The Boom Gazette

The Frontlines of Influencer Marketing - March 2017 - #6

3/16/17 – It’s Not My Fault. I Didn’t Create the Selfie Culture of Social Media… or Did I?


3/16/17 – It’s Not My Fault. I Didn’t Create the Selfie Culture of Social Media… or Did I?


OK, ready? I’m about to be just like the beer company who says, “drink responsibly” so here goes…

Once upon a time – before selfies, before YouTube or Instagram or blogs or commentary masquerading as journalism – before the Internet or even reality TV, a wedding videographer made a feature film about himself – documenting his life in his quest for love and spiritual contentment in a crazy 1990s world. Everyone thought he was nuts – should have put the money into therapy which he obviously needed cause after all, “Who wants to see a movie about you? You’re not famous. No one cares,” his friends shouted.

His agent sent the film out to some Hollywood execs, and he got quite a few meetings, but nothing came of it. A few bright minds did see potential though and the film was eventually distributed 7 years later on VHS.

It was titled Nothing (before the Seinfeld “show about nothing” episode even aired.) In fact, in fear of competition, this 22-year-old who had just finished editing the film called the Seinfeld staff and asked exactly how far Seinfeld was going to take this “nothing” angle. The poor receptionist had no idea.

Well, if you haven’t figured it out, that wedding videographer was me. And the next 5 years didn’t exactly bring forth a prosperous filmmaking career. Due to poor street smarts and my lack of marketing knowledge, I filed for bankruptcy, got kidnapped in Peru, was homeless for a brief time, yada yada yada (that one did originate from Seinfeld) – more on those crazy aftermath years and the lessons I learned in another post.

But 25 years later, filming yourself and sharing your life to the public is not only commonplace, but a billion dollar industry is based on it. We started to see the first signs of this shortly after my film was made in the early 90s with reality TV, but once the Internet and digital cameras came around, the word “selfie” was inevitable.

In fact, my mom gave me a gift in 2007 called “Armed and Dangerous” which was a series of photos I had taken of myself – by holding out my arm and pointing the camera in my direction. She captioned it with things like “twisting his arm” and “armed for action” – because the word, “selfie” had not been invented yet. Then, about a year later, I came up with the idea of the selfie stick to solve these kinds of problems, but of course, I did nothing about it, and the rest is history.

I don’t give myself credit for the vlog or “selfie” culture – there were a handful of other films like mine, but by being ahead of the curve in 1991/1992, I may have played a small part in having this stuff seep into the collective conscious – and entering the minds of a people like Kim Kardashian and her elk. We quickly went from a nation of valuing our privacy to one who says privacy shmivacy. The more important question though is – is all this actually a good thing?

Did I somehow contribute to creating a monster – with us all now taking selfies and being glued to our iPhones? There’s a reason THIS VIDEO went viral. It’s because this world we created for ourselves can seem pretty damn scary. And if Willy Wonka was made today, Mike TeeVee wouldn’t be stuck in a TV – he’d be stuck in his iPhone.

This is not to say social media doesn’t have its positives – it most certainly does, but just as we think of all the benefits the automobile brings us, I think we too often forget about what we lost with its invention. My wife put this best when she said, “Evan, I took a walk the other day, and it was amazing. I really got to see and feel our neighborhood like I never did before. People said, “hi” to me as I walked down the street – there were no windows blocking our connection. I can only imagine what a sense of community our neighborhood must have had in the old days before cars were invented.”

Is social media in many ways like the automobile? Are we going to forget what we are losing by its invention – things like being truly present in the moment or the art of a phone conversation with an old friend? What about stumbling upon an interesting article in a newspaper as opposed to the “Suggested for You” feed serving up tailored media which it thinks we want. Sometimes people can be complicated, and maybe they want things they don’t know they want. Sometimes, we need things too. So… nice intentions, Internet, but there’s an invisible, almost undetectable, slow killer of humanness at work here.

So what’s the solution? Are we all to quit social media right now and get back to basics? I think we know that’s not realistic, but I do think we need to force ourselves to unplug for a while, and we have to be “nudniks” to the young people of the world. The anti-smoking campaigns with their consistent nagging were able to successfully get most of the world off smoking. A similar long-running campaign I’m sure can assist in helping people cut their social media usage in half. Ironically, it would likely have to be executed primarily via social media.

