SILVERBACK SOCIAL SAYS: Instagram Ads: 3 questions + A Fatal Flaw

This article was shared by our good friend Cristin Grogan, Chief Responsibility Officer at Silverback Social, an amazing social media marketing company.  Please visit them at

After Instagram’s initial announcement that ads were coming to it’s social platform a few weeks ago, we didn’t hear anything more.  Just that they were happening “soon”.  Last week, we got our first glimpse into what they would look like.

Instagram Ad

Beyond the initial announcement and the first mockup of the ad, the whole event has been shrouded in secrecy.  There’s been no word on algorithms or how Instagram ads work.  And while I understand the hesitation of over-promising and under-delivering on Instagram’s part, I can’t help but have the following concerns when it comes to what we don’t know about sponsored posts coming to one of our most beloved social media platforms:



Coworking At Its Best: Prepping for the Westchester Digital Summit 2014

By Christina Collins, Account Manager for counterspace

How counterspace Joined the Coworking Community:

We were actively seeking a creative community to engage with last spring. We were looking for anything from a meet-up group to a networking organization- we didn’t really know exactly what, but we wanted to tap into or create ‘something’ where “creatives” could share, learn, network and grow. I had found The Digital Arts Experience online while on my quest for this so-called creative community we were looking for, but, to be completely honest, we didn’t really “get it.” Then, Brett [Yancy Collins, Owner and Creative Director of counterspace] created a meet-up for professional creatives in the Westchester/Fairfield area and Emily, on behalf of The DAE, saw the meet-up and sent Brett a note. When he told me that he got a note from a place called The Digital Arts Experience, I remembered that we had talked about it before and I was like “That’s the place I told you about in White Plains!” We decided we should meet with Emily and check the place out.

When we came in, The DAE was very quiet and there wasn’t much going on, but Brett knew right away that The DAE was a powerhouse waiting to explode and could be the place that he could tap into to host and grow a creative network. What we hadn’t thought about was working from here. After all, we had just moved into a loft space in downtown Port Chester not two months earlier! We left our meeting and Brett and I looked at each other and knew we wanted to try and figure out a way to make The DAE our home. But first, Brett wanted to meet with the founder, so I set up another meeting just to ensure personalities ‘jived.’ Brett, having been a part of creating a place similar to The DAE in Ohio called ‘The Works‘ many years ago and had much to chat about with founder Rob Kissner. We were excited to continue our ‘courtship’ with The DAE!

How counterspace Met Silverback Social:

It was that day that Rob and Emily introduced us to Silverback Social founder, Chris Dessi. Chris had tremendous energy and was gearing up for the first Westchester Digital Summit. Chris and Brett were after the same thing: creating a digital community in our backyards – Westchester, NY. Brett was doing it from a digital design perspective and Chris from a social media perspective, but they clearly were after that same sense of “Do it here. Do it now. And do it digitally.” And Chris was doing it so we were excited to see what the WDS was all about. We attended the [Westchester Digital] Summit the following week and soon after, told Rob we’d be moving in.

How counterspace Felt about Coworking:

We moved in right in the middle of producing a website for International Carseat maker, Diono. The pressure was on to produce the U.S. version of their site; we had crucial deadlines to meet. We were heads down and had no time to make friends! (Not sure what kind of first impression we made!) Meanwhile, all around us, The DAE was full of life. Since we last visited, The New York Institute for Social Media was in ‘the pink room’ (which I was relieved about because that was the absolute, one colored room I did not want!) and Harquin Creative Group was in the ‘blue room.’ There were interns all about, classes in session and freelancers coming and going. And during it all, there was Chris Dessi walking up and down the hall on the phone with clients all day long- also heads down on churring out work all day and night.

counterspace and Silverback Social’s WDS14 Work:

One day out of the blue, Brett and Chris started chatting in the hallway about this and that and Chris mentioned he had some design needs. A few days later, Brett went and sat down with Chris and they talked about creating logos for the Westchester Digital Summit and for Chris’s personal website. They talked about the future goals of each project and what kind of feeling the identity marks should evoke, what style Chris responds to, and what he doesn’t, and other bits of information.

Brett returned to his desk and within a few days time generated a series of logo marks for Chris Dessi and for The Westchester Digital Summit. Chris was very excited about the logos and was eager to continue working together. Together, they began to churn out really high quality work starting with a brochure for the Westchester Digital Summit, which included photography that Brett took specifically for it.  From there, they moved onto a large format poster to be used at Westchester Airport and they are currently finishing up the website for WDS.

