So What Do You Mean When You Say “Digital”

When you think of the term “digital,” you automatically think “digital = social media.” You’re off to a great start but there is a little more to it. A few things I wanted to break down about the digital sphere is what does it really mean and what should you know about it?

It’s crazy to think that the apps we are so familiar with now: Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, will be completely different in 3, 5, and 10 years. Think about when we are older and see our kids on their iPhones, will we be able to comprehend what ever their newest obsession is on social media? I hope so. *GASP* As I think about not being able to keep up with social media someday.

SO WHAT DOES DIGITAL MEAN?

In today’s day and age, brands cannot thrive if they don’t have a digital presence. It is one thing having a Twitter account on behalf of a brand but what is the strategy behind it? What is the voice/ tone of the brand? Is it playful? Serious? Goofy? A combination? Having a digital presence on behalf of a brand means being up to speed with day to day news stories, and engaging yourself into conversation when appropriate. If an alarming dairy study came out and had the possibility to negatively effect the dairy industry, brands like Horizon Valley and Darigold might make a statement via social media channels where they see fit. A cereal brand MAY be able to enter the conversation because milk + cereal are essential to one another (obvi), but it might be trying a bit too hard if a poultry or chip brand tried to enter the conversation. Milk is to cereal as chips is to guac. Chips to milk? Mission abort.

Digital takeaways that I think are important may be different than someone who doesn’t have a background in public relations. In fact, someone who has been in public relations for 10+ years might have a different outlook on all things digital and where it is going. But, as far as my millennial self goes, here are a few key takeaways.

  1. Digital is always changing.

    And with that, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Take the realm of social media with a grain of salt. We as millennials can adapt to just about anything and if one thing is for certain, we can quickly adapt to digital change and transformation. Just last week, Facebook launched it’s rendition of Facebook Stories, which is similar to SnapChat and Instagram features. “How will we keep up with all of our stories?” is a question I think many of us have along with how will our phone batteries withstand all of the different networks. I am curious to hear people’s feedback at the very least. And in case you were wondering, Facebook creeping is no longer anonymous when it comes to FB Story.

  2. Brands are creating “influencer programs” for just about anything.

    If you have a passion for financial planning, colorful floors, or new and inventive cocktails, there is most likely someone out there who has worked with a brand who’s core values match that of the brands. Amazon just had a soft launch of an influencer program into beta where the new program will offer influencers commission on products sold, but is not open to the public. So in short, if you consider yourself an influencer, there is most likely a brand that fits your image and what you like to write about. And in case you were wondering, Amazon influencers must submit an application to be included.

  3. Digital platforms can tell a story from beginning to end.

    It is one thing to read a blog post about someone’s travel experience. But what was the actual story of it? Brands are continuing to work with the customer and not just for the customer, which is well stated in HBR. The customer continues to be kept top of mind and at the forefront of conversations. What are the consumer’s tastes changing to and how can brands quickly adapt? Digital strategy is essential to story telling and paralleling with the mind sets of consumers.

  4. Ways to measure a digital campaign is essential to success.

    You would not believe the tools companies use on the back end to measure success, especially for digital campaigns. Facebook ads are measured in so many ways (think engagement, click throughs, point of sale). It is every brand’s dream to be on the front page of the New York Times, and can you guess why? It has the ability to reach so many people. As of 2016, the NY Times has 72.9MM unique monthly viewers. Where do you even begin to measure the success of this kind of placement? Different measuring tools help answer different questions: How many people viewed the article, how many shared it, commented on it, how was SEO involved. One tool I recently learned about can track who viewed a certain page, clicked on the “donate now” hyperlink on the page, and then actually donated! 50% incredible and 50% creepy. I think you get the point.

What do you think is the next turning point in the digital space? I am curious to hear from my millennial pals and digital experts as well! Hope this helped clear up any questions you might have had about all things social media/ digital!

XO.

Lex

I Spy: Custom Cocktail Napkins

 

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Lettermade is a brand for the modern traditionalist, who values classic design and decor stirred up with a contemporary flare,” boasts the Lettermade About page. I would say…I have to agree.

I have always loved picking up small treasures at street markets and boutiques throughout my travels. Putting them in the perfect place when I return home makes me smile and remember the memories that are held with that piece. I stumbled upon the Lettermade Instagram last week, and loved the line “modern traditionalist.” If I had to describe myself in two words, this would be it. I love a classic palette (hello light-grey walls!) mixed with pieces from my favorite street artists.

The next addition to my home-goods collection will be these hashtag cocktail napkins. The dainty design will look great out on a bar cart, as well as scattered over end-tables and beneath unique glassware. Quick tip: steal the idea in the above champagne photo and rim glasses with glittery sanding sugar to kick your cocktails up a notch.

