5 Clothing Companies Killin’ the Instagram Game

By: Ayla Apitsch, @AylaApit

These fashion accounts are becoming noticed through their strong Insta presence. Each account takes a slightly different approach, but all are still succeeding.

1. @FreePeople

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The perfect combination of nature, clothing inspiration and good vibes.  They value simplicity in showcasing their boho trends flaunting down the beach not just on models, but on their consumers too. A number of posts on their account features content sent in by fans of the clothing line.

2. @Nike

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@Nike features some awesome people completing some incredible feats in some pretty amazing places. From kids playing t-ball, to pro athletes, their Instagram showcases many ways you can #justdoit, all while sporting that famous Nike swoosh.

3. @MichaelKors

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It’s not just an Instagram account…it’s #InstaKors that sets this account apart from the rest.  You can like it, shop it, own it by registering for this easy, new way to scroll and shop the latests Michael Kors trends.

4. @Asos

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Their account features #tbt pictures of what inspires their vintage-renewed lines, as well as style guides and motivational pictures to get you through the workweek.  The @Asos Instagram account also features looks on, and by, the fashion stylists from their site, with advice tailored to you on the latest fashion trends.

5. @Burberry

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If you can’t indulge in their pieces on a college budget, at least you can feel a part of the experience with their behind-the-scenes looks that bring the brand to life.  From sketches to commercial sneak peaks, @Burberry lets you feel like a part of the action.

Five Most Underused Social Media Tools

By: Gentry Bennett, @Gen_andTonic

With so many social media sites these days, it can be hard to learn the ends and outs of all of them. There are some hidden tools and features that can extremely help improve your experience. Without further ado, here are the five most underused social media tools…

1. Mute on Twitter, Unfollow on Facebook

Whether it’s your uncle on Facebook that likes to share his political views, or that one professor on Twitter that tweets at least once an hour, sometimes your feed needs a little “spring cleaning.” The mute and unfollow options on Twitter and Facebook, respectively, help you to stay connected with whomever you please. If the people you want to connect with aren’t improving your social media experience, silence is a simple click away. To activate these features, go to the selected account’s profile page. From here, on Facebook click where it says “Following” or on Twitter click the “Settings” gear, and unfollow or mute away!

2. Reading List on Twitter, Saved Links on Facebook

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This feature will come in handy for those with a tendency to click on the longest articles when they don’t have time to read. If you fall into this category, and want to save that Buzzfeed article for your morning commute or walk to class, your bookmark bar is waiting for you. The days of cluttered bookmark bars and a million open tabs on your browser are over: enter Saved Links and Reading List. iPhone users can send articles found on Twitter to their Safari “Reading List,” while Facebook users can use the “Save Link” feature. Simply open the article of your choice and tap the arrow coming out of the box icon to save or send to your List.

3. Discover on Instagram

It’s easy to scroll through the photos on Instagram and then close out of the app. Just one tab over from your home feed is the search tab where you can also find Instagram’s most popular photos. These photos range from a Kardashian selfie to traveling photographers. This is a great way to find new people and companies you can follow to help diversify your feed.

4. Pinned Posts

Pinned tweets and Facebook posts (most often used in Groups) can be extremely helpful for the social media user with a lot of content on their profiles or Groups. Pinned posts allow you to pin one post that you find important, or has pertinent information, to the top of your profile. All other content following will be organized as it normally would. This is especially helpful for an upcoming event or contact information that a user viewing the profile or Group may need.

5. Relationship Notes on LinkedIn

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Use this hidden feature to privately remember where you met someone or a reminder about a conversation you had once. Below the photo on a LinkedIn profile, click “Relationship.” From here, you can add any notes you want about the person. The best part is, the notes are completely hidden to anyone except you.

Keeping Your Personal Brand Safe Over Spring Break

By: Sophia Ciancone, @sophiaciancone

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Spring break is finally here. Ping has been packed and the salad bar line long. Students are ready to set off and enjoy a week of carefree relaxation and fun. It’s important, however, that students keep in mind a lecture we’ve heard time and time again: brand yourself. From professors to professionals, everyone in the field promises that if we just create our brand, we are set. Sometimes, adventurous trips like spring break can put our brand at jeopardy. In order to make sure that does’t happen, here are some tips to keep things clean while you’re soaking up the sun and having a blast with your friends.

  1. Put the phone down. Sun, sand and water make a dangerous combination when it comes to smartphones. Despite the fact that you want to capture memories of your trip, it may just be best for your phone and your brand if you keep the phone in a safe, secure location. Don’t bring out your professional self, if there is a chance someone could ruin your professional image. Bring it out only for small periods of time.
  2. Steer clear of social media. This could be a good week just to take a short break from social media all together. Log out of your Twitter and Instagram, or maybe only check it a few times a day. Once something is posted, it can never come down.
  3. Take fun, clean pictures. When you step away from the party for a bit snap some fun, beach pictures with your friends that are social media friendly. These are the pictures you can share with your followers that will keep your brand clean and pristine.

