Meet Allison: Art Director

How long have you worked at Something Social?

Just over a year.

Tell us about a day in the life of an Art Director.

First thing in the morning I grab a Celsius from the fridge, get settled and check Asana for whatever tasks need to be completed for the day. These tasks include anything from creating branded graphic quote templates for clients, editing photos, assembling proposals for new clients, designing geofilters for events, and the list goes on and on. On the rare occasion that I don’t have a lot to do, I’ll shoot and edit lifestyle photos to use as general stock imagery. Since there’s no time constraint, I use this time to experiment and learn new techniques. We work in an intimate and comfortable space so there is a lot of active collaboration happening throughout the day. We all have our specialties, but we become a jack of all trades working so closely with one another on all facets of the company.  

In your spare time you…

I’m a singer-songwriter, so many nights of the week I’m heading straight to a writing session from work. I spend most of my free time working on my artist project; collaborating with producers, designing marketing material for the release, networking, etc. When I’m not working on music, I’m normally helping my boyfriend with his feature film, watching independent films, going on walks, reading at the park, or online shopping.

Best Adobe tip you can share with our readers?

I love hand-drawn elements incorporated into design, so the easiest way to get them into your Adobe program of choice is to take a photo of your drawing in good lighting (a phone will do), edit the photo to make the background white (up contrast and lightness), once you have the edited image in, say illustrator, go to your transparency tool and select “multiply” – the white background will disappear and you can place it on top of your photo or design. You can also turn your drawing into a vector by using live trace and selecting “silhouettes”. Now you can manipulate the color and shape.

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

THE PEOPLE. I feel so lucky to be a part of this team. Everyone is so kind, hard working, and hilarious.  I’m excited to come to work on Monday and that is not something you hear often.

Your dream job would be (besides Art Director at Something Social of course)…

A full-time musician. I would also like to write songs for other artists. I’m very entrepreneurial so I hope to take the artist project beyond music, into fashion, art and design.

What is your idea of the perfect ‘gram?

In terms of aesthetics, I’m all about the dreamy colors and experimental editing. That said, I also like to see some realness and honesty, where you can tell they aren’t concerned with a perfectly curated feed. It’s a balancing act that I haven’t quite figured out yet.

Favorite place in LA?

Right now it’s Franklin Village. I spend most my time there and have built a little community there. My favorite spots are Oaks Gourmet (the local coffee shop), The Daily Planet (the corner store with every magical knick knack you could dream of), Bourgeois Pig (a dreamy coffeeshop with lots of eclectic decor and furniture), and Counterpoint (a used book and record store).

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

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

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Content Calendars

Planning is the key to success.

With content being easier than ever to create, social platforms are much more saturated than they used to be. The key to standing out is making sure that your posts are going up consistently and at the right time. The best way to accomplish this is to create a content calendar. With a content calendar, you can plan out in advance what is going to be posted, when it’s going to be posted and who is going to be posting it. Scheduling also helps ensure continuity of content, visibility for your brand and overall less stress for you (and your team).

Here are some of our favorite ways to create a content calendar:

  • Create your own spreadsheet/calendar: Before apps were around, spreadsheets/calendars were our best friends. Google Drive and Microsoft Office, or anything similar, are really useful tools to creating and organizing your content calendar. You can plan a template for what to post on each day of the week and then fill it in weekly with the specific content that is to be posted. Take a look at some of the layouts we love below:

  • Plan it out visually. Social media is a visual medium. You want to make sure that the content you are planning to post creates a visual story for your brand, especially on Instagram. These are our two favorite apps to help plan out a feed.
    • Unum: “Design Perfection For Instagram.” Available in the App Store and Google Play, Unum is an app that allows Instagram users to plan out and schedule their Instagrams. This is the perfect app for testing out different images in order to maintain a flowing theme. Consistency is key for UNUM users – never worry about your overall Insta-look with the help of UNUM.
    • Planoly: “Empowering our users to tell their story visually.” Planoly is a monthly calendar that enables users to schedule Instagram posts and captions, search hashtags, manage and reply to comments, view analytics, and more. There is a paid version that grants users access to more features, however the free version is a great stepping stone. Available in the App Store and Google Play, as well as online.
  • Have a system. Working in a digital field can be hard because often times there is no defined work schedule. We believe it’s really important to create one for yourself. If you define what your week will look like, you’ll know what needs to be accomplished when. For example, every Monday you plan out the posts for the following week, every Tuesday you write captions for each post and every Wednesday you schedule the posts, etc. Keeping yourself on a schedule will help you stay on top of your work load.

