6 Recent Instagram Updates

Time flies when you’re working 9-5, trying to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and have a social life… That’s the saying, right? With a jam-packed schedule, it’s hard to find time to stay on top of the current trends, even if you’re in the industry. To help you make the most of your time, we’ve gathered some of the most recent and relevant updates we’ve seen in social media (trust us, it’s worth the short read!).

1. New ‘Series’ option for IGTV  

Instagram recently added a “Series” option for IGTV which allows anyone to produce ongoing content, a lot like Youtube. The only real change is the options you have for organizing your IGTV videos, as now you can organize your Series on a separate page with a separate badge and series name. Similar to Netflix, when a viewer is done watching an episode, the next episode will be automatically recommended for continued viewing.

2. New ‘Create’ Mode for Instagram Stories.

Instagram just rolled out a new format for the Stories camera, which makes GIFS, Stickers and Polls available in the main function bar, just swipe left on the bottom from “normal” to “create” and you will see the update. This accessibility speaks to the push to highlight the creative options that IG Stories provide.

3. Instagram launches Threads 

You’ve probably heard about this by now, but IG recently launched a new app called Threads. This new app is for your Close Friends only and it allows you the message and update those specific people. With Threads you can select either Status or Auto Status where you have the ability to set an emoji as an “away” message, set your location, let your friends know if your battery is running low, etc. If you select Auto Status, Threads has the ability to pull information from your phone (like your location) to make a status for you. 

4. Instagram now has dark mode. 

For all you late night Instagram scrollers, this should excite you! This new update will allow you to be able to switch your IG to a black background, making it easier on your eyes. If you have an iPhone or Android that’s been updated, you can enable dark mode through settings. You can choose to make it automatically change with time, or input your own time preferences. For iPhones, you instead must either: go to “Display & Brightness,” ask Siri to turn it on, or hold down the brightness level and a notification will pop up that will prompt you to switch. For Androids, you can activate dark mode by going to your “Display” settings. 

5. Instagram now has a ‘Restrict option’ 

This year in particular we’ve seen that most social platforms are trying to make their platforms a more positive place. Instagram took the next step with their new “restrict” feature that allows you to block trolls without their being aware. When you “restrict” accounts, comments are only seen by you and the writer. The account that’s restricted won’t know it is being restricted unless it is observed from a different account. 

6. Instagram Removes its ‘Following’ Tab 

This update allows people to focus less on who/what people are liking, and more on the content that is being produced. This seems to be another way Instagram is elevating its platform to be more creatively focused and less negative.

 

We get it, life gets in the way. So, pro tip: subscribe to different tech / social media websites that send weekly and daily updates to your email. Even if you don’t have time to read the whole article, you can see the headline to stay up-to-date! Some of our favorite newsletters are: Social Media Today and Buzzfeed. Tech Crunch and Mashable don’t have newsletters but you can easily search “social media” or “Instagram” to look quickly at the day’s top headlines. 

Blog post written by Account Coordinator, Maile Resta. 

Meet Assistant to Founder: Mandy Larsen

How long have you worked at Something Social?

I have been working at Something Social for 5 months now.

Tell us about a day in the life of being an Assistant to the Founder:

There’s always different projects going on so everyday is different, but the first thing I do is check my tasks and prioritize from there. I am usually posting for various accounts, doing community management, making social calendars, creating reports and assisting with tasks around the office. 

In your spare time you are…

There is so much to do in this city! I love trying out new restaurants and workout classes, going to the beach, spending time with family and friends. 

You’re constantly juggling a lot of tasks. How do you stay organized and manage it all? 

We have a lot of great tools to stay organized and efficient as a company which is really nice. On top of that, I personally have to write everything down and check things off as I go. 

How would you describe the culture at Something Social?

Everyone is extremely supportive of each other. It’s pretty amazing to work at a female ran company and have everyone be some close. 

What do you love most about working in social media?

Social media is constantly changing and I feel like there is always something new to learn. It’s so much fun to be part of the process in creating content and then seeing it perform and help companies grow. 

What three characteristics do you think have gotten you where you are today?

Positive attitude, Hard working, Detail oriented

What are your favorite accounts to follow on IG? 

@howyouglow

@sincerelyjules

@somethingnavy 

Favorite place in LA?

It’s impossible to pick just one, but I love spending time in Malibu. Something about that place is good for the soul!

 

READY TO MEET THE REST OF THE TEAM? TWEET US  @SOMETHINGSOCIAL OR FOLLOW US ON THE ‘GRAM – @SOMETHINGSOCIAL.

