Seriously, you can make history.
By: Oscar Hernandez
Since the introduction of social media with sites such as MySpace, creatives, primarily music artists, saw the potential of success by using these platforms. That potential continues today. Social media has become a tool companies and business people everywhere have started to take advantage of; and it is a crucial part in taking a product, song, or brand to the next level. We see this with the rise of Instagram influencers. Having a following on social media could now turn into a full-time career and this is all because brands are noticing the power of these platforms.
It is now nearly impossible to scroll though Instagram without seeing a sponsored post. According to the BBC, Kylie Jenner makes $1.2 million per sponsored post. Some may ask, why are companies paying influencers so much for a post? The fact of the matter is, when users follow their favorite personalities, they are likely to want to relate to the influencer and therefore when we see someone like Kylie Jenner post about a product, many are going to be more interested in the product as opposed to seeing it in a regular advertisement.
Not only does social media play a hand in helping brands, it can also heavily influence the music industry. Before the reign of social media, artists needed the push and power of a huge music label to make it in the industry. With social media, that is no longer necessary. Artists now have the freedom to post on platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube, and more to get public attention.
Just this year, rapper Lil Nas X has achieved history-making success with his hit song ‘Old Town Road.’ It is hard to find someone who hasn’t at least heard the song once. The song’s success is due to the app TikTok, which has found immense popularity in the last two years. The song went viral on the app after the #yeeyeejuice challenge became popular on TikTok with users using Old Town Road in their videos. This challenge is without a doubt the reason that this song went viral and shot it to the top of the Billboard charts. The song went on to become the longest running #1 song of all-time on the Billboard’s Hot100 chart, with 17 weeks at the top spot.
With social media having so much influence, it is important for companies to recognize that they no longer have all the power. It is better for them to be in tune with the online trends because it will only serve to benefit them in the long run.
How to project your aesthetic onto your page
By: Erin Klein
It’s no secret that a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed is one of the most satisfying things to look at. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t tried (and failed) to tune my Instagram feed to look visually appealing and follow the same theme or edit style. But no matter what I did, I was never able to fully achieve that cohesion, and my page still looks like an assortment of random pictures.
The best part about Instagram is that there is no limit on your creativity and you can make almost anything visually appealing if it’s done right. After doing some research and looking at popular aesthetically pleasing Instagram accounts, there are a few tips that I have seen that will help you to create and shape an overall visually appealing feed.
1. Decide what theme you want to base your Instagram feed off of and stick with it.
There is one common theme among all popular aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds: cohesion. Whatever theme you choose, whether it be food, clothes or nature, you can create a stunning feed by sticking to your theme while keeping it creative. Take the account @symmetrybreakfast for example, their feed is absolutely breathtaking and it’s composed only out of pictures of breakfast.
2. If sticking to one theme is too difficult for you, you can pick a general color scheme.
Even if you chose a to stick to a specific theme, you should try to choose a general color scheme to stick to. This way all your photos look cohesive and blend together seamlessly while still offering variation. Although if you want to go all in and commit to one color for your page you can also do that. The best way to do this is to pick a color you like and then to work within a shade range of that color. A perfect example of using color seamlessly in a feed is no other than @pantone.
3. Find inspiration.
The last thing you need to do is look for things that inspire you and ideas you would want to use in your feed. The best way to do this is by looking at feeds or pages that you like, ask yourself why you like them or what you find appealing about them. Sticking with a specific color is also a great way to challenge yourself and push yourself creatively.
Whatever you chose to do, it is important to pick a theme or color that would suit you. Do not chose a theme that you wouldn’t enjoy maintaining or a color that doesn’t match your personal aesthetic or personality.
Ultimately, achieving an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed isn’t as difficult as one might think, and is a great way to challenge your creativity.
You're telling a "story" about yourself so make it interesting.
