9 Tips for Social Media Marketing Beginners

9 Tips for Social Media Marketing Beginners

Leveraging the power of blogs and social networking advertising will help increase your audience and client base in a dramatic manner. But getting started without insight or any experience might be hard.

It is imperative that you understand social networking advertising fundamentals. Abiding by these...

Should Snapchat Be Part of Your Digital Strategy?

Should Snapchat Be Part of Your Digital Strategy?

Stats show that Snapchat is the social network of 2016. In spite of having the youngest audience, it's experiencing faster growth than Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram.  

Many brands have already integrated it into their digital strategy. They are not just including it in an organic marketing strategy, but are coughing up big bucks to be in the Discover section, which is currently the only way to include paid advertising campaigns on the platform.

UPDATED: The Social Media Photographer's Shot Kit

UPDATED: The Social Media Photographer's Shot Kit

If you're an online marketing maven, or if you just got stuck managing the social media for your organization because no-one else will - you no doubt have long since realized that photography and video are the leaders in content online. It can be a bit intimidating when you see all the amazing photos online shot by people with the budgets to afford the latest DSLRs with huge, expensive lenses. 

I'm here to tell you - that all that heavy, expensive gear is not necessary. To be honest it never really was. To be fair, I was just as bad as anyone about lugging around loads of expensive gear in multiple backpacks - all essentially to shoot images destined to the web. Well, I've had a change of heart and I'm here to give you some new recommendations on gear if you are shooting for the web. 

I Just Deleted Half The Subscribers From My Email List And You Should Too

In the constant race to build the list, Build The List, BUILD THE LIST! - a task that generates much panic in marketers, but which is necessary is eliminating email subscribers with whom you are not getting the results.

One of the most important things I have learned in digital marketing over the years came from a post by Brian Clark of Copyblogger. This tip has helped me get better average results from my list than any other thing I’ve every done. Brian reiterated this tip recently in a Master Class with Michael Hyatt on Platform University. When you focus your message on the right recipients you achieve optimum results. Measuring, testing and adapting should be your principal allies when nurturing and keeping your list healthy. Make no mistake, it is absolutely necessary to do a thorough analysis of your email database at least every 6 months and cull the users who are not opening your emails. This time-frame can be adjusted based upon how frequently you send emails and how quickly your list is growing. 

When you suggest this to your clients/boss the vast majority of people would throw their hands up. In those situations, be respectful those who only seek volume and help them understand why we do this with data. Show them we are looking for results. Results are not obtained with volume alone, but with the right mix of volume and quality. Think about it, what good would 20,000 email subscribers do for you if they have not event opened an email for over 6 months? Perhaps when they signed up they genuinely wanted to receive your newsletter. However, maybe their day is too full of information now. Maybe they have forgotten why they even subscribed to your newsletter. 

I understand it’s a bitter pill to swallow. But for years now, I take all my social media accounts and cull ALL my follows. I then “start over” by engaging with the accounts and people I am currently interested in. It’s a nice way to do some spring cleaning and make sure the information I am receiving is what I am actually interested in. 

Culling inactive subscribers from your email list is similar. Of course, you are doing this in reverse order. But this process ensures that your list is active and healthy and that your open rate is well above the norm for your industry.  

Just so you know I put my money where my mouth is, over the past ten years, I have collected over 150,000 email addresses from websites, contests, speaking engagements, classes, etc. However, on average, at the peak of my list, I would average between 10% and 14% open rates per email. While the headlines of the email newsletters determined who opened the email, after reviewing my list stats, I saw a very large amount of subscribers that signed up for my lists but who had NEVER opened a single email from me. 

So, quite arbitrarily, I decided a few years ago that once a year I’d split up my lists between those who had opened an email in the past 6 months and those who had not. The folks on the list of subscribers who had opened an email in the past 6 months would just stay on my main list and be none the wiser. 

The folks who ending up on the list who had not opened an email in the past six months would removed from my subscribers list and put into a new list. These folks would then receive a one-time email from me letting them know that I didn’t want to be unnecessarily sending them emails if they were no longer interested in receiving them. I let them know that they had be automatically unsubscribed, but that I really wanted them to resubscribe if they found my newsletter beneficial to them. 

