand words right? was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.