Keep these simple tips in mind while you’re soaking up the sun, and when you return back to reality, your brand will be exactly the way you left it.

How to use your PR Skills outside of the office

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

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The clock reads five, so you grab your coat, say goodbye to a couple of colleagues, and head out for the day. You were on fire today, everything you touched seemed to turn into Social Media gold. You knew you were good at what you do, you just never thought you would be this good. You wonder: If I’m this good inside the office, I wonder how good I can be outside…

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Your friend is complaining that no one ever likes her photo, and she asks for your help. Using your PR skills, you post her next photo at the best time to catch the most amount of traffic without being lost among the stacks of new posts to get more attention on the photo. You also include basic hashtags so that the ghost followers and those attentive to certain things will see, and like, the photo. This will easily double the amount of double-taps, without even blinking.

Break-ups 

Your best friend calls, they were just dumped by their significant other, and they need some cheering up. When you walk through their doors all you see is a pile of used tissues and junk food wrappers. The stench of defeat and self-loathing is strong. You quickly put on your game face and go on the offense to change their perspective before it’s too late. With your quick thinking, you start altering their mindset to make the break-up seem more their idea.

Family

Holiday season is here, which means its time to play everyone’s favorite game.

Do you have a boyfriend? Despite showing up fresh-faced and all smiles, everybody in the family from little Susie, to Great Aunt Catherine, are  asking about your love life. Instead of reaching for the wine bottle, you smile and start in on your all but pre-planned love life press release.  “ I am not dating anyone except my schoolwork. I plan on graduating college with job offers, and I am very happy. At this time we are not accepting questions. Who wants something to drink?”

Despite your job only being (mostly) nine to five, your skills are an asset to you anywhere and at anytime.

5 Social Media Tips to Begin 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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Starting a new year allows for the chance to start fresh, and there is no reason this shouldn’t apply to your social media life too. Now is a perfect time to rethink your media strategy, and make some changes for the year ahead. With a little time and effort, you can have a completely revamped and improved plan for 2015.

Evan Lepage, a blogger for Hootsuite, discussed five tips for social media renovations. Taking from Lepage’s discussion, I’ll add some personal experiences of my own to bring the discussion closer to home.

1. Declutter and Drop the Weight

  • There are times when you scroll through your news feed on the accounts you manage, or maybe your own, and realize that you have no idea why you follow some r accounts. Drop that weight. Stop cluttering your feed with people who aren’t aligning with your goals, or who aren’t supplying the information you are looking for. Get rid of them, and move on. Also, cancel those accounts that you never use. If you aren’t updating that Google+ you made when you signed up for Gmail, end it. People shouldn’t find that and follow it, if you are never going to update anything on it.

2. Set Realistic Goals

  • Be smart about what you plan to achieve this year with your social media accounts. Don’t get your hopes up, saying you are going to gain 100 organic new followers on Instagram in a month. Chances are this probably won’t happen. I know that I have created goals for one of my accounts to post every other day on a Facebook page, and have 5 new likes in two months. Since education reform is a narrower interest group, I knew not to expect a lot, but hopefully gain some new followers.

3. Build a Follow List

  • While you are setting your goals, it might be a good idea to think about what information you hope to receive from your accounts. Once you know what you are looking for from your account, find new accounts that will provide you with that information. Don’t follow the people that retweet the information, follow the people who are first to send it out. Make a list of these people, and know who to look for to increase your effectiveness.

4. Update Profiles

  • Not having an updated profile is a real buzz kill. People are looking to learn more about you, but if you never update that Linkedin, then it becomes difficult. And yes, people still check Facebook, so make sure that is updated as well. Even if you don’t use it, have it up-to-date, or get rid of it.

5. Learn, Learn, Learn

  • Social media could be described as the fastest changing medium. New platforms are created all the time. It’s important to know what the hottest new app is and how the old ones have evolved. Stay current and do your homework. Make an effort to learn as much as you can about the sites you use and how they are changing. Also, make it a point to be on the look out for what is up and coming. You don’t want to be the last one to the rodeo.

Tumblr: Less is more

By: Gabrielle Gamad, @gabbygamad

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While procrastinating in the library, I discovered why one social media site is taking the field. Archive after archive, I began to see an abundance of things Tumblr did better than the more popular social media platforms.

For starters, Tumblr hits the hard-to-reach demographic, teen to twenty-something year olds. According to the Business Insider, GlobalWebIndex’s survey reported that 34 million Internet users, globally, said that they contribute to, or use Tumblr on a monthly basis. Nearly half, 46%, of these users were between the ages of 16 and 24. Tumblr appeals to this age group by keeping posts simple.

