MarketPlay Episode 26: Katya Allison

Sacramento marketing legend Katya Allison of Grin joined us for this week’s installment of everyone’s favorite entrepreneur motivational podcast, MarketPlay.

Meryl shouts out Eso Won Bookstore in LA this week for highlighting Black authors for the past 28 years!

If you are interested in entrepreneurship but have any doubts on where to start, you can consider taking business training that could help you during the first steps to create a business.

Show Transcript:

Meryl Hathaway 0:00
Do you want a marketing strategy that’s customized for your business? Two Trees PPC can help. With an experienced web design team and a focus on online growth for small to medium sized businesses. They work to find the quickest possible path to return on investment. With over $5 million in Google Search ad budget management. They know how to use digital marketing to take your company to the next level. Visit

Welcome to MarketPlay, the marketing podcast where we play games instead of just talk all about this week’s marketing and advertising news. I’m your host, Meryl Hathaway, and we’re brought to you by Two Trees PPC out of Sacramento, California. Now let’s get to quizzing you in our guest on everything industry. Good luck, and welcome to market play.

Hello, I’m Meryl Hathaway and today our guest is Katya Allison. Katya is a digital marketing ninja with expertise in all areas of digital marketing from creating social media ads, to developing influencer marketing strategy and everything in between. And thankfully for me, she really likes to talk marketing. So while her path to where she is now was not planned, she loves connecting with brands who are looking to share their brand story to help them figure out the best way to make it happen. So without further ado, I’d love to welcome Katya to the show. Hello.

Katya Allison 1:20
Thank you and hello right back at you. And yes, you’re gonna have to actually put a timer on me because I’m a chatty Cathy. Anybody that knows me knows that too. Well, perfect.

Meryl Hathaway 1:31
That’s very good for podcasting. You enjoy that?

Katya Allison 1:36
Just give me a platform and a mic. I’ve got it.

Meryl Hathaway 1:38
I was gonna say we were working on crafting tweets that would be a lot more challenging, but we’re not doing that today.

Right gotcha. We’re gonna jump right into our first game called getting to know you.

Katya Allison 1:49
I like it.

Alright, so this is just a series of this or that questions, you’re going to answer them with your first instinct response. So don’t think too hard. Okay. No problem. It’s Friday.

Meryl Hathaway 2:05
Okay, here we go. Number one, tablet or laptop

Katya Allison 2:08

Meryl Hathaway 2:10
Instagram or Facebook,

Katya Allison 2:12

Meryl Hathaway 2:13
iPhone or Android

Katya Allison 2:15

Meryl Hathaway 2:16
I mean duh. influencer for you especially like influencer or virtual viral randos

Katya Allison 2:27

Meryl Hathaway 2:28
okay, Netflix or YouTube.

Katya Allison 2:31

Meryl Hathaway 2:32
Okay, kids, or dogs.

Katya Allison 2:36
I’ve got both, is there an in between?

Meryl Hathaway 2:39
Pick one you have to choose.

Katya Allison 2:42
my kids because I’m gonna make them listen to the podcast. Lots of love boys.

Meryl Hathaway 2:48
You can tell you do strategy because that was very smart. Okay. And lastly nine to five or 10 to 6?

Katya Allison 2:55

Meryl Hathaway 2:58
Shabam! 24/7 for you all day every day

Katya Allison 3:03
Every single day.

Meryl Hathaway 3:05
Okay The reason why I asked you influencer or like a viral random person because I think it’s funny that influencers which are a huge part of what you were I hope you’re going to talk about right now is obviously we know is like such a powerful tool right now. But then you have these random viral videos with random people that somehow sometimes like make it into the conversation way more than an influencer does but it’s super random. There’s no way to guess it’s gonna happen like the the cranberry guy

Katya Allison 3:42
Oh my God, my husband is so obsessed and not every body remembers.

Meryl Hathaway 3:48
Yes, at the Ocean Spray guy on the on the skateboard. Yeah, like people watching that over very targeted influencer attempts at getting attention. It doesn’t happen all the time. But when it does, it’s like mind blowing to me.

Katya Allison 4:04
Well, and that’s like and the day and age that we live in what you’re talking about those virtual randos are like, that’s your entertainment. It’s the right your bite size entertainment. I literally watched a video last night on tik tok like 10 times I don’t know if anybody who’s listening has seen this. I don’t know if you’ve seen this. It’s this guy who is fighting with his friend over the Wizard of Oz. Over whether like the

Meryl Hathaway 4:34
I already want to watch it

Katya Allison 4:36
Whether Glenda was a princess or witch and like the conviction of his argument is just It is like, it is 10 seconds of just pure joy and like

Meryl Hathaway 4:47
It is about having someone being crazy passionate about something so specific that you would have to be a fly on the wall in their house to ever hear this conversation.