The best content calendar is the one that you and your team like to use. Whichever method works for you is the best one there is. Try implementing a content calendar this month and see how it affects your productivity and stress-level.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What’s your content strategy? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Talking Films with SSLA

Awards season is upon us, and with the Oscars just a few days away, we’re talking all things movies. While yes, we wanted to weigh in with our favorite Oscar picks, we also want to share with you some of our all time favorite films. Check them out below and tweet us your favorites.

Marissa, VP of Operations:

Oscar pick:

Moonlight: Definitely one of the most beautiful movies of the year. To me, movies like this are what awards season is all about; moving stories examining someone’s life path that leave you questioning your own journey. With quiet, deep moments of personal discovery and tragedy, this truly is an amazing movie.

Favorites:

Saving Private Ryan: Historical dramas are my all-time favorite movies. My dad is a history buff, so I grew up visiting a few historical sites across America and in Europe. I’ve always had a love for history and as hard as it is watching a movie about war, I’m fascinated by what

You’ve Got Mail: I have a thing for Tom Hanks and this movie is my all time favorite rom com. There are so many sweet moments but my favorite is near the end, right before she goes home to change to meet her secret online pen pal in the park. She has spent all day with Joe Fox and he finally tells her that he is falling for her. The audience knows what is about to happen but Kathleen Kelly has no idea. **Cue ‘Over the Rainbow’ and the tears.

FOLLOW MARISSA AT @MARISSACSTAHL.

 

Erin, Account Director:

Oscar pick:

Moonlight: I love La La Land as much as the next person, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this film since I saw it. While the story gutted me, I really couldn’t get over how visually beautiful the entire film was.  

Favorites:

Singing In The Rain: I grew up on classic movies and musicals and once I studied this in an Intro To Film class in college, I switched my major to Film. Between the old Hollywood glamour, fashion, music and dancing…what’s not to love?

Jaws: This one doesn’t really need an explanation.

FOLLOW ERIN AT @EEDYKSTRA.

Phoebe, Account Director:

Oscar pick:

Manchester by the Sea: The cast is what did it for me for this movie. I know Lucas Hedges personally, so it was cool to see him in his first big role. I also love Casey Affleck so it was great to see them work together. 

Favorites:

Beauty and the Beast: I wanted to Belle when I was younger – I had a Beauty and the Beast party every year. I went to see it on Broadway, and during intermission they gave me the rose. I left it on the subway by accident and I cried for weeks.

Pearl Harbor: I LOVE Josh Hartnett.

FOLLOW PHOEBE AT @PHOEBENICOLEE.

 

Allison, Art Director:

Oscar pick:

Arrival: I walked out of the theater feeling like my world was turned upside down. Not only was it an unconventional sci-fi alien invasion movie (and I love me a good alien movie), but it was a beautiful story about communication and the power of working together rather than in opposition.  Couldn’t have been a better timed release with the current state of things in the US.

Favorites:

Gladiator: This is my go-to when someone asks me my favorite movie. I have a thing for revenge stories. I want to see the underdog win. And Russell Crowe’s performance is legendary… and sexy…

Das Boat: The cast’s performances and story make up for the language barrier in this German foreign film. Set in a submarine during WWII, this is a suspenseful and epic war film. The humor cuts through the intensity of the story and makes this film a whirlwind of emotions.

FOLLOW ALLISON AT @IMALICEGRAY.

 

Curated by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What are your Oscar picks? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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The Best Conferences to Attend for Networking

Networking can be a bit daunting; with so many ways to do it now, where does one start? Our recommendation – if you can, you should attend a conference. It’s the perfect spot. Typically, there are a decent amount of attendees, specific topics to discuss, opportunities to ask questions, and chances to chat with everyone after. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite conferences for networking; let us know if you’re going to any of these!

