5 Ways to Perfect Your Business’s Social Strategy

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Implementing a social media strategy is valuable for businesses of any size or industry and has a direct impact on sales and your bottom line. According to Sprout Social’s Index, consumers are 57.5% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media.

It’s also not all about marketing. It’s also key to sales and service! Your brand should be using social as a universal and accessible customer service support tool. Missed experiences can spread like viral wildfire, so it’s important to control the conversation by being present and active on your platforms, especially since social users are 71% more likely to buy from a brand after a positive social experience (Sprout Social Index)!

We’re breaking down Something Social’s top five must-do’s for your small business social strategy below.

Set Goals for your Social Media Strategy

Many brands struggle with measuring their ‘Return on Investment’ for social, unsure if their efforts are creating any change for their business. This isn’t necessarily because their efforts are fruitless. This usually stems from a lack of goals and as a result, an inability to effectively analyze and incorporate social metrics into their strategy.

As you set out on your social media journey, be sure to set goals to measure your success. To do this, start by considering your business objectives and your social strategy’s place within those goals. Here’s a quick workshop:

What is the most important for your brand to focus on? (Consider Brand awareness, community engagement, web traffic, generating leads/sales, customer base brand advocacy, customer support, competitor analysis.)

Identify your audience. A ton of data is available on your audiences. Analyze this information to really pin down what is valuable to your audience to inform your content strategy.

Need help working on developing and achieving your brand’s goals? Shoot us an email to chat about your goals and how we can construct your content and social strategy to best achieve your marketing and sales goals.

Track and analyze performance

Now that you’ve set goals, it is key to measure your strategy’s ability to accomplish them. It is important to track all of your analytic data, but specific measurements are going to be the most significant in measuring your growth. We’ve rounded up a few of the most common marketing goals and the metrics that are most relevant to achieving and measuring them.

Brand Awareness – Reach, Followers, Likes, Visits, Shares, Mentions

Community Engagement – Followers, Engagement Rate, Shares, Impressions, Content Type

Web Traffic – Traffic Sources, Click Thru Rate, Website Interactions

Generating Leads/Sales – Click Thru Rate, Conversion Rate, Cost Per Click, Cost Per Lead

Brand Advocacy – Followers, Shares, Mentions, Comments, User Generated Content

For more on measuring analytics, read our post on it here.

Engage, engage, engage!

Build relationships through engagement. Respond to customer questions on social as effectively as you would in person.

Search social for new customer opportunities. Use keywords and similar brands and businesses to single out customer bases that will respond to your product, then engage with those potential customers through the language of social: likes/comments/follows – oh my!

Plan a social calendar to keep your audience engaged. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out your content strategy. Your audience is active and engaged and you should be as well. Although posting isn’t the only element of your strategy, it is the most critical. Be sure to experiment with posting days, times, and hashtags to find what works best for your audience and goals.

Quick tip: We love giveaways for boosting engagement, but we see so many contests gone wrong. Check out our tips for goal-oriented giveaways.

Create quality content.

Your content should be consistent and high quality across the board, but don’t forget to experiment and listen to your audience responses. This will inform your content down the line. Try out our tips for the prettiest flatlays. Make sure to pay attention to image and video size ratios as every platform has its own optimal sizes. Don’t forget video content! Don’t let the barrier for entry get you down. It is easier than ever to create high-quality content.

Combine organic strategy with paid results.

We just covered Facebook Ads in our most recent Instagram Story Q+A, but there is so much to cover on this topic. In addition to an effective, organic social strategy, paid media makes a huge impact regardless of your business goal. The most engaging paid content is entertaining, offers a discount, and is entertaining. And since you’ve already broken down your audience demographics, you already have an idea of how to incorporate these into your ads.

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

How did these tips work out for you? We wanna know! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Intro to Search Engine Optimization

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Intro to Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is helpful for driving traffic to your website from Google, increasing your opportunity for clicks and sales. Think of Search Engine Optimization like hashtagging your pics on Instagram. It’s about getting new, relevant visitors to your content. But unlike hashtagging, you’re not done just because you’ve posted a dozen or so tags. There will always be something to improve or optimize. We’re breaking down where to start and what you can skip in this SEO 101 Guide.

Vocab You’ll Need To Know

Search Engine Optimizationthe process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

Keyworda particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page

Long-tail Keyworda keyword phrase that contains at least three words (though some say two or more is considered long-tail).

Short-tail Keywordsearch phrases with only one or two words.