Katya Allison 4:56
Absolutely. It came from like an interaction over a game a game of headbands.

Meryl Hathaway 5:03
This is what I’m saying, and I just love that there’s absolutely no planning for it. There’s no way that this guy ever thought that this video would do literally anything. And then all of a sudden, everybody’s like, you’re the Wizard of Oz guy. Like I just, that’s it just blows my mind. Okay, moving on. Great job way to answer everything perfectly. Okay. Your next game that I like to call humble beginnings.

Katya Allison 5:28

Meryl Hathaway 5:35
Okay, so you are now going to fill us in Katya on your very first job ever. What was it? What do you do?

Katya Allison 5:42
Very first job ever was filing papers at the medical office that my mom worked at.

Meryl Hathaway 5:51
That sounds just right. Yeah.

Katya Allison 5:53
Sounds boring enough. Yeah, yeah. But I was young. I wanted I wanted to earn money. I guess I don’t even know how old I was. But obviously not of working age. Yeah, obviously not of working age. I feel like it must have been like, 13/14. But um, yeah, my mom was like, Hey, we need help filing papers. And that’s the world that I lived in, in the in the little filing cabinet. There’s just stacks of papers to just to file. So it’s yeah.

Meryl Hathaway 6:25
Which is to just some people like the biggest nightmare on the planet is a stack of papers to be filed. Like some people that drives them. That’s a fight or flight moment. Yeah.

Katya Allison 6:35
Well, and that’s why they needed a minion, like my, at that time to be like, Alright, who can we get to do this? And yeah, but yeah, like it was, it was really great, because I got to just kind of be around people and, and I like to absorb everything. So there’s opportunity in everything.

Meryl Hathaway 6:53
Kinda learning how things work. And it’s actually really interesting, like foot in the door in a lot of places to do that kind of work. I’ve done that at different places, or different industries, sometimes, like you have to do some, like the lowest rung sort of a job, which is interesting, because filing papers is actually a really important task that has to be done, right. Yeah, but but it’s still it’s an entry thing. Which is, that’s that’s funny. Okay, so, all these years later, since those filing those papers away, how did you find yourself into your current? How did you find yourself getting into your current industry?

Katya Allison 7:33
Um, it’s, well, let’s see.

Meryl Hathaway 7:37
There’s many twists and turns along the way I know

Katya Allison 7:39
There were very many twists and turns. This is not at all where I thought that I would land but probably somewhere close to it, I guess. Because I mean, my degree is in public relations, communications, so I’m obviously a chatty Cathy.

Meryl Hathaway 7:54
I took a degree in communication too Katya.

Katya Allison 8:00
And it’s funny because I went in my whole life, I thought that I was actually going to be a child psychologist. That’s what I really wanted to go into. So I went in a psych major, first year in college, I did that for about a year, and I realized it was, how am I going to say this the most boring thing? When I tell you, to me, to me this because there’s a lot of science behind it. And I don’t, I did not account for the science, I feel like I probably should have.

Meryl Hathaway 8:30
I think it’s important for us to say we believe in the science

Katya Allison 8:34
Oh 100%

Meryl Hathaway 8:35
While learning the science, that’s different.

Katya Allison 8:37
Learning the science. And I feel like that’s pivotal. Like they they assigned those classes for a reason. I could not stay awake in those classes. But what I found is that I gravitated towards the comms classes, and every aspect of communication, right, from organizational to Media Communications, the interpersonal, like, every part of that was so interesting. And I definitely, I mean, like, I think that a lot of people think that like the comms major is kind of a kickback major, but it’s also like such a great foundation for literally any job you could ever want. Right? It’s trying to understand what the other person is doing. from a marketing perspective. It’s the brand, it’s being that good listener, it’s really diving into it, and you need those sets of skills. So like, I went into that, as I was going to school, graduated with that and then thought, you know what I really like I think I want to be a teacher. So then I went into the master’s program for that, but I had my son, my first son, shortly after that, so then totally, my rails totally derailed, totally derailed and completely put any thoughts of a career on hold. I stayed at home I had while I still have them.

Meryl Hathaway 9:59
They’re still kicking around getting older.

Katya Allison 10:05
They’re still here and it’s birthday month this month too. So it’s hard to forget. But now they’re teenagers. And like, really I concentrated on being a mom and life may took life took me into a direction where I had to get back into the workforce after being out of the worker force for five years.

Meryl Hathaway 10:24
Oh, and as a new mom, it must be so difficult. I commend you.

