Where to Stay in San Francisco

Having recently launched The PR Net San Francisco, we've been busy researching the best venues around the city. We covered the bases, checking out a couple highly-anticipated hotels as well as the SF classics. Subsequently, our top five picks strike a balance between the brand new and the tried-and-true. 

Virgin Hotels San Francisco

One of the aforementioned highly-anticipated openings, Virgin Hotels San Francisco recently opened its doors. Located South of Market, the hotel 
features multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s flagship space, Commons Club and Funny Library Coffee Shop, plenty of meeting spaces and a rooftop bar called Everdene.

Virgin Hotel

Hotel Emblem

Viceroy Hotel Group's Hotel Emblem is the most recent hotel opening in SF. The Theatre District hotel features a welcoming lobby area dubbed 
Obscenity Bar & Lounge, complete with literary-themed cocktails and live music programming. 

Hotel Emblem

San Francisco Proper

Proper's flagship is the epitome of sophisticated-cool, having been designed by 
Kelly Wearstler. When you're done taking in the chic interiors, take a look outside at some of the best views of the city. For an even more elevated experience, have a cocktail at the rooftop bar-lounge.

San Francisco Proper

Phoenix Hotel

Rock-and-roll is the inspo at Phoenix Hotel. The historic hotel was redesigned by 
hotelier Liz Lambert, who captured the soul of the space and gave it a dose of updated coolness. Have a bite at Chambers restaurant, which offers a seasonal menu for dinner and weekend brunch, served inside or on the hotel’s poolside patio.

Phoenix Hotel

Tilden Hotel

Tilden Hotel will be the minimalist's favorite spot to stay in. The super-chic design is refreshing and modern, but welcoming and warm. If you're just stopping by, hang out here for a cocktail at The Douglas Room or a coffee at Tilden Café.

Tilden Hotel

The Rise of Nano Influencers

As today’s shifting media landscape continues to move toward all things digital, marketers are getting more strategic with how they reach their target audience. Among the buzzier methods is influencer marketing, a term typically associated with reaching the masses. But brands are recognizing that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that utilizing a nano influencer can be more beneficial than a macro one. We set out to learn what propelled this rise of nano influencers, plus the best practices for marketers when working with them.

Cindy Laverdière, @cindylou_, Bicom

First things first: defining the difference between macro and nano influencers. “Macro influencers are who you should look to for high reach, engagement and conversion,” says Reesa Lake, Partner, Executive Vice President of Digital Brand Architects. “They have followers in the millions and are able to move the needle for a brand. They are no stranger to producing sponsored content and know what will resonate with their audience.”

Nano influencers represent the opposite side of the spectrum. As Daniella Macri, Managing Partner at Bicom Communications, puts it, “Nano influencers are your friends or friends of friends, the hair stylist who shares the latest trends in color to their account or your friend who always has the best restaurant recommendations that you trust. They usually have less than 5K followers, and their social platforms reflect their work or lifestyle interests. Nano influencers use their social platforms to complement their professional expertise or to share their personal opinions and experiences.”

This is an attractive option for brands looking at their business objectives and deciding whether they are seeking mass awareness or a more tailored approach. The former is associated with higher fees, not to mention that consumers can become weary of macro influencers’ credibility.

“Influencer marketing has always encompassed more tailored options to help share a brand’s story, it’s only now that the industry is recognizing the different spheres of influence and how they can be tapped into,” continues Macri. “Now the pendulum is swinging back to re-engage smaller community heroes and make brands more relatable and reflective of the actual consumers they are trying to sell to.”

Denise Hernandez, @thejitana, Shine Influencers

Shifting marketing efforts towards the more relatable nano influencer means lower costs for a greater volume of talent. “As nano influencers aren’t typically doing as much sponsored content as the larger influencers, brands are able to hold more real estate at a substantially lower price point,” explain Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward, co-founders of Shine Influencers. From an audience perspective, nano influencers feel more authentic, which comes from the conversational way they engage since they typically know their followers personally. “This can be a huge asset to brands as there is such a genuine trust level there,” they continue.

But brands must recognize if this type of relationship makes sense for them. “Nano influencers typically do have higher than average engagement rates but you still have to take into account what that follower count is,” says Lake. “Is 500-2,000 likes going to move the needle for you?”

The Bicom team has identified three specific uses for nano influencers to help brands decide if it’s the best strategy for them. They are:

  • Create user generated content at a low cost to increase share of voice while producing content that can be reused on brand platforms
  • Reach a very specific niche audience to entice trial prior to a product launch or build brand loyalty among the target
  • Use employees as nano influencers to help recruitment and retention

Ariane Simard, @ryannesimard, Bicom

So, how can brands engage with nano influencers? “Research is key! Brands need to be looking beyond the number of followers and ensuring that engagement is there in a real way,” say Hunichen and Ward. “Take a read through the comments - is there a conversation there? Is their audience connecting with them, or are they just commenting with heart eye emojis? If content and engagement is on point, then reach out with an idea, tell them why you think they’d be a good fit for the campaign. This person/character/animal(!) is going to be representing your brand, so it is imperative that you build a rapport with them.”

Lake advises brands to start by engaging with nano influencers on social, following, liking, commenting and building a relationship. Finding that mutual value proposition is important, whether it’s cross-promotion or gifting. She reminds brands that it costs money to produce content, so it’s worth thinking about what resources they can provide to the up and coming influencer.

Her shortlist of guidelines is clear. “Don’t reach out and offer a discount on a product in exchange for a post, as gifted product is more exciting than a discount in which the influencer would have to go out of pocket. Make sure you are in agreement and have a contract if you have any expectations - while you may gift an influencer there is no guarantee they will post unless contracted. Make sure you have a brief and are communicating brand messages and content guidelines. Avoid leaving any gray areas as that can lead to disappointment and unmet expectations on both sides of the partnership.”

Talia Hubble, @talliiaShine Influencers

In working with influencers in general, it’s crucial to ensure that the individual is a right fit for the brand. For the nano category specifically, authenticity is a huge part of a successful campaign. Hunichen and Ward advise asking yourself: Is this a product/service that they would typically use? Is it going to integrate into their feed well? How have sponsored posts performed for them in the past?

They continue, “Also, take note from your communication with them before officially engaging in a campaign. Are their responses timely? Unlike the more elevated micro influencers, it is highly unlikely that a nano influencer will have management, which means you’ll be dealing with the influencer directly, so be sure to have a contract in place that clearly outlines deadlines, approval process, key messages and deliverables.”

Lake highlights that, “It’s important to remember that all influencers are investing in their content. Even nano influencers are hiring photographers to shoot and produce content.”

At the end of the day, all of this translates into real results for a brand. In a study commissioned by Bicom, it was found that recommendations from friends and family have influenced trial 10x more than celebrity endorsements on social media. “It’s validating for those of us who always knew their power, and further proof for those who, until now, based their decisions solely on the number of followers,” concludes Macri.

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