Book Club with Something Social

While we may live a lot of our lives in front of a screen, we’re equal opportunity eye-treaters and believe our eyes deserve a little time away from harsh lights and Instagram filters. At SSLA, we’re a team full of creatives. Our creativity stems beyond just curating the perfect online presence; we’re actors, singers, musicians, and film graduates, just to name a few of our creative outlets. We rounded up some of our favorite books (and put a play in there, don’t mind us), so you can give your eyes a break, too. Check out the SSLA Book Club below.

Book Club Choice 1: The Girls by Emma Cline

“Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.”

Book Club Choice 2: Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.”

Book Club Choice 3: Just Kids by Patti Smith

“In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work–from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.”

Book Club Choice 4: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed. With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.”

Book Club Choice 5: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

“The Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics Circle Award winning play—reissued with an introduction by Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), and Williams’ essay “The World I Live In.” It is a very short list of 20th-century American plays that continue to have the same power and impact as when they first appeared—57 years after its Broadway premiere, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire is one of those plays. The story famously recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her sexy and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Streetcar launched the careers of Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, and solidified the position of Tennessee Williams as one of the most important young playwrights of his generation, as well as that of Elia Kazan as the greatest American stage director of the ’40s and ’50s.”

Compiled by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What are you reading this summer? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.


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Los Angeles Summer Guide

Summer on the East Coast screams short Fridays, not-long-enough Saturdays and Sundays, and probably includes some uncomfortable subway rides or bumper to bumper traffic. However, summer in Los Angeles brings in a different tone. How do you differentiate summer when everyday feels like summer? Or at least summer weather. As Los Angeles experts (self-proclaimed, of course), we’re letting you know what pools we’ll be laying by, what rooftops we’ll be watching movies on, and what restaurants we’ll be eating at this summer.

Marissa Stahl, VP of Operations

Santa Monica Pier Concerts. My absolute favorite thing to do in LA during the summer. Every Thursday, there are different performers at the Santa Monica pier. Everyone brings wine, cheese and blankets and camps out on the beach, with the music in the distance. It’s a great way to spend time with friends outside and be a part of a larger event in the city. Don’t miss out on it this summer.

Hollywood Bowl. An LA classic. You can’t go wrong with seeing any performance at the Hollywood Bowl in the Summer; I’ve seen everyone from Barry Manilow and Dolly Parton to John Mayer and The XX. It’s the perfect summer night that you can only find in Los Angeles. Pro-tip: park at the church down the hill on Franklin for $10 and avoid the stacked parking at the Bowl.

Rosenthal Wines. All of the fun of Malibu wines, without the drive through the mountains. Rosenthal is a great place to spend a Saturday with friends or stop by on your way up the coast.

Sunsets at El Matador Beach. I pretty much find any reason to go to Malibu and El Matador is one of my favorite spots. It’s on the northern end of Malibu, but the rocks and coves provide an amazing backdrop for the sunset. Perfect for an afternoon picnic or a magic hour stroll on the beach, it’s definitely worth the drive.

Follow Marissa at @marissacstahl.

Erin Dykstra, Account Director

Cinespia + Rooftop Cinema Club. Whether it’s a byo-picnic at Hollywood Forever Cemetery or a swanky rooftop with comfy chairs, outdoor movies are easily one of my favorite parts about summers in LA! They don’t start until the sun sets (around 8ish) so it’s nice to not have to rush to get there if you decide go to on a work night!

Palm Springs. Technically not LA but it’s nice to escape and hang poolside for a weekend!

Melrose Trading Post. This one is technically year-round but it feels so much more inspiring over the summer. I’ve been the past 3 weekends in a row and always manage to find something great whether it’s a new rug, a vintage jacket, or an outfit idea I saw on someone else who was shopping. I like to grab a coffee and go earlier in the day when it’s less crowded, then grab a coconut once it heats up!

Follow Erin at @eedykstra.

Allison Gehrke, Art Director

Glassell Park Pool. If you don’t have a pool, have no fear! There is a community pool in Glassell Park with a small entry fee – worth it to beat the heat.

