#SomeoneSocial: Brandy Pham

Introduce yourself to us through your three favorite Instagram posts and give us a little story behind them!

I am a mother, wife, designer, creative director and founder of Planoly – a visual and marketing software for Instagram. This is one of my favorite Instagram posts of my little family taking a #selfie in Hawaii.

When I gave birth to my son Teddy, I dreamt up Planoly to be more organized with my social media strategy (Instagram in particular) as I was a one-woman team executing my own content creation and marketing. Planoly was born out of my own need. I used to shoot, edit, and plan content during his nap times before he woke up in the mornings and after he went to bed at night.

I love sharing my story and my experiences with fellow creatives. I feel that it’s important to share what I’ve learned because I wish I had the guidance when I was younger. Here I am at The Bloguettes Workshop in Austin sharing everything I know about creating a visual brand, marketing, and Instagram.

Tell us about Planoly – you found a solution for something people may not have known they needed. How did it start?

With ten years of experience in the fashion industry, I went off on my own and built my namesake jewelry company out of my 400 square foot NYC apt. The company was bootstrapped with savings, and within the first year, I did six figures in revenue and was carried in stores like Anthropologie and Henri Bendel. I achieved this through pure hard work and hustle – cold calls, trade shows and going to boutiques one by one.

After having my son, I wanted to spend more time at home and decided to slow down my wholesale business while growing my business online. During that time, Instagram was just on the cusp of taking off with influencers tagging brands and sharing their daily #ootd. I saw this and made planning digital content for my Instagram a priority, and it took up the majority of my time. I knew magazines, editors and buyers were looking at my Instagram so I was obsessed with the look of my feed and treated it as my online portfolio.

After showing the tedious process of preparing my Instagram feed and captions to my husband, he thought it was crazy. That was the genesis of Planoly. I took this idea and designed the software the way I wanted. In eight short months, Planoly grew to over 100K organic users. To date, Planoly has over 800K users around the world and has been well-received by every industry across the board (not just fashion)!

Since Planoly is a social media management tool, tell us what role social media plays in your life.

Social Media plays a significant role in my life, as well as my team’s lives. We wake up to Social Media and go to bed with Social Media. It never turns off, so we have to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape in order to stay relevant, to innovate, and to evolve. Social media is where we get our news and stay up to date with family and friends. It’s a form of communication that is slowly becoming the main point of contact for everyone.

As you mentioned, you’re also a jewelry designer! Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

I have a passion for design and detail, so I find inspiration everywhere, whether it’s in furniture details, personal experiences or architecture. My classic collection consisted of needle designs as a homage to my first love of fashion (my design school major and where I first started my career), so there’s always a backstory to my pieces.

How do you balance both jobs, while also tying the two of them together?

I’m a designer at heart, whether it be jewelry or designing UI’s and wireframes for Planoly apps or the web. It goes hand in hand, and I use the same design theories and beliefs when I design. For me, everything is about the branding, presentation, and how the design makes the customer/user feel when they wear or use our product. I hate the word balance, but it’s all about time-management and scheduling out time for each project. I prioritize by urgency and work my way down my to-do list.

What is one of the most important things you’ve learned from starting a business and building a brand?

Starting a business is hard. It takes perseverance and dedication to start and maintain a successful business. You always have to have a clear vision and try not to stray from it. To me, building a brand is much easier because we’re all about authenticity. Every single feature we add on Planoly is actual needed features that I personally use. The story of our brand is about me, so it’s much easier to tell my story versus making one up. Some of the keys to building a brand are authenticity and consistency.

Who is your social media crush and why?

I have a few social media crushes and can’t name them all but here are a few… I love @glossier and what their team has been doing since the birth of their brand. They’ve always told their story from their perspective and related to millions of women because of their authenticity, and that has never changed.

The same with @mansurgavriel. I’m drawn to designers who put out mindful, and beautifully crafted products with so much love and care and Mansur Gavriel is one of them.