Girlboss Rally

“Girlboss is about being the boss of your own life. We will gather the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and tastemakers to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about. From marketing and brand building to getting paid and quitting jobs, health & wellness, sexuality and more, it will be a day filled with actionable takeaways. 10% of all ticket proceeds will benefit the Girlboss Foundation.”

The first Girlboss Rally will be held on March 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. With Nasty Gal founder and alum, Sophia Amoruso, spearheading this event and a lineup of dozens of other reputable women, this is a must-see. If you can’t get there yourself, make sure to follow along on social media that day!

Create + Cultivate

“This is a 365 day conversation around entrepreneurship and being a woman in the modern digital world. We gather the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs and bosses to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about from influencer marketing and brand building to raising money.”

The next Create + Cultivate Conference will be held May 6, 2017 in New York, New York. With 50 speakers, including the likes of poet and writer Cleo Wade and fashion mogul Rebecca Minkoff, you’re not going to want to miss this.

Pearl xChange

“Imagine a place where you feel empowered, inspired and motivated. Close your eyes and picture what it would feel like to be surrounded by people who are rooting for your success. This is what a Pearl xChange event offers. In an impatient world that is focused on constantly moving faster, it is easy to lose ourselves in the rush of everyday life. Technology can fool us into thinking that we are connecting with others by simply posting something online. But you know the truth; your social media feed can be a very lonely place.  Step out of your virtual life and join us for true connection with women just like you.”

The next Pearl xChange will be on November 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Founded by power duo Ramey Warren and Nicole Richie, Pearl xChange provides a space for women to converse and share experiences beyond the ones we create in our current digital age.  

TEDWomen

“TEDWomen is a three-day conference about the power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers. The program of speakers, workshops, events — and daring discussions — has sparked some of TED’s most iconic moments yet.”

The 2017 date has yet to be announced, but TED’s site provides highlights from previous years, showcasing just how motivational this event has been. While you’re on the site, make sure to scroll through some TED Talks and tweet us your favorites!

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

“Co-founded by Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney in 1994 and inspired by the legacy of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women in Computing brings the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront.”

As girls grow up, their interests in STEM fields dissipates due to the lack of representation and fair treatment of women in STEM industries. Do your part in supporting women in tech by attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The next GHC will be October 4-6, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

Yellow Conference

“Yellow Co. exists to gather and equip creative women to use their passion, strengths, and influence to serve the greater good.”

A conference created to highlight working women who are working towards putting good back into the world, the Yellow Conference is the perfect gathering for women looking to create change. Past speakers have included Caitlin Crosby (Founder of The Giving Keys) and Vik Harrison (VP of Creative at charity:water), which, in our minds, is reason enough to attend. The next Yellow Conference will be held on August 24-25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

The WW Club Events

“A space for working women worldwide.”

An online and offline space for women to connect, network, work, and grow, The WW Club is a great space to meet creative women with entrepreneurial, self-starter spirits. With events all over the world, and an online space for when you can’t attend events, you’ll be constantly connected with super women through The WW Club.

 

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Which conferences are you attending? We wanna know! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Something Social Los Angeles Guide

So, your friend is coming to visit Los Angeles for the first time, and instead of relying on Google, she’s decided to make you her personal tour guide. Between the restaurants, the nature, and the nightlife, it’s hard to keep track of all of the places you can go and activities you can do.

We’ve rounded up our favorite LA spots so you don’t have to. Say goodbye to frantic Google searches and hello to SSLA’s Los Angeles Guide:

 

Allison, Art Director:

Hotel Cafe: The perfect place for intimate, live shows featuring up and coming artists.

School Night! at Bardot: Another great place to see intimate, live shows featuring up and coming artists. It’s every monday night and free with RSVP – just sign up for emails to get the lineups.

Cinespia: Every summer season, Cinespia hosts outdoor movie screenings in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Oaks Gourmet: Specialty food and coffee shop in Franklin Village at the base of the Hollywood Hills. A regular hangout for entertainers, which makes it great for gossipy eavesdropping and celebrity spottings.

The Upright Citizen Brigade: A great place to see improv and sketch comedy shows.

Bourgeois Pig: Bohemian late-night coffee shop with an eclectic and comfortable vibe. There’s disco lighting, several couches, large tables, a pool table and a funky jungle themed back room.

