What happens when your personal brand becomes your business?

This week, I attended the RIS News 2016 ENGAGE! Conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale to speak about just that - along with sharing the top five social media trends that retailers can capitalize on to reach their audiences. 

Here are those trends and some of the most important takeaways: 

1. Brand Ambassadors and Influencers

Influencers don't just introduce an audience to you brand - they add authenticity. In 2017, it’s no longer about finding an influencer who has several thousand followers but one who can authentically promote the brand in a way that get his or her audience to act.

2. Social Networks in the Workplace

Sometimes, your brand advocates can be right in your own office. More and more brands are using their own employees are a social army to promote and validate corporate culture.

3.  Video Trumps Text

Social video - like Facebook Like and Instagram Stories - are easy ways to turn a 50-person event a 5,000-person event.

4. The Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling has been a part of human history for thousands of years, but it's also a crucial marketing component for establishing your brand voice and authenticity.

5. Getting Users to Act

The most important trend for brands is going to be able to drive your fans to take a particular action step - and that doesn’t always mean to purchase. Getting users to react means building a rapport with them and that takes commitment, innovation and great storytelling.