I also love and adore @glitterguide, and it’s Founder @taylorsterling and Director of Content and Partnerships @caitlinkruse. Glitter Guide shares such inspiring and beautiful content that make you feel good and the people behind it is even lovelier! They are so genuinely sweet and supportive of Planoly and has championed us since the beginning. I’ll always be grateful for everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through social media and building those friendships offline.

What’s a social media hack you can share with our readers?

I take a few hours at the start of the week to plan out our entire week’s worth of social media content (sometimes two weeks in advance). Planning is essential, and it’ll save you tons of time and headache. Whether it’s a few hours on Sunday night or Monday morning, you’ll be able to plan everything out for the week so you can concentrate on other tasks.

Another strategy I use is labeling colored post-it mini notes to plot out a month’s worth of blog content. I know exactly who Planoly is going to interview or feature on the blog a month in advance; then I use that as a roadmap to plan daily social content from there.


Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Have someone you’d like to nominate as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.


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#SomethingSignificant: Disaster Relief

We started our series #SomethingSignificant as a way to highlight less-traditional yet enjoyable ways to partake in making the world a better place. While we still want to use this series to provide you with those philanthropic outlets, we also want to be able to highlight events and places that do need our attention.

True to our values at Something Social, we want to encourage you to do your part to help out with disaster relief.

For Las Vegas, please check out:

*Please note: At this time, they currently do not need any more blood donations. However, many people have encouraged the continuous donation of blood to ensure that the next time there is a crisis like this, there are enough donations.

If you live in the area, you can sign up to help with transportation for victims and their loved ones here.

Steve Sisolak, the Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas, set up a GoFundMe to collect monetary donations here.

Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada provide mental and physical medical help to those who cannot afford it. You can learn more and donate here.

For Puerto Rico and Mexico City, please check out:

Please see our list of resources here.

For Houston, please check out:

Please see our list of resources here.

For Miami, please check out:

Donate here to help support nonprofits addressing food security, vulnerable populations, stable housing and other immediate to long-term needs for residents.

Donate here to provide funds for marginalized communities in Florida.

For the fires in Napa, please check out:

If you live nearby and can provide shelter, AirBNB is helping pair open homes with victims who have been displaced. Learn more and volunteer here.

Local clothing store Love On Haight is offering free clothing for victims, as well as accepting clothing donations. Find out more here.

You can donate to the Napa Food Pantry here.

As we move forward from these disasters, we also want to take a moment to discuss other ways you can get involved outside of donating. We understand that budgets can be tight and you don’t always have surplus funds to help out. Think about organizing your own drive for your local community. You could collect blankets to give to the homeless or volunteer at a local food bank. Starting with small change in your community also makes a big difference.

If you want to take it further, get political. First step, make sure you’re voting for who you think is the best candidate in every election, including the primaries. Call your representatives to talk about issues that matter and make sure they are standing up for what their constituents want. If you’re not sure who they are, you can look it up here. Attend rallies and get together with your friends to discuss the things that matter to you. Do #SomethingSignificant each and every day, no matter how big, no matter how small.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

How do you contribute to your community? Let us put you on blast! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.


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The Buyer’s Journey: Converting Followers into Customers in a Digital Age

Navigating the online space can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to engage with consumers through a screen. The journey of a purchase has dramatically shifted from its original in-store, in-person style to an online venture. According to Mary Meeker’s annual KPCB Internet Trends Report from 2017, U.S. adults spend more than three hours per day interacting with digital media on their mobile devices, which means that your social advertising strategy has to be stronger than it has ever been before. Below is some insight into the stages of a buyer’s journey, as well as the type of content we recommend using in the digital space to accompany each stage in order to see the best ROI.


Your consumer has realized they have a need. Whether it be a product, an idea, or a service, there is now a level of need that needs to be satisfied. This content should be informational, not promotional. You want to fill an empty space for your consumer who is currently at the beginning stages of their buying journey. Think about different ways in which you can provide educational information about the broader topic of what you’re trying to sell.