As a social media marketer myself, I understand this is biting the hand that feeds me, but I just think living in a less ME centered world far outweighs any of my own personal business objectives. Sharing, Liking and Following really has to be done in moderation, and if I, in any way, contributed to the idea of selfie culture, even on a teeny tiny level, I apologize. I wish I could take it all back, but I know if we continue to accept it as the norm, it will swallow us up. I’ve come to understand that silence truly is golden, and I just don’t want to ever forget that the things we can discover in that silence can be awe inspiring.

Thanks for listening.

–Evan Aaronson (President of Boomopolis)




In keeping with the theme above, I recently posted about the Cash Me Outside girl – someone who became an 8 million+ follower influencer in the span of about 3 months – pretty amazing. This all began when she first appeared on Dr. Phil because she was a rebellious 13-year-old 7th-grade dropout who was constantly fighting with her mom.

At one point, she retaliated to the audience with a phrase – “Cash Me Outside – How bow dah?” – which translates to: “Catch Me Outside, How about that?” Well, it didn’t take long for the Internet meme-makers to get a hold of that clip, and it spread like wildfire. There was soon a song made with the phrase, and she appeared in a music video which received over 22 million views. She then got a lot more strategic about her social media posts – collaborating with big stars like Logan Paul, changing up her look, etc., but what happened last week was even more interesting – especially for marketers.

She appeared to be hacked by a Russian group –with 3 videos on her Instagram page – released over 3 days. The first video included red static along with a very creepy voice saying “This is the modern day celebrity? This country glorifies and makes famous a young girl for being disrespectful to her mother. She is no idol. She is no role model. She is no God. Pay close attention to what happens next.” LINK HERE

The Internet went nuts. What was going on with this girl’s account? Why was nothing being done to fix it? The next day, a similar threat occurred – warning that something major was going to happen in 2 days. The 3rd video was simply a really long countdown to what was supposed to be a major reveal. During this 3 day period, her account went from roughly 6.8 million followers to 7.3 million plus she was getting even more attention from the digital press. The kids were on the edge of their seat. What was going to happen?

Well, as it turns out, the whole thing was just a hoax – planned by her team. The big reveal was simply just promoting a music video which she appeared in. Her latest videos on her Instagram account are receiving over 3 million views each. The point is, like it or not, this publicity stunt definitely worked, and I see more like it coming.

I couldn’t help but think of 2 other recent events that were not actual hoaxes, but yet benefitted greatly by what seemed to be mistakes. First, the Oscar Best Picture problem – how much more attention did both La La Land and Moonlight get because of that mistake?

Secondly, the viral clip this week of the correspondent whose kids walked in on him during a BBC interview. Was that all planned in order bring more attention to him and the show? Perhaps not, but a savvy marketer with their minds spinning might be planning something like this for their next campaign– perhaps a new trend in marketing called “the fake mistake”.

This goes on a lot more than you’d think. The viral video of a 2-year-old moving a fallen dresser off of his twin brother is particularly suspicious as the father happens to work for the nanny cam company who captured it (and all the drawers were empty plus the camera was facing the dresser and not the bed).  Something to think about.


We’ve been working on increasing our own Instagram account lately, and it seems to be working. Here’s a few things we did that we can pass on to you.

  • Tag the photo itself with the appropriate Instagram accounts. The bigger the account you tag, the more juice you’ll get out of it – and it doesn’t always have to be a person.  As an example, if you take a picture of your dog, and you tag the picture with the account @puppiesforall – an account with 783K followers, that would definitely help get your post more exposure. In addition to tagging accounts in the photo itself, it’s often helpful to tag them in the caption as well.
  • Ride the hashtags – make sure to put a lot of related hashtags at the bottom of your post so people can easily find it. (Discover relatable hashtags that your content applies to.)
  • Post on a regular basis – at least once a day.
  • Make sure your photos and videos are unique, interesting and decent quality. It helps to post aesthetically pleasing photos/videos – people like being inspired on Instagram.
  • You can use a title on top of the picture if you’re trying to send a clear message. Here’s one that we created which got a lot of likes.
  • If possible, have people with high followings like your post or tag you in a post. Others will see that and then follow you.  When Crawford Collins (who has over 1 mil on IG) liked one of our posts, it did wonders for us.
  • Follow appropriate accounts in hopes they follow you back, but make sure that the amount of people you follow is never more than your followers.
  • Follow back your followers when appropriate. Note that you’ll get some people who will follow you just so you’ll follow them back, and if you don’t within roughly 3 days, then they’ll unfollow you. That’s fine – just use your best judgement.
  • Use geo-tagging on photos because people can find you that way too.
  • Promote your IG page as much as you possibly can on your other socials or blogs. Also, get friends and ideally influencers to shout you out on their Instagram pages.
  • Be sure to stay actively engaged on IG  – like and comment on other people’s posts too on a regular basis
  • Find your theme and develop a niche.  Balance “fun stuff’ and “business stuff” between your content.
  • Try to build a community within yours  by trying to start a new hashtag or following other people that posts similar content as yourself
  • Link to your FB account.
  • Engage with your followers especially if they comment on yours!

