One of the biggest issues we run into as an agency is talking to clients about social media.  For many, social media can be a big ball of confusion that takes time away from more important day-to-day business issues.  The three main questions we hear are:
How do I quantify my social media campaigns?
How do I use social media successfully without spending too much money?
How do I find time to post everything I need to post?
Nobody becomes a social media expert overnight.  And the good news is that you don’t have to be a “techie” to use social media effectively.  It’s as easy as snapping a photo and posting it from your phone…and it only needs to take a few minutes every day.
The Time Drain Myth:
You might have heard that in order for your social media campaign to work, you need to post constantly and across many platforms.  While that is one way to do it, you don’t have to spend hours on your computer to be a success at social media.  You can post from your phone, your tablet or your computer whenever you have a few free moments.  It takes just a few seconds to post a picture from your phone, or to update your status or to reply to a customer. 
The best thing you can do is simply set aside ten minutes every day, or every other day to update your social media platforms.  That’s all it takes.  Chances are you’ve already scheduled other important to-do items in your day, add this to your list and stay consistent.  Ten minutes out of your day is more than enough time and can have spectacular results.
Too Many Platforms:
With the advent of technology, it can be confusing when trying to figure out which social media platforms to use.  There are literally hundreds of options, including LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Digg, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention the various Google platforms.
Find two or three that you are comfortable with and figure out how to use them effectively.  If you only use Facebook and Twitter, then learn how to use them well.  The same holds true for if you only use LinkedIn and Tumblr.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.  Find the two or three that you feel you can use quickly and effectively and stick with them.  At some point in the future, you can expand if you’re comfortable in doing so.
Quantifying Content:
The biggest mistake businesses make when using social media is sharing poor content.  Remember, we are a visual society, so use photos and videos whenever possible.  More important than that, though, is how you present your content. 
Give your customers a call to action with your posts.  Offer deals, ask questions, start conversations.  The biggest impact your efforts will have is in being interactive with your friends and followers.  If you offer a special, or post a deal, give it a time limit and then track the sales that are a direct result of your posts.  This is an easy way to quantify your efforts. 
This is a great way to not only attract new customers, but to build brand loyalty as well.  Plus, if you regularly post specials or deals, word of mouth will help you grow your friends and followers list.  Social media is a great way to connect to customers and potential customers.
In short, social media is an extremely effective way to communicate with your customers and potential customers and you can do so in a way that doesn’t cost you a ton of money or time.  Follow these tips and you’ll soon be a business social media wizard:
1.     Set aside ten minutes every day or every other day to update your social media posts.
2.     Post from your phone or tablet when you have extra time
3.     Find two or three platforms and use those exclusively to start
4.     Use photos and video liberally
5.     Start conversations and offer deals or specials to your friends and followers and encourage them to help spread your posts.
The final tip is to be patient.  You won’t just start posting on Facebook and suddenly find hundreds of new customers banging on your door.  It takes time to build a community of customers, friends and followers.  But if you’re consistent, you’ll grow your social media circle and, in turn, your customer base will grow as well.  Social media does work and in today’s market, chances are if you’re not using social media, you’re not reaching the full potential of your business.

If you’re not a frequent visitor to LoDo, you may not be aware of the transformation taking place behind Union Station. The area surrounding the historic train station is being converted into a state-of-the-art transit hub, complete with a commuter rail station and an underground bus facility, scheduled to open in 2014. The project is spurring a bevy of new developments, including Cadence Union Station, a new high-rise apartment community from Zocalo Community Development.

We were on hand late last month when Zocalo (a longtime client of The Stasko Agency) broke ground on Cadence, the first apartment project to be built at the Union Station site. The event drew a slew of dignitaries, including Mayor Michael Hancock who talked about the significance of the Union Station redevelopment of Union Station and how essential it was for Denver’s future growth to have housing located near public transportation. Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership also publicly congratulated Zocalo on making Cadence a reality, as did RTD General Manager Phil Washington.

