SpaceX Op-Ed: The Man or the Method?

It seems as a week can’t pass without SpaceX hitting the media. They’ve not only been able to reinvigorate the concept of pedestrian space travel but also inspire the minds of younger generations to follow their dreams and careers to the stars. At first glance their mission statement seems pretty straight forward and then takes a most unique turn; people living on other planets.



Ambitious? Sure. Innovative? You bet. Necessary? Up for debate. What we do know is that space travel has been revived and is sexier than ever. But how? Numerous factors play into this; branding, content, relationships, media. What we want to focus on is the man behind the company and his social media presence.

The Man or the Method?

How do we know the in’s and out’s about what is happening with SpaceX? It could be the millions of followers they have on Instagram and Twitter in tandem with news coverage. But let’s take a closer look at their maverick CEO, Elon Musk. His followers more than double what SpaceX has. Yet NASA’s following blows them out of the water! But when you take a look at their Administrator Jim Bridenstine he maintains only mere thousands of followers.

Breaking down the numbers:

SpaceX Elon Musk NASA Jim Bridenstine
Instagram 3.5M 8.3M 33.9M 1.2K
Twitter 7.1M 22.2M 29.2M 10.5K

So what are we really watching in social media? Announcements for the next big thing or the next controversial post or sub-tweet from Elon Musk? Although NASA is the staple name there are many who don’t even realize they are continuing their journey to Mars efforts. Elon Musk’s accessibility is arguably one of the most appealing parts of following this SpaceX mania. His interviews are genuine and awkward which gives you insight into his inner ‘nerd’. Whether this is a cognitive part of their marketing strategy or not, it’s working.

It’s hard to look away from a company pushing the envelope in almost every possible way and looking so far into the future. I mean really, how can you not get even the slightest enjoyment of watching a Tesla floating in space with a ‘Starman’ knowing that David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is blasting in the background? Genius.



Marketing Lessons Learned #Looped

Listicle: How to Become an Instagram Icon: 6 Steps to Stardom

Listicles are fun, whimsical and entertaining. They work even better when you do your campaign link correctly. Or so we’ve heard. We were able to correct the link on most our promoting and it became our second most viewed post even without our initial push. We can only think what could have been if we had gotten it right off the bat…

Product Review: Soylent

Soylent buzz has been around for a while but there’s been an increase in marketing and visibility lately. We thought this would be a good product to try and discuss their marketing background and strategies. After posting this one it was clear we needed to be creating different links for each affiliate (facebook, instagram, etc) so we could see where our traffic was mostly coming from.

Video: Samosas for Dummies

Making videos is hard and time consuming! Big shout out to Pawan’s mom and Pawan for that extra effort! This post fell off the marketing track a little. We could have spent more time explaining the food marketing/sponsoring that has been happening with Tasty videos, Buzzfeed, etc. to expand our point and connection.

Op-ed Clickbait: Fake News Rising Click Here

We learned that sometimes content is produced that fits a different topic better. We switched the order of the click bait and op-ed since the op-ed article ended up basically being about click bait/fake news. At this point we were also expanding our promoting to reddit and went ahead and did some small purchasing of advertising. It’s cheaper than you think! We used that to promote the samosas video more. Instagram traffic was less than we thought for all posts, which we think is attributed to link being an extra click away in user bios instead of on the actual link.

Clickbait Op-ed: SpaceX: The Man or the Method

This topic was the one we struggled with most. The other’s came very organically. At this point we were also getting behind the posting schedule…

But we were able to get it together and posted.

Summary: Promoting takes serious time and energy. To produce entertaining content and get it pushed out quickly felt like a full time job. Gave us insight into the teams that must be working for Buzzfeed, Huffingtonpost, etc. that are constantly producing content and getting it out to us to enjoy. Yet there is something fun and exciting about the creativity portion that keeps you energized through the process.

Fake News Rising – Click Here

Is Journalism Dead?

When you opened this page, your attention was likely drawn immediately to the graphic below. It’s clean looking, unoffensive, undertone of calming blue, the right amount of arousing orange and just a hint of red.

Examined more closely, and taken in context, the graphic above is essentially meaningless.

Visual information has surpassed the written word.

When is the last time that you fully read a long-form article online or any article? We have access to so much information. The demands on time and attention continue to grow.

