Cat's out of the bag. I am a closet marketing psycho. You know those people who like commercials better than actual TV shows? Yeah, that's me. Here's a little dose of my latest marketing musings.
Sometimes I scroll through Instagram and catch myself thinking, is instagramming their workout/meal/grocery cart a requirement of being paleo? If they workout and don't Instagram it, does the workout still count? Chances are, if you're not a participant in the paleo lifestyle, you've had these thoughts too. But I gotta give it to them...they really have something. These people make social media their bitch, and they don't apologize. When I started thinking more, there's a lot of things bloggers can learn from paleo people. At the intersection of two seemingly unrelated things...innovation, creativity, and a few lessons on marketing were found.
(*Don't sue me for the term paleo people. I know they're "regular people." And it's a "lifestyle." But, the alliteration made writing this quick and easy. I mean no offense by the term.)
1. INSTAGRAM THAT SHIT. Holy shit. Look at their IG feeds. Just look. Flattering, non flattering--they have pictures of EVERYTHING. They have pictures of workout moves and dinner--before, during, and after. Their IG feeds are a variable "how to" of getting started in the paleo lifestyle.
What this means for bloggers: Take more action shots, less selfies. If you're doing something interesting, we want to see it. Don't show me the glass of wine you had for a homemade-dinner well done, show me the fricking dinner.
2. USE HASHTAGS. I cannot emphasize this enough. When I heard a fellow 24-year-old graduate student ask our professor what a hashtag was, I about banged my brains out on the desk. Yes, sometimes paleo people use an obnoxious amount of hashtags. BUT...you know why it works? Their hashtags are SPECIFIC, CULTURAL (paleo could technically, according to sociology, be defined as a specific culture) and SHORT. Since they're short, they're easy to add. Since they're specific to that particular group...it's easy for them to jump around from one user to another and find new recipes, workouts, etc.
What this means for bloggers: WE NEED HASHTAGS, PEOPLE. I LOVE following bloggers on IG. LOVE IT. But, I can only find you if I already happen to know you're a blogger. Every day, I find someone new. But imagine how many more new people I could find if we used hashtags. We don't need 20. We don't even have to use them every single picture. But even one, simple blogging-related hashtag used once a week would help start making those connections. Think #ootd. But something for all us non-fashion people.
3. OWN IT. No one brands like a paleo person. Seriously. Their lifestyle is embedded in everything they do: Facebook, IG, Twitter, etc. Everyone knows they're paleo. And they make no apologies for blowing up our feeds with their posts.
What this means for bloggers: Stop apologizing for enjoying your hobby. If you want to see your blog get big, OWN IT.
4. HONESTY. Shit people, they even have hashtags for when they slip up and have a non-paleo meal. I've never seen a fully perfect paleo IG feed. Once in a while, they do post pictures of alcoholic drinks or a good dessert and they call it out. They say--this isn't #paleo.
What this means for bloggers: Stop pretending your life is perfect. It's ok every once in a while to write a post about how your life isn't perfect, or maybe even own up to a mistake.
5. INTERACT. You know what else makes their IG post long as all get out besides their excessive hashtags? THEIR COMMENTS. Paleo people are AWESOME at responding back to people who leave them comments. Yes, I am marketing-obsessed. Yes, this sounds slightly creepy. But I have watched paleo people build fans just from consistently responding. And not just "thanks!" They go all out. Two sentences. Or more. Whatever they want. And then, when you read an interesting comment and their response, you click to see who left it...and before you know it you've spent 20 minutes and discovered 12 new recipes, 3 workout tips and 9 inspirational quotes.
What this means for bloggers: Take the time to respond to comments, both email and IG.
And that ends my soap box for today. I may give them a lot of shit for excessive hashtagging but in reality...paleo people brand like no one's business. If you're looking for lessons in marketing, branding and relationship building via social media, I highly suggest you find a few truly dedicated paleo people to follow on IG/Twitter and watch what they do. Because it will blow you away.
What other lessons can you see learning from paleo people?
Where do you draw inspiration for blogging, besides from other bloggers?