featured, Social Media Campaign Strategies

The Role of Social Media Correspondents

You have spent a lot of time and energy putting together a special launch of your company’s newest product.  You secured the venue, ordered catering, purchased a Step and Repeat and countless other decorations.  Everything seems ready to go … but… when all is said and done will you create a lasting buzz?

Sure there will be photographs for you to post the day  or maybe a week after.  But, when the flowers are all dried up and your audience has moved on to the next party – who will be keeping your product’s “buzz worthiness” alive?

Making a lasting impression through digital posts is the role of social media correspondents.  These are reporters who show up in real life but report via social media channels, usually their own. Many times the correspondents are also influencers. People who have much clout and thus, seem extremely credible and “influential” to their social media audience.

Why social media correspondents provide a benefit at an event?

Social Media correspondents are professional curators of real-time content.  They know that will look good “on timelines”.  These digital reports will  collect “content” (aka photographs, video, written interviews, etc.) and then drip them out on  social channels over the next days, weeks, months and even maybe a year.  They keep the discussion percolating.

Here are some examples of how social media correspondents are used.  At a premiere of a film,  they are posting about the pre-screening excitement, posting a few images from the screening and then (perhaps) uploading the Q and A with the directors and cast following the conclusion of the film.  Instead of uploading all of this content at once – there will be a slow roll – out to keep the relevancy of the event lasting longer.

To track the impact of the posts the correspondent(s) should use a hashtag.  Such as #YourFilmPremiere.  Read more about the importance of hashtags.  This is essential in knowing about the impact of the postings.  And… who is listening – thus amassing demographic data “gold”.

Where does the content go?

A social media correspondent knows that one social media platform isn’t enough.  Typically each correspondent has an individual preference, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. But, an expert correspondent knows it isn’t about their comfort zone but where will the information be received the best? Most of the time the social media correspondents  will distribute the content across platforms to maximize the audience engagement and brand awareness.

About Monitoring Engagement?

Here is something that is REALLY important… Monitoring the impact of  content uploaded about your event is imperative. Data collection can be invaluable.  Using good analytic programs, such as  SPROUT SOCIAL,  KLEAR or KEYHOLE,   can help to determine the effectiveness of the social media objectives.   However… ROI is not promised by social media correspondents.  It is much more realistic to know that these professionals provide key brand awareness.

The Tough Talk – Money

What does all this cost? This seems to be a really tough question as the role of social media correspondents is fairly new and for many this is unchartered territory.

Best practices would say that a fair rate would be expected.  Each social media expert who contracts for a live event has their own rate.  There does not appear to be a standard fee chart.  However, keep in mind that although this is a fun event and may   be attended by celebrities, it is still work. Thus, contract and payment would be expected unless other arrangements are made. (This author would happily work a car-show for free in exchange for a Maserati!)

Some of the 411 Voices Social Media Team at the Canadian Consulate’s etalk Oscar’s luncheon.
Digital Media, marketing, Media, Social Media Campaign Strategies

You have a great idea – what to do with it? (A presentation)

You have an idea that has been tumbling around your head for quite some time.  You tell a few friends and then finally one (or more) says… “Why don’t you just do it!”

So, now that idea needs to be formalized, made in to a business plan and much more.  Below you will find a short form document of the ESSENTIALS of how to start with taking your idea to fruition.  Remember that all good ideas that are made in to products or business have to include MARKETING. It is astonishing to our 411 voices team how many people forget that part!

Marketing does not have to be expensive, but it is necessary.

DOWNLOAD THE RESOURCE GUIDE HERE :_resource-guide-for-your-biz















BLOGGING, featured, Media, Social Media Campaign Strategies

Inexpensive and Free Tools to Create Images for Social Media Content


Social media specialists all agree that images can speak volumes. Here are a few tips to make posts pops with just the right photo or stock image.

  1. Take a lot of photos.  You never know when you will need to have a photo of a cute dog, a landscape at the beach or in the woods or a group of smiling friends dining over a luscious dinner.  Special note: Don’t post photos of kids that aren’t yours without permission.
  2.  Use a variety of different stock photo sites.  Many people seek to use only free stock photos or ones that are from “known sites”.  Sometimes you have to dig for special sites that post unusual graphics or photos.  Some of  our favorites are (in random order):

PIXABAY:  Lots of great FREE photos with options to pay from partner sites.  Buy them a “cup of coffee” if you use a lot of photos.  The image below was made for one of our clients using a photo from Pixabay.