If you’re getting 5% or more Likes (from your following level) on your post and your followers are consistently growing – congrats, you are doing above average. (We’re recently averaging about 35% engagement ourselves by using the methods above. YAY).




It’s on. This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while, and we can’t wait.

We’ll be giving 2 live workshops in the month of May in or around Studio City, CA.

1. HOW TO BECOME AN INFLUENCER (Geared toward individuals)

Description: A 7-hour workshop all about how to make a living as a social media influencer. Topics include: strategies to gain followers, emerging trends, how to make sense of the different platforms, working with brands, how to measure your performance, other ways to make money such as public appearance, licensing content and more.

We’ll also be joined by a few large LA based influencers as well as some industry executives to talk about how they navigate the space. This is ideal for entertainers or individuals who have a passion in some area such as sports, travel, beauty, entertainment, or other areas of interest. You’ll also get individualized attention as well as an opportunity to collab with others on right at the event. Workshop also includes one 20 minute private Skype session with Boomopolis after the event is over.

Date: TBD –A Saturday in May – either 5/6, 5/13 or 5/20 from 10am to 5pm


(Geared toward small to mid-sized B to C businesses)

Description: A 7-hour workshop all about how to build your brand on social media. Topics include: strategies to gain followers, emerging trends, how to make sense of the different platforms, ways to utilize influencers, most effective ways to create content, how to measure your performance and a lot more.

We’ll also be joined by a few large LA based influencers as well as some industry executives to talk about how they navigate the space. This is ideal for small or mid-sized B to C businesses who are interested in gaining greater customer acquisition and more followers on their social channels along. Workshop also includes one 20 minute private Skype session with Boomopolis after the event is over.

Date: TBD in May – Two 3.5 hour sessions done on consecutive weekdays from 2 to 5:30pm.

Cost: The first 5 people who respond to this email with either “I’m In- Influencer” or “I’m In – Brand” get a free pass. Full cost is $250.00. (We will also be offering early bird discounts and discounts for those who share the event on their social channels.)

Follow us on our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for updates on tickets – we should be announcing this within a few weeks.

Referrals: We are offering a 10% referral code for those interested in promoting these events on their own social media. If you are interested in participating in this program, please respond to this email with “Referral Code”, and we’ll supply one to you.



It was super fun attending the Oscar Gifting Suite in a Beverly Hills mansion with influencers Julia Kelly, Christian Collins and Crawford Collins. How does a gifting suite work? Well, they are usually held at very nice locations around awards season time to make it convenient for celebrities.  A vendor pays money to have a booth at the location (with a portion of the profits go to some charities) and provides free gifts to celebrities

Gifts can include a free international trip, jewelry, clothing, a spa treatment – all adding up to anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000. The vendors then get photographs with the celebrities which they are allowed to use to promote their products. It’s only within the last year or 2 though that social media influencers have been invited along with people like Leonardo DiCaprio, Viola Davis and Jamie Foxx, so lucky them. We posted some of our photos on Instagram. Check it out and give us a follow!




We worked on a fun campaign with lesbian YouTubers – Bria and Chrissy for the Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home. They got free tickets to see the play at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and even went backstage to take pictures and interact with the cast. They were an ideal fit as influencers given the play’s themes around being gay. A link to the clip is HERE –with the brand integration in at 1:30 – 135,000 views – not too shabby.


So what started with influencer marketing agencies has quickly transformed into a variety of business models capitalizing on the influencer craze. One which I’ve noticed only in the last few months are companies specializing on particular categories of social media influencers – such as Pets, Travel, Sports, Multicultural, etc. By having a more targeted group of brands and influencers, they are likely keeping their businesses pretty lean. My guess is that this trend will continue over the next year with different categories popping up. Time will tell.






Well, I first mentioned my thoughts on my the Snap IPO back in November of 2016, and I hate to say “told ya so”, but I kinda did. I said the stock would receive a nice bump initially based on hype, but then drop considerably. I didn’t hear too many pundits agreeing with me back in November, but most of them have since hopped on the bandwagon.