In addition, we began to execute a new website for Chris’s personal blog featuring all the many things about Chris such as hiring him for speaking engagements, advertising his published book, featuring him as a founder of the digital summit, linking him as the CEO and founder of Silverback and more- he’s a busy guy! counterspace came up with a innovative design for that will accomplish the goals of featuring “all that is Chris” in a classy way. That site will be launching soon and we are all excited to see it go live! What’s next? Well… we’ll all have to wait and see.

We (counterspace) were very eager to start working on the Westchester Digital Summit, partially because we attended last year and were energized about the concept then, and now this is one just way we get to be a part of it for year 2. The more successful we are at branding it, the more successful it becomes and that is good not only for counterspace, but for all of corporate Westchester, specifically digital agencies.

Best Part of Coworking at The DAE:

The advantage Silverback and counterspace have in the coworking environment at The DAE is proximity. By being in adjacent offices, feedback is delivered in person and instantaneously, questions and answers can be tackled at each other’s desks, gut reactions can be gaged and responded to when sharing deliverables and, most of all, ideas get shared and goals get discussed. Becoming an extension of each other’s teams results in successful projects, positive moral and a sharing of each other’s expertise in a noncompetitive environment. Coworking is truly about working alongside each other, learning and growing by leveraging each other’s areas of expertise, experiences and sharing in each others successes.

We have been at The DAE for 3 months now and we are confident we made the right move for counterspace. We’ve met fabulous people, we like coming to work, talking about projects we are working on, hearing about other people’s projects and even sharing weekend stories. Silverback, Harquin, counterspace and The DAE are currently collaborating on how to work with interns collectively rather than having a “counterspace intern” and a “DAE intern.” We are stronger as one and although we are all still learning the ins and outs of all the agencies and people who call The DAE home, there is an energy happening that assures me we are all moving in the right direction.

The Westchester Digital Summit 2014 will be held on May 15th, 2014 at the White Plains Ritz Carlton. For more information, please contact or


This article was written by our good friend Chris Dessi, Founder and CEO of Silverback Social, an amazing social media marketing company.  Please visit them at

I’m a loser. Really, I am. I’ve had my ass kicked so many times I’ve stopped counting. I’ve been fired more times than I care to remember. Three times in less than two years in fact. I have scars. Deep ugly jagged cuts that at times have left me bleeding on the ground. That’s precisely why I win in business. It’s also exactly why my company performs 10X better than our competition. Because I’ve had my ass kicked I do things differently. Let me explain:

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 12.07.54 PM

The last time I was let go I was so stunned I couldn’t respond.


SILVERBACK SOCIAL SAYS: “Social Media: The Next Generation’s Dead End Job?”

This article was shared by our good friend Cristin Grogan, Director of Communications at Silverback Social, an amazing social media marketing company.  Please visit them at

I used to work for a prestigious college in the Westchester area as Director of Digital and Social Media.  While there, I was often invited by the heads of student organizations and other clubs to talk about what a career in social looked like and how students could properly use it: sort of like Social Media 101.  It was great. Until Q+A time, when I heard the following, over and over:

“I’m studying political science, but there are no jobs, so I’m just going to do social media instead”

– OR –

“I’m studying biology, but it’s really difficult so I want to do social media instead. I do it everyday anyway and even manage my cousin’s pizzeria’s Facebook page.  What’s so hard about it?”

Really?  REALLY?

Therein lies my fear: social media is becoming the next generation’s dead end job.

Actually, it gets worse. It’s already happening… READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE

What Everyone Ought To Know About Reddit

By Alex Yae (A.K.A. The Google Whisper) of Silverback Social.  

When people hear the term “social media” typically, they think of the major social networking platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.). However, there is one rapidly rising, highly influential social media platform that, although well known, is underutilized and often misunderstood – Reddit. All those cat memes you love? They started on Reddit. In fact, a lot of viral content on the Internet stems this site.