Google Indexsimilar to an index in a library, the Google index lists all of the web pages that Google knows about.

SpiderGoogle’s crawling bot that is sent out to crawl billions of websites daily

Focus on 5 keywords that match the intent of your reader.

To best understand the concept of keywords, think about what a potential reader would Google to get to your article. If you’re reading this article, for example, you might have Googled “SEO” or “Intro to Search Engine Optimization.” The first is a short-tail keyword and the second is longtail.

Attracting a higher volume of website visitors to your website is the main benefit of targeting short-tail keywords in your SEO strategy. These broader keywords are also much more competitive. While these keywords have the potential to bring more visitors to your site, they may not be the qualified prospects you want. Short-tail keywords, because they are so broad, will attract some visitors that are not interested in your specific product or service, leading to higher bounce rates (when a visitor leaves, or “bounces” off your page without clicking or reading).

Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. In other words, they’re more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms. Because of that, they provide both short-term and long-term benefits.

Since they’re very specific, they allow you to rank highly in search results for popular topics relatively quickly while still gaining ground on head terms. Plus, they tend to attract highly qualified traffic that’s more likely to convert to leads and customers.

These are your long-tail keywords. In a later article, we’ll touch on tools you can use to figure out what the most strategic keywords are, but for the sake of keeping it simple, these will do.

Include these long-tail keywords in specific parts of your post.

Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to use them! Here’s where you should put them:

Title Tag

This is pretty self-explanatory, but put your keywords in your title. Obviously you want your title to still flow so get smart and conjoin your keywords if you can. If your keywords are “SEO for Bloggers” and “Intro to Search Engine Optimization,” for example, your optimized blog title might be “Intro to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Bloggers.”

Headers & Body

Mention your keywords throughout your blog when appropriate. For the sake of your loyal readers, please do not go overboard for the sake of points with Google. Google will actually penalize your page for overusing keywords, so make a point to use them, but keep your content relevant and valuable to your audience.

Meta Description

The meta description is the little quip underneath the title tag on a return of Google searches. It needs to engage the potential reader to read your post, but it should also include your keywords so your reader (and Google) are clear on what your content is all about.

Make sure your blog is mobile friendly

This one is a no-brainer, but so often bloggers write wonderfully copywritten blog full of links and images and effort but they forget to make sure it looks good on their phone. This is a major bummer because according to Statista, 52.4% of web traffic comes from mobile! Don’t lose readers just because you forgot one easy and critical step. Many sites auto-optimize your site for mobile, make sure you’re either using one of them or doing your diligence because Google displays mobile-friendly results first!

Optimize the meta description

The length of your meta-description is 300 characters and you should try to use these characters as efficiently as you would in a long-winded tweet. Make it all count. As mentioned before, be sure to include your long-tail keywords in this section.

Optimize your images’ alt text.

Your blogs shouldn’t only contain text and incorporating photos isn’t the end of it. You have to optimize your images that help explain and illustrate your content. Search engines can’t “see” images the same way a reader can, so an image’s alt text helps those images rank in Google Images results.

Alt text also makes for a better user experience, as it’ll display inside the image container when the image can’t be found and improve accessibility for those with poor vision. Adding keywords to your images might seem minor, and it isn’t going to be as impactful as other things on this list, but it is worth the extra minute it takes to change the name from “IMG6229” to something accurate and descriptive like “skincare-flatlay.”

Don’t overuse your topic tags.

Topic tags will help organize your blog content, but Google will penalize you if you overuse them because Google interprets this as spam instead of what is most likely just your eagerness to get web traffic!

When you create a topic tag, you also create a new site page where the content from those topic tags will appear. If you use too many similar tags, it shows search engines that you’re displaying the content multiple times throughout your site. Create 15-25 topic tags that you think are important to your blog but are unique. For our blog for example, “SEO,” “blogging,” and “social media” are great, but “blog,” “blogging,” and “blogger” would be too similar to use all on the same post.

Spiders

Google sends out what’s affectionately known as a ‘spider’ to ‘crawl’ the web, going from link to link creating a web, and cataloging, or ‘indexing’ what it sees. If you wanted to mimic the actions of the Google spider, start at a big site, like Wikipedia, and click every link you see. Then go to those pages, and click every link and so on. Once you’ve clicked a few hundred billion pages, you’ll be somewhere close.

Google’s spider can only crawl linked pages by the way – it can only access pages that you could access with a mouse. It can’t enter in login details or passwords, and it can’t enter terms in your search bar. As a general rule, if your page isn’t accessible by a clickable link, Google probably won’t see it.