Navigating Dangerous Times

Related image

In recent years, media outlets such as the New York Times have embraced new forms of digital storytelling. Moving beyond print and still images to include video, animations, maps, graphics, and 360-degree panoramic views embedded within long-form articles. This is a new form of journalism that incorporates some of the most popular elements of digital media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Have You Seen This ?

The shift toward higher quality digital content has been a lifeline to the old print industry. Times increased its revenue by 8 percent in 2017, surpassing $1.7 billion dollars. The company reported more than 2.6 million in digital-only subscriptions with subscriptions accounting for 60 percent of the total revenue earned by the company.

The recent rebound of traditional media outlets is a bright spot during these times of fake news, misinformation campaigns designed to sow discontent and fear. The ways in which information can be shares is evolving so quickly and, in some ways, we are being shaped by these changes, for better and for the worse. And all media companies, including the new media outlets, will have to learn to navigate these dangerous currents.

Consequences of Failing to Act

Earlier in the week Facebook was forced to disable message forwarding functionality within it’s popular WhatsApp service following a series of lynchings that occurred within in India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. In the past two month at least 20 violent attacks have been reported, attributed to false  child abduction allegations.

In the United States, the 2016 shootings inside a Washington, DC pizzeria provides an example of the dangerous results of a misinformation campaign. These attacks serve as a reminder that words do matter.

Sorry Mark Zuckerberg GIF

Samosas For Dummies

Store bought frozen samosas? No way Jose! (Or Jas, Vjay, Sanjay…). That’s serving injustice to the small triangle shaped appetizer, you don’t want to be THAT person. Be ready to impress your friends and family at the next get together by following the steps in the video below. Psttt…I’ve gone ahead and simplified the recipe for you, it’s easy as spelling your name backwards. No one will know if it took you a couple of hours (usual time) or 30 mins #winning.

Little World Travelers!

Known to be one of the most popular appetizers for Punjabis, we literally eat them at any time of the day, I mean why would you skip on the opportunity?! 

Interestingly enough, samosas are one food that have traveled far, with its origin in Egypt as samsa (named after the pyramids in Central Asia), making their way to India. Throughout generations and traveling through several different cultures, samosas have created a special place in everyone’s heart as they are easily customizable to each culture. Most popular stuffings include chicken, meat, vegetables and chickpeas. Once you master making a potato vegetarian samosa (simple as they get), get creative and substitute with your favorite stuffing! Enough reading, let’s get to making the actual appetizer! #putyourchefhaton


Now that we’ve got your attention let’s get real. Soylent doesn’t come in a green flavor and it’s most definitely a vegan product, also lactose and nut free. As they expand their formate (powder and premixed), flavors (Strawberry!) and function (Caffeine added…yes please!), Soylent seems to be quickly adapting to the wants & needs of the customer and market. The name is a cheeky homage to the book Make Room! Make Room! which was the inspiration for the movie Soylent Green, a cult classic. One of the main themes being the need for alternative food sources due to overpopulation…sound familiar?

Soylent is a prime example of a successful crowdfunded product. It started with a mission to replace food with function and has expanded from online only sales to grocery and convenience stores. Providing complete nutrition has been an important part of Soylent since it’s first release. Soylent presents itself as the source of energy for the health conscious computer programmer or anyone who wants a nutritious ‘fast food’ option.


Putting Taste to the Test

We decided to help you out and do a taste test of the most accessible products to us on a Wednesday afternoon. Below are our (Pawan, Nick & Larissa) ratings out of 5 for each product we sampled.



“Soylent Powder tasted like a delicious, light pancake batter. But Drink and Cafe left me with a queasy feeling.”

-Nick Kramer

“I think I love food too much to abandon it for Soylent. But I can see myself using the Cafe Chai as a breakfast on the go.”

-Larissa Smith

“Experience was similar to what I would imagine my grandmas vitamins taste like.”  

-Pawan Kaur


So what was our overall verdict?

Let’s just say I don’t think any of us will be running out and buying in bulk. Although we see the merit in the function and nutrition we might just not be the target market for Soylent.


Are YOU the target market?