Reddit is a “social bookmarking” site where anonymous users can post interesting links, discussions, images, etc. and other users can vote them up or down. The voting feature essentially makes this website a user-regulated forum where spam and poor quality submissions get sent to the void and the submitter gets publicly shamed…. READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Taking a Closer Look at Twitter Analytics

This article was shared by our good friend Cristin Grogan, Director of Communications at Silverback Social, an amazing social media marketing company.  Please visit them at


With the recent introduction of both Twitter and Pinterest’s analytics platforms, it’s becoming increasingly clear that everyone, from senior level executives down to solopreneurs, want to see quantitative and qualitative results from the time, money and resources they’re dedicating to social media.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring Twitter’s new analytics platform and it’s proved to be a great tool, to measure both quantitative and qualitative data. Here are some of the ways we’re using Twitter’s analytics to gain insight on how successful our clients are on Twitter:

1) Gauge the performance of your current content: With Twitter’s analytics, your tweets are laid out in front of you so you can take a closer look at what you’re sharing on a daily basis. Are you tweeting about one topic too much? Are you tweeting more than you’re replying or retweeting? Using too many hashtags? Not enough? Seeing all of your tweets in one place allows you to get a closer look at the content you’re sharing and allows you to make changes to the frequency you tweet or what you tweet about.

2) Replies and Retweets – These are most important when measuring you or your brand’s social influence on Twitter. I define social influence as how many people look to you to provide relevant content and information – it’s the measure of how resourceful you are. Retweets are indicative of someone agreeing with your insight, finding your content useful and wanting to share it with their network. Replies are someone who wants to directly engage in conversation regarding those insights. The point is, the higher your replies and retweets, the more influence you have on Twitter, which also expands your reach, your brand awareness and further solidifies your authoritative position within your given industry.

3) Follows and Unfollows – At the top of the Twitter Analytics platform, you’ll see a bar graph with blue and pink bars. Blue bars measure “follows” and pink bars measure “unfollows”. You can easily improve your content strategy by gathering insights from this. Cross reference the day someone unfollowed you with the tweets you sent out that day. Does your content give any clues as to why people may have unfollowed you? Maybe you tweeted too much one day…Or maybe you didn’t tweet at all. What about a day when you had a significant amount of people follow you? Did you use a specific hashtag or share a particularly engaging piece of content? Your follows and unfollows can help you understand where to gear your content so that your audience of followers continue to grow, thereby expanding your potential reach on Twitter.

Measuring social media actions, interactions and engagement tells an important story about your brand’s success on social. The challenge is looking at the data, asking the right questions and whether or not you’ll use it to help you be more successful in your approach to social.

Cyberbullying, Sexting and the Dangers of Social Media

On Saturday, May 4th, The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains hosted its first ever “Cyberbullying, Sexting and the Dangers of Social Media” workshop. The 90-minute presentation was facilitated by Director of Communications of Silverback Social, Cristin Grogan, who exerted not only her insight and expertise, but passion on the topic.

We feel very strongly that cyberbullying is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, particularly when stories of cyberbullying happen so close to home. The workshop covered the dangers of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and included cyberbullying, sexting and privacy issues as well as how to identify signs if your son or daughter is the victim of internet harassment. It is important for you and your child to understand the impact of his or her actions online.  The workshop provided the attendees with the tools to monitor their child’s interactions on social media.

What is Cyberbullying?
“Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology…including devices…such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat and websites.” It is anonymous, constant, and wide audiences see it and can participate in it. The victim can’t escape and the bully can escape punishment and cannot see the effects of his/her actions.

Where does it happen?
Email, texts, instant message, chatrooms, blogs, polling site (, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat and any other social media platform.

What are the signs?
Feelings of guilt or self-blame, sleep difficulties, wanted to skip school or certain classes, going home sick a certain time everyday, lower self-esteem, depressed tendencies, ongoing sadness, health problems, poor performance in school, violent tendencies, self inflicted injuries, sudden interest in death, reckless behaviors, saying “can’t handle things anymore”, social media postings that are are out of the ordinary, dramatic changes in appearance, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings, addiction to social media, obesity, self destructive acts.

What can I do?

Take Steps to Monitor
Supervise your child’s computer use – keep in a public place, learn about the sites your child visits. Encourage your child to come to you if he/she witnesses cyberbullying. Make internet use a privilege that can be taken away. Be aware of what personal info he/she shares online. Have a no phones policy at night – place all household phones on a single charging station.

Teach Digital Citizenship
Teach your children to conscious of how they represent themselves online and how the world can see everything that that they write, share, etc. Let them know that they have rights and responsibilities online & set age appropriate expectations. Teach your children to think before they post – everything on the internet can be seen by colleges, employers etc.

If need be, monitor your child’s activities
Mac & PC have built in parental controls. If more advanced monitoring is needed, sites light McGruff Safeguard, Sector Pro, Mobistealth and others allow you to see what sites your child is visiting and what he/she is saying.

The Digital Arts Experience will be hosting another Cyberbullying workshop on Saturday, June 29th from 11AM-12PM. To register for the event, visit our sign-up page.