A really simple thing you can do to make sure your site is crawled more frequently is to add more content. Essentially, each time Google crawls your site, it monitors if there has been any changes. If there has, it makes a note, and remembers to come back a little sooner next time.

Link internally when possible.

Link building is a really easy way of letting Google know that page exists. When Google crawls a site that’s linking to you, it will then ‘click’ the link and discover your page. The more links you have the more authoritative your site becomes in Google’s eyes. This makes it really, really important to get other (hopefully high-ranking sites) to link to your website. Try guest-posting for larger publications or on friends’ blogs and including a link to draw traffic to your site.

This includes internal links. Make sure all your best content is easy to navigate to. Put links to those pages on all the most prominent pages of your site and Google will be able to find them easily and quickly. Linking internally also demonstrates value to your readers.

You want to present yourself and your brand as a resource on your topic and industry to strengthen brand loyalty and increase the chance that your new readers will become regular visitors. This will ultimately boost your website traffic and increase your potential for sales.

Quick Tip: An easy way to provide value to your audience and incorporate links is by adding a “Relevant Reads” section to the end of every blog. (Check out ours at the bottom.)

Want to dig deeper into the world of SEO? Next month we’ll be sharing our top Search Engine Optimization tools and resources. To get ahead, use Yoast’s SEO Training Academy for access to free tutorials and resources to strengthen your SEO game.

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Know about an SEO tip or tool we absolutely cannot miss out on? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Something Significant: PowHERful Foundation x Love Quotes NYC

At Something Social, we believe what goes around comes around. We also believe in the golden rule (and something that’s arguably more important than the previous belief), treat others the way you want to be treated. So that’s why we started #SomethingSignificant. Every month, we’re going to share with you a new way to give back. Whether it’s volunteering at a local food drive, or spreading awareness about an issue close to your heart, your Something Social team is here to encourage you to do #SomethingSignificant.

—–

Many of Something Social’s clients are involved in social impact projects that connect to the heart and mission of their company. Cozy East Coaster, Love Quotes NYC,  is no exception. In addition to donating 10% of net profits to International Children’s Charities, Love Quotes gives buyers the option to donate $20 from each scarf to the incredibly impactful charity, PowHERful Foundation.

Women from high-income backgrounds are five times as likely to have a college degree than women from low-income backgrounds. College is expensive, but this issue goes far beyond the price tag. Girls from low-income backgrounds are less likely to receive the skills, tools, and opportunities needed to obtain a higher education degree, and go on to become a successful individual in society. Not obtaining a degree places countless opportunities out of reach.

Images courtesy of PowHERful Foundation

PowHERful Foundation wants to establish education as the “ultimate equalizer,” working to give their girls the tools, advice, and support they need to get into school, get ahead, and get on to the path to a happy personal  life and fulfilling career. Hardworking young women deserve access to the resources necessary to succeed, regardless of their background, and this is your opportunity to get involved.

Most of the girls they work with are the first in their families to pursue higher education. With over four thousand girls served, PowHERful aims to be the people in their lives who can get them to and through college, there for every challenge and accomplishment, facilitating useful connections and experiences to help them along a trajectory of achievement.

Fallen in love and ready to get involved?

Images courtesy of Something Social

Love Quotes will donate $20 from every item purchased with a total goal of donating $20,000 to provide one woman with a year’s tuition when you use promo code: ScarvesToScholarships at checkout. 

Want to get involved but have already stocked up on scarves this season?

Sign up for PowHERful’s newsletter here to stay up-to date on this moving foundation.

PowHERful matches each scholar with a mentor in their desired field, opening up career opportunities for their girls. If you are interested in being a PowHERful mentor or volunteer, sign up here.

Donate directly to the foundation here.

Are you looking for career advice and help with college?

If you are a young woman living in the Atlanta area and are looking for an opportunity to receive useful school, work, and life skills, then you do not want to miss PowHERful’s FREE conference! Join them on December 15th and take the first step on your PowHERful journey!

The conference is a free, daylong empowerment summit for young women aged 14 to 23 years old. Get the chance to explore different career options, receive useful guidance and advice, and interact with successful professionals and get information in areas like STEM, blueprint for success, interning, health, and more!

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Ready to get involved? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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5 Steps to The Perfect Flatlay

1. Clear Up Your Intentions

Narrative/Call to Action

Start your process by focusing on your intention. What is the purpose of this flatlay? Are you featuring a specific product? Do you need to leave space for text or a graphic? What Call To Action are you associating with it? What do you want your audience to do/feel when they see it? These will guide the creative decisions you’ll be making.