Making Instagram Your Oasis

Social media participation has become part of the average person’s daily life and part of their subconscious routine. According to Hootsuite’s Instagram statistics for 2019, Millennials under the age of 25 use Instagram for 32 minutes each day. But it is overly optimistic to assume that everyone enjoys entering their social media spiral. People often report social media being unhealthy and creating unrealistic expectations.  However, Something Social is here to teach you how to implement a social media strategy to control and elevate your feed. We want you to put your phone down feeling refreshed and informed about the world around you, the people who inspire you, and the industry you contribute too. We know you are going to check it, so at least make it worth your time! 

We are breaking down the essential steps to elevate your feed and revitalize your social media experience. 

Refresh Your Following. 

Don’t let strangers and long lost acquaintances fill your feed! Allow yourself to hit unfollow and feel the delightful pleasure of a clean Instagram feed filled with family, friends, and sources of inspiration. Too often, the point of Instagram is lost upon the politeness of a mutual follow – when, in reality, Instagram should be serving you! By filling your feed with worthy content, you start to get more out of each “like” and “comment.” A helpful tip to avoid “unfollow anxiety” is to hit that mute button. Yes, There is a mute button on Instagram, and it is serving your wildest dreams. By turning a profile on silent, you are cleaning your feed without potentially insulting someone with an unfollow.

Revive Your Feed.  

You’ve already lowered your following number, and now its time to curate your Instagram into the perfect sanctuary. We encourage you to step past your fabulous friends and loving family but use Instagram as a way to stay informed about the world around you. 

Step 1: We encourage you to follow the C.E.O’s or founders of companies you admire. These business moguls are a refreshing source of inspiration and almost always, have highly curated feeds (duh!). It’s also always a good idea to be informed about your industries current events for networking – and this is a great and easy way to stay in the loop. 

Something Social’s favorite C.E.Os to follow are: Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow, Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe & Ban.Do’s Jen Gotch

  • Step 2: You can take your involvement in your business’ sphere one step further. Pay attention to companies that lead the industry you are interested in and find them on Instagram. There are instagram accounts and communities for just about anything from cryptocurrency to high fashion to luxurious travel. We encourage you to follow the companies themselves to fill your feed with cutting edge content. 

Something Social’s favorite accounts for social media education are: Sprout Social, HubSpot & Google

  • Step 3: News sources have utilized Instagram to give their users an even more consistent way to stay informed about current events! So take advantage of it! Whether you care about global news or also want to keep up with celebrity headlines, allow your feed to do this for you. This method of catching up with the news will encourage you to see different perspectives all in one space. With these simple follows, you’ll put down your phone feeling more educated about the world around you. 

Something Socials’ favorite news accounts are the: @Nytimes, @TheSkimm & @IntoTheGloss 

Reawaken the Formula 

Your Instagram is finally a perfect oasis. Each post you scroll through is entirely applicable to your interests and life focus. Now it’s time to let the Instagram algorithm take it from here! By simply liking and commenting on your feed’s photos, the algorithm will show you similar topics in your feed, and your explore page. By interacting with Instagram, it will serve you further. 

Lastly – R E L A X 

Social media is supposed to be fun and useful to you! You shouldn’t shut off your phone off and feel weighed down by your time spent on social media; instead, you should use it in a smart and impactful way. Follow people in your everyday life, concepts you are interested in, and people that inspire you! Through using these simple steps, we hope we can help you create a healthier and more beneficial relationship with your online sphere. 

Written by our Creative Intern, Vineta Rendler

Have some mental health hacks of your own? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or follow us on the ‘gram – @somethingsocial.

Related Reads

Foster Mental Wellness: At Work & At Home

Foster Mental Wellness: Digitally 

#SomeoneSocial: Claire Leahy

Claire Leahy

Introduce yourself to the Something Social LA community via your top three favorite Instagram accounts!

 

For the art – @inezandvinoodh

For the accuracy – @costarastrology

For the laughs – @stressedstylist

 

You’re a woman of many talents. Actor, photographer, excellent piano player… what is your secret to balancing multiple creative pursuits and giving time to each hustle?