Katya Allison 10:30
As a mom, taking five years off trying to figure with a degree. I think that a lot of times people think like, Okay, well, you have a degree this, this is your foot in the door. Like, I feel like, I think that at one point, when I was when I had sent you an email, I said, You know, I definitely feel like an underdog. And that, to me is a situ is an underdog situation, I have a lot of things going up against me. And there’s a lot of like, proof. And that’s where you have to be humble and say I’m, I will file papers, I will do what you need, just get me in there. And you will see and that’s literally how I got to where I’m at. I don’t care about titles, I don’t care about job duties, I just need to go in there and do that. And then I think with every position after that, it’s figuring out what you don’t like right? Now I call it my deal breakers. And now if I go into, you know, if I’m interviewing somebody else, I’m like, Alright, what are your deal breakers? Is it money is a job title? Is it? You know, culture? Like what are your deal breakers. So I’m at this point now in my career, where I know what my deal breakers are, and I’m not going to bend for them. And, you know, now I’m here in marketing, which didn’t really answer your question as to how I got from filing to…

Meryl Hathaway 11:50
It kind of did and luckily, I know how to think on my feet and ask more questions. So here we go!

Katya Allison 11:59
I think I lost the answer in the middle of answer.

Meryl Hathaway 12:01
No, I don’t think you did it all. In fact, I love what you touched on, which is because right now, especially there are so many people who whose industries are at a standstill. Yeah, and the thing is, is it was okay for a month or two. And I am one of the people who I relate so much to an underdog story, I deal so much with insecurity, in a lot of ways I come from 13 years of a performance career, it’s very different, and feels like it gets no credibility when it’s in the way of I’m a hard worker, I learned fast. But it also what I what I’ve learned is being an underdog and wanting to kind of switch professions or figure out what industry might be the next phase for you, which is a very challenging thing to do as a as a young mom, I’m sure, it was like, Okay, I know I have this degree and I could go all these different routes. But like figuring out exactly which way to go or which way to target yourself for a job is very overwhelming. And I think this year, so many of us have had to kind of scramble and try to figure out what that is, so many people are in the midst of that right this second. And I think it’s important to say that we all have like this imposter syndrome, I’m the underdog, I come with absolutely no proof of my own concept. Nobody knows what I’m capable of. And I don’t even know how to prove what I’m capable of.

Katya Allison 13:27

Meryl Hathaway 13:28
I live with that to 100%. You know, in so many ways. And I think it’s really cool to put out there like, Hey, you can you can feel this way. And the most important thing is to push forward through it and kind of say, I can be humble and I can go from I’m the number one person on that call sheet with people that would recognize some names on that call sheet or people know, you know, some of the people I’m working with and or that I’ve worked with, but now nobody would know any of those names. And no one really cares what I’ve done before I have to start fresh here. And that becomes a thing of you have to swallow your pride and know that everybody starts from somewhere. And that also changing careers or starting fresh at different points in your life at different ages, different phases of life is all awesome. Because we’re in a different world now, where this is something that has to happen much more often. This changing of things and you having the strength to do that at a time where it could have really been. But I give up at this point. You know, I’m five years away from everything. And I’ve got so much responsibility, but you didn’t do that. So let’s talk about how you didn’t kind of fold at the at the moment where it could have gotten just crazy, crazy hard. What was the first thing that you did when your kids were you know, you were five years out from having your babies and you had to start kind of from the bottom? What was the way that you kind of got that going within the marketing world?

Katya Allison 14:53
Well, I think that you lean on what you have experience in and through. I worked throughout college and I worked in, you know, accounts payable, accounts receivable and I, I’m very process oriented. Anybody that knows me knows that I like to have a plan for everything, which is interesting, because I am also creative. I’m creatively structured. That’s what I will say.

Meryl Hathaway 15:14
I hear that I get that. Yeah.