2. Gather Your Props

Color Theory

Your predominant color will impact the mood of the viewer, so pick a palette that evokes your intended message. For more on the psychological element of color palettes, read Creative Bloq’s article on color and emotion. Your color palette may already be built into your branding or social aesthetic. The bottom line is your aesthetic choices should remain consistent with the content you’re already sharing on social. In these product photos for our client, Love Quotes NYC, we payed attention to picking props with colors that were complementary to the colors in their scarves.

The Props

Although props are key, it is important to make sure these objects complement the focus of your image and do not take attention away from them. If your props are too dominant, your audience can get your message confused. Don’t be afraid to use products from complementary brands. It’s a great opportunity to tag! 😉If you do decide to include other products, be sure to style them so your product is front and center, like in this flatlay we did for our client, Bling Wipes.

Prop ideas: plants, magazines, faux flowers, jewelry, tile, accessories.

3. Assemble Your Image

Background

Keep your background simple. Marble, colored paper, and wood are our favorites! We’re especially obsessed with a combo of white poster board and textured pretty paper from Paper Source. We especially love these: Natural Teal Handmade paper, Gold Brushstrokes on Peacock paper, and Silver Stars paper. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that dominant prints will take away from your subject, so stick to simple geometric patterns and abstract prints.

Texture

Texture keeps the eye moving, which keeps audience attention on absorbing your content. You can break up your images with either pieces of texture or using a textured item as the background. We love this image that we shot for our client, Kikori. We used rice as a beautiful contrast to a dark background, to provide some interesting texture, and to pay homage to the brand identity of being a Japanese Rice Whiskey.

In this image from our shoot with Sara Happ, we took texture to the next level. We experimented with the texture from the tile, marble counter, and took advantage of the natural textures of the products themselves!

Depth

Like texture, layers add dimensionality that holds the viewer’s attention. Consider building depth by layering your props to make your scene feel more authentic. See how this pretty display at Facile doubles as a source of texture and depth, leading the eye to the featured product?

Balance

Start with your object of focus and build your scene around it, leaving space between each object. Balance large items with smaller items and colorful pieces with monochrome ones. Be sure to experiment with layouts. Try a shot that utilizes negative space and one that fills the frame. Try laying out your objects in neat lines or looser, authentic layouts.

Quick tip: Round objects can drive you crazy rolling around on your surfaces, so keep props in place with mounting putty (you can buy it at an office supply store or from Amazon here). If you’re in a pinch, rolled up teeny pieces of clear tape can help keep you sane!

4. Compose Your Shot

Camera

A DSLR is nice, but newer iPhones have incredible industry-grade lenses, so don’t let your lack of a big professional camera stop you! Grab a chair or stool to make it easier to shoot from above and use your iPhone camera’s square crop to check that your layout will look great when cropped in Instagram.

Lights

Soft overhead lighting is best for flatlays, so we recommend using natural light! It’s super bright, free, and already set up for you! Shoot near a big window or go outside. You might notice that the sun’s rays can be too bright at high noon when the sunlight is the most direct and overhead. The best time for outdoor lighting is in the morning and late afternoon or on overcast days, when the light is the most even and you’ll have less harsh shadows. Once you start to get in the hang of it all, you can start to play with light artistically!

Angles

Though flatlays are traditionally flat and shot from above, consider shaking it up to see what works best for your project (and to generate more content!) Consider shooting your project straight on and at a 45 degree angle (halfway between straight on and overhead) as well! Make sure you rearrange your props according to your various frames!

5. Editing

Our images rarely come out of the camera looking the way we’re going to post them, even when there are no humans in the image. Why? Because editing is such a powerful tool to giving you images life! We know it’s an extra step, but this little extra effort goes such a long way! Whether its a simple boost of saturation, brightening the image, or doing a full-on overhaul in Photoshop, we encourage it!

How to edit your photos will always depend on your account’s aesthetic, and as you’ve heard us say many, many times before, you have to remain consistent. For more on photo editing, check out our article on our favorite Editing Apps here. Or DM @calli about an upcoming photo editing workshops in West Hollywood.

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

We wanna see your flatlays! Send us your images by tweeting us  @somethingsocial or tagging us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Somewhere Social: October

If you’re anything like us, you spend the entire year planning your costume but forget about making actual plans until Halloweekend. In an attempt at self-improvement, we’re looking ahead and keeping you in the loop on every ghoulish gala, spooky screening, and haunted Halloween moment worth checking out this month. But first, there’s a new rooftop in town, and she’s an instant favorite, coming from our friends at The h. wood Group.