Follow Allison at @imalicegray.

 

Erin, Account Director:

Griffith Park: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Griffith Park. Whether it’s a hike, a picnic, a view, or a tour of the Observatory, it’s the best way to see LA.

Good Luck BarOne of my all time favorite bars. It’s super tiki with dark red walls, dim lighting and there’s always a seat. Bonus points for cocktails served in tiki cups.

TerroniTheir downtown space took over an old bank and it’s such a gorgeous space. My favorite part of visiting with friends is sitting around with good food and wine so this place is perfect, it doesn’t hurt that their pasta is made fresh daily either.

Mast Brothers Chocolate: It doesn’t get more LA than expensive chocolate in designer packaging. They offer free tours of their DTLA Factory and I love bringing friends to the arts district because I feel like it’s somewhere you wouldn’t normally visit as a tourist but it’s such a great neighborhood.

Rooftop Cinema Club at The MontalbanThey only have it during the summer but it’s always a blast. Think Cinespia but with comfy chairs, warm blankets, and everyone listening with headphones on a rooftop in the middle of Hollywood Blvd.

Follow Erin at @eedykstra.

 

Phoebe, Account Director:

Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel: The ideal location for a drink at sunset. You get an amazing view of Santa Monica while sipping on an equally delicious cocktail.

Sugarfish San Vicente: For food that literally melts in your mouth. Warning: you’ll never want to eat at a different sushi restaurant again.

Montana Ave in Santa Monica: Filled with cute shops and restaurants, Montana Ave is great for an afternoon walk or when you want to get out of the touristy part of Santa Monica.

Forma Restaurant: Italian restaurant in Santa Monica that tosses pasta in cheese barrels before serving. Need I say more? Order the burrata with pomegranate and the spaghetti bolognese.

Follow Phoebe at @phoebenicolee.

 

Marissa, VP of Operations:

Blue Plate Taco: By far one of my favorite restaurants in LA. Not only because they know what they’re doing with the spicy margaritas, but also because the ambiance can’t be beat. Right on Ocean Avenue, with music & colorful lights in the background, it’s the perfect place to kick off a weekend. 

Concerts at the SM pier: These only happen on Thursdays in the summer, but are such a unique Southern California experience that I always try to make my friends visit for them. Get a group of people together, bring allll of the wine & cheese and picnic on the beach watching the sunset and listening to music in the distance. If you haven’t been to one yet, put it on your to-do list for Summer 2017. 

Melrose Trading Post: A classic LA experience, where you can literally get anything. Half of the furniture & decor in my apartment has been collected from various trips to this flea market. Unlike the Rose Bowl Flea Market (the ultimate flea market experience), it is smaller and more manageable for a causal Sunday morning with coffee. 

The Nice Guy: If you want the best burger & the best scene in LA, book your reservation here a few weeks in advance. Thank me later.

El Matador Beach: For next level views (and who am I kidding, a next level ‘gram), hit up El Matador in Malibu. One of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California that will instantly make you feel like  you’re in Cabo or Italy. Come for a picnic lunch in the afternoon or to walk the beach at sunset before grabbing a drink at Nobu Malibu. 

Good Times at Davey Wayne’s: I live on the Westside of LA and I regularly make the trek to Hollywood for Davey Wayne’s. A bar literally like no other in America, if you ask me. With 70s vibes, amazing music & original crafted cocktails, you will never forget a night out at this speakeasy-style bar. Look out for the fridge in the alley, you heard me right. 

Follow Marissa at @marissacstahl.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Which LA spots are your fave? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is upon us and what better excuse than to treat your loved ones or yourself? We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite Valentine’s gifts. Think of it as a little treat from us, to you. Happy Valentine’s Day from SSLA.

Stoney Clover Lane XO Patch Card – This month only, if you order something from SCL, you’ll receive a free “snap me” patch as well. Two gifts for the price of one; who can complain?

Money on Honey Valentine’s Day Box – The perfect way to satiate your sweet tooth, with a special Valentine’s twist. 

Bobs So Smitten Shoes – No better way to say “I love you” than with a pair of shoes, especially when the shoes say it for you too. 