Katya Allison 15:17
So, um, yeah, you know, I started in what I knew, I mean, that’s where my experience was. And so I got a job in accounts payable and got my foot in the door with a watermelon distribution company. So I learned definitely the world of food brokerage, like, which is really entertaining. And I worked, I feel like so many different positions within that, like, I truly believe that it is getting your foot in the door, it’s proving what you can do, figuring out what it is that you like to do. And if you shine, people will see it. And now I want you to be part of like a different part of the team internally, right? Like, that’s, that’s really where I found myself, like, I kind of ping pong within every company that I’m in, whether it’s job duty, or job title, which is why I’m not stuck to it, right? If I’m doing something that I’m passionate about, that’s also the other thing too, I try to find passion in whatever it is that I’m doing. So it’s not, it’s not BS, like I write the way that moment that I’m doing, if I’m in accounting, I’m totally organizing the spreadsheet, I’m learning this part of this, I’m learning how to, you know, do macros and do the V lookups. And do all of those things. So I try to absorb as much as humanly possible. And that’s where I found myself and I went within that one company I went from, you know, going into accounting and going into the sales team. And the sales team definitely opens up whole other doors, because I am chatty. So I’m not your typical accounting person. I’m not quiet. So I would get on the phone, you know, to pay things off, and I’m on the phone for like 30 minutes, and I have someone’s entire life story. And that’s just naturally the way that it went. So I gravitated towards sales, that was definitely not my happy place in the end. And but because I had this now industry knowledge within like produce, I then veered towards the next stop was, you know, working at a truck brokerage, that holds the produce, right. So then I learned another end of the spectrum. And, you know, I started the position that I did there as well, too, you know, just being a coordinator, and then finally found a different happy place. They’re doing business development going into trade shows. And there’s a lot of sales that really lends towards marketing. So I mean, what I always like to say is marketing is the sales without the numbers, right? Like, you have to be able to know the product, to be able to sell the product, like you have to know every part of it. And what I’ve really enjoyed about every company, like I said, is, when you start with your foot in the door from any position, and you work all of it, you have such a better understanding of what you’re what you’re pushing out there. So.

Meryl Hathaway 18:07
Yeah, no, that makes so much sense. So what, um, what would you say drew you into marketing, where you are now where you really kind of leaned harder into the marketing world, where you’re at now, when it comes to the social media side of things? How did that kind of come to be?

Katya Allison 18:25
Yeah, so I left the truck brokerage. And then I went to work for corporate, which was really interesting, and really…

Meryl Hathaway 18:34
Ooh Infamous corporate.

Katya Allison 18:35
Yeah I worked for a company with 70,000 people worldwide, I was able to work remote, which was fantastic. I was part of the North America team. And they had hired me for business development. But there was this need for someone to kind of wrangle, like the marketing stuff for the entire region, and also the communication. And I remember the first task that my boss had given me was to help with a particular event or show. And, you know, I remember calling him and I’m like: Hey, I can I can easily take this over, I need you to tell me where my boundaries are. Right? Do you do you want me to go all in on this to plan the event to coordinate all of this? Or do you want me to just do XYZ. And probably the biggest gift he gave me was, he said, play in the gray space, play in the gray space, do whatever you can. And that’s literally where I flourished. I connected with people across the world. And then my job very much so turned into kind of what my degree was right? Like a lot of the communications it was writing the press release and getting their website together and getting all the marketing materials together. So that really got me in the space accidentally, you know, I tripped into where I naturally should have been and I learned so much from there. And then I went to an agency and after a few years and you know, just have honed on every skill from marketing when it when it comes down to it with agency life, you’ve got multiple customers, they’ve got, you know, different strategies, they’ve got different objectives that they’re trying to get. And you have to learn every part from social media Pay Per Click to website development and content writing.

Meryl Hathaway 20:25
Yeah, wow. Okay. So what do you see as one of the most exciting trends within marketing right now, with the kind of year that we’ve all had, I feel like marketing is on the forefront of so many people’s minds. What do you see as some of the most exciting things going on that you’re kind of working on?

Katya Allison 20:42
So what I think that is really exciting, and probably, I probably lean on it, because now I work at Grin. I’m the director of marketing content at Grin. And that is, we are a an influencer marketing software platform for, you know, marketers who manage influencers. So I, where I see the change is in really brands, implementing more influencer marketing into their programs. And I actually go back to what your original question when you said randos or influencers? Yeah, I think that you’re right. And to me, what I hear is short term versus long term, and influencers are long, they’re the long term game, because they’re the people and especially in this pandemic, where people talking to people and that’s what influencer marketing generally is. Now there are the people that are more transactional, which is like, just pay and I’ll post that’s not the influencer marketing that I’m talking about there.

Meryl Hathaway 21:45
But that’s the one that I’m very familiar with, in that I feel like so many people think of influencer marketing as that as like, Okay, well, the reason why that whole Fyre Festival thing happened, it’s partly because like Kendall Jenner was paid to say she was gonna buy a ticket and go to this event. And then like, look at what happens when we know it’s not authentic to the person at all. They’re just getting paid for this one post. So what really is influencer marketing at this point? That it’s not that it’s, it’s this other thing?

Katya Allison 22:16
Yeah. So right now, at this point that I, there was a time where that’s what it were initially was right? Like, yeah, especially as social really started growing. But at this point, that’s also become so oversaturated, that it’s less transactional. It’s about creating a relationship with the person that you want to be talking about your brand and where, where the will where the real winners, that was a tongue twister.

Meryl Hathaway 22:45
I’m gonna give you credit for that, because, you did say it right, and as you were doing it, I was like, this is hard!