Malibu Rock Pools. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been here, but I’m dying to check out these little rock pools nestled in the Malibu mountains. I HAVE hiked the surrounding trails that lead to a beautiful lake community. And it is quite a sight.

Griffith Park. This is so much more than a hiking trail. Check out the observatory midway, keep going to reach the Hollywood sign and awesome LA views, or skip the hike all together and get lunch at Trails Cafe.

OTM. I’m a stay-at-home and cook-my-own-meal kinda gal, so this app is my fun excuse to get out of the house and try new restaurants and cafes. You pay a small monthly fee and receive a free meal a day from a different food spot around LA. The places and meals change every Sunday, so it’s always fun to see what new meals we have in store each week!

Follow Allison at @imalicegray.

Phoebe Schramm, Account Director

Shangri-la Hotel Roof/Penthouse at the Huntley. Another great spot to enjoy rose by the ocean and catch a sunset. Cool off on the rooftop of the Shangri-la hotel and enjoy the views above the city. Make sure to get there before sunset because the rooftop fills up fast!

Laguna Beach. I like to head south for a little R&R almost every weekend. If you’re looking for gorgeous beaches, hiking, a relaxed beach town community and endless caves / rock pools to explore, look no further. This place is magical!

Follow Phoebe at @phoebenicolee.


Compiled by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Where are you headed this summer? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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10 Key Takeaways from Social Media Week: Los Angeles

Last week, I attended Social Media Week: Los Angeles in Santa Monica. SMW is a worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world. With the amalgamation of creative minds from top companies all over the world, Social Media Week is the perfect place to be inspired, discover new technologies and change our own methods of digital strategy.

After attending Social Media Week, I’ve rounded up my 10 key takeaways that will help you improve your brand or company’s social practices.

1. Creative blocks will happen. Know what to do to get yourself out of them:

Brit & Co.’s Chief Creative Officer, Anjelika Temple discussed how to get out of a creative funk:

Sleep on it.

Talk it out with someone who isn’t in your industry.

Go for a walk.

Work on something else & come back to it.

2. Focus on making an impact on culture rather than “going viral”:

Marcus Collins from the Doner Agency gave a recipe for creating cultural contagion (content that will have an impact on & change society rather than just being a video that gets a lot of views). When you focus on having an impact on the way that people live or behave in their daily lives, instead of just creating something popular, you’re giving your brand an influence that will last beyond 200,000 views on a FB video. 

3. As technology shifts, companies need to shift their strategies.

Justin Rezvani from Amplify made a bold statement that “In 5 years, 90% of people will be making purchases through a chatbot rather than regular e-commerce.” With an ever-changing digital landscape, companies must stay on top of new trends, be flexible in their methods and take initiative to adapt new technologies or else they’ll be playing catch up.

4. “There is no better time in the history of the world to be a storyteller.”

Brett Patrick from Propagate emphasized how more emerging platforms bring an amazing opportunity for creatives & storytellers. With more outlets available to produce and promote your own content, you no longer have to rely on the “okay” of others before you create what inspires you.

While more platforms brings more opportunity, it also brings more competition; it’s increasingly harder to stand out & grab the attention of viewers in today’s digital space. Our tip: change your tactics frequently and keep your content fresh in order to keep users engaged.

5. Find your audience & discover who they are.

Netbase CMO, Paige Leidig stressed the importance of understanding your audience and how they behave. “Not every social channel is equal, and not every social channel for your audience is the same.” Every brand won’t need to be on every single platform. Do an audit of your content and engagement and focus your efforts on creating unique & exciting content for the platforms where your audience is the heaviest.

6. With the ever-increasing integration of social in our daily lives, we need to think about the impact it will have on our culture and safety.

It’s no secret that people are glued to their phones on a daily basis, but it is still a mystery of what the implications of having our entire lives online are. Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast & Break Things, has serious issues with the domination of Facebook, Google & Amazon in the digital & consumer space. We need to think about what a monopoly of these three companies means for business, community & safety online and in the real world. Buy his new book for a more in-depth discussion.