Wow!  Thanks for the compliment!  I actually don’t think I have a secret to balancing it all, I just have learned to lean into my *breakdown in tears every day* as part of the process of being an artist LOL.  It’s really hard to have so many different creative outlets and pursue them all with attention, specificity and excellence at the same time. I want to do SO much and accomplish SO much that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like I’ve not worked hard enough or I’m not doing enough to accomplish my goals.  I give myself a lot of grief when I focus more on one thing for extended periods of time without giving the others a second thought.  The best advice I’ve been given as an artist is that you CAN have it all, just not at the same time. What I’ve started to do more now, which helps with this idea of ‘balance’, is instead of pumping my schedule full of “work”, I let the work come to me.  I am in every sense a workaholic. I love being busy, I love working and I love creating which is why I love all these fun jobs I get to do! Before, I would panic that I’d never work again and fill my schedule with unfulfilling shoots, bad auditions or lazy piano practice just for the sake of feeling “busy” and “working hard”.  But then the work and the art begins to suffer because I had less time to do my job well and I actually was less excited to do it. But now, I enjoy my free-er or slower seasons as a photographer because it gives me an opportunity to focus my energy on my other creative pursuits and vice versa. When I’m working more as an actor, those other creative pursuits take the backseat, but they’re never going to go away.  In fact, I really believe all of my creative pursuits inform and inspire the other. Art inspires art. It’s all ebb and flow and I guess I’m just starting to be OKAY with knowing that I CAN do it all, but just not ALL at the same time. That paradigm switch has helped keep me really excited about each creative project, be able to enjoy the process and not feel overworked or uninspired. Most importantly it’s helped me become less anxious about what I’m NOT doing and celebrate all that I AM and HAVE accomplished!  

 

You do photography work for brands, businesses, weddings, events, individuals and the list goes on. What differences go into the preparation, execution and post-production of these vastly different types of photography?

I actually think the intention, preparation, execution and post of each project always stays the same: Creative Collaboration.  Let’s all create something awesome together and that starts with making sure each client has a kick ass time. In fact, my goal is always to make it the most fun shoot they’ve ever been a part of so that everyone leaves thinking WOW that was so amazing I can’t wait to see what we created.  If you go in with *THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING*, you bring amazing and you create amazing.  

-Portraits are really simple!  We choose location, wardrobe, hair and makeup and then the connection between photographer and subject does the rest of the work – but it’s always collaborative from head to toe!

-Preparation for each project is going to be a hair different pending budget and deadlines.  But it always starts with: what are our goals and expectations. What do you need and how can we make that happen.  If it’s a quick turn around and a tighter budget, I rely mostly on day of direction and creative collaboration. If we have time to work out the specifics, I always ask for moodboards to see the direction / vibe of the shoot itself and the brand identity in terms of editing style – which in turn helps create shot-lists that keeps everyone organized and gives a clear set of expectations for post production.

-Post production for each project is always different because I like to give each client specific branded digital assets that are immediately ready for social + web implementation.   I don’t want two jewelry companies to be getting the same exact images, because then their identity is lost. It’s important to me that they get imagery specific to who they are.  My style is always in there, but I want the brand to shine.

-Weddings are just a whole different world.  Preparation and planning is excruciatingly specific and if the preparation is lacking the whole thing kind of crumbles and feels like a scramble.  I just make sure to take as long as I need to get every little drip of information and detail from my brides so that come their big day, the only thing they need to worry about is marrying the love of their life and not if I’m missing a shot they really want but forgot to tell me about.  I always have a second shooter with me so if I miss a moment, they’ve got me covered! Post Production again, is just A LOT of work so I allow myself to take breaks and I have a way longer turnaround time so I’m not stressed to meet a deadline and can still implement other jobs into my workflow!  Key for weddings on my end are: be present, be patient and take breaks!

 

What kind of photography is your favorite?

I love LOVE love shooting people in general.  Fashion and Portraiture are my favorite things to shoot because fashion feels very creative and artistic and portraiture is so simple and intimate.  There is something so special about being able to work and connect with people that makes any type of project really fun and rewarding.

 

Any secrets or tips you could give to anyone just starting out in photography?

Do your research.   Be patient. Learn as much as you can.  Say yes to everything. Buy lenses with great glass, even if it costs more.  Invest in your tools and gear. And most importantly: it’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how you make your clients FEEL.  If they feel great, the pictures will be great and they’ll keep coming back because the experience is extraordinary.

 

Being the start of a new year, we can’t ignore the talk of resolutions. Do you have any goals for 2019 or things you are working to improve this year?

I’m not much for resolutions but I do have some specific career goals, I won’t bore you with those details!  Mostly, I hope 2019 is a year of being kinder to myself. I tend to put a lot of pressure on what I’m not and instead, I want to celebrate what I am and what I have.  Less excuses, more hard work, more gratitude, more time spent with people who make me feel full, more creative projects that validate my existence as an artist, more love, more family time, more wine and more travel.  Less guilt over sleeping in that one day or eating too much or not booking a job. I just want to celebrate getting to live this life exactly as it unfolds!