Katya Allison 22:51
This is gonna go bad for her! Use a different word! But the winners will really come out the brands that are the winners in this that will really come out from this is are the people who are looking at relationships, so people who are looking to create partnerships with people who have genuine connections with the product, the brand, right? It is a brand trying to tell their story through someone right? Like they’re not feeding them the lions, they’re like, here it is, if you love it, talk about it. And the way that I definitely view influencers is that an influencer is someone who has influence over community, we are all influencers. It doesn’t have to be Kendall Jenner, it is me at my dinner table. You You know you with your fiance, like, whoever your circle is, you have influence over them. And you are an influencer. And when you when you look at it that way, there’s so much more opportunity, right? Like, mommy bloggers are really great. And they’re really great because they’re a community, right and their own endorse something that they’ve tried. I’m going to tell you something that has worked for my kid. And it’s worked so much that I love it so much that I’m going to post about it. And it’s not like a product placement. That’s not what influencer marketing is influencer marketing isn’t a product placement. It can be and there’s definitely a time and place for it. But when you really focus the majority of those efforts on building the relationship and finding the people that already love your brand. That’s where it’s incredibly impactful.

Meryl Hathaway 24:25
Do you want a marketing strategy that’s customized for your business Two Trees PPC can help with an experienced web design team and a focus on online growth for small to medium sized businesses. They work to find the quickest possible path to return on investment. With over $5 million in Google Search ad budget management. They know how to use digital marketing to take your company to the next level. Visit

I still Yeah, my brain goes to like the tummy tea time when every Kardashian is telling me that they’re drinking this tea and we’re all like honey, you’re not drinking the tea. We know you’re not drinking the tea. You’re paying Ben or Peterson a lot of money. And you know that…

Katya Allison 25:05
That is authenticity. And I know, this is such a buzzword in marketing, but it’s 100% true if you’re not authentic people can tell. And that’s not someone that’s going to excel in an influencer marketing program. Like I said, there is a time and place for that if you are a new brand, and you’re trying to build out awareness, right, it’s right game, like, get your product out there in front of as many people but the people that you truly want representing your brand on a regular basis. Those are your ambassadors, right? They they’re very, so called the brand ambassadors,

Meryl Hathaway 25:38
The ambassadors, right? Yeah, I would say probably 10 messages throughout my time being on Instagram. And I’m verified because of a couple shows that I was on as an actress. So I get like, I have the blue check. So people see my account. They’re like, okay, okay, so there’s like a legitimacy here. And I’ve received messages before, that’s like, Hey, we love your account. We love what you stand for. We love what you do, blah, blah. And then they’re like, hey, come look at what we do. And we’d love for you to be a brand ambassador, let us know. And we’ll go back and forth. And every time they end up wanting me to buy something every time they want money from me initially, to do it. And I’m always like, who buys into that, where they would just buy from a company that says they want to post stuff, but it’s usually like sexy girl branded type of things. Yeah, I’ve noticed. But it gives all of it to me this bad taste of like, but why? What Why do you want me as a brand ambassador? What does it have to really do with you. And I think it’s like a desperation from certain brands that aren’t finding an organic way of like, reaching out to people. But that’s sort of what I’ve always thought of is that where it was prior to that it was like, promo events. I always thought of people as brand ambassadors like being at the trade shows more and like really knowing the product and like talking about it and getting people excited about it, versus the brand ambassador for like an Instagram, which is like we want you to buy our stuff post about it. And then we’ll like repost what you’re posting, thinking like making people think that this is all just an organic process. So I feel like there’s the two sides of it really happened.

Katya Allison 27:15
There are definitely the two sides and it is very much so like, these are such buzzwords, too. Yeah, it is it is transactional, it is relationship. And what you’re talking about, like someone who’s in who truly wants to find a brand ambassador should. And it really does depend on the product point of whatever the product is, right? Like because there’s some people that can give it away. But products eating is a really great way to introduce your brand to someone, right? So if I was the brand on the other end, I’d be like, Hey, I really, I love your feed. I love what you stand for. I want to send you something because i think that i think you’re gonna love it.

Meryl Hathaway 27:58
Yes. And that’s what I I’m like, okay, but so are the people who get that only celebrities or they anybody that like really smart and marketing, but all are finding and going wow, this person only has 1700 followers, but look how much engagement they have and look at where they’re a part of in this niche community. Is that what’s going on now?

