“Instagram stories are a great way for you to humanize your brand.” with James Shockley and Candice Georgiadis
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a business posts 6 times on their Instagram throughout the day. They are now spamming my feed with more than likely low-quality content. That is what Instagram stories are for! You can post 30 times a day on Instagram stories and no one will mind. If they no longer want to watch it, they just swipe left. Instagram stories are a great way for you to humanize your brand. It allows you to show your audience an inside look into your business. We have taken on multiple clients who posted 4–5 times a day. We advised to them we would take care of their actual Instagram posting, and they can have full control over their Instagram stories. The stories increased, the posting decreased, and the followers and engagement went up.
I had the pleasure of interviewing James Shockley, CEO of Social Movement Media. A recent graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Advertising Management, James started his first company when he was 20 years old. Shockley’s first company, Hidlo Studios, focused on utilizing Snapchat to create and manage Snapchat Geofilter campaigns for businesses. In August of 2018, he started his new company, Social Movement Media, a full service digital marketing agency that is changing the way people post on Instagram.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for having me!
When I was a Sophomore in college, I knew that I wanted to start a business. I didn’t know what type of business, but I knew I wanted to start something. I started to research how to do online marketing and came to the realization that I could make Snapchat Geofilters for business. It was then I started my first company, Hidlo Studios. As Hidlo Studios started to gain more and more clients, they would ask me if I could manage their social media. I slowly started to manage multiple social media accounts until I got enough clients and came to the realization I needed to start another company that offered all of these services.
My whole philosophy behind Social Movement Media is to innovate the way people post on Instagram. As we live in this era of Digital Marketing, I believe it is imperative for businesses to utilize social media to engage a magnitude of potential consumers towards their businesses profile. With 1 billion daily active users, Instagram allows companies to market their product or service to hopefully then drive consumers down the purchasing funnel.
It’s very simple to make a post on Instagram. Anyone can do it. But, what many people don’t know is that Instagram, along with Facebook, have specific algorithms imbedded within each post you make. If there aren’t certain systems in place on your post, there’s a chance your post won’t reach the maximum amount of people possible, or worse, it won’t show up at all.
Social Movement Media strives to create the most visually appealing and engaging Instagram pages on the platform today. In addition, we create strategies which enable our posts and advertisements to reach a plethora of people through Instagram and Facebook’s algorithm.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
Social Media is a free way for you to advertise to millions of people! No longer do you need to worry about getting a news station to do a short 1 minute segment on your business to advertise, or pay for an expensive billboard. All it takes is a few simple posts to build and engage with followers. I am what some may call a “social media native” I grew up with most of these platforms. I am fully immersed in all of the social media trends throughout my day. I love social media because it is an ever-changing platform. If you don’t stay up to date with the current trends, you will be left in the dust.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
There are countless things that have happened to me over the years since becoming an entrepreneur. A funny story that happened in October was how I met my lead designer, Chris Lemon, who is also the creator of our innovative service called the Instagram Matrix. I was at a bar on a Saturday watching a college football game, when I saw one of my clients who is the GM of a local gym. He said, “ James I want you to meet Chris, he’s the one who takes all of our pictures.” Chris approaches me and says “ So, you’re the a**hole who took my job.” Of course, he was just kidding, at least I think he was kidding!. He proceeds to show me his own Instagram feed, @wolf.lemon. The second I saw it, I knew we had to work together. After 5 seconds of him showing me his Instagram, I looked at him and said, “Do you want to make money doing this?” One thing lead to another, and now we work together every day.
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?
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a funny story. I guess it is now looking back on it, and I know my dad probably won’t consider it a funny story since he was the one who helped invest some money into my original company, Hidlo Studios. When I was 20 years old, it was my goal to be an exhibitor at a trade show. I figured it would really kick me into high gear and force me to figure a lot of things out with my business. I signed up for the Bar and Nightclub convention in Las Vegas. We spent ALL our money on this. Every dollar that was invested, and every dollar we ever earned. We figured we were going to come back from Las Vegas rich! Unfortunately, that was not the case. We had hundreds of leads and everyone was so interested in our services, so we thought. Once we got back, we waited and waited for anyone to call or email us. Nothing. We got one account out of it, for $300. I can tell you, we spent way more than $300 in Las Vegas. This experience really taught me how to simply fall flat on my face. I wanted to give up so badly after this, but I just kept pushing on. I wanted to succeed and I was not going to let this stop me.
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?