The Giving Keys Believe Candle – It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide without a candle. With a black currant, bergamot, rose and black pepper scent and a description of “the possibilities are endless when we believe”, it’s hard to find a more heartfelt gift than this. 

Greenleaf Chopshop Gift Card – Just because the New Year’s Resolutions have passed doesn’t mean it’s too late to turn over a new leaf. Make Valentine’s Day the new New Year and treat yourself or a loved one to a gift card at Greenleaf, where you’ll never run out of healthy, delicious options.

Honor MD Exfoliant – Can’t make it to the spa for the big day? Bring the spa to yourself or a loved one with any of Honor MD’s skincare products. The exfoliant is one of our personal favorites. 

Cycle House Class – Sweat out all of the celebrations you’ve been doing with a ride at Cycle House. With locations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica, Cycle House offers a cardio experience unlike any other. For every one ride a client takes, Cycle House donates two meals to a person in need.

We hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with as much chocolate and love as possible – we know that’s how we’ll be celebrating!

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What’d you get your honey for V-Day? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Brand Strategy Tips

As brand strategists, it’s really important for us to understand the ins-and-outs of creating an online voice. At SSLA, we pride ourselves on our abilities to curate unique brand personalities for each and every one of our clients. While it may seem like we know all the secrets, we don’t want to keep you all completely out of the loop. Check out our tips on building a brand below:

Phoebe, Account Director:

“Don’t partner with anyone for the sake of partnering. Make sure you stand behind companies/brands you are endorsing, in order to maintain a level of respect and honesty with your followers. Just remember – content comes a lot more naturally when you genuinely believe in what you’re sharing!”

Marissa, VP of Operations:

“Don’t be afraid to do something different. We see a lot of brands make the mistake of trying to do what someone else is doing. Your brand is not anyone else’s brand. Realize your uniqueness & highlight it to stand out in the social space. Different is good.”

Erin, Account Director:

“An instant way to make your feed feel more cohesive is to always use the same filter. (I love the filters on VSCO and you download a ton of others until you find one you love. Check out our post on editing apps here.) I sometimes increase or decrease the intensity depending on the photo but it makes a huge difference in the general feel of your Instagram.”

Allison, Art Director:

“Really think about your audience and how you can meet their unmet desires. Create a list of words that describe what motivates your audience. i.e. Wealth, Balance, Awareness, Enthusiasm, Openness, etc. Try your best to cater your brand voice and aesthetic  to their needs, keeping your ego out of it.”

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Were these tips helpful? We wanna know how you put them into action! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Scrolling with Something Social

We’re back with our new Scrolling with Something Social series. Let us help you make it through the rest of the week with a few of our favorite links.

Marissa, VP of Operations:

Need some new GIFs? The SAG Awards have you covered: The many faces of Winona Ryder 

You need this (and you can buy one for me too): Mon Cherise case from Shop Sonix 

And because, duh: Every single song to ever be on Grey’s Anatomy.  

Allison, Art Director:

For all your icon-finding and icon-editing needs.

For beautiful and FREE stock photography.

If you’re not already reading it, you should be.

Phoebe, Account Director:

For all your shopping needs.

Desserts that will make you go out and bake. (Even if you don’t know how to bake.)

 

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Which clicks were your fave? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Scrolling with Something Social

Happy Wednesday Socialites! If you’re anything like us, you’re probably feeling the midweek struggle and are looking for a little pick-me-up. Let us make your Wednesday a little easier with our favorite things from the Internet this week.

  1. Matthew Gray Gubler in a fur coat. Need we say more
  2. Looking for an easy way to waste time? Check out where words are used the most, calculated through Twitter data.
  3. “You traveled to Liberia and Morocco with your mom to talk with girls about the importance of education—girls who saw themselves in you, saw themselves in your parents, saw who they could become if they continued to study and learn.” The Bush sisters wrote the Obama sisters the most heartfelt letter and all of the internet is crying. Or at least we are.
  4. Cue perfect reaction GIFs.
  5. What do you mean when you ask a friend to take a picture? Because this is totally what we mean.
  6. Sometimes all we have is ten minutes for that workout. Here’s how to make it work.
  7. We were drooling all over our desks and now you get to drool all over yours too. Enjoy alllll the food porn.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

What are you #obsessed with rn? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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