By: Macey Klipp
As Instagram continues to organize feeds based on what they think users want to see, many posts get missed and buried in the shuffle. Instagram feeds used to show posts in their chronological order, so if a user checked their feed they would see photos in the order they were posted. Now, Instagram’s algorithm determines what posts a user sees. This causes many posts to go “unliked.” However, the use of Instagram stories can combat this by utilizing five key features to reach a bigger audience and increase engagement.
REACH MORE PEOPLE
I have around 600 followers, but only reach upwards of 100 “likes” on photos. I have tried posting at different times, different types of photos, videos, but the majority of my posts are still getting missed. When I repost the same photo on my story alerting my followers that I made a new post, it generally receives more “likes” and more opportunities for engagement.
USE GIFS, VISUALLY APPEALING TEXT, MUSIC, MENTIONS, LOCATIONS
Instagram stories have a lot of multimedia features that allows users to add their own personal touch to their story post. Users can add gifs, stickers, different fonts, different color text, allow users to write with their fingers, add snippets of songs, tag other accounts, and add a location, just to name a few. Adding these elements to the posts enhances the creativity and a personal touch to the posts rather than just seeing a photo.
ADD TO HIGHLIGHTS
When a user posts a photo to the feed, it remains on the feed and over time gets pushed lower on the user’s page. But, with the use of stories, users have the option to add the post to their “highlights.”Stories on Instagram are only available for 24 hours, but adding the story to a highlight makes it available as long as the user wishes. Stories also go into the users archives and can be added to highlights even after 24 hours. Highlights appears as different categories at the top of a person's profile. Having this at the top of a profile will make it more likely to be seen. Users can add stories to their highlights as part of a collection or just to emphasize a particular story. For example, I have a highlight called “Disney” where I can keep all of my stories pertaining to Disney in one organized place.
SEE WHO IS ACTUALLY SEEING YOUR STORY POSTS
Stories on Instagram are like stories on Snapchat. You can see exactly who is viewing your post. I find it very interesting that more people view my story than like my post. Plain and simple, Instagram stories allow for easier access to my followers. To see my posts, followers may have to scroll to find it versus stories that are available at the top of the homepage. A user was able to see exactly who viewed their story even after the 24-hour period that it was live on a profile. Instagram just recently changed this feature. A user is still able to see who viewed their story, but after 24 hours it changes to just a number of how many views the story received.
“SHARE TO YOUR STORY”
Instagram has a feature that allows its users to share other users posts and stories to an individual story. The feature “share to your story” is used to repost celebrities, meme pages, friends, family, food, and everything in between. This feature can also be used to repost a user’s photos to their own story to gain more attention. A user can share as many posts as they would like to their story and this often encourages other users to go and “like” or comment on the post.
I personally use Instagram stories over posting a photo to my page due to the changed algorithm. I have noticed that these five features of Instagram stories have helped me connect better with my followers, have my posts seen by more people, and allow me to use the multimedia features to add a creative touch.
By: Damaris Lizama
The beauty industry has always been dominated by women. But now men are slowly becoming a part of it. Social norms have been ingrained into society saying men can’t do certain things, like wearing makeup or acting feminine. It has been that way since we can all remember. But with this generation of millennials and Gen Z, everything is slowly changing.
CoverGirl was one of the first makeup brands to have a male as their brand ambassador. James Charles who was the first CoverBoy at just 17-years-old paved the way for many other smaller, upcoming influencers. This endorsement gave other young men the confidence they needed to be able to post their makeup looks on social media and show off their talent. When big makeup brands like Makeup Geek, CoverGirl and MAC have men in their campaigns it has a positive impact on men and people from the LGBTQ+ community because they are acknowledging people like them and letting others know that they too can express themselves.
Manny Gutierrez better known as MannyMUA did his first collaboration with Makeup Geek releasing an eyeshadow palette. He then worked with Ofra, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, and became the very first male brand ambassador for Maybelline, promoting their Colossal Big Shot Mascara. MannyMUA became the one of the biggest male Latinx influencers in the beauty community, launching his own makeup line Lunar Beauty in May of 2018, and influencing future male beauty starts.