Find yourself ravenously hungry, but don’t have the time to prepare a meal? Soylent could be the answer in providing your body the much needed nutrients for the day. From our observations, it appears their target market is a professional nomad. The person who is health conscious but leaves the house when they wake up and don’t come back until it’s time to sleep again.


Where do you find Soylent?

They have made the product easily accessible to those that want to subscribe with the option of selecting different flavors, quantities and at a lower cost! Buying online gives a price break and the most economic option is buying through their website for those that are true believers. If you subscribe, you can end up with a competitive price at only $3 a bottle. If you’re not convinced just yet and can’t commit to drinking a bottle a day, Soylent got you covered. Bottled & powder Soylent is now being distributed in convenience stores and grocery stores throughout the U.S. Wal-Mart, 7-11 and Fred Meyers are some of the big names that have jumped on the Soylent train.

Now get out there and try it! It might surprise you how easily you can integrate it into your busy life.


How to Become an Instagram Icon: 5 Steps Towards Stardom

How to Become an Instagram Icon: 5 Steps Towards Stardom

Hopping on the millennials train to become Instagram famous isn’t as easy as treating yourself to a slice of cake. With more than 700 million total active users and 8 million accounts using business profiles, you need a plan to keep you on the track to Instagram stardom #winning.

We’ve highlighted 5 steps below to help guide you towards your stardom.

  1. Bringing Followers Aboard

Think of yourself as a business and promoting it in a way that people continue to talk about you, share what you have to offer and don’t forget about you after a couple of visits. To avoid falling off the track, it’s important to segment your follower base. Audience segmentation helps divide your followers into distinct groups so that you can increase the number of interactions. This helps map your followers and gives you awareness of what type of content they engage with and continue to share. Remember to have a consistent theme and aesthetic for your feed that aligns with your brand voice and visuals that your followers can connect with #allthingspretty #dontberandom.

  1. Let’s Get Cozy

Followers come for the aesthetic and theme but stay for the entertainment. That most often means opening up your personal life to the world. Let’s start with your bio. Setting your bio seems like a simple task but this is the first thing visitors see when they are deciding to follow you or not. Research has shown it takes less than two/tenths of a second for people to form their judgements. That’s not a lot of time to capture someone’s attention! Be simple, succinct, personal, well formatted and get emoji happy.

As you develop your following it’ll be important to showcase your theme but also tie in parts of your personal life. It’s not uncommon for business instagrams to have less followers than the actual person who runs it! Bring others into your life to create that close knit feeling to bond your followers together and to your story.

  1. What Catches the Eye

Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Bob Ross, <your name here>? Aspire to the level of the masters but recognize that you’re not going to get there. Maintaining integrity to your own artistic aesthetic is more important than reaching someone else’s definition of genius.

Developing a loyal and engaged following requires being consistent to your established ideas and themes. And capturing a moment requires a combination of creative talent, technical skill, luck. Your followers will save and share the best of your photos so focus on the subject at hand. Keep it simple, don’t overwhelm with too much going on in your photos. Lighten up, tend towards bright and vibrant photos. Technology can make up for deficits in photographic talent or skill. But remember, you can’t fix stupid.

  1. ###

Hashtags are breadcrumbs guiding your followers to the payout of an amazing post and drive traffic to your content.

Stick to #four or less hashtags a post. Don’t be afraid to blaze a new trail and develop hashtags that are meaningful within your community of followers. And remember to play by the rules. Instagram knows that your #Bali post originated from #YourOfficeDesk. Beware, Instagram will shadowban (hide) you appearing in the feed for that hashtag.

  1. Promote, Promote, Promote

Let’s be honest, the end goal is for your Instagram life to be sponsored and to say goodbye to the office life forever.

But how do you get there? Engaging your followers is a great first step. Do this by responding to their comments, liking back their posts and giving shoutouts. Building your loyalty will keep them coming back and boost your visibility. Keeping followers engaged by consistent posting is vital. Use 3rd party apps like Later to help manage your posting while you’re busy living your best life and creating new content. Don’t be afraid to reach out to product based accounts and ask them if you can promote their product; this will benefit you and their brand. Last but not least, get local! Build your follower base from your own backyard. Check in at locations, share local events and post from them. The more you put in to making connections the further your reach will continue.

Now go out there and take over the Instagram world! Don’t forget us when you’re famous.