GRAPHIC LEFTOVERS:   This site has undergone a huge upheaval in the past few months. Once known for easy on the wallet photos, it now has posted a steep increase in pricing.  I reached out to the owners who assured this writer that the prices will “level out” soon.  However, it may be too late to keep dedicated users. Hope it all works out for them, because some of their images (see below) are valuable with creating themed websites and more.

Make Ideas Happen Concept
From Graphic Leftovers

FREEIMAGES.com  This site has a number of free photos and images. The licensing agreements should be reviewed carefully, as with all of the aforementioned websites.

StockSnap.io also gives free photos for commercial use.  This site offers some non-traditional photography – even a bit edgy.  gr

from: StockSnap.io

Gratisography  offers “gratis” high resolution images that range from “normal” life to really “out of the box”.  Truly a treasure trove for when you are seeking something that will never be described as boring.

from : gratisography

What to do with the images you made?

3. Once you curate great photos and graphics you will want to give them some design magic . Sprout Social created a comprehensive  list of free tools for creating images. Here are some of our “must haves” from this list:

Collage Maker (Pro and Lite) versions are excellent apps.

BeFunky  is good for basic design and easy for start-up

RELAY  Want to make clever posts – this is one of our favorites. Check out their “mock-up” feature.

Photo Effects Lite app (and purchased packages) – Animate your images in 600 different ways.

CANVA – Some free, pretty inexpensive and very much liked within the industry

Like to make images on your phone?  We have favorite apps that make content creation via a smartphone a breeze (and fun)!

Try these for iOS

Glitch-Art – ups the interest level, for sure

Pic-Collage – a “must have”

Lumyer Photo Editor (you will laugh at some of the graphics here and it gives “life” to your video. )

Flipagram – a favorite among travel bloggers, it would seem

Color Pop Effects – for when you want to create a stunning image that simply, “pops”

Fontmania – Fonts and more to give some pizazz to your posts

Last thoughts…

There is an abundance of content creation tools – far more than mentioned here. Which are your favorites? Why? We all can learn from each other.


411 voices media group, Culinary, Digital Media, Education, Entertainment, featured, Health, influencers, Media, Social Good, Social Media Campaign Strategies, Wellness

Changes for “411 Voices”, plus a history lesson

by Louise Sattler

Six plus years ago Beth Engelman, Dara Blaker, Margaret McSweeney and myself had a vision – to “restart” a women’s networking group that would focus on continuing our love of creating podcast / radio content and to start a speaker bureau.  We later enlisted a few of the people we had engaged with from a previous network and “411 Voices” was born.  Six years later this group has morphed in to several different evolutions.  Some were wise decisions, while others were not.

Now is the time for change – where the organization becomes a company.  I am delighted to accept the challenge a new company can behold.

The first change was that launching a “speakers bureau” was a monumental task.  There were many experts vying for what few speaking engagements existed, especially for educators, which many of us were.  Annie Fox was able to branch out successfully and eventually went on to venture on her own and join forces with Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young.  They are wonderful educators and we wished them well.

Others in our group parlayed their expertise in to exclusive contracts with brands.  That was fabulous to see.  Jodi Okun, for one, launched #CollegeChat  as a radio and TWITTER platform.  Both were wildly successful and before you know it she became an ambassador for DISCOVER.  (Off the point- I love DISCOVER and have since 1984!)

Over time it became more and more apparent that the skills were were most known for were our ability to create content, percolate it in social media circles and broadcast it to hundreds if not millions of people.  At first, we did so for “fun” – joining the folks at CBS for award shows such as INSIDER and ET.  Then we also supported the efforts of VANITY FAIR.  Our “fun” hobby became more of a vocation when brands, such as Dairy Inc. wanted to use us as focus groups, content creators and ambassadors.

Announcement of our team partnering with VFSC

As time marched on, our focus became clearer. Dara Blaker often said over the years, “We need to figure out WHO we are!”  Well, in 2016 that became crystallized as we closed the door on the original “411 Voices” and became 411 Voices Media Group.

With every change came opportunity.  I for one, can’t wait to see what is coming our way now that we are “new and improved”.

Thanks to all who have journeyed with 411 Voices, thus far.