 

Quick rounds:

Favorite spot in LA?  Anywhere my family is.  (or The Now in Studio City haha)

Top destination for a getaway? In California, The Ace Palm Springs; Abroad, Thailand!

Dream photography subject?  I’d love to do a portrait sitting for W Mag at the Oscars!

Favorite lens? 24-70mm II 2.8!! I think it’s the most versatile and has great glass!

Favorite editing tool? I love coloring with soft light layers on Photoshop!

Piece of equipment you want to get your hands on?  A few Alien Bee octodomes!

Dream acting role?  Anything that has come from the brilliant mind of Aaron Sorkin.

Favorite meal?  Chips and Guacamole (yes, it IS a meal with my portion sizes!)

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?  

Best of 2018: The more favors you do for other people, the less you can do for yourself.  That website you wanted to finish? That book you wanted to read? The scripts you wanted to work on?  That exercise regimen you wanted to start? The editing you need to get done? The more favors you put on your plate, the less you can do for you.  

Best of Life: Pursue Excellence. It’s the purest journey I know. I write, teach, parent, love, be — because I choose to be. Because I CHOOSE to do these things with my one big life… You are pursuing excellence. What it means to have an excellent life. You are brave because you are living the life you want and you cannot lose.

Follow Claire at @claireleahy

Interview by our Chief Operations Officer,  Marissa Stahl

 

SSLA Resolutions

Another year in the books. 2019 has been a big year for Something Social. We’ve landed some incredible new clients; Waldorf Astoria, Squeeze, and Jen7 Jeans to name a few. We doubled in size, promoted from within, and grew our team into a company servicing clientele in diverse industries including lifestyle, hospitality, food and bev, beauty, fashion, and more. But enough about us. Read on to dig into the year from our team’s eyes.

Marissa

Every year for the past few years I have picked a word at the New Year to center my year around. Past words have included “Bold” and “Courage.” Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes it backfires, but it is a nice intention at the start of the year. For 2018, I picked the word “me.” I started the year by buying a new bed and re-doing my bedroom, something that I had been wanting to do for a long time. That set me up on the right track of putting my needs and self first.

I think I was successful for the most part in following through with my intention, I took two trips that I’ve been wanting to do for years, joined a film organization that I’ve been wanting to be a part of for a long time and made a point weekly to make time for myself and things that I wanted to do- usually exercise or spending time with loved ones. I haven’t picked a word for 2019 yet, but a good friend gave me the idea of picking a new mantra every week.

 

Allison

What helps me stay on track with my goals is having someone else invested in those goals to keep me on my toes and hold me accountable. I normally have a hard time staying consistent with exercise. What really kept me going was buying a monthly package where I’m penalized for not showing up! However, this also causes some extra stress, so I’m not sure if that’s how I want to go about it next year. I think the key to success is finding something you love so I may try dance for physical activity this year!

For 2019, I plan to release a full EP (5 songs) at the top of the year, getting back into an exercise regimen, as well as completing my ergonomic workstation!

Erin

In 2018, I wanted to travel somewhere (near or far, just outside of LA) at least once a month. There were a few months I didn’t get out but all in all I went to at least 12 places outside of LA this year! I also became very conscious of how good it felt to change up my routine and started saying “yes” more often.

In 2019, I’d like to continue traveling and spending weekends away. I’d also like to finally get some personal projects out in the open. I’ve been working on them for what feels forever and just lagging – it’s time to make it happen!  No more excuses! Don’t talk myself out of opportunities! Say yes to everything and learn as I go.

I get inspired by Free + Native, Gala Darling, Jen Sincero’s books, my amazing, talented friends… I’m sure there are a million more but what has really helped was cleaning out my IG,  unfollowing, and muting things and people I don’t want to see. Now it’s full of spiritually inspiring words, dreamy places, and positive vibes. VERY important when a huge part of your job is to be on Instagram!

Phoebe

In 2018, I wanted to find more balance between my work and personal life, knowing when to put the phone down and unplug. I definitely want to continue working on this in the new year, perhaps setting specific intentions for how I can unplug and find that balance. I think I can benefit from realizing that I’m only one human and I can only do my best effort.

Goals for 2019:

Not being on my phone for the first and last hour of the day

Travel more (I’m big on quick weekend trips but I haven’t left the country since I graduated college!)

Continue to improve my health & fitness (I know, how cliche of me)

I am newly obsessed with this Australian Youtuber who’s channel is ‘Sarah’s Day‘. She is all about balance, doing what feels right for YOU, and living the best possible life you can. She’s been a huge inspiration for me – thanks to Caitlin for getting me hooked.