The Zocalo team with Mayor Michael Hancock

Like many of Zocalo’s developments, Cadence will have a strong focus on sustainability and aims to earn LEED Gold certification. According to Zocalo’s estimates, the building’s residents will spend 50 percent less on utility bills than they would living in a similar, non-LEED certified building. The project will include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units and will offer residents a rooftop pool, rooftop fitness center and a variety of community gathering areas.

Tami Door, David Zucker and Mayor Hancock

Because of its distinction as the first residential development in the Union Station Neighborhood, media interest in Cadence’s groundbreaking was strong. Zocalo Principal and Director of Development David Zucker was interviewed about the project on 9News and the development was also featured in the Denver Business Journal and InsideRealEstate.

CBS4 News was one of several media outlets that attended the Cadence groundbreaking

Denver Business Journal Reporter Dennis Huspeni interviewing Mayor Hancock

Thanks to its location adjacent to Union Station, Cadence residents will have easy access to a variety of metro-area destinations, including Denver International Airport. The building is also steps away from dining, shopping and within walking distance of cultural attractions and sports facilities.

We’ll be working with Zocalo through the development process of Cadence and will keep you posted as the project’s progress.

We also want to congratulate David Zucker and Chris Achenbach, who serves as principal and director of construction for Zocalo, for being selected as winners in the Denver Business Journal’s Power Book in the Residential Real Estate category.


 

As 2785 Speer Apartment Community’s official publicity support team, we are excited to announce that coming this September 2785 Speer will officially be breaking ground!  This 332-unit apartment community on a 4.5 acre parcel in Denver’s Jefferson Park Neighborhood is not only expected to bring in residents but retail space as well. With 10,801 square feet of ground floor retail space 2785 Speer Apartment Community is bound to one of Denver’s top apartment rental communities.

“2785 Speer will no doubt be a premier rental community in Denver, offering residents luxury living and easy access to downtown, sports venues and all of the metro-area, thanks to the project’s close proximity to I-25,” said Allied Principal Lauren Brockman. “We expect strong demand when we open the doors.”

Units range from 660 sq. ft. to 1,307 sq. ft. and will offer full size washer and dryers, private balconies, granite counter tops and more. In addition, there will be a community resort-style pool with sun shelf, fitness center, bocce ball court, fire pit, clubroom and more.

Located in the heart of Jefferson Park, 2785 Speer Apartments will feature modern amenities, a competitive price point, and a location that can’t be beat.

As Denver’s first official suburb, Jefferson Park is a diverse, urban neighborhood, located minutes from Downtown Denver. Due to its proximity, Jefferson Park is currently experiencing a renaissance in investment and development. Bringing in young professionals who are tired of a long commute or can’t find the amenities they are looking for downtown. With that said, if you’re looking for a neighborhood on the verge, look no further than Jefferson Park.

The apartment community is expected to be completed by late 2014.

For more information about 2785 Speer Apartment Community go to, https://www.facebook.com/2785speer. Check for more updates soon!

Happy Birthday to Little Man Ice Cream, which celebrated five years in business on Independence Day. We’ve been involved since the very beginning and we can reveal the behind the scenes scoop on the shop’s opening day. While opening an ice cream parlor on the 4th of July sounds like a slam dunk, meeting that magic date was a challenge.




Of course, part of the challenge stemmed from the structure owner Paul Tamburello chose to house Little Man – a giant replica of an old-fashioned milk can made out of steel. Western Steel and Boiler Co. was the only manufacturer we could find to build the “can,” (as it’s affectionately called). The structure arrived on a flatbed trailer and was delivered to the site on July 2nd, giving us two days to get it painted,  have the windows and interior installed, awnings attached and electricity hooked up. It took a village, but Little Man managed to open on Independence Day as planned.  (Check out this great photo albumwhich chronicles the “can” coming together). 

Since that special day, Little Man has chosen to mark its birthday by giving back to neighborhood. The shop is a sponsor of the Highland 4th of July Parade and serves up a 60-foot ice cream sundae as part of the festivities. After a brief (and I’m sure torturous) countdown, local kids chow down on the oversized ice cream treat. 

