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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Meet Erin: Account Director

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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The Importance of Content Personalization

As technology and social media platforms continue to develop, we create more and more ways to reach consumers on a personal level. Whether it is developing a specific brand voice catered to certain types of consumers, sending targeted advertisements or emails, or even just including a consumer’s name in an email subject line, we’re armed with many personalization tools.

The first question one might ask is why? Why do we want to spend time on customization? Isn’t our time better spent creating more ads or content instead of building out different options of the same content?

Yes and no. While having enough content at any given time is crucial to maintaining an organized content schedule (see why having an organized content schedule is important here), creating content that will resonate strongly with your consumers is just as important.

We’re provided with so many tools that allow us insight into each and every one of our consumers, it would be a waste to not use those to our advantage. On Instagram alone, Insights provides you with the gender breakdown of your following, their age ranges, top locations by city and country, and what days and hours your followers are most active. Using other services, like Iconosquare, can provide you even more in-depth information, leaving you no room to be lazy with customizing your content!

If you’re sending out email campaigns, many email softwares, like MailChimp, enable you to do A/B testing.

SSLA Quick Tip: A/B testing is a type of comparative content testing that allows you to see which types of content performs better. This can really help you reduce unsubscribe rates and increase Click Through Rates.

Spend some time playing around on any analytics page for platforms you use (most have them) and you’ll see the plethora of information you have right at your fingertips. Going the extra step to make sure you’re curating your content correctly for your consumers will really add a new dimension to how people view your brand.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Have any questions on how to optimize your content? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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How to Handle Instagram Trolling

We’ve all seen it, whether or not we knew it had a name. Those accounts that just seem to comment on everything they can, saying nothing but nasty things. Internet, meet trolls.

So how do we stop all that nastiness and make the Internet the place we all know and love? Thanks to Instagram’s new features, personal accounts and companies can start protecting themselves against these trolls. This is Instagram’s third role out of safety measures just this quarter, a huge advance compared to many other social media platforms. The four major changes you’ll see starting to roll out are the ability to turn off comments from specific accounts, removing follows from specific accounts, support for comment liking, and blocking specific accounts from viewing Instagram Stories.

If you head over to your settings and click on comments, you can filter your comments by specific keywords or what Instagram may deem as genuinely abusive content. This is where the line can get blurry though. We encourage you to practice with caution – you don’t want to accidentally block too much and end up losing out on some of the real social media fun!

To block someone from your Instagram Stories, click on your profile, and then click the gear icon on the top right. Scroll down until you see Story Settings, which should be under Invite and Follow People. In there, you can hide your story from specific people and control who can send you message replies.

Let’s review some old features, too. You can still block people – just head over to their account, click those three dots on the top right, and hit block account. Instagram will prompt you to then confirm that you want to actually block this account. However, if someone is harassing you on Instagram, make sure you take it a step further. Not only should you block the account, you should also report it. To do so, click on those same three dots and right below block, you’ll see report. Follow the appropriate steps from there.

We hope these safety tips help you continue to keep your Instagram a fun, safe place to share with friends, family, and anyone else.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Have some experience with Insta-trolls? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Coachella Playlist

This year’s Coachella lineup ain’t nothing to mess with. Between Lady Gaga headlining (sorry Beyoncé fans), Lorde’s comeback, and the likes of Gucci Mane and Kendrick Lamar playing, it’s, as usual, a can’t-miss event. We’ve curated a playlist with some of our favorite artists performing at Coachella this year to get you ready for the festival of the season. 

And if you’re feeling hungry… check out the line-up of drool-worthy food that will be at Coachella this year here.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Who are you the most excited to see? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Women’s History Month

As we near the end of Women’s History Month, we wanted to take time to reflect and honor the women who have inspired us to grow into the people we are today. From mothers to magazine founders, we feel empowered from women of all different backgrounds. Here is to strong women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

Allison, Art Director:

Tavi Gevinson, founder of Rookie Magazine (@rookiemag), is a huge inspiration to me. She created a platform for girls to express themselves, without judgment. As a collective for women (of all ages) to express themselves through writing, photography, and other forms of artwork, Rookie covers it all. I wish I had Rookie when I was a teen.