Katya Allison 28:17
100% I think it speaks to like the transactional approach, right? A transactional approach is it’s spray and pray. It’s let me get 1000 people saying it, which is great. You’re gonna get 1000 posts, and 1000 sales. And that seems it’s not it’s not a numbers game. It’s a quality game. It’s not quantity, it’s quality. So I rather have, I’d rather have 10 kick ass brand ambassadors, because a brand ambassador, someone that truly loves your brand is going to be talking about more than just the post. Sure they can post but you know what, on Thanksgiving, they’re going to tell you about something else too. And that’s, that’s the stuff that you don’t see behind it, right? Someone who truly loves something. Think about anything in your life right now that you’re like, Oh, no, this is I don’t know what little bit I love this particular coffee mug. My friend got it for me. It’s her little it’s her promotional product. And I just want to post about it all the time. Like this is my favorite mug. This is my favorite mug on the face of the planet like oh, you know it we’re all going to be having coffee like oh, you need one of these it totally last all morning long for me like I don’t it doesn’t keep it too cool, doesn’t keep it too hot, right? Like you just naturally talk about the things that you like it’s word of mouth.

Meryl Hathaway 29:32
It’s very true. I have not ever been paid by a company to say anything but I have posted very specifically about certain companies that I believe very strongly in. I’ll shout one of them out right now just because why not? They’re called self care is for everyone. And their website is and they make a peril that is all positive thinking mental health awareness. Like accepting yourself oriented designs all on apparel by different artists that then they give credit to. But also proceeds go towards mental health awareness funds and different, you know, so I was I was like blown away by them when I first discovered them. And I know that I was like a targeted person on social media, but I found them organically because of that. And then I went, and I purchased sweatshirts from them. And I, I, as soon as I received them, I wanted to tell everybody, and the other thing that they do that’s really cool is they continue engagement with me. So once you purchase, they send you an email once a week, that’s a self care reminder. So it’s not hey, come by this necessarily. It’s all of the things that are behind what they’re already doing. That is why I found them. And they send me that information on a weekly basis, that’s really actually very beneficial to me personally, enough so that I forward these emails to people sometimes, and I’m like, hey, look at what awesome clips are in there for like. Hey, this is a new type of meditation, or here’s a five minute meditation on FOMO. And like, I’m like, Okay, I know, 12 people who need this email, I’m gonna forward it out, because it’s really interesting, like base in reality kind of stuff. So I agree that when you find the right people, it really has huge impact. And I think that that’s something that’s so positive, out of all of the social media type of stuff is that kind of thing.

Katya Allison 31:27
And that’s really what resonates. That’s where authenticity is, if I was that if I was that brand, I asked you to be a brand ambassador, like, Hey, you shout us out, I totally love that you are like, you are living the life and we love it. I want to send you like a sweatshirt every month, right? Like it is the return on investment on the exposure that you’ve even just described, where I’m sure that they’re not a sponsor of this, right? Like, the fact that like, I’m gonna now be posting this podcast on my social feed when it’s done, right. Like, there’s so much more exposure that is not that one to one that we can definitely attribute which I think that some people are always looking for, like, Okay, well, this person didn’t really get me a whole lot. But like, we want you to find the people that are going that are true brand ambassadors, but love your brand. And the influencers, I like to think of influencers as like the top of funnel, the top feed, right, like, send a bunch of people your product, and you know what, they may not like it and that’s okay, like I’m very okay with someone not liking my cup of tea. It’s totally okay. Now, you know, now I know, this is not a great fit. But there’s an opportunity to represent your brand, even when someone doesn’t buy into it, right? Like, I may not like the way I treat you, is going to be huge, or the way you treat me is going to be huge. Because it may not be great for me, but maybe it’s great for I don’t know, my girlfriend that’s down the street, but you know, is having XYZ problem or whatnot. Like I can say, not for me, but maybe it’s for you. So when you think of like the impact one person can have? It really is it becomes the quality, not quantity.

Meryl Hathaway 33:17
Yeah, absolutely. So Okay, awesome. So I want to see what what else do you feel like, is what you see as beneficial, because there’s so much conversation right now around social media and mental health. And we all know that there’s a lot of aspects of all of the different platforms that are very problematic. But there’s also so many parts of it that can be hugely beneficial and really positive for society. So what’s maybe just one of your favorite things about social media as like overall that you see? Not necessarily even from a marketing standpoint, you’re also a mom, you’re a human being in the world. And I think it’s an important conversation. So what do you think is one of your most positive things you see about social media right now?

Katya Allison 34:03
I would say the, especially right now, because of the pandemic, it would be the connection that you can feel with other people. Yeah, I think it’s the connection that you can feel when you tap into it. I do think that some it’s a slippery slope. I am not one that’s addicted to social media. Maybe it’s because I’m in marketing where I’m like, Oh my gosh, I don’t even want to look at it but I love going to TikTok. To me it’s a great mental break. I feel connected to the people that I follow. I can unfollow the ones that I don’t want to that’s the great part. You have way more control than you think that you do. Right? Even all the ads like don’t show this to me again. I don’t want to see it again. Like there is no there’s nothing about social that they think is gained from you. What do I want to say like you can opt out of anything. You just have to find the button, right?