On the day it opened at its peak of 26, I posted on LinkedIn that it would likely rest below 20 until some major announcement is made about the company. This was all fairly predictable. Reality will eventually beat hype every time. For more on this topic, check out





In the influencer world, there are currently 3 main award ceremonies – The Streamys, The Webbys and the Shortys, and I only see them all gathering steam over the next few years. The 2017 Shorty Awards will be held April 23 in New York at Times Square’s PlayStation Theater with live-streaming coverage at New categories this year include Muser of the Year (recognizing influencers); Breakout YouTuber; Vlogger of the Year; House & Home; and Twitch Streamer of the Year. Here is a complete list of nominees.




Instagram Users Can Now Post Multiple Photos & Videos in One Swipe-able Carousel Instagram – In late February, Instagram launched a feature that allows users to share a mix of up to 10 photos or videos as a single carousel post that friends can swipe through. They can be thought of as Instagram albums that collect permanent photos or videos around a theme.

Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Just Got a Makeover – LinkedIn introduced six photo filters, along with the ability to crop photos and adjust lighting






This is just me venting, but have you all seen how that Verizon guy is now promoting Sprint? Maybe it’s just me sympathizing with the Verizon execs, but this just feels like a major diss to me. He was paid a significant amount of money from Verizon for that campaign over a long period of time – for let’s face it – not a lot of work.


I understand it’s a free market economy, but him going to Sprint is equivalent to your spouse leaving you for your high school nemesis – it just ain’t cool no matter how you slice it. He claims he was constantly teased from the Verizon campaign and that it made his life extremely difficult. Hmmm, OK, then why haven’t I seen a defect like this in advertising before? Seems like this may make some companies re-think their non-compete clauses. Thoughts?





Brands like Coke, McDonalds and even Paramount Pictures use influencer marketing regularly, but they often overpay the influencers because it’s impossible for them to track the results of the campaign. They don’t really know their ROI. Sure, they can look at how many likes, shares, comments a post received – they can even look at the number of views, but it is very difficult for them to know if that actually translated into sales.

Some have used promo codes, but most don’t. The ones that know the REAL value are the TRACKABLE COMPANIES like apps, music and events or anything that customers would normally purchase online. Companies can easily track how many downloads they received from a post. They do this by either isolating the campaign from their other marketing efforts or providing a trackable link. This results in data like, “We spent $10,000 on influencer, John Smith, and this resulted in 5,000 app downloads over 3 days. Therefore, we know that we’re paying $2/download through John Smith.”

Companies like the Badoo app spent over 1 million dollars within 6 months on Vine influencer marketing, however they stopped when engagement dropped on Vine and prices went up. The products of companies like Coke and McDonalds are generally not purchased online, and so it’s harder to figure out if the campaign resulted in actual sales. There are ways around this such as companies like McDonalds or Macys or Aeropostale using influencers to announce they’ll be at one of their locations, and they can track the foot traffic, etc.

But from where I sit, there’s a significant difference between non-trackable companies and trackable ones. The trackable ones are the leaders in this space. So if you really want to be at the forefront of influencer marketing, study the trackable companies. They were the first to jump in, and they’ll be first to bail if it’s not working.

Top Sports Influencers

Who are the best sports influencers on social media? That is the question we set to answer with our 2nd in a series of rating influencers. We came up with a nice group ranging from trick shot performers to fitness models to popular football fans. Did we leave out anyone? Let us know.




Top Dance Influencers

With popular shows like, Dancing with the StarsDance Moms, and So You Think You Can Dance, it’s clear that we are a dance nation who loves to learn all the best new moves (and re-learn some of the old ones.) Here, we’ve collected 10 of the internet’s brightest and shiniest dance influencers for you to follow.





We Want to Hear From You!

Hey, did you see that Walmart commercial on the Oscars? They asked 3 well-known directors to make a 30 second film (aka commercial) based on a Walmart receipt – pretty clever brand integration, and it actually kept you watching the commercials to see which film would be next.

(Wasn’t a complete home run as they didn’t include a female director and the films could have been more interesting, but still a great idea.) Did you have favorite film between directors Antoine Fuqua, Marc Forster or Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg)?



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REMINDER: The first 5 people who respond to this email with
either “I’m In- Influencer” or “I’m In – Brand” get a free pass to
our live LA workshops in May.

We are offering a 10% referral code for those interested in promoting these events on their own social media. If you are interested in participating in this program, please respond to this email with “Referral Code”, and we’ll supply one to you.

Book an Influencer Now

Call 818-538-4011 or Email



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