Caitlin

In 2019 I will make travel a bigger priority in my life. In the past few years it’s been really difficult for me to find the time to get away, even though it’s something I’ve been wanting to do. Even if it’s getting away for a weekend in Santa Barbara or Big Sur, or exploring a new destination once a quarter, I will make concrete plans in the upcoming year to make this resolution a reality.

Taylor

I actually didn’t have any resolutions going into 2018, but I definitely will going into 2019! Mainly, in the New Year I want to focus on bettering myself. Whether that is by getting more sleep, exercising more often, taking more time to travel, or simply focusing on the positive in situations that would normally frustrate me. Basically just to consistently be a well-rounded human! I would also like to eat more ramen in the new year because it’s delicious. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Kelsey

My resolutions tend to always revolve around maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I want to eat better, sleep better, workout more, and so on and so forth. While I wouldn’t say I’ve adhered to that very strictly this year (it’s been a whirlwind, let me tell you), I do think I’ve been better about not beating myself up when the setbacks happen, which is definitely something.

I could have made myself more of a priority. Like most people, my mental, physical, and emotional health tend to be the first things to go by the wayside when I’m busy or stressed. Definitely still a work-in-progress where this is concerned, but I think I’m slowly getting there.

In 2019, I think I’d like to continue striving for a wholesome, well-balanced lifestyle as well as work on being able to ride the waves of life as they ebb and flow. I get so uninspired when things get monotonous but tend to fight off any change that comes my way. I’m a paradox, there’s no denying it, but the first step is acknowledging your problems, right?

I’ve been on a big documentaries kick this year. The ones I typically go back to when I need inspiration are “Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things,” and oddly enough, “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life,” which centers around the life and career of one of the first Disney animators. Both films highlight individuals who have successfully mastered the qualities I’m trying to emulate, and I find it very compelling.

Lorna

In 2019 I want to become proficient in graphic design using the Adobe Creative Suite. I also want to start investing and really take hold of my financial future! I’ve already started by downloading programs like Skillshare that really walk you through programs like Photoshop. I am pretty good at holding myself accountable, but it helps to structure specific times to work on your goals. For example, I have started designating Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings for learning graphic design.

Interviews by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

What goals do you resolve to bring to life in 2019? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

Related Reads

Setting Goals for Growth in 2019

#SomewhereSocial: December 2018

 

#SomethingSignificant: Trash Is For Tossers

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 share a new way to give back with you. 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.

In a month focused on travel and gift giving, there’s a major amount of heavy lifting that can be done to reduce how much waste we’re generating. Which is why we felt it appropriate to leave 2018 on a Zero Waste Note. Trash is For Tossers is a blog rooted in the philosophy of making sustainable living easy. Written by Lauren Singer, the blog is a creative guide to reducing waste and encouraging environmental responsibility.

You may know, Lauren as the viral sensation popularizing the Zero Waste Lifestyle. After three years of living a zero waste lifestyle, Lauren did a TedxTeen talk that you can watch here. Our favorite part? Lauren’s talking points are distinctly focused on being easy. “I’m a normal, lazy person,” she says, “I wouldn’t be living this lifestyle if it were difficult.”

As an Environmental Studies major, Lauren had always talked the talk of loving the environment, but she had her “aha!” moment when she witnessed a fellow Environmental Studies student bring her lunch in a single use plastic bag with plastic utensils every single day. “I would sit there and think, we are supposed to be the future of this planet and here we are with our trash, messing it up.”

She’s used the reach of her highly influential blog to not only make Zero Waste living accessible, but she’s turned it into a store and a product line. Lauren’s store, Package Free Shop, offers solutions and resources that are essential to reducing your personal plastic use. The shop stocks everything from her all-encompassing Zero Waste Kits to bamboo straws to personal hygiene products sold in plastic-free containers. Package Free Shop has made an impact, reporting that since opening, the company has helped divert 4,025,600 plastic straws, 3,061,240 plastic bags and 1,419,260 non-recyclable bottles out of the landfill.

Ready to follow in Lauren’s low-carbon footprints? Her top tips for going no waste are pretty simple.

Bring your own bags. Shop in bulk goods sections and farmers markets to avoid plastic.

Make your own products.

Buy your clothes second hand.

Konmari your lifestyle.*

Grocery Shopping + Farmer’s Markets in Los Angeles

Erewhon Natural Foods: At their locations, you can find a good selection of standard bulk foods like grains, beans, nuts, seeds, snacks, herbs, spices, teas, and more.

Sprouts throughout the city: What you can purchase in bulk here varies by location, but options include grains, beans, nuts, seeds, granola, snacks, baking supplies, dried fruits, and more.

