Tagged: Instagram

How to Share Your Brand’s Story with Snapchat

I admit, I was late to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon. I was one of those people who thought it was just for teenagers, not for entrepreneurs or businesses. When I finally took the plunge, downloaded the app, created an account, and started posting, a friend even asked me, “Isn’t that platform for sending naked pics?” I realized that many people have some misconceptions about Snapchat or just simply don’t understand what it is or how to effectively use it. No, Snapchat isn’t just for entertainment or secretly sending scandalous photos. There are a number of ways Snapchat can be used as a valuable storytelling tool for brands.


Event Coverage

Snapchat Event Coverage

Snapchat content is all about immediacy – think idea over aesthetic. It’s perfect for event coverage. On Snapchat there are very few filters and no image-editing options. While it’s possible to upload an existing photo to Snapchat, most photos and videos are taken directly in the app. There’s no use of elaborate photo editing software or belaboring over the perfect hashtags – it’s a snap-caption-and-go mentality (pun intended). With Snapchat, you can quickly take a photo, add a line of text, post, and repeat. It allows you to easily capture all aspects of an event from start to finish without missing a beat and allows your audience to experience an event right along with you, in real time.

Behind the Scenes

Snapchat Behind the Scenes Travel

Most other platforms and social channels show your audience the finished product – a composed blog post, a fully edited photoshoot, or even a carefully staged Instagram photo. Snapchat has a different focus – the process. The more immediate and less curated nature of Snapchat goes hand in hand with showing the steps leading up to that final, polished product. By giving your audience a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of your business, from day-to-day operations to travel, you build a more intimate relationship with the followers of your brand. It allows your supporters, clients, and leads to have a glimpse into your company culture, your creative process, and how your brand works.

Cross-Promotion

Snapchat Cross Promotion

At first glance, you might think that cross-promotion is less effective on Snapchat as opposed to other social channels because you can’t actively tag or link to other users. What differentiates the experience of cross-promotion on Snapchat from other platforms is, again, the way in which the promotion is presented – candid and in real time. With Snapchat you can illustrate the use of another brand’s product or service or show participation in another brand’s initiative or event. Like giving a behind the scenes look into your business, cross-promotion is another way to use Snapchat to help your audience gain insight into your brand’s attitude and values.


With platforms like Facebook and now Instagram moving away from a chronological experience, we’re slowly but surely losing the element of storytelling on social media. As algorithms give preference to the most popular posts, there becomes an increased pressure to have highly stylized images with killer captions and targeted hashtags. By losing the real time experience, we not only lose part of the story but also part of the authenticity. While platforms like Snapchat, Periscope, and even Twitter may be less popular, they’re at least continuing to offer the more raw and personal experience that social media was originally intended to create.

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Top 5 Posts of Year 1

As part of celebrating ARTicles of Clothing Blog’s first birthday, I wanted to reflect and share the top five posts from year one.

Year one on AOC Blog was a bit of a roller coaster and a lot of learning what not to do. As much as I tried to research and plan before launching AOC, it evolved in ways I never expected and ultimately lacked some direction and focus.

There’s definitely more pressure for year two. So, I’m in the process of implementing some changes to make AOC even better. One of the most meaningful sources of information is YOU, the readers, which is why reflecting on the top five posts of year one is so important.

These posts indicate the type of content you like to read on AOC. If you missed any of these top five, be sure to check them out!


5. BLACK AND WHITE

You know those days where you go to your closet and think, I have nothing to wear? We’ve all had them. In my years of building a wardrobe I have come to realize there is one way to avoid the I-have-nothing-to-wear clothing dilemma for good. The answer is black and white. 

caitlyn_blog200-2

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4. REAL BLOGGER BEAUTY

real blogger beauty

In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes to your everyday life to produce big results. Shifting the trajectory of social media is a lofty goal, so today, I’m starting with one small step by participating in and promoting the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign. My #RealBloggerBeauty moment is illustrated above through these images of myself over the past eight years.