Harriet’s Rooftop at The Jeremy Hotel (@harrietsrooftop)

You know we’re a sucker for a rooftop, and Harriet’s delivers with full 1920’s ivy league members-only moments. Glowy string lights, sporty striped lounge seating, draped vines, and chic umbrellas serve up the vintage vibes. Slip inside to the bar for sultry, dark wood and hints of neon shining from Dave’s Corner, a tip of the fedora to Chapelle’s h. wood Group ties. Food includes preppy faves such as the shrimp cocktail, Baked Mussels, and Waldorf Salad, but the mixed drinks steal the show. Sip on the h. wood Group classic, The Jojo, and enjoy the view.

Spooky Cinema Guide:

You can probably tell by our rooftop addiction that we’re fans of the plein aire cinema trend. What better time to capitalize on the under-the-stars romance than the spookiest season? Below you’ll find the ultimate guide to the best Halloween cinematic screamings.

Malibu Movie Under The Stars (Malibu Wines): Hocus Pocus (10/5)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Beetlejuice (10/7)

Montalban Rooftop: Cabin In The Woods (10/9)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: The Quiet Place (10/9)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Get Out (10/9)

Montalban Rooftop: The Shining (10/11)

Montalban Rooftop: Friday The 13th (10/11)

Cinespia: Young Frankenstein (10/13)

Montalban Rooftop: Mandy (10/13)

Montalban Rooftop: Hellraiser I & II Double Feature w/ Q&A (10/14)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Scary Movie (10/15)

Montalban Rooftop: The Bride of Frankenstein (10/16)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Interview With The Vampire (10/17)

Montalban Rooftop: The Purge (10/18)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Blair Witch Project (10/18)

Malibu Movie Under The Stars (Malibu Wine): Nightmare Before Christmas (10/19)

Montalban Rooftop: Pan’s Labyrinth (10/20)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Edward Scissorhands (10/22)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: I Know What You Did Last Summer (10/23)

Montalban Rooftop: Let The Right One In (10/23)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Jaws (10/24)

Montalban Rooftop: Don’t Breathe (10/23)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Ghostbusters (10/25)

Montalban Rooftop: Hush (10/25)

Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA: The Silence of The Lambs (10/26)

Montalban Rooftop: Satanic Panic Film Series: The House of The Devil (10/26)

Rooftop Cinema Club Hollywood: The Witches (10/26)

The Nightmare Before Christmas & Danny Elfman at The Hollywood Bowl (10/26)

Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA: Poltergeist (10/27)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Scream (10/28)

Rooftop Cinema Club Hollywood: The Sixth Sense (10/28)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Nightmare On Elm Street (10/25)

Rooftop Cinema Club Hollywood: Evil Dead II 4K Restoration (10/30)

Montalban Rooftop: Witches of Eastwick (10/30)

Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA: Alien (10/30)

Melrose Rooftop Theatre: Hocus Pocus (10/31)

Willy Wonka + Costume Ball at Cinespia (10/31)

Rooftop Cinema Club Hollywood: Halloween (10/31)

Rooftop Cinema Club DTLA: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (10/31)

Events:

We rounded up the cream of the scream-inducing crop. Below are our office’s favorite haunted halls, eerie events, and spooky opportunities to craft in costume.

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbour (9/27- 11/2)

200+ monster crypt aboard The Queen Mary

LA Haunted Hayride (10/5 – 10/31)

10th Annual Hayride through Griffith Park’s Old Zoo

24th Annual Dia De Los Muertos in Pasadena (10/13)

Celebrate the source of season with sugar skulls, wine tasting, and traditional dance.

David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption at The Ace Hotel  (10/13 + 10/14)

Not quite Halloween, but just as eerie.

Boo At the LA Zoo (10/20, 10/21, 10/27,10/28)

Family friendly animal feedings and spooky activities.

John Carpenter Playing Halloween at The Hollywood Palladium  (10/31)

The legend orchestrates his ghoulish compositions in Hollywood.

Parties:

A fete more your scene? Check out these halloween parties, mask not included.