Santa Monica

Co-Opportunity Natural Foods: Has a large bulk section, which offers the standard selection of grains, beans, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, snacks, herbs, spices, and teas, as well as a few particularly exceptional offerings: nearly 30 different types of bulk coffee, machines for freshly ground almond, cashew, and peanut butters, and bulk liquids like honey, maple syrup, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar.

Culver City

Co-Opportunity Natural Foods: Has a large bulk section, which offers the standard selection of grains, beans, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, snacks, herbs, spices, and teas, as well as a few particularly exceptional offerings: nearly 30 different types of bulk coffee, machines for freshly ground almond, cashew, and peanut butters, and bulk liquids like honey, maple syrup, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar.

Rainbow Acres: Bulk dry goods (pantry staples like beans, grains, nuts, and snacks), bulk liquids like soy sauce, and a big selection of herbs, spices, and teas. They also have bulk cleaning supplies like borax, beeswax, and soaps.

Long Beach

Bring Your Own Long Beach: At this spot, you can stock up on bulk home and beauty products, like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, body lotion, jojoba oil, Castile soap, baking soda, laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher detergent and more. They also sell zero waste goods for the home. Find them at a pop-up location or at their refill station.

Eastside LA

Broome Street General Store: You can find nontoxic and refillable soaps and household cleaners made by Common Good.

Sustain LA: Package-free household cleaning supplies and bath and beauty products; you can bring your own container or purchase one of theirs to fill up. They pop up at Farmer’s Markets in Highland Park, Atwater Village, and Altadena, but they have an online store you can check out as well!

Composting in LA

Composting isn’t tough. Figuring out what to do with the scraps when you don’t have the yard space (or a yard!) for a compost bin is the hard part. But the good news is you have options!

First, take a look at the options your waste management company provides. If you live in a house, this one is a no brainer! The city will just pick up your compost for you when you put it in your green bin. Don’t have a green bin? You can request one through your waste management service! (They’re legally required to provide one upon request!)

If you live in an apartment or just aren’t in control of your waste management options, but still want to compost, it requires a little more leg work. That’s where Epic Renewal comes in. For the low cost of $30/month these green thumbs will provide you with a 3 or 5 gallon compost bin, pick it up, AND compost it. For more info on Epic Renewal, check out their website here.

The best spots for second-hand clothing in Los Angeles

Melrose Trading Post (Your non-stop shop for second hand goods of truly any kind.)

Wasteland (A must for the brand-oriented thrifter.)

Crossroads (They’ll buy your unwanted threads too!)

Squaresville (Seventies jumpers and sparkles galore. Perfect for the retro diva.)

Jet Rag (Check out their $1 sale every Sunday!)

Goodwill (Pro-tip: go to the locations in rich neighborhoods.)

Our favorite Zero Waste products:

Silicone Bags

String Bags

Travel Mugs

Articles to continue your education:

This very seasonal guide on how to wrap gifts zero waste.

Lauren’s Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste Living

Zero Waste Swaps: Personal Hygiene

Kaeleigh’s Fave DIY and Customizable Face Cleanser Recipe (She uses it daily!!)

If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up, get on it.*

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

What are your fave Zero Waste Living tips? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

Related Reads

Something Significant: BeYoutiful Foundation

SSLA Gratitude 2018

Setting Goals for Growth in 2019

When brands tell us they are struggling to use social media to grow their business, we are skeptical. Not skeptical that they aren’t seeing growth, but that they are fully using each social media tool to its full advantage. Social Media Marketing is a modern melt of art, strategy & experimentation to create an impactful comprehensive digital plan. Like any proper experiment, you need structure to measure your results. To help you and your brand kick off 2019 with a bang, we’re breaking down the four keys to growth in the digital space.

The Four Keys to Growth:

Goal-Setting

Planning

Metrics Measurement

Responsive Strategy

Goal-Setting

In order to set out on your brand’s growth journey, you need to lay a strong foundation. You’ll be happy to learn that this step has more than likely been executed little by little over the course of your business. To know which social methods to utilize, you need an idea of where you hope to go as a business. Grab a pen and paper and start with the following exercise:

Where do you want your business to be in one, five, and ten years? Don’t inhibit yourself by thinking about how you’ll get there, just let your inner visionary run free. Be as specific as you can, but make sure to get everything out on paper.

For Example: Perhaps you’re a small business owner looking to increase revenue over the next year.

Brainstorm the details. Now that you have all your grand ideas and concepts written out, continue to brainstorm the ones that stick out to you. (Feel free to brainstorm on all of them if you have the time!) Some of our favorite methods for brainstorming are free writing, list making, or mind mapping. Choose a method that works best for you, but utilize this time to get very specific about each one of your concepts from the previous question.