FOLLOW ALLISON AT @IMALICEGRAY.

 

Erin, Account Director:

I’m really looking up to Drew Ginsburg (@dylanlex) these days. I have so much respect for young women who take something small, make it into their business, and completely own it. (I even work for this kind of badass woman!) While I’d love to list all of the amazing young woman I respect, I’ve been a huge fan of Drew’s line and personal style for a while and she’s really taken it next level recently.

I went really deep in her Instagram one night and saw old pics of her original “arm parties” and it’s really inspiring to see how far she’s come from having an interest in layered jewelry to owning a successful brand that’s original and true to her.

FOLLOW ERIN AT @EEDYKSTRA.

 

Phoebe, Account Director:

My mom, Denise Schramm, inspires me every single day. She wears so many different hats and excels at each of them. Aside from being a kickass business woman and running a company, she has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She never allows her busy schedule to take time away from loving me, my dad, my sister, and the rest of our big Italian family. She is driven, brilliant, an incredible mother and I hope one day I can handle life almost as gracefully and successfully as she does.

FOLLOW PHOEBE AT @PHOEBENICOLEE.

 

Marissa, VP of Operations:

I’m constantly inspired by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham). Not only is she a pioneer of women in film and entertainment, but she constantly confronts the negative things said about her in the media. People love to hate her and she doesn’t let the opinions of others stop her from speaking her truth or for fighting what she thinks is right; that is really admirable to me. It takes great courage to constantly put yourself out there, artistically and personally, knowing that you’ll get backlash no matter what. We all can learn something from that bravery and headstrongness. I’m sad to see the last season of Girls, but know she’ll continue to produce and create great work in the years ahead.

FOLLOW MARISSA AT @MARISSACSTAHL.

Compiled by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What incredible women inspire you? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Best Posting Times for Instagram & Facebook

One of the top questions we get is, “what is the best time to post?” Our clients are always seeking guidance on the most optimal time to share their content in order to get the highest reach & engagement with their followers.

Before the Instagram algorithm went into effect, we generally stuck to posting around mealtimes: 8-9am, 12-2pm & 5-6pm. After the algorithm, the Instagram & social media community was somewhat at a loss for a little while about when the best time to share content was. After some research and a hard look at our client’s data from our favorite analytical tools, we’ve updated our thinking on the best times to post. While results can vary depending on the brand and audience, here are some general rules & guidelines that we go by:

Instagram

  • We generally find that early afternoons (11am – 1pm) and evenings (7 – 9pm) bring the most engagement.
  • We call weekdays from 3pm-5pm the dead zone. Posts at this time most likely never receive high engagement percentages.
  • Save important posts & announcements for mid-day on weekdays in order to have the highest amount of reach.
  • Find out when your audience is the most active. If you’re a West Coast or an East Coast brand, for example, your posting times will vary based on when your audience is awake.
  • Weekends can be hit or miss depending on your audience. Some of our clients have great success with posts on Saturdays and Sundays, while others don’t fare as well.

Facebook

  • Facebook is the king of social media. With the most active users over any other social platform, it’s kind of hard to find a bad day or time to post.
  • Some basic things to note:
      • Thursday at 1pm is the overall most active time
      • Morning & late night posts tend to perform worse
  • We generally stick to Monday through Friday at 12pm on Facebook
  • Boosted posts & Facebook ads are necessary to gain traction for your brand page, especially for a newer brand.

Important notes: Our guidelines might not work for everyone! Don’t be afraid to test out different posting times for you and your brand to see what works best for your audience. 

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What does your data say? We wanna know! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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SXSW Playlist

We’re officially entering one of our all time favorite seasons: festival season. Besides for this season coming with it’s own wardrobe, it also comes with a plethora of new playlists. With Coachella still a month away, our first festival we’re looking at is SXSW. We’ve curated a playlist for your festival season vibes listening pleasure; check it out below.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Who was your fave babe from SXSW Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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