By doing this I lose over half my subscribers every single year. However, the list I currently have now has an open rate of about 36% on average, well above the 11% industry average. 

As Brian Clark said to Michael Hyatt in the Master Class I mentioned above, (paraphrased) “I’d rather have 500 interested site visitors a day than 50,000 uninterested ones.”

Why do you need to eliminate half or more of your subscribers?

Optimize Your Database

You do not want any subscribers who are not actually interested in you, your brand or your content. We want to build as much inbound volume as possible, but only of that volume includes as many truly interested users as possible. If the subscriber is not interested (i.e. actively consuming your content) you can not utilize that subscriber base effectively for campaigns or lead nurturing. So having a list that isn’t optimized means your operate inefficiently and worse that you generate metrics which show artificially negative results.


Email list building is not a competition to get to all the market users. This is not a zero-sum game. Email campaigns should generate results. And anything that separates us from achieving our desired results needs to be removed from the campaign. There is no reason to keep a user has not interacted with our content in the last 6 months on our list. If there is no evidence that the inactive subscriber is going to suddenly become active one day, we should not let their subscription bring down the average performance of the entire list. This is not meant to be a negative action towards the user. It is just us, as list builders, taking the subscriber’s lead and removing them from a list they are clearly not interested in.

Measuring The Right Metrics

Many email marketers are obsessed with the wrong metrics. Having a healthy list is not about the overall lists’ ”open rates” or "CTRs”. You need to be looking at the percentage of subscribers who have opened any of the last 20 communications AND who have interacted in some way with the last email. Consider this: never think of the entire data set. Think of “active” datasets.


I live and die by internalizing digital experimentation. When I talk about experimentation I am also talking about eliminating what is not working and trying something else. This cyclical learning process is something you must never lose sight of. It is what makes average marketers into great marketers. 


While this is the last reason, it’s not the least important. Yes, cost. HubSpot, MailChimp, AWeber and most email marketing providers charge based on the size of your database. So keeping the list small shows that you are a good steward of your resources. 

For example, if I never culled my list, I’d be spending over $675 a month today instead of the $150 I spend on a list which is active and which enjoys an average open rate that is twice the open rate of the industry I’m in. I get twice the performance for a quarter of the price. 

Goodbye Instagram

I knew this was coming.

It looks like I’m leaving Instagram now. This sucks - I REALLY like Instagram. I'm a photographer, and Instagram is where all the action is in photography right now. But I don’t need an algorithm or a bunch of west-coast 20-somethings deciding what photos I should be viewing.

While I’m sure the good folks at Instagram want the best for me, I don’t need their help when it comes to deciding what I should see on the internet. It’s funny; I already had an algorithm for curated content that fits my needs perfectly. You see what I do is I click the “follow” button on a person or brand’s feed in their profile. By clicking the “follow” button, I am indicating that I would like to see their content. Guess what happens next? When they post content, I see their content! While deceptively simple, it works great.

If I wanted someone to spoon-feed me curated content, I’d still be using Facebook.

I left Facebook years ago because repeated decisions made by the company showed a complete disregard for their users. They earned my trust; we had fun together, and I let them into the most sensitive parts of my life. Then, like an abusive partner, they broke my trust over and over again. Many people choose to stay in their abusive relationship with Facebook. Not me. I put the cat in the car and left town.

When I heard Facebook purchased Instagram, I immediately assumed Mark Zuckerberg would turn Instagram into a mini-Facebook. However, Instagram promised me they wouldn’t change, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. And besides, they had earned my trust, we had fun together, and I had let them into my life.

We came to an agreement: Instagram agreed not to invite Facebook over, and I pretended to ignore that fact that they were idiots for marrying Facebook.

Fast-forward to today: Like a newly-elected politician, Instagram is now going back on their word and instituting a very Facebook-like algorithm which will ensure I “see the moments I care about first” - screw that. I just won’t tolerate someone manhandling my social feeds.

I gave Instagram a chance - but history has shown us that we can’t trust Facebook and Instagram have now made the transformation we all knew was coming. Instagram is no more than Facebook in a filter named "Sheep’s Clothing."