For Example: You have identified that a key step in increasing revenue is to both triple the number of unique shoppers in your brick and mortar and e-commerce stores and double the number of actual sales.

Sort it out. Now it’s time to prioritize. Take all of the big dreams and essential details from your brainstorming steps and decide on each plan’s attainability, required time commitment, financial impact, and desirability. Use these rankings to identify your most important goals. In order to move on to the next step, you should be walking away with a few goals that are SMART: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. For more on setting SMART goals, check out this article from The Balance.

For example: Increasing your company’s revenue by growing your customer base and boosting sales is a Specific goal that can be Measured through actionable steps such as implementing a focused digital content strategy and a number of unique and targeted, paid ad campaigns. It will take time and effort, but it is realistic and Attainable. The goals of growing your customer base and boosting sales are Relevant because they will directly affect your company’s revenue. You want to complete this within a year, so it is Time-Based.

Planning

At this point, you should have been able to identify a few loose goals that you can begin working on immediately. Don’t overwhelm yourself by making a game plan for every one of your business dreams right now. It’s time to get specific and calculated. The best use of your time is to map out the execution of your most immediate goals. Create a plan for each your goals with the following exercise:

Focus on why the goal is important to you and what it will mean once you achieve it.

Determine specific actions you can take to achieve the goal.

Define the metrics you will use to track the progress of this goal.

Clarify how your business will use your digital platforms to achieve this goal.

For example:

Growing your customer base and boosting sales is important in increasing revenue for your company. To achieve this, you must 1. Implement a focused digital content strategy 2. Run a thorough analysis of your audience and your competitors’ audiences and 3. Run unique and targeted, paid ad campaigns. To measure the achievement of these goals, you will use the completion of your action items, the levels of traffic to your store and website, and the number of leads and sales as benchmarks for growth. You will use paid and organic social media advertising to promote your business.

Metrics Measurement

Now that you have an understanding of your business’s goals and the role your digital platforms will have in achieving this goal, it is time to run a diagnostic on your brand’s current performance in the social media space. It is critical to have a precise understanding of where you are starting in order to accurately measure growth down the road.

Every goal will have a unique set of metrics to focus on, depending on the function of your social media marketing strategy. We’ve broken down the must-measure metrics by function below.

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

Download and fill out this spreadsheet to record your benchmark analytics. There’s a tab customized to each one of the above goals! For more on the importance of measuring analytics, read our post on it here.

For example: If you are emphasizing paid ads to generate leads and sales, the primary metrics you might want to emphasize are the number of actual sales, conversion rates, and cost per conversion. Your secondary metrics might be click through rates, cost per click, and cost per lead.

Once you have run your diagnostic, be sure to return to these analytics and measure your growth. Set dates to hold you accountable to these goals. Check-ins can be weekly, monthly, or annually (or all three!), just make sure you’re taking the time to analyze your performance, and adjust course accordingly.

Responsive Strategy

Now that you know where you’re starting, create some goals for metrics benchmarks to support your overarching goal and break those goals down into actionable initiatives and campaigns.

For example:

To best optimize your paid ad initiative, you will need to emphasize lowering each ad’s cost per conversion. Lowering cost per conversion requires increasing the sales driven by that ad. You can do this by performing a deep audience analysis on competitors with high ad-driven sales, creating a highly specific audience that is the most likely to make a purchase after clicking, and A/B testing to optimize your content strategy.

 

We have covered so much in this article, so it is absolutely natural for you to be feeling a grand sense of overwhelm. Remember to take each one of your business (and personal!) goals one action item at a time. Progress is made simply by putting one foot in front of the other. When measuring your progress, it is important to remain flexible and responsive. A goal you set today might become irrelevant or may need a serious re-working down the road, and that’s ok! Change is inevitable, so adjust your course accordingly.

Don’t forget to celebrate your successes! It is key to continue to motivate yourself, and our favorite way to do this is to take note when you are hitting the benchmarks you set for yourself, your company, and your team.

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Have questions about goal-setting and growth? Want to share your progress? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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#SomewhereSocial: December

Happy Go Lucky Exhibit

Images courtesy of @sunnyhues_official, @blinker_bell

The latest in Insta-worthy experiences is Sunnyhue’s dreamy Happy Go Lucky Exhibit. Flush with pastel mermaid moments, a diamond-encrusted hallway, and an ocean of sunflowers, Happy Go Lucky is the perfect pop for your feed during this month of chilly, rainy days. Sunnydays is hooking you up with a special holiday offer of 20% off ticket prices when you use code ‘THANKS’ at checkout. Buy your tickets here.