With the introduction of social media, the beauty industry has become of the most competitive fields yet. Thousands of makeup artist are being featured on makeup pages showing off their talent. Being a male in a female dominated industry is challenging. But thanks to male beauty gurus, many young boys and men can be able to express their creativity through makeup.
When MAC first announced that they were going to collaborate with Patrick Starrr, the Filipino-American makeup artist, it was a touching moment because Patrick Starrr started his makeup journey using MAC products and even worked at MAC as well. Being able to have your own collaboration with a huge makeup company makes consumers appreciate the company because they are showcasing people who don’t have the standard beauty industry look.
When Jeffree Star started his makeup line, Jeffree Star Cosmetics he had no idea that he would be selling more than $1 million worth of products. Jeffree Star started out in MySpace with a music career and eventually used his fame to start his own company in November of 2014. As someone who grew up with constant criticism, Jeffree Star likes to showcase men and women of color in his campaign shoots as well as collaborating with men like MannyMUA and just recently with YouTuber Shane Dawson.
Makeup companies are having a huge impact on people when they post men on their social media platforms. Even if their posts can get negative comments, it is usually filled with more positive ones. Being able to see someone who is different from normal beauty standards on a huge platform gives other young men and people from the LGBTQ+ community the courage to post their own makeup looks and change the world of the beauty community.
I switched my major and you should consider it too!
By: Andy Lizarraga
From receiving press passes to putting together press releases, many journalists, including myself, are making the switch to public relations. It’s not uncommon; the public relations major at CSULB is full of former journalism majors.
Although there are some differences between the two professions, they both go hand in hand. One similarity is the ability to pitch stories. In journalism, you would have to pitch a story to your editor in hopes they want you to write on the subject. PR practitioners also have to pitch stories, but it’s to news outlets in hopes they cover their client’s product, service or message.
As a journalist, the fast-paced environment of the newsroom just wasn’t for me. Even though I would go out of my way to find people to interview, journalism isolated me. I wanted to work together and collaborate; but I often found myself alone.
The main catalyst for officially making the switch over to PR was when I realized my strengths and weaknesses. My biggest weakness in journalism is my lack of love for hard, fast news. It just didn’t do it for me. But my biggest strength is my people skills. Ever since I could remember, I’ve had amazing people skills. As someone who is outgoing, I knew I would thrive in this element of my work.
Personally, I am not worried about making the switch from journalism to PR. One advantage of being a journalist is knowing how to create a good story. And no matter if you are in journalism or PR, the story you tell is the most important thing.
What PR pros can learn from about social media from Roma
By: Brelio Lozano
AS Roma is not the biggest football (soccer) team in the world, nor are they the richest, or have the most fans or even influence in the slightest. Off the field, however, they have changed the face of football with social media. While clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United may be have the most followers in the world, Roma has changed the way football clubs interact and engage with their fans. Now clubs from South Africa to Mexico are trying to replicate their success; but they still don’t it as well as Roma does.
Here are three ways AS Roma has become a social media powerhouse in the world of football.
Breaking the language barrier
Being a football club from Rome, Italy made it difficult for AS Roma to appeal to a wider audience. The first thing that Roma’s social media team recognized was that they needed to establish English communications on all their platforms. This allowed international fans to stay up to date with the football club. They rebuilt the website and increased the quality and quantity of content on the English platforms. Once that was established, it allowed the social media team to get creative and move forward with the account that gained them worldwide recognition, their English twitter account @ASRomaEn.
Be creative, not corporate
If you are a minnow in a sea of social media channels that all do the same thing on their channels, do it differently. Roma stepped away from the traditional approach that pretty much every football team was doing with their social media channels. Roma recognized that they didn’t need their twitter to be corporate in its content, they already had their website for that. Instead, they got creative, and sometimes even weird. From making meta jokes, bad parody videos (on purpose) and clever memes, Roma embraced what is known as “Football Twitter,” and took it to another level. After their success, football clubs all over the world followed Roma’s blueprint.