 

 

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The Inside Scoop On Monetizing Your Social Accounts

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Just because you are on social media, does not mean you are a social media expert. In the same way, having an Instagram…does not make you a professional photographer (sorry…duck lips don’t count). I joined Instagram at the end of my Freshman year of college when I first started my blog, StreetStyleChi. I knew little about how to use social media, or, how beneficial it could be. After spending a year working with the women of Nike in Chicago helping to open a concept store called NTC, I quickly gained insight and learned how important a strong social media voice is. The fact is, that good social media can move mountains between a brand and it’s consumers.

Back in 2011, social media was looked at as purely an egotistical form of media (which it still can be). It was just a silly place for teens to express their love for the latest member of One Direction (again, still very much alive). Only in the last few years have we started to fully take advantage of what it really is: a direct line to your consumer.

In Style Sponsored Insta Post

If you read my post about the FTC blogger guidelines last month, you know all about how paid endorsements online are supposed to work. While many view giving bloggers monetary compensation to wear certain products as deceptive, it is truly just another form of advertising for these large brands trying to tap a specific market; and it is SUPER smart. Consumers no longer want to click on a banner ad or follow a brand on social media; they want to follow a personality. Bloggers and “influencers” being sent product, help brands build a direct relationship with their consumer through this third party (being the blogger.)

A great example of Instagram marketing can be found at @WeWoreWhat, founded by blogger Danielle Bernstein. Her Instagram account boasts a million followers, with sponsored posts trickling down her feed, that to an untrained eye, look organic. In reality, Bernstein charges $5-15K per Instagram photo, with monetary compensation going up as the number of Instagrams goes up. So why would a brand be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single photo on a social network? Bloggers build lasting relationships with their readers for years, thus, when they promote a brand, the brand gains that loyalty as well.

WWW Sponsored Insta Post

When looking at famous instagram accounts, we are not just talking number of followers, but engagements, which are measured by number of likes and comments on a photo. If you have 20K followers on Instagram, but are consistently getting 15 likes on your photos, there is a very fair chance that you bought 19K of those followers and brands will keep their distance. Essentially, your data will speak for itself.

If you look through any “instafamous” personalities, their content glows. Their photos boast the same filter to show consistency, and their snapshots are taken with fancy camera attachments or a Nikon camera. Every photo is strategically placed on their feed with the same intensive thought that goes into a full-throttle pr campaign. Why? They are their brand, and their social tool of choice is their main place of marketing themselves, so it better be good.

 

Check back for tips on growing your social following shortly.

LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

How To: Land Your Fashion Dream Job According To An Insider Part II

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In a two part guest series, Ashley Altstadt let’s you in on her tips and recommendations for going after what you want, and ultimately landing a coveted spot in the fashion industry. This is part II.

 

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Do as much as you can on the side.

When I’m not at my current job, I’m writing for online fashion magazines. Start a blog, take photos and show off your work anyway that you can. Companies want to see someone that takes the time to do what they love. Having a blog will also show off your personality and point of view to future employers.

 

Dress the part.

When you’re trying to land your dream job, you want to be taken seriously. I always go for a tailored pant or a midi dress for an interview. Employers want to see that you can put yourself together, but you also have your own personal style. Don’t wear too much jewelry, keep it light on the make-up, and always wear heels that you feel confident in.

 

Research.

Before every interview I always research the company inside and out. You want to impress these future employers by knowing the company background and philosophies. Doing your homework shows that you’re serious about the job.

 

Be smart on social media.

Make sure that you’re putting out a positive image of yourself on every social media platform. Employers will look there first to see what you’re like and who you are. I always stick to classy and respectable posts because you never know who is looking. Social media has become the largest representations of ourselves whether we like it or not.

 

SMILE.

I’ve learned that being nice to people will get you further in life than anything else. Always be pleasant, be nice to everyone you meet and SMILE! Also, HAVE FUN! Fashion is supposed to be creative, artistic and exciting.

 

 LET’S GET SOCIAL: Snapchat: StreetStyleChi / Instagram: Follow Along / Twitter: Tweet Me

Tanqueray Brings Innovative Minds To Chicago: Coltrane Curtis, Ronnie Fieg, Jason Geter, and Maxwell Osborne Talk Building Their Brands