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3. 3 UNSUSPECTINGLY STYLISH INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS

You can find plenty of lists floating around of the most stylish Instagram accounts you need to follow now. These mainly consist of bloggers, models, editors, designers, and the like. But what about the awesome Instagrammers who are flying under the radar? Well, I think I’ve found three of them.

bethany watson

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2. MY COMPLETE BATHING SUIT GUIDE

Three years ago I decided I could no longer squeeze my tatas into size large bathing suit tops that were ultimately ill fitting elsewhere. I had to take the plunge and invest in some bathing suits that fit my body. So, I bid farewell to my days of stocking up on multiple suits every season from the glorious Target swim section and found some brands that would suit me and my body better and stand the test of time.

mexico swim

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And the #1 post of year one of AOC is…

1. A FUSION OF MUSIC AND FASHION

erica13

Erica’s debut single has a beautiful balance of light and dark, which instantly became the inspiration for her look. When you first hear the title of single, the word “haunted” elicits that feeling of darkness and possibly a place that is plagued by something or someone. As you listen to the verses, a lightness trickles in revealing a sense of nostalgia and fondness. While it is evident that the speaker is in fact haunted by a person or memory, there is clearly a warmth and deep connection, possibly even love, with the “ghost.” It is this sensation that is truly “haunting” the speaker, which ultimately illustrates the dichotomy between light and dark in the song.

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Real Blogger Beauty

I spent this past weekend in Milwaukee and attended a little blogging conference for Midwest bloggers. At the the first ever Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee I connected with fellow bloggers from Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison, and of course Milwaukee. One of the bloggers, Maya of Charmingly Styled, has launched a campaign today called #RealBloggerBeauty. Maya developed the idea for the project last winter at Moda Magazine’s University of Wisconsin Fashion Week Blogger Panel. As one of the featured bloggers on the panel, Maya was posed the question, “How would you use your influence [with your readers] to do something that supports a cause that’s important to you?” Her response was that “[she] would want to do something opposing the perfectionism that bloggers (and everyone) is striving to achieve by sharing personal and perfectly imperfect experiences.” Ultimately, what Maya is doing with the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign is starting a conversation among bloggers, women, and everyone about perfectionism and digital personas. 

This conversation is very near and dear to my heart. Our generation, Generation Y, is the first generation to be faced with the challenge of creating a digital persona. Now, grappling with typical challenges like bullying and body image are no longer limited to our private journals. They are part of a public forum on the Internet and in social media. I feel both blessed and cursed to be a part of this generation. My job as a freelancer would look very different if the Internet and social media did not exist. ARTicles of Clothing Blog would not exist. In a way we are blessed with a medium that allows us to expose and discuss important topics instantly with anyone around the world. It’s really amazing when you actually think about the power of the Internet. But with great power comes great responsibility. As the first generation to embrace these digital platforms, we have been given the great responsibility to carve and shape them.

“No one’s life is always full of ‘Instagram-worthy’ moments, and it’s time to embrace the messes, insecurities, and struggles of life together.” – Maya, Charmingly Styled

What if the Internet and social media were places to truly showcase our authentic selves and connect with people? I believe this was the original intention behind the Internet and social media – to connect people in different cities, states, and countries who may never have had the opportunity to connect before. It’s unfortunate that a medium meant to connect has in some ways done the opposite and isolated us from being true to ourselves and making genuine connections. Do we have the power to change the trajectory of social media? My answer is yes.

real blogger beauty

In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes to your everyday life to produce big results. Shifting the trajectory of social media is a lofty goal, so today, I’m starting with one small step by participating in and promoting the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign. My #RealBloggerBeauty moment is illustrated above through these images of myself over the past eight years.