I can confidently say a majority of my newsfeed is Parks and Recreation memes (usually Leslie Knope inspirational quotes), dancing babies from Vine and GIFs from old 90’s movies. Under all the fluff of my favorite memes and GIFs is something every person interested in PR can take away. Going into 2015, people in PR should consider that sometimes less is more when trying to target the 16 to 24 age group.

Hear about “The Woman and Black 2” coming to theaters January 2nd? There’s a GIF for that. What about the Hawaii vacation give away contest St. Ives is promoting? Yeah, there’s a GIF for that too. Instead of watching a three minute movie trailer, there is a couple of highlights from the movie, conveniently located to the right of your newsfeed. Also, a picture of two sandy feet in the ocean is a lot more appealing than a list of reasons why you should pay attention to St. Ives. We live in a fast paced world where advertisements are long and attention spans are short. Quick GIFs and images gets advertiser’s point across without wasting the time of their audience.

Scroll through Tumblr, you can immediately see there is an array of multimedia content that appeals to our microscopic attention spans, keeping posts short, sweet and to the point. Tumblr is similar to Twitter and Instagram in the way they distribute their content. What sets Tumblr’s apart is the ability to have multimedia, and various other mediums, on a newsfeed. Instagram is strictly pictures or videos, and Twitter is 140 character posts and pictures. Tumblr is all media you need concentrated into one area.

Tumblr began utilizing their unique multimedia abilities when native, sponsored posts were created in Spring 2013. Since then, they have been revolutionizing the way companies are promoting themselves and engaging with consumers. An example of the paid advertisers Tumblr has is the telecommunication company, AT&T.

AT&T is currently on a journey to look at the way humans are evolving and connecting through mobile devices, which they call, The Mobile Movement. Anyone can track their journey on AT&T’s Tumblr. Students, artists, innovators and every day people can share their stories about their networked life through customer created GIFs, making it personal and relatable. AT&T is connecting with their customers in a way that no one else is.

Even their sponsored post is simple, a text bubble that reads “when you know what you want call me.” AT&T is bringing life to their brand by using reblogs, GIFs and memes to connect with their customers personal loves and experiences. That is the most significant difference between Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr has the ability to bring people together through experiences and human insights.

Those in the PR field should begin prioritizing Tumblr as a primary social media platform, maybe even more than Twitter and Instagram. Tumblr is quickly increasing the number of companies they are sponsoring, as they continue to revolutionize the way companies engage with young consumers. When it comes to targeting young consumers, Tumblr proves that simple multimedia posts are most appealing.

Four Easy Tricks to Up Your Insta-Game

By: Alicia Collins, @aliciacollins_

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In today’s society, the amount of Instagram followers a person has relates directly to the value of that person. This may be an exaggeration. In the public relations field, the number of Instagram followers your account holds will not hinder your success. That’s because the average Instagram user spends upwards of 275 minutes a month consuming the popular social media site’s content.

If you’re like me, however, you could spend 275 minutes scrolling through your feed in just mere days. For us ‘insta-addicts’ and wannabe publicists, increasing our follower count can be a daunting and timely task, especially when you’re not a Kardashian, (or Jenner), with millions of followers. To assist those looking to increase their following, here are a few tips and tricks compiled from expert Instagrammers and a recent study.

1. Expert Instagrammers agree, aesthetics matter.

Amy Stone (@amy_stone), global community manager of Gap clothing stores, with over 116K followers, told Marie Claire Online that color palette, subject matter, and mood all contribute to making your feed appear more cohesive. She is attracted to cooler hues in her posts, making her individual photos stick out while also making her feed as a whole encouraging you to press follow.

2. Contrary to popular belief, the time of day you post a photo does not matter.

According to a study released by Piquora, a social media analytics tracking company, the time of day does not necessarily impact the amount of likes or comments one receives on a photo, however, the day of the week does. The study found Thursday as the most popular day to post and Sunday as the most effective. Interactions on photos were found to be the great on Sunday.

3. Use hashtags.

Some may presume the usage of multiple hashtags on one photo to be a bit much, but researchers disagree, finding surprising results. According to Piquora’s study, larger Instagram accounts, with over 1,000 followers, receive an average of 21.21 interactions per photo. On the other hand, Instagrammers with less than 1,000 followers that post a photo with eleven hashtags received an average of 77.66 interactions.

4. When choosing a filter, choose Mayfair.

The most popular Instagram hashtag and filter is undoubtedly “#nofilter.” Research showed that going without a filter may not be the best choice. Filters are not only my personal favorite attribute of one of the most popular social media apps, but they are what make Instagram unique. On average photos using the Mayfair filter receive 23.044 interactions, while photos without a filter only receive roughly 18 interactions.