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“We see this program as a riff on the traditional trunk show,” said Keith Scott, Tanqueray Senior Brand Manager. “The leaders on our panel are sharing both their in-demand physical creations, as well as their personal take on how to play and win the style game. Our goal is to inspire and equip the next generation of successful entrepreneurs, while enjoying some great cocktails and compelling music along the way.”
 Top industry leaders don’t follow the yellow brick road, they pave their own path.  This past week, Tanqueray brought Common, Maxwell Osborne of Public School and Black Apple, Ronnie Fieg of Kith NYC, Jason Geter of Grand Hustle Records and manager to Iggy Azalea, and Coltrane Curtis, founder of Team Epiphany, together in Chicago for a unique panel discussing their rise to the top of their fields. In a culture that is constantly changing, Coltrane Curtis, Maxwell Osborne, and Jason Geter continue to dominate at the top. These men are responsible for setting the trends for mass amounts of consumers and have an in depth knowledge of the fields they play in.
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Gin brand Tanqueray launched Tanqueray Trunk Show in January which aims to bring mentorship through progressive style via six private events across the country. Style aficionado Marc Katz was on site to chat with Curtis, Osborne, and Geter in between panel sessions. Katz sat down with Curtis, Geter, and Osborne to get the scoop on topics you won’t find by googling their Wikipedia page.
Team Epiphany recognized early on that brands need new ways to connect with consumers, offline as well as online. While this might seem simple in theory, it isn’t an easy task to take on. Coltrane Curtis recognized this hole in branding early on, and after exiting his first two large corporate jobs at Complex Media and Ecko, created Team Epiphany as a full service creative agency. Curtis credits his father as being the driving force behind creating Team Epiphany, who sadly passed away three years ago and ran his own marketing firm for 25 years. Curtis says: “It was a way for me to put my dreams and goals together and follow my passion of marketing with a twist of creative culture.”
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Public Schools co-founder Maxwell Osborne was born and bred in New York City. Osborne credits his deep interest in fashion and music as being his driving force for choosing to attend fashion school and soon after make it a lifestyle. Like many aspiring designers, Osborne spent years working the undesirable odd jobs required before making it to the top. If Maxwell could give one tip to designers on the rise, it would be to truly know and understand the business side of fashion. Orborne credits part of his success to partnership with Dao-Yi Chow, saying that collaboration in creative thought is necessary in any industry.
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Like Maxwell Osborne, Jason Geter was raised in New York and grew up in the Bronx and Brooklyn area. Geter came from a traditional family that believed in attending a four year college and then going straight into corporate America. While he did not know exactly what he wanted to do professionally, he decided to move into the music industry after being connected with family friends that worked on The Notorious B.I.G’s albums.. Geter signed his first artist by the name of T.I. and has continued to help clients climb to the top, including Iggy Azelea.
 To keep up to date with the Tanqueray Trunk Show, check out their video on Style & Access.
 Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 4.43.52 PMReporting via Marc Katz and Sarah Aiken for StreetStyleChi.com
Photography: Marisa McWilliams

Kicking It In The City: New Balance Brings The Heat For Spring

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A few years ago, I would walk around in a dress and sneakers and people would look at me like I was crazy. If you threw on sneakers with your outfit, no matter the brand, observers assumed you were lazy and couldn’t be bothered with proper footwear.

Take it back to Fall of 2014 and fashionistas running between fashion shows in New York were photographed in bright kicks and clean New Balance slip-ons. Suddenly, it became the “it” trend and was the new norm. While a sneaker has always been an essential part of my everyday rotation, I am happy to see people embracing how great a classic sneaker in the right colorway can be.

This spring will be no different for me. While Chicago seems to be stuck in the dog days of winter, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. New Balance makes the perfect classic shoe, with clean colorways to add an effortless pop to any outfit. Grey is my personal favorite color for Spring and it pairs nicely with everything which is great for transitioning from winter’s dark tones to spring’s bright colors and pastel hues.

Many times, I have trouble finding a colorway I want in the women’s sizing. I usually wind up taking home a men’s shoe. You can find out what size you are in men’s shoes, here.

How do you like to style your sneakers?

 

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Alex_NewBalance_3802Photos: Kohl Murdock for StreetStyleChi.com.

This post was sponsored by Finish Line and New Balance.

Foreign Skincare Takes Off In The US

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

Skincare overseas, for example Korea and Japan, is serious business. It is a daily essential that involves many, many steps and is quite exhaustive. Yet, in the US, we are still trying to figure out what the wonder is behind Korean skincare. Beauty blogger Coco Park recently discovered Korean beauty care in her Korean-American boyfriends parents bathroom, and decided to check it out for herself. She went from using only a few products a day…to 17. On her blog, she says that she saw an immense difference in just three weeks, and her red spots and pores have essentially disappeared.

When you think about it, the invasion of Korean beauty products started a while ago. More specifically, in 2011 when companies started introducing the originally based Korean BB cream. BB cream is said to be an all in one product that will take care of the skin. Soon, American companies started producing their own versions, and we have BB creams, CC creams, and so on. As it turns out, this was just the Americanized version of Korean skincare because in the US, we like to keep things simple. In reality, we should also be scrubbing, moisturizing, cleansing, and treating.

Now that the beauty obsessed in the US are starting to reap the benefits of foreign beauty traditions, other interesting new treatments are starting to pop up. Two weeks ago, I got my monthly facial. I was surprised in my sleepy state of mind when something ice cold rolled around my face…under my eyes, down my nose, on my neck…it never seemed to stop. While reading Refinery29 this morning, I discovered that it was an ice roller. Essentially, this is a fancy substitute for throwing some spoons in the freezer. The ice roller can swiftly clean up the look of tired eyes, redness, puffiness, and minor bruising. My first question is…where do I get my hands on one?

For more information on best Korean beauty products, I would check out:

A Beginner’s Guide To Korean Makeup

Soko Glam

Peach and Lily

Photo: R29

Photo: R29