For example, if you’re selling juices and someone is looking for “new ways to improve overall health”, this is the perfect stage to provide information about why healthy eating and drinking can better a person’s lifestyle. The less specific to your brand and the more specific to the general message the consumer is trying to learn more about, the higher the chance you have at carrying them to the next stage in their journey.

Examples: eBooks, blog posts, shared news articles.



This is the stage in which the consumer will now look at products, ideas, or services that fulfill their needs. Circling back to the juice example, after a consumer researches “new ways to improve overall health” and finds information on the benefits of drinking green juice, they’re more likely to now take it one step further and research brands that can provide them with this product.

This content should be more catered to what you’re trying to sell. Feel free to pull from your competition in order to demonstrate what you have, as this is the stage where you’re trying to show consumers why they should buy from you over other brands. However, you still want to err on the side of informational. You should be informing your consumers as to why your products, ideas, or services will best suit their needs. A great way to do this is to explain how it will make their lives easier.

Examples: Brand-specific creative content for social media platforms, competition comparisons.



This is the last stage and arguably the most important when discussing ROI. You’ve provided the consumer with information, showed them how your product will help, now what? Instead of just sitting back and hoping they pick you, use this time to offer incentives to work with you. Whether it is a promotional price, an added service, or even a more personalized shopping experience, making the consumer feel like working with you is the best decision will be the step that brings in the ROI.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

We’d love to hear about some of your favorite marketing campaigns. Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.


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Influencer Marketing 101

Influencer Marketing 101: What you need to know before starting an influencer marketing campaign

In the new world of digital and social media marketing, we’ve seen influencer marketing explode as a way for brands and companies to get their products and services introduced to new markets. This new form of advertising has only just begun and because of that, there is a lot of gray area. It can be confusing to determine if your brand should launch an influencer partnership initiative or which influencers you should target for your promotion. We’re breaking it down below, starting with the basics.

First of all, what is an influencer?

An influencer is anyone in the digital space that has a following, or an audience, that you are trying to attract.

How many followers does someone need to have for them to be considered an influencer?

This number varies and is a matter of opinion. Typically, we only work with individuals who have at least 10k followers on Instagram. But, for some brands, or some initiatives, someone with a smaller following could be a better fit for a brand. For example, a female influencer with a smaller following of 6k probably isn’t the best fit for a national beauty brand looking to increase sales from their online store, but would be a great fit for a local coffee shop looking to increase their customer base and spread brand awareness.

Is that what a micro-influencer is?

Yes. We define micro-influencers as someone who has a unique following of 5k to 50k. They usually have one central topic that their blog, account, or community revolves around whether it be fashion, fitness, health, beauty etc. We often find that the followers of micro-influencers are more engaged and trusting of the influencer’s brand recommendations.

What are the pros of an influencer marketing campaign?

Generating unique content. Increased brand awareness. Targeting new and niche audiences. Increased impressions and reach.

A great example of this is by @She_Went_West. @She_Went_West partnered with medical boutique, Facile, and posted about her visit to their office. The post accomplished all of the above for Facile and helped provide @she_went_west with amazing skincare.

How much should I pay each influencer to post about my brand?

This number varies based on two different factors: how big your budget is and how large of a following an influencer has.

What if I don’t have a large budget but I want to launch an influencer campaign?

A lot of brands don’t have the budget to pay for sponsored posts or influencer partnerships. Ask yourself what else you have to offer. Can you package your product nicely and gift it to some influencers with the hope that they’ll post it on their social media? Can you offer them anything else in exchange for a post on social? Requirements for someone to post vary per person.

Influencer marketing might not be right for every brand but we find it to be one of the most beneficial tools in growing a brand’s audience, engagement and sales. However, while influencer marketing is now an important part of any overall marketing strategy, it isn’t the only necessary component. Influencer marketing should be just one subset of your overall marketing campaign. Brands still need to focus on creating unique and original high-quality content, generating a community on their social platforms and having top-notch customer service. All of these things work together to create a well-balanced and successful digital marketing strategy.

Influencer Marketing is a shifting space. Have a question? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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