All Posts By

Nicole Restivo

Any Good Idea Must Have a Cool Hashtag

By | Be Honest

I find new things inspire me all of the time. Whether it’s a great newsletter, (The Hustle, anyone?) the words of a colleague, or a pair of Hulk Hogan gamma grip fists (I am not kidding just ordered these), my upstairs thinking machine is constantly roaring.

Company culture is not cultivated top down. It may be born at the top, but it raised from the inside up, down, in and out. I definitely have some quirky ideas. Some turn out to be good, and some not as good. Personally, I am most inspired when I see others passionate and inspired. Instead of always showing off to my team the things that inspire me, I love to know what my team finds inspiring.

This year we started a new thing called TED Talk Tuesdays. The idea really started as what I thought would be a cool hashtag – you have to admit #tedtalktuesdays has a ring to it. But seriously. I love TED Talks. I watch them, share them, I incorporate them into company meetings whenever possible – one day I aspire to give one.

TED Talk Tuesday is a super simple, yet powerful team event. Each month, a different team member picks a TED Talk to share with the company.  They give a couple minute overview of the talk and why they chose it. Then, we watch it together (some team members are in the office and some remote) – once it ends we have an unstructured group discussion.

Sometimes we walk away with a new sense of gratitude, or purpose. Sometimes we can’t stop talking about the speaker’s eyebrow situation (click here to see) when we should be talking about the message that was so inspirational and hit home on so many different levels. Either way, we get to know each other better as a team. I LOVE seeing what people pick. It has yet to be predictable, and also yet to fail in awesomeness.

This is one of my favorites: Running forward to alleviate homelessness: Anne Mahlum www.youtube.com/annemahlum. I showed this one at an annual all-hands company meeting a few years ago. I love the feeling of watching a video and feeling such strong emotion and connection to the screen. Watch it all the way through to make sure you get to the “Why do we should all over ourselves” part. So. Freakin. Awesome.

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you never miss out on the team #tedtalktuesday picks each month. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

SoapBoxSampleCollage

Who the heck are these people?

By | Be Genuine, Have Fun, Invoke Passion, Take Risks

Last year I attended VidCon 2016 with my 9-year-old daughter Ella and wrote extensively about the weird and wonderful world of online video influencers. (Read last year’s posts here.) This year I went back with my now-10-year-old. (Congratulations to me for another year of parenting. Yes, I do think there should be awards for this.)

After last year’s VidCon, it took us 300 of the next 365 days to figure out what the heck we had just witnessed. This year we had a decent plan for success — to identify, connect and partner with influencers and their audience to help us grow our online research panel. (Our plan for VidCon 2018 is so good that if we told you about it, we would have to kill you.) What also helped us out this year is that we brought along Nicole, SoapBoxSample’s new sales and marketing admin. Rather than explain how strange it is to suddenly be surrounded by “celebrities” you’ve never heard of, but thousands of tweens are going crazy for, I thought I would let Nicole explain it for me. Also, if you ever go, definitely try the acai bowls.

Connecting with Social Media Influencers at VidCon 2017

This was my first time attending a conference with SoapBoxSample. I was beyond excited to go to VidCon and honestly didn’t know what the heck to expect. I was attending with the COO of the company, wanted to make sure I was on my P’s and Q’s but was going into it scared as sh*t, and having no idea what to expect.

Ok…leading up to VidCon I did lots of research on who is who and what is what, and how we might connect with these social media stars and YouTube sensations. I stalked these influencers for months prior to the event and set up some appointments with them via Twitter. Looking at VidCon’s website and reading recaps from previous years, you can see there are thousands of people there. But actually going there and seeing for yourself the thousands of people is a whole other level of crazy. And call me crazy, I actually loved it. I loved seeing the performers, eating the acai bowls, and looking up to see a YouTuber getting swarmed by adoring fans.

Our mission was to understand the digital landscape in general, and to connect with the Millennial and Gen Y audience, so we can help our clients figure out how to market to them. I wasn’t there to just “look,” I had to do some gorilla marketing too, pass out cards and try to get sign ups to our online research panel, MySoapBox. I’ve done this in the past so it should be easy breezy right? Negatory. You have to know how to approach someone; whether it’s a parent, a teen or an online influencer. After all this was said and done I had to send a recap to both of my bosses. Geeze, this part was hard. How the heck do I recap VidCon? That place is nuts! My recap is going to sound nuts. Oh well, I am a firm believer in being upfront, and with that sometimes comes blunt phrases that I wish I knew how to make sound more “business-like”.

Day 1 Thoughts

  1. What the hell is this?
  2. Who are these people?
  3. Where do I start passing out Join MySoapBox cards/what do I say to engage them?
  4. I’m so glad I wore tennis shoes!

Day 2 Impressions

  1. Ok, I am ready to get these cards out – finding more creative ways/things to say.
  2. This is pretty cool, I need a YouTube channel!
  3. There are so many people, and they love getting “stuff”.
  4. I need a FREE fidget spinner for James (my son.) I don’t understand why I’m fighting adults for these.

Random Thoughts as I Was Falling Asleep

  1. Should I keep Jacqueline away from the Dunkin’ Donuts lounge? Unlimited free coffee and a fanatical COO is either the best or worst combination ever.
  2. I never knew my job would involve learning how to pull my phone out and take a picture faster than a sharp shooter.
  3. How much time does Jacqueline’s daughter spend on social media to actually know who all of these people are and what they do? She’s a pretty active kid so that makes it all the more confusing.
  4. I wonder if there are new rules about swearing in front of your kids. Jacqueline does it a lot, and her daughter seems pretty unfazed.

By the end of the conference, I wanted my own YouTube channel with thousands of screaming tweens following me through the convention. lol. I connected with my boss on a level that was pretty amazing (I mean we share the same birthday so it will be that way regardless). I learned a lot, watched a lot and really enjoyed seeing the various levels of influencers try to connect with their audience. I think the most important take away from this conference was finding new ways to connect.

Not only was I learning how to connect with my boss, I was learning how to connect with our audience to understand and figure out the best ways to engage them. I am most excited to partner with online influencers and grow our panel to help our clients connect and engage with a notoriously hard to reach audience. After meeting with the ones we did, their personalities seem so fun they are about to become my new best friends and don’t even know it yet. Ha Ha!