The first two images depict me in the summer right after my high school graduation and in the fall of my freshman year of college. I gained about 20lbs my senior year of high school, the same year Facebook was launched worldwide. I may or may not have “looked good” at this time, but I certainly didn’t feel good. Yet, I slapped on a fake smile, and tried to create a persona that looked good and felt good on social media. The third image is me at my 21st birthday. I had devoted the summer before my 21st birthday to truly feeling good and looking good. I ended a toxic relationship, lost some weight, and chopped off my hair. I think this third image and the three that follow illustrate me genuinely feeling good and looking good. You probably recognize the final image from a photo shoot I did for ARTicles of Clothing Blog. For a long time I have defined myself as a writer. This is the primary reason starting a blog appealed to me. I’ve never viewed myself as a model or the face of a brand. The simple fact that I executed this photo shoot and showcased the images on a public platform for all the internet to see demonstrates how far I’ve come with my own digital persona over the past eight years.

No matter who you are – a blogger, a woman, everyone – I urge you to join in on the #RealBloggerBeauty campaign and promote the creation of genuine digital personas and connections. 

3 Unsuspectingly Stylish Instagram Accounts

Instagram is arguably one of the fastest growing social media platforms. On this week’s episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, I learned that Instagram actually began as a project similar to Foursquare that focused on checking in and location based social networking, then it pivoted and revised its focus to mobile photography. Instagram has been a particularly significant platform for the fashion community. From LIKEtoKNOW:IT, a service that allows you to LIKE photos on Instagram and receive ready to shop product links directly to your inbox, to Vogue’s impromptu Instagram fashion shoot aka promotion for the Met Gala and the Anna Wintour Costume Center’s Charles James: Beyond Fashion exhibit, the fashion community has found ways to fully utilize Instagram’s features. The platform is gaining such popularity in the fashion industry, the Council of Fashion Designer’s of America (CFDA) named their first ever Fashion Instagrammer of the Year to be the official CFDA Instagram correspondent for the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards (which were last night, btw!). You can find plenty of lists floating around of the most stylish Instagram accounts you need to follow now. These mainly consist of bloggers, models, editors, designers, and the like. But what about the awesome Instagrammers who are flying under the radar? Well, I think I’ve found three of them. Here are 3 unsuspectingly stylish Instagram accounts you should check out!


@KIERNANSHIPKA

kiernan shipka

Maybe I’m weird and creepy for being obsessed with a 14-year-old’s Instagram. Maybe I’m just partial to anything and everything relating to AMC’s Mad Men. But really, is it just me or does this girl have amazing style? Chanel + Chuck Taylor + Miu Miu… need I say more?


@BEBEWATSON

bethany watson

You may know Bethany Watson by her voice as one of the leading radio personalities of the nationally syndicated Elvis Duran Morning Show. Bethany is a born and raised Wisconsin gal (shout out to all my Mad Town ladies) living in NYC. Of all my unsuspectingly stylish Instagrammers, Bethany rocks the most attainable, everygirl looks – most recently she prided herself in finding the amazing Alice + Olivia pumps (pictured above) at a local consignment store for $60!


@BUSYPHILIPPS

busy phillips

Busy Philipps is my all time favorite person to follow on Instagram. In addition to showcasing her amazing fashion sense, she posts tons of awesome pictures of her life in LA and some of the best throwback photos. This major celeb’s Instagram is down to earth, totally relatable, and seriously stylish.


Know of an awesome Instagrammer that’s flying under the radar? Share the unsuspectingly stylish Instagram account you’re obsessed with following in the comments below!

Midweek Motivation

Sometimes the middle of the week just hits us like a hefty credit card bill. We’re overwhelmed, overextended, and overworked. There’s accomplishment in knowing the week is halfway over, yet we’ve still got so much to do in the next two days and the weekend feels so far away. If you’re like me, your reaction is denial: avoid, zone out, distract, escape. I typically turn to social media looking for some mindless reading, creative inspiration, or just some good old midweek motivation. My particular sluggishness during this midweek slump triggered me to create an inspiration board for all of you out there who may have the same case of the Wednesday-blahs. So before you head to bed, do one last thing for yourself on this Wellness Wednesday and enjoy some midweek motivation! Thursday is almost here, Friday is right around the corner, and the weekend is just about in our reach. We can do it!

collage april 2014

All images are courtesy of Instagram. Follow along with me at @AOCBlogGirl