Hollywoodstock at Skybar at Mondrian  Friday, October 26th

Groovy Garb Preferred

The Fanged Fete at The Ace Hotel Saturday, October 27th

Vampiric Attire Requested

Gatsby’s Masquerade at The W Hotel in Hollywood  Saturday, October 27th

1920’s Flapper and Dapper Suggested

King Tut’s Tomb at Egyptian Theatre  Saturday, October 27th

Egyptian Costumes Recommended

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

What are your weekend plans? We wanna know! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Alice Gray’s Digital Double Life

Our Art Director extraordinaire, Allison Gehrke (@imalicegray), lives a double life. Graphic designer by day and singer songwriter by night, our girl is a certified hustler. She whips up original branding in a snap, and her newest single, Lay Down, was just featured on Spotify’s Indie Pop Chillout and New Music Friday playlists. We’re picking her brain to see what keeps this creative chanteuse at the top of her game.

You went to school for design, tell us a bit about your experience there and what led you to graphic design specifically.

I got into the Roski School of Fine Art with a portfolio of paintings and drawings, but after taking the required Digital Tools for Design class, I was hooked on the efficiency and possibilities of design. I went on to take every design class they offered and found a deeper connection to brand identity and typography than I did to drawing still lifes and nudes.

When did you first start working in social and in what capacity?

My first job out of college was UI/UX design for a B2B market research app. It was a great experience learning the psychology of intuitive design, but it wasn’t expressive or exciting, so when I saw that Calli was looking for a graphic designer I jumped on the opportunity, knowing there’d be a wide range of fun projects to work on.

How do you tailor your graphics for social as opposed to physical designs like merchandising?

There’s many different factors going into social vs. merch. Social is more fleeting, you can get away with a lot more and the risk is low. For merch, you have to think about what someone would be willing and excited to wear and represent. No one wants to walk around with an ad on their t-shirt, but we want the artwork to be enticing and recognizable in some way so that you’re still gaining recognition for your brand.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a graphic designer for social?

There’s two challenges I face regularly. One is the quick turn-around required for designs which doesn’t always allow me to create high quality content. The second is communicating with clients that aren’t sure what they want and go back and forth on what they’re asking for.

What do you love the most about it?

I love the creative process of taking an existing brand and translating it to social assets. My favorite feature is the instagram story, because you can create freebies, interactive designs, linked ads, etc and really engage your audience.

Any accounts that you adore for design inspo?

@amber_asay

@createcultivate

When did your music come along or has it always been a part of you?

It’s always been a part of me, but I didn’t pursue it openly until my final year at USC. I had a lot of elective space and my impending graduation made me consider my future and all the avenues I hadn’t explored yet. I took a songwriting class where I received very encouraging feedback and experienced an artistic high that I’d never felt before. From that point on, the stars continued to align and I’ve found myself here now with three singles out, an incredible team and an EP in the works. It’s the most fulfilling and exciting adventure I’ve ever been on.

What motivated you to really grow as an artist publicly?

I’m somewhat reserved and don’t love attention so it hasn’t been an easy process. I went to a singing teacher who encouraged me to put myself out there. I started simply by making an instagram and posting videos of me singing various covers. The first one I made gave me so much anxiety, I threw my phone right after I hit “post”; heart racing, hands sweating. Gradually, I started to grow an audience and I became immune to that fear.  I continue to step out of my comfort zone little by little and break down my fears along the way.

How do you use social media to project yourself as an artist?

Social media has been my music careers’ best friend. I get to showcase my work, my brand, my voice, advertise shows and merch, communicate with other artists and I’ve gotten many opportunities through it.

Do you think any of your graphic design background impacts the image you portray as Alice Gray digitally?

Absolutely. I want the visuals to communicate the music and vice versa. I want to create a world for my audience to experience and that is essentially what “branding” is.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist in the digital age?

The biggest challenge is the over-saturation and competition. I can get caught up comparing myself to others and second guessing my decisions. While I’m finishing up my EP, I’ve been avoiding listening to new music because it can be distracting. I don’t want to chase trends, I want to find my own path so sometimes I put on my blinders to do so.

What is your favorite part of being a rising star?

The mystery, the possibilities and growing together with my team.

How do you stay so creative without burning out?

I set clear times for creativity in my schedule and when I’m not writing/recording/rehearsing/designing/etc, then I happily turn off my brain and just experience life. I try to take the pressure off.

Any tips for those with a number of creative interests, unsure of where to start?

Don’t paralyze yourself with the big picture. Start small (like posting a cover video) and things will come.

Any big news on the horizon for Alice Gray? When are we getting an album?

As mentioned above, I’m working on an EP that I’m very excited about and I have a show on Nov. 6th at Madame Siam. Come through!

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Already fan girling Alice? Us too. Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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