Meryl Hathaway 35:01

Katya Allison 35:01
I mean, there’s some people even on TikTok, when I’m scrolling through it. I’m like, I don’t, I don’t really care to see any of this kind of content there. But it’s like, I know exactly like, this is just not my cup of tea. This isn’t I don’t want this to even come up in my feed as a suggested thing. Like, yeah, no more like this do not see more like this. Even when…

Meryl Hathaway 35:21
I don’t think people do that enough. I think people like are glad that they can do that. And they just let it all happen. But you if you’re strategic about it, you know, like even with them. I think unfollowing is a really huge thing right now where people are realizing like, okay, yes, I know that I care about, you know, Genie, who lives in Cincinnati, but Genie’s posts are really triggering me right now. I can unfollow Genie, if I want to, like you have the power to do that. You don’t have to, like, just deal with the influx of information from all the people all the time, it’s really important to like, be careful about it, and then you can curate your feed.

Katya Allison 36:00
Yeah, I think that Yeah, I think that’s you said it perfectly. Like, you can curate your feed, and I definitely curate my feed where I’m like, I don’t follow a lot of people, I don’t post a lot. Um, I’d love to be able to post a lot. I just, I don’t know, it just seems like a lot of work too. But I also know that this is definitely a different generation, I see my kids who very early on I did. I mean, they weren’t, you know, like five, or six or anything. They’re teenagers now, but especially as a mom, I’m very conscious of how many social platforms there are, and then how to, and they have access to all of it, they post everything, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t love everything that they post it, I like the mom, it’s crunchy. But I also need to be able to teach them digital responsibility. Right? Like they, if you’re uncomfortable with this, this is going to live forever. This could come up 20 years from now and like it can affect you. But if this is like something that you don’t see as as harmful, like and obviously, they don’t hurt anybody’s feelings, but like, you know what I mean? Like

Meryl Hathaway 37:07

Katya Allison 37:07
Being responsible, I know that words matter, especially now in this day and age, like cyberbullying is the thing, like be conscious of it, if there’s something that like, definitely teeters the line, I, you know, we talk about it, and then we evaluate it, I’m not going to, there’s so much digital responsibility and education that needs to happen when it comes to social media. But I think that there’s a lot of good to it, it gives my kids a freedom of expression they get to, and especially in the pandemic, right, like we’re all in the house. And this allows them to connect with the outside world when they get messages after, you know, posting a YouTube video or, you know, posting just on Instagram. Like there’s, there’s a connection that they are not getting now. So yeah.

Meryl Hathaway 37:07
Yeah. And it just needs the need for thoughtfulness and awareness around all of it. I think it’s important,

Katya Allison 38:00
But I felt like that’s basic human, like necessity, like, I don’t know,

Meryl Hathaway 38:05
It is, but how many people just don’t have it right now or don’t see it as a priority. So it’s like, okay, we need to keep talking about how these are important things.

Katya Allison 38:14
It’s just because you know, I’m not in front of you. It’s still hurt my feelings.

Meryl Hathaway 38:18
Exactly. Yeah. But it can be used in also like so many good ways. So yeah, wonderful. So I would love to jump into the section of our show we call shout out.

So this is when I like to shout out a small business that is nailing their niche who we think that everybody should know about. So this week we’re talking about Eso Won Books in Los Angeles. In business now for 28 years book lover, James Fugate’s shop is a black author focused specialty bookshop with the assignment to help produce justice and peace. With books, cards, magazines, DVDs, CDs, puzzles, and much more. They’ve been known to host book signings with the likes of Muhammad Ali, President Barack Obama, Toni Morrison and Tashahini Coates. Eso Won meaning water over rocks in an Ethiopian language, which I think is so beautiful, Eso Won, Eso Won, so pretty. It’s a labor of love created after many years that James spent bringing black authored books into other bookshops that he worked at first in Detroit than Tallahassee and then at Compton College in LA before being approached to open his own store. So almost 30 years later, you can purchase books on their website. So and that’s spelled I actually purchased several books from them this summer to do my due diligence on racial injustice, and I highly recommend choosing them over Amazon. They have so many different options, and it is supporting a local shop that thankfully saw a major influx in sales during this pandemic time. So check out Eso Won bookstore if you like online, amazing, and now we’re going to jump into our very last game of the show called Branded.

So I’m just gonna give you some multiple choice questions

Katya Allison 40:12
Oh no I should have studied.

Meryl Hathaway 40:15
No. And here’s the thing I never let anybody study.

