Thanks for checking out The Social Influencer. This blog was launched to connect with influencers and share their experiences with the world. 

Social Influencer Series | Kristen Standish, SVP/GM Grapevine

Social Influencer Series | Kristen Standish, SVP/GM Grapevine

Is there a worse feeling than the feeling of being irrelevant? I caught up with a former colleague of mine who, like me, departed the world of traditional media in search of that next epicentral wave in modern brand building.

We both chose social. Why? We share a belief that social media is a modern communications revolution. Like the printing press, the telephone, the internet and mobile technology, the social web has transformed our communications, connecting over one third of the world’s population in the last 10 years. Think about that.

We reminisced about how much fun we had "back in the day," but that reverie quickly turned into a feeling of irrelevance. We talked about how the old way of pitching a value proposition now seemed, suddenly, antiquated and false. Who was really listening? The world had changed. It was time to change with it.   

Kristen Standish is the SVP/GM of Grapevine, a social influencer tech agency, which is changing the way brands leverage social influence. She seemed like a perfect subject for the Social Influencer.

Here's a snapshot of what she had to share:

What drew you to your current post? Let’s talk about the power of Social Influence in modern marketing?

Let's think about how our own careers have been disrupted by social and digital media. Working in the traditional media space was no longer fun; in fact it was downright depressing. I realized that, without scale and data, all of my relationships with brands might not matter anymore! I've spent 25 years building relationships; I'd be damned if I let myself become irrelevant.

We all know it’s about content and audience and the only real difference now is that the channels have changed. Working for a social influencer tech agency is fast paced and influencer marketing is central to most brands’ overall digital strategy. It's exciting to be riding a bit of a wave again. I can’t say I've felt this type of momentum since working in radio in the 90's.

How does Grapevine Logic differentiate itself in the social influencer marketplace?

Grapevine's key differentiator in the social marketplace is that it blends a top tier software platform with white-glove service and education. So many platforms offer more of a sandbox approach that may equip marketers with powerful tools, it's often hard for them -- unless they are already experts -- to drive real value out of them. At Grapevine, we take extra care to ensure that each of our customers gets a robust influencer marketing education and a proper audit of their social influencer strategy.

When you think of brands that are getting right and really leveraging social influencers in their brand building and marketing, who comes to mind and why?

Two brands that come to mind are HomeChef, a meal kit delivery company, and Drop, a personal finance application. Both are using influencer marketing in different yet effective ways for their goals. For HomeChef, it's rapidly expanding their consumer base by reaching out to mommy and lifestyle bloggers. For Drop it is leveraging influencers to simplify and humanize their messaging to lift their brands footprint. What makes these brands successful is 1) they have a dedicated team working with influencers. 2) they've discovered the power of niche micro-influencers to drive engagement 3) they trust in the influencers they hire to know their target audience and deliver optimal content that resonates and 4) they provide clear incentives to drive action to their landing pages.

What trends do you see in 2019?

Appropriate content from adjusting creator monetization schemes, to investing more in censorship: it’s getting easier and easier to run afoul of the rules. Definitely bookmark our community guidelines digest to keep yourself up to speed. Furthermore, while 73% of brands on our network claim that they ensure brand-safe content through active campaign policing, that gets unsustainable as influencer programs scale. More platforms will be investing in tools and technology (such as automatic FCC compliance) to combat fake followers and influencers.

A second big trend will be the rise of the "Micro-Influencer." Influencer Marketing is a field that is already saturated with influencers. Sure, depending on your goals you might need creators with follower counts of up to a million, but micro-influencers can also yield more engagement for your campaigns.

What advice would you give a legacy brand that is trying to redefine itself in the modern age of marketing?

Don't jump into influencer marketing cold because everyone else is doing it. Consider working with a partner or platform that prioritizes education so you don't waste any of your dollars. 

Speed Round:

Celebratory Cocktail: Perfect Manhattan up

Proudest accomplishment: Being able to overcome fertility challenges and being able to bring my amazing daughter Abigail into this world

Favorite Social Channel : Instagram, Instagram stories, Tic Tok

Favorite Brand to follow on social: Kiwico

Inspirational #Hashtag: #LuckLoveLife

About the interviewer:

Mark Keaney is a Husband, Dad, Coach, Mentor and Leader. With over 20 years of experience in the media industry and a wild ride in the world of tech start-up & social - Mark is helping brands deliver world class CX at Lithium Technologies, where he is the Regional Vice President of Sales for the East and Central. His mantra is - Brand Globally. Market Locally. 

e: markkeaney8@gmail.com or t: @markkeaney2pt0

Social Influencer Series | Global Social Sales Manager, Gage Grammer

Social Influencer Series | Global Social Sales Manager, Gage Grammer

Social Influencer Series | Social Jedi & Director of Digital Social Media, Clive Roach

Social Influencer Series | Social Jedi & Director of Digital Social Media, Clive Roach