Good-bye, Instagram. I’ll miss you.

You all can find me on Twitter (@giovanni), VSCO (@giovannigallucci) or some lame third-tier social network until Facebook buys the rest of them.

Don’t worry Mark; I won’t let the door hit me on the way out.

SLIDES: 10 Virtual Reality Marketing Strategies You Can Implement NOW!

Thursday, May 19, 2016 · Angelika Theatre Dallas

#smdallas @sm_dallas http://www.smdallas.org
 Virtual Reality (‘VR’) gives digital marketers the opportunity to give their audience the closest experience they can get from a product, service, event or place without actually physically being there. As the lines between the physical and virtual worlds increasingly blur, VR presents marketers with an ideal way to engage their customers. In this talk, Giovanni Gallucci will show you 10 ways digital marketers can start using VR right now in campaigns.
What you will learn:
An understanding of what hardware and software is required to shoot a professional VR video; what is necessary when distributing a VR video to YouTube and Facebook. Whether you can produce a VR campaign in-house or if you need to hire an outside firm to assist them. What current VR campaigns look like, and what a successful VR campaign looks like.

6:00PM  Check-In  
6:45PM  Plano Case Study with Shannah Hayley
6:55 PM 10 Virtual Reality Marketing Strategies presentation  
8:30PM  Post-event networking at The People's Last Stand  

Speaker: Giovanni-Gallucci
Giovanni Gallucci - @giovanni - is an Ad-Age, Emmy, Telly & Webby-award winning photographer and social media strategist.

He produces social media campaigns for clients primarily through the use of photography, video, and VR-experiences that link brands with highly-connected fans. As a result, his clients enjoy active, engaged relationships with their consumers on social media. 

Ricoh Theta S DIY Monopod Extension

Follow giovanni for more tips, and reviews at http://gallucci.net Connect with giovanni: web: http://www.gallucci.net google+: https://plus.google.com/+GiovanniGallucci/ instagram: https://instagram.com/Giovanni.Gallucci/ twitter: https://twitter.com/giovanni youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GiovanniGallucci Join over 16,000 other folks who have signed up for my photo, video, search & social newsletter at http://www.gallucci.net/newsletter/ giovanni gallucci is an Ad Age, Emmy, Telly, and Webby award-winning social media strategist and photographer.

Dealing With Photo Stealers

My fellow photographer brothers and sisters: Some of you need to seriously chill out with the watermarks. It takes away from your work. 



I know it is frustrating to stumble across your image on a website that never asked for your permission to use your work, much less offered to pay for it. Different people have different ways of handling these situations. Some will report the offending website to photo theft shaming sites like PhotoSteralers. If you have a couple hours to waste, I highly recommend visiting PhotoStealers - much entertainment to be had there.

You can combat and deal with this with a few steps. I have had good success with this and  recommend this workflow to others. 

1) Learn that people are going to steal your photos. Learn to be ok with that. Not “OK” like you’re a doormat and are just going to be a passive victim but “OK” like don’t get all worked up about it to the point that you develop an ulcer. Upper G.I.’s are not fun.

2) Learn how to tag your photos with META data in lightroom (helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/metadata-basics-actions.html). If you tag your pic with META data, you can still track your photos more easily with Google text searches. As a bonus, those photos that do get stolen will feed your business info and website URL into Google and help you get discovered by people who might actually pay you to shoot. 

3) About 3 times a year, grab 25 of your best new photos and do Google image searches on them to see if they have been stolen: images.google.com/

4) If any of your images do show up in Google image search and they are unauthorized uses of your works, either look for contact info for the publisher on the site or do a reverse lookup on the domain: whois.domaintools.com/

5) Send out an invoice for the usage with a note explaining your copyright/license (example of mine: gallucci.net/copyright/) and a link to your site explaining your  terms and conditions (Again, my example: gallucci.net/content-license-agreement/).

About half of those who I send notes pay the invoice with no questions. The next steps for the others are determined by the site and their usage.

There are lots of sites who can give you a breakdown of all this: petapixel.com/2015/08/07/a-primer-on-using-dmca-takedown-… - this is just how I handle it.

The process I have developed is a homogenized version developed from several different sources. It has served me well in my career.