7. Diversify your content per platform.

What performs well on YouTube will fail on Facebook and vice versa. In the MACHINIMA workshop, we discussed how important it is to produce content per platform & tailor when necessary. Each platform has it’s own rules, audience & community. Your content for that platform should reflect that platforms community & engagement relationships. The days of posting the same content across every platform are over. If you want to grow, you must diversify.

8. Every brand will need to go through a refresh.

Has your brand been around forever? It may be in need of a marketing and strategy refresh. Execs from Morton Salt discussed how they implemented new creative initiatives to take their century-old brand to the next level & keep it current in digital times.

Set aside a time each year to go over past marketing strategies and discuss what is working and what could be improved upon. Doing a yearly audit is an important step in making sure that your brand is heading in the right direction.

9. Everyone goes through times of challenge.

Kelly Osbourne brought up the important fact that not every single day in the digital marketing world is going to be a walk in the park. It’s okay to go through times where you don’t feel organic or aren’t excited about what you are putting out into the world. The important thing is to recognize these times, take a moment to step back, & refocus on what you are really trying to accomplish.

10. Trust your gut.

Buzzfeed‘s Ashly Perez stressed that the most important thing is to trust your gut. You know what feels right to you & that you have something unique to offer to the world. Don’t forget about what you started out to do; keep doing it, even when others around you are doubting you.

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

Were these helpful? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.


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#SomethingSignificant: The Trevor Project

Do #SomethingSignificant: The Trevor Project

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.

This month: The Trevor Project.

A message from The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives.

How to get involved:

The Trevor Project has a variety of different ways you can get involved, a few being volunteering, signing up to receive (and then help share) information, and attending events. You can head here to find more detailed ways to get involved. Celebrate equality of the LGBTQ community more than just this month by working with The Trevor Project.

After all, we are all human and love is love.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Do #SomethingSignificant that you think we should know about? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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8 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Make Your Business Stand Out

Since the rollout of Instagram Stories in August of 2016, brands and users have adopted the platform at an impressive rate. With over 200 million active users in April 2017, Instagram stories is becoming an important way to interact with your following & grow your brand.

With any new social platform or app capability, there are some great ways to use it and some not so great ways. We’ve seen some brands get really creative with their content & we love exploring new ways to use the feature ourselves. A new feature can sometimes we overwhelming, so we got together to list our favorite 8 ways to use the platform to showcase a brand.

Plan out your content ahead of time. Just as it’s important to plan out your Instagram feed ahead of time, it’s also important to plan out your Story Content. Keeping a consistent schedule will help followers know what they can expect from your brand & what they can look forward to seeing each week on your channel.

Treat Instagram Stories as it’s own Platform. We’ve seen a lot of brands treating Instagram Stories like Snapchat. In our opinion, Instagram Stories is completely different and both platforms have their place in a well-rounded social media company profile. Instagram Stories is more curated content, that is still aesthetically pleasing & in line with the brand’s values, tone & voice. Snapchat is more on-the-fly and less curated. Because you can upload content more easily, create specific branded content with your logo & different fonts or design elements. Don’t have an in-house graphic designer? Download the app Canva for help designing easy-to-upload content.

Utilize the swipe up feature to drive traffic to your website. Now that all business accounts can add a link to Instagram Stories, use this feature to push your followers to your website or event page.

Tag other brands & fan posts. Remember to stay social! Social Media is all about collaboration & community. Highlight other brands that you love or shoutout fans that have posted about or mentioned your brand.

Highlight behind the scenes. People love seeing the BTS. Share some shots from an upcoming photoshoot or a video of how you edit a photo. You can give your users an inside look about how your product works or what a day in the life of your company is.

Share insider tips & tricks. At SSLA we like to share different editing tips, try out new editing apps & give special social media tricks on our Instagram Stories. What are some insider tips from your industry that you could be sharing?