Atrium in Los Feliz

Images courtesy of @meetjakob

New on the Eastside is the industrial and spacious, Atrium. Declared a “dinnertime star” by Eater LA, this hidden gem is not to be missed. Tucked into a Vermont Ave alleyway, Atrium flipped a previously unoccupied warehouse space into an elevated dining experience featuring a variety of LA flavors, including Grilled Cauliflower Shawarma, Dry Aged Steak with Szechuan Sauce, and Roasted Squash Agnolotti.Their olive-green, plush velvet booths and lush foliage are sure to make for the perfect escape.

Cha Cha Matcha

Images courtesy of @chachamatcha

You already know them and love them so matcha, and now they’re coming to the West Coast. Cha Cha Matcha opens a new storefront in our neighborhood, West Hollywood, on December 7th. Cha Cha incorporates Ceremonial Grade Matcha Powder into their drinks to raise the bar on the quality of their pretty green sips. If their New York location is any indication of their new spot, every corner is sure to be a must-’gram.

Love Actually Live

For The Record returns to The Wallis with a multimedia musical celebration of Richard Curtis’ beloved holiday movie, Love Actually. The world premiere production of Love Actually Live, presented by special arrangement with Universal Pictures and Working Title Films, will transform the Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater into a giant, immersive, cinema for the modern day. The production will include songs from the hit soundtrack, including “Christmas is All Around,” “The Trouble With Love Is,” “All Alone On Christmas” and more. Performed live by an all-star cast and 15-piece orchestra. Click here for tickets.

Highly Likely

Images courtesy of @jadeandjunipergoods, @kimfoxfoodphoto, and @handandrose

Brought to you by the owners of Cafe Gratitude and Juice Served here, popping up in the up-and-coming neighborhood of West Adams is Highly Likely. Not only is the natural light out of this world, but the breezy atmosphere of light wood and plenty of plants is beautifully accented with a graphic mural. The daytime menu of bowls, sandwiches, and salads features specially sourced ingredients like @bubandgrandmas bread, Niman Ranch bacon, and a HiLi Hot Sauce brewed and bottled specifically for Highly Likely’s kitchen. In the evenings, the menu transitions to a late night menu, featuring unique bites and apps like Nacho Fries, Burrata Toast, and a Grass-Fed Burger to pair with their lineup of French wines.

Check out their pop-up events with rotating floral trucks and a Sunday Suppers pop-up dinner series hosted by Chef Kat Turner (@katturnerwashere). Check out the Eventbrite for tickets to their next event here.

Santa Monica Pub Crawl

Images courtesy of @smpubcrawl

The 10th Annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl kicks off this Saturday at 5pm in Santa Monica, CA. Drink around the city’s best bars and restaurants to raise money for those in need during the holidays through a partnership with Westside Food Bank. With your SMPC wristband you will receive drink and food specials at the participating locations.

Participants are asked to dress in Santa/Holiday attire so that the streets of Santa Monica will be filled with merry cheer. Crawlers must sign up online, Pay a $15 entrance fee (in advance), choose a route and collect their wristband and map at their official starting location. (see all routes here) For more information on the crawl, check out their website.

Poppy’s New Year’s Eve Party

Smack dab in the middle of West Hollywood, Poppy has always been one of our favorite spots. This year they’re serving up a New Year’s offer that can’t be beat. Tickets start at $94 for a 5-hour premium open bar premium open bar and live music from one of The h.wood Group’s best DJs. Before the stroke of midnight, raise a glass of complimentary champagne and join the DJ in a live countdown to 2019. Have a little extra holiday cash to throw at your NYE celebration? Pick from a selection of VIP table packages featuring priority admission, reserved seating, and bottle service. Click here to buy your tickets.

Prohibition New Year’s Eve

Images courtesy of @prohibitionnye.

KCRW hosts their annual Prohibition New Year’s Eve party at the glamorous and historic Union Station. General Admission tickets start at $185 and include an open bar of champagne and premium spirits. LA based duo CLASSIXX will take the main stage at the midnight hour to perform an energetic, disco-inspired DJ set. Further musical support includes internationally touring saxophonist Justin Ward, Los Angeles’ own DJ Gadachy, Jackie Emerald, MDA DJ’s Daniel Minaya & Mogli, along with jazz ensemble Lyndsay & the All Nighters, and burlesque performances from Dollhouse Entertainment. Click here to buy your tickets.

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

What are your go-to holiday spots? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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5 Ways to Perfect Your Business’s Social Strategy

Facile_Beauty_Store_Pasadena

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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5 Steps to the Perfect Flatlay

 

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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