So number one, what feature did Twitter launch this week that’s been compared to Instagram or Snapchat stories is it, A, tweets that blur that blur curse words. B, fleets, which are tweets that disappear in 24 hours or C, Politi-block which blocks posts that are incorrect regarding political facts.

Katya Allison 40:40
B, Fleets

Meryl Hathaway 40:42
You are correct, Fleets. So it’s being met with mixed reviews that you can post words, you know, just random tweets that are going to disappear in 24 hours, some people are saying not a great idea. Others are saying why not everybody else is doing it. I don’t know how you feel about it. I don’t I it doesn’t bother me, per se. But I could see how it could get a little problematic with the fact that now. I don’t know.

Katya Allison 41:11
Well, and especially Twitter, I feel like Twitter is definitely the like talk about like conversational to me. It’s the most conversational social platform that there is. I don’t think make anything disappear. Well, maybe it will introduce a lot of different things. But I think that people will screenshot and then they’ll share and then it’ll turn. Yeah, it’ll be it’ll be interesting to see what it’ll be interesting to see what happens. There’s some theories out there of like, Hmm, this is gonna be so great. Where do you see this going?

Meryl Hathaway 41:43
There’s a lot of that. I think Twitter gets that with just about everything that they do. But this in particular is a little like, Whoa, right now. Oh, okay. Well, we’ll see how it goes. Number two, among the elite top influencers on social media, which soccer player hits the top three of all influencers? Is it A, David Beckham? Is it B, Neymar also little, brrr, Or C, Christian Ronaldo?

Katya Allison 42:14

Meryl Hathaway 42:15
Yep. Everybody apparently follows him everybody wants to follow him. He’s got so many followers. I’m like, I that seems like so much pressure. I that’s Wow. But yeah, people love that guy.

Katya Allison 42:29
So the social responsibility behind that is is huge. But what’s great about him as that one I think I like really all the soccer players. He’s He’s beloved by everyone like that.

Meryl Hathaway 42:42
His reputation is just like, really impressive. Also, such a fun name to say, Christian Ronaldo. Ronallldo. All right. Lastly, Katya. Last question. Just because I had to reference this because it was just too fun. What object posted on Instagram has attracted over 50 Million Likes as of November 12, garnering it the most liked post of all time on the platform with this caption quote, let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner of 18 Million Likes we got this. What was the object that was posted? Was it A, a fingernail. B, an egg or C, a ring?

Katya Allison 43:33
I don’t know this I’m gonna guess B egg.

Meryl Hathaway 43:36
You are correct. Yes, there was an account created @world_record_egg World Record Egg was created.

Katya Allison 43:47

Meryl Hathaway 43:47
Specifically, to see if they could just get people to like this post more than anyone liked Kylie Jenner’s highest liked post and they did it.

Katya Allison 43:56
See that’s all it takes, it’s all of us working together.

Meryl Hathaway 44:01
I mean, it’s us coming together as a community and saying, This is more important.

Katya Allison 44:07
It’s in we see this all the time, right? If it’s just the common enemy, you we’ve all got the same goals. you’ve outlined that and we’re game, and I’m on board with that. I want to be part of something. I listen had I had I known about it, I would have liked the crap out of that point. I would have liked it.

Meryl Hathaway 44:27
Okay, Katya. So as we wrap up here, why don’t you please let us and our listeners know where they can find you how to follow you all the things or just leave us with something to think about.

Katya Allison 44:37
Oh, I wish I had a good nugget to to leave everybody. Um, well, you can find me on LinkedIn: Katya Allison. I also host my own podcast. Actually, it’s not my own podcast. It’s for Grin. It’s called Grin Gets Real, which is awesome. I’ve definitely I’ve revamped it. I’ve revamped it this year which is really exciting. I’m interviewing people from all walks of marketing to just kind of get their best tips tricks and stuff like that and also I host our webinars brands working remote talking influencers. And then I am like I said the director of marketing content over at Grin, so find me on LinkedIn and message me I love to message people back at you know, I’ll hit you up for being guests on the podcast. I love to have conversations. Katya Allison, this is fantastic. Thank you so much. This was great.

This was fantastic. Hopefully I said all the right things.

Meryl Hathaway 45:39
Yes. I think we chatty Cathy to each other. Just the right level. It felt right. It felt perfect. I like it. I like it. Well, thank you so much for being here. And please stay safe and have an incredible Thanksgiving week. Be safe out there. All the masks all the testing all the things love on each other, sending you a big virtual hug.

Katya Allison 46:01
I love it received.

Meryl Hathaway 46:07
Thank you so much for listening to market play this week. I’m your host Meryl Hathaway, we’re brought to you by Two Trees PPC out of Sacramento, California. Always fighting for the small business. If you liked our podcast, don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a review and share it with your colleagues. Have a safe week out there and we’ll see you next time.