This year, Little Man is celebrating with an exciting line-up of activities designed to build on it’s reputation as a gathering spot for the community. (Westword even took the time to mention the full slate of fun). The offerings include:

      Bluegrass Sundays: Bluegrass bands take the “stage” at LoHi Plaza from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday.
Magic Mondays: Every Monday night, roving magic man Dan the Magician entertains patrons in line and on the patio from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A Scoop of Jazz: Thursdays were made for jazz lovers, with live jazz performances from   7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
      Vintage Movie Nights: There’s nothing like watching a movie under the stars, especially if the main attraction is a classic. Catch these special flicks on these select Saturday evenings starting at dusk.  Movies will be shown.
  •      July 14 
  •      July 21
  •      July 21
  •      July 28
  •      Aug. 4
  •      Aug. 11
  •      Aug. 18

In addition to these events, Little Man will also host a variety of special events throughout the summer, including a Hula Hoop contest on July 21st to encourage pint-sized patrons to exercise. Registration fees from the event will benefit GrowHaus, an urban farm and market focused on building healthy communities. Click here to register.



The Stasko Agency has been the agency of record with Little Man since its inception and we’re proud to be associated with such a fun and philanthropic-minded business.  Stop by this summer and have a scoop. 









One of my newest clients is not only keeping me busy, but introducing me to a whole new world of Mexican food. Paxia Authentic Mexican Cuisine, located in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood, offers real Mexican fare – the kind that dates back centuries and includes such traditional dishes as Tlacoyos (oval-shaped masa and black bean cakes topped with pear cactus, jalapeno, tomato and onion) and Molcajetes (a mouth-watering stew that I’ve been dreaming about since I first tasted it, made with tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, onions and either fish, meat or a mixture of both). Open since August 2011, Paxia is the brainchild of brothers Cesar, Roberto and Igancio Leon, who started the Los Carbonitos chain of taquerias in 2004.

Paxia is like Los Carbonitos’ sophisticated sister, providing gourmet Mexican food in a stylish, yet comfortable atmosphere, complete with a tequila lounge and inviting patio. And the restaurant is starting to gain new fans. Denver Post Features Writer Bill Porter just gave Paxia a glowing review.

If you haven’t tried Paxia, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the Leon family’s culinary talents.  On February 9th, the restaurant is offering a preview of its Denver Restaurant Week menu, which includes its special “lamb barbacoa” entree. The dish, which is slow roasted after soaking for hours in a chili marinade, will become a permanent part of the menu every weekend, starting March 10th.

For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant is offering a four-course Prix Fixe meal (featuring a mix of Mexican mainstays – Carne Asada, for example, as well as more contemporary creations), served with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine for $50 per person.

The restaurant’s Happy Hour also provides a chance to sample Paxia’s unique menu at discounted prices. Available daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 9 to close, Paxia’s Happy Hour includes drink specials as well as tamales, tacos, oysters, and Ceviche. Paxia is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves dinner from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

To make reservations for Valentine’s Day or Denver Restaurant Week, call 720-583-6860.
For more information, visit www.paxiadenver.com or follow the restaurant on Facebook.

Part of my job involves educating myself about new media outlets and new industries, so with that in mind, I attended a private event last week hosted by the publisher of the trade magazine Imaging Notes. Imaging Notes is the premier publication for commercial, government and academic remote sensing professionals around the world and it’s based right here in Denver.

Publisher Myrna Yoo, (owner of Blueline Publishing LLC), welcomed more than 125 people all over the country, who were in Denver for ILMF – the International LIDAR Mapping Forum. The event was a great opportunity to network and focused on LIDAR software, (Light Detection And Ranging) a technology that uses remote sensing and light to gather data used in creating maps.

While I don’t deal with remote sensing industry, I enjoyed learning more about the technology involved. I am always on the lookout for new and different opportunities for my clients – even if it is introducing them to new industries (they never thought of before!). You never know what kind of business one can build by marketing to a whole new industry!

For more information, check out Imaging Notes.