I have found Instagram to be the best way to increase business revenue compared to all other social media. One success story I would like to share is about one of our clients , Arcade Mission Control. We offered them our Instagram Matrix service. You can find them @arcademissioncontrol on Instagram. We ran a $25 gift card giveaway which lead to over 100 comments on one single Instagram post. The reason this can turn into dollars is by generating over 100 comments, the post will be shown to more of their follower, therefore increasing the exposure of their brand. I was informed the day we posted that specific campaign, they noticed an increase in business.
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.
- Engage — If you can properly engage with people who may show interest in your page, you will drastically build a following and increase your overall impressions. We have a client that owns a gym, they wanted to increase their followers from 800 to 1,000. We did not want to pay for followers, we do not practice that method, and anyone who does, should be very careful. Instagram is cracking down on this. Here is what we did. We followed multiple fitness accounts. We liked multiple pictures they had posted. By doing this, it showed we are reaching out and we hope that they would recognize it and give us a follow. Also, whenever someone would post that they were at the gym on their Instagram stories, we would repost it on our own story. This will then lead them to show their followers that they were posted on the gym’s IG feed.
- Aesthetic — The aesthetic of an Instagram is our biggest priority. If you can make a visually pleasing Instagram feed, people will be more inclined to follow it because they know you post quality content. If you pride yourself on your service or product, your Instagram can act as the first impression of your entire business. If it looks like you don’t care or there is a lack effort and your competition is putting effort into their Instagram, they are already one step ahead of you. For, Arcade Mission Control, we post our Instagram Matrix service for them @arcademissioncontrol. This is where we take all of their content and edit it in a way that creates an entire collage. However, we have created a system that allows us to post a single post at a time without disrupting the flow of the grid.
- Offer giveaways — This is a great way to not only build your following but give back to your current followers. Offer a free $25 gift card and encourage your followers to comment to 1–3 friends. We have run multiple campaigns like this which produce over 300 comments. We have a high-end pizza restaurant where we introduced this strategy.. They run a giveaway every month, and each month the giveaway produces over 300 comments and over 5,000 impressions. The comments are great because the more engagement you have, Instagram’s algorithm will show the content to more people. Instagram will classify this as high-quality content that must be shown to more people.
- Professional Pictures — Please stop the iPhone pictures! I understand the iPhone has an amazing camera and most people think they can just take a bunch of pictures and then just post them, wrong! Most of the time, the pictures don’t always turn out as good as they could have been if they had been taken by a professional photographer. The lighting may not be right, or the angel is off. Hiring a professional photographer for 1–2 hours should not cost more than $200-$300. The quality and quantity of photos they can capture can produce between 2–3 months’ worth of content for you. For example, a bar reached out to use to increase their Instagram followers. The first thing we did was hire a professional photographer to come in at take pictures of everyone having fun and enjoying their night out. Once we started posting pictures,the bar patrons tagged themselves in the post. . When people see their friends on a company post, they are more inclined to tag them in the post. This will increase engagement and build followers.
- Motion Graphics — Video content is already king in today’s digital world. You are 95% more likely to remember the information on a moving graphic compared to a still graphic. When scrolling through a feed on Instagram, you are probably more likely to stop and watch a video for a longer period then if it was a still graphic with words. We create motion graphics for most of our clients for their Instagram stories and Instagram feeds. We notice that the reach of these are 30–40% higher than a still graphic.
- Instagram Stories — One of my biggest pet peeves is when a business posts 6 times on their Instagram throughout the day. They are now spamming my feed with more than likely low-quality content. That is what Instagram stories are for! You can post 30 times a day on Instagram stories and no one will mind. If they no longer want to watch it, they just swipe left. Instagram stories are a great way for you to humanize your brand. It allows you to show your audience an inside look into your business. We have taken on multiple clients who posted 4–5 times a day. We advised to them we would take care of their actual Instagram posting, and they can have full control over their Instagram stories. The stories increased, the posting decreased, and the followers and engagement went up.
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 am 23 years old, I started my first business when I was 20 years old. This business wasn’t solving any problems. No one knew they needed Snapchat Geofilters. I just thought it would be something fun and creative to pursue. I believe that if more people can find it within themselves to start something because they enjoy being creative, it can lead to a more innovative world. Sometimes, the best products are created not to solve a problem, but because the founder decided it would be an idea that everyone would love. There are so many things going wrong in this world. The more people that can innovate the world, the better I believe the world will become.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!
“ Instagram stories are a great way for you to humanize your brand.” was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.