Ask for Audience Interaction. Instagram Stories are a great way to speak directly with your audience. Ask questions directly to your followers & invite them to message you their opinions, thoughts & feedback.

Vary types of content. Use what’s available to you! Users love seeing a mix of videos & photos on Stories, so be sure to mix it up. Varying content types will also keep your Stories from becoming stagnant & keep your users engaged.

For more tips, check out our blog for our Top Tips for Eye-Catching Instagram Stories here.

The possibilities are endless. Because Instagram is a creative community, we’re always seeing new & interesting ways brands are incorporating content & ideas into Instagram Stories.

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

Have some fave ways to use Instagram Stories? We wanna hear about it! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.


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Meet Phoebe: Account Director

How long have you worked at Something Social?

Since October 2016!

Tell us about the day in the life of an Account Director.

Every day is a little different, but typically, my day will start before I get into the office with a round of posting for clients, and checking up on some community management. I’ll then head into the office and check in with clients on upcoming meetings, deadlines, shoots, etc. Usually, I’ll spend a good amount of the day working on content calendars, monthly newsletters, influencer outreach or preparing creative for advertising. I also spend a lot of time communicating with clients, out on photoshoots, at meetings, or shooting some content back at the office. Basically, no two days are the same so there’s never a dull moment. One of my biggest fears entering the workforce was that I wouldn’t be challenged and I would therefore end up bored in my career. I’m extremely fortunate to work at a company where I am challenged everyday – I genuinely enjoy the work I do and the people I work with.

You are basically a one-stop-shop for all content management and creation for your clients – how do you manage it all and where do you draw your inspiration from for content?

I’ve certainly learned the value in prioritization and workload management since working at SSLA. Any given day your to-do lists can completely change from what you had previously written down. I’ve found the most important thing to focus on is client communication. As long as you are delivering and openly communicating back and forth about tasks and expectations, the rest falls into place. As far as content inspiration, each one of the brands I work with has such a clear brand identity and direction, when I’m pulling inspiration for each one I put myself in the mindset of their specific needs, voice, aesthetic and go from there (Pinterest has been a huge help, too!)

In your spare time you…

Well, I am a HUGE foodie. So I definitely spend a good amount of my free time talking about, looking at photos of, and eating delicious food. I love to be outside, I’m originally from NYC so even after 5 years of living in California I can’t get enough of the beach, and I am always down for a spontaneous weekend trip or getaway. Also, I have a 2 year old husky puppy who loves to take naps so… (insert Netflix & chill here).

What’s your favorite thing about working for Something Social?

My coworkers. I am surrounded and inspired by brilliant, hardworking, and supportive women every day. They have helped me grow more than I could have imagined, and are always there to bounce ideas off of and lend a hand when needed.

Your dream job would be (besides your role at Something Social of course)…

I know this sounds extremely cliche (cheeseball alert) but I am definitely where I want to be. However, if I had to change jobs, I would probably be a wine sommelier in Napa. Getting paid to drink wine and meet people from around the world doesn’t sound half bad.  

What is your idea of the perfect ‘gram?

I’m a big fan of a good bright, crisp, airy photo. I think people have finally moved on from the traditional, “this is me standing in front of something posing with a smile” photo and gotten more creative. I love to see candid laughter or photography that tells a story beyond people just posing for a picture. Social media has provided such a creative outlet for people to tell their stories and it’s really interesting to watch social media develop and how people decide to show their digital identities.

Favorite place in LA?

I just moved here in September so I definitely have some more exploring to do. I absolutely love Montana Ave in Santa Monica, there are a ton of cute shops and restaurants and you don’t have to deal with the heavy foot traffic of the Santa Monica Promenade (Go to Forma if you want some killer pasta). Besides that, I’m a sucker for a good day in Malibu, and any day that ends in a beach sunset and some fresh seafood is a win in my book.

Follow Phoebe on Instagram to stay up to date with her Santa Monica and puppy adventures.

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Ready to meet the whole team? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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