Congratulations to Laughing Latte for capturing the grand prize in the first annual LoHi Wreath Decorating Contest. The contest required participants to create wreaths that best reflected the nature of their businesses. Laughing Latte (located at 32nd Avenue and Tejon Street) got the top nod for a festive wreath made out of coffee filters (which gave the appearance of creamy foam) and accessorized with coffee beans and sprigs of cinnamon. You can check out the winning wreath below.

Pasquini’s Pizzeria was first runner up; Pilates studio Joie de Vivre, which incorporated springs from its reformer machines into its wreath, was awarded second runner up status and LoHi Fitness Club was third runner up. You can see a sample of the some of the lovely wreaths below.


Thanks to the 29 LoHi merchants who participated in this year’s contest. We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to our judges: Westword Editor Patty Calhoun, 9News reporter Heidi McGuire, Lorenzo Gibson and Samantha Martel of Denver News and 5280 Magazine’s Luc Hatlestad. The wreaths will be on display until Christmas, so I encourage you to stroll through the neighborhood and check them all out.

The contest kicked off with a holiday lighting ceremony at Little Man Ice Cream, complete with carolers, Santa Claus, live reindeer and free pizza from Pasquini’s. The event drew such a supportive crowd that we hope to make the lighting celebration a holiday tradition. I feel so lucky to live in a neighborhood with such a strong sense of community. Happy Holidays!

Thanks to everyone who attended the grand opening celebration of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Highland over the weekend. The three day event, which included free yogurt, face-painting, arts and crafts, a blind yogurt tasting, open mic performances and prizes, was a big success, attracting residents of all ages and such dignitaries as Denver City Councilwoman Judy Montero and Denver City Auditor Dennis Gallagher. A longtime Highland resident, Gallagher cut the ribbon for the store’s “official” opening with Montero and representatives from the Tennyson Center for Children.



Menchie’s Highland Owner Cyndi Hause graciously donated a portion of sales from the weekend’s festivities to the the Tennyson Center and the the junior roller derby league, the Rocky Mountain Roller Punks, raising $500 and $475 for each organization respectively. Here are members of the Roller Punks blind tasting some of Menchie’s numerous flavors.

Fundraising will be a key component of Menchie’s involvement in the Highland neighborhood going forward. The shop is already serving as a community gathering spot for North High School students and local families and is helping to further the revitalization efforts that have breathed new life into the corner of 32nd and Clay Streets.


If you haven’t stopped in to Menchie’s yet, I encourage you to check it out. The shop offers more than 100 rotating yogurt flavors (ranging from green apple tart to New York cheesecake) made from its own private label. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


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I was so excited to open the Denver Post’s Lifestyle’s section on November 3rd and see two of my favorite people staring back at me. Bruce Littlehorn and Larry Beard Jr. own urbandwellers, a unique home furnishings company that The Stasko Agency began working with last year. The couple’s business is based out of their home – a 1,000-square foot loft that also doubles as a showroom for urbandwellers’ designs.

Post writer Sheba Wheeler profiled the pair and their unconventional home, explaining how the residence seamlessly showcases urbandwellers space-saving products, including a coffee table from its “hom” line and indoor fountains (one is pictured below) from the company’s “flo” collection. You can read the article here.



If you live in an urban abode with limited space, I encourage to check out ubandwellers designs. You can find a list of stores that carry urbandwellers products here.

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This past Veteran’s Day, we were lucky enough to help Circle Fresh Farms spread the word about a program the company launched to help veterans transition into farming . Called Veterans to Farmers, the Denver-based non-profit places veterans at one of Circle Fresh’s network farms, where they learn agricultural skills and gain on the job experience by growing sustainable, greenhouse-raised crops.

Veterans can complete the program in nine months or less and have the opportunity to join Circle Fresh’s network once they’re done, providing participants with potential for sustainable, long-term income.


We were proud to see the Veterans to Farmers program highlighted in the Denver Business Journal, The Fence Post, The Colorado Springs Independent and on 9News, 7NEWS and Examiner.com.


We encourage you to read the stories and let the veterans in your lives know about this special program. Veterans to Farmers is doing important work – providing our communities with fresh, healthy and organic produce, while helping our veterans adjust back into a productive civilian life.