Engagement, Engagement, Engagement
Engagement, not follower count is the true metric for how well your social media channels are doing. For Roma, they recognized that the only way to build on the brand and empower their content would be by getting direct feedback from their fans. By going to the source, Roma was able to truly understand the wants, needs and interests of those who interact with their channels.
Using these three guiding principals, Roma’s social media channels rose from 5 million to 15 million social media followers in just three years. However, staying stagnant in this industry never works, and Roma is already pushing the envelope in terms of what football social media teams can do on their platforms.
Roma is leaving strange and meme videos in the past, and has started doing campaigns and initiatives that benefit third parties. From a series called “Team of the Day,” to sharing images of missing children alongside straightforward player announcement videos to raise awareness, the effects of their social good campaigns were profound, with a number of children were found safe and returned to their loved ones.
Click here to read more about “The Inside Story Of A Social Media Changing Football’s Face.”
Behind-the-scenes of styling a celebrity before they walk the red carpet
By: Megumi Murphy
There is almost nothing more picture perfect than a red carpet. Celebrities are dressed in expensive clothes and adorned in luxurious accessories, embodying the stereotype of Hollywood.
On the other hand, the week before a celebrity walks the red carpet is not as glamorous for a stylist. Interns are running around picking up jewelry, dresses and shoes (Oh my!). Stylists are talking to public relations professionals trying to figure out what pieces they want the whole world to see.
Before stepping foot into the world of public relations, I thought the stylist got handed a credit card and went on a shopping spree. Little did I know that not only were top designers asking stylists to use their clothes, but they were letting them use it for free.
My boss, a seasoned public relations professional, described celebrity styling in a way I have never forgotten. He said, “everything in public relations is a flirtatious dance.”
The transactions made between stylists and designers are beneficial to both sides, which is why it works. This is what people call a “win-win” situation.
Through this relationship, celebrities:
- get to wear high-end clothes by well-known designers
- get more publicity if their outfit is memorable
Through this relationship, designers:
- get to associate their brand with a well-known celebrity
- get more publicity and attention from the media
Let me give you an example of how this transaction works.
BluPRint PR supports the luxury jewelry brand Gismondi. Gismondi wants to get their jewelry onto the Grammy’s red carpet because they know that it will be featured on Instagram photos and articles. In order to do this, the PR firm will contact their list of stylists to send a catalog and offer their collection of jewelry for the red carpet. If they have already built a relationship with the stylist, the stylist may reach out to the PR firm first, asking for a specific piece of jewelry that they know would complement the celebrity’s outfit. If a stylist is interest, they will have them picked up for a celebrity to try on during a fitting. Stylists pick up multiple pieces from different brands, so Gismondi hopes that their jewelry makes the cut. If it does, then they make it onto the red carpet and have the opportunity to be featured on the “Grammy’s Best Dressed” or “Grammy’s Fashion Review” articles we see the day after.
BluPRint’s PR efforts paid off for Gismondi at this year’s Grammys when Cardi B wore a pair of Gismondi earrings on the red carpet.
All back-and-forth emails, long fittings and planning is part of a meticulous strategy to get screen time in the media. There is so much that goes on before a celebrity steps foot onto a red carpet, but once they do, that delicate dance is picture perfect.
Your Degree Is More Useful Than You Thought
By: Christopher Neal
Finding a job after college may not be easy for everybody. And for someone with a liberal arts degree, you may feel as though your only options are within the market of the major you studied. Well that is just one of the many misconceptions about a liberal arts degree. A common response to majoring in a liberal arts discipline is, “what can you do with that degree?” Most people can’t think of many job opportunities other than to teach that subject in schools. What many don’t know is that as a liberal arts major, the skills you learn in school are also applicable to the business world.
With a liberal arts degree you are learning many foundational skills that employers look for. Throughout your years as a student of the liberal arts, you are repeatedly polishing your critical thinking and ethical judgement skills. Participating in weekly discussions as well as group presentations in the classroom help you effectively express your ideas and communicate to others so when you go out into the real world, you will be more prepared to collaborate in and navigate through different social settings.
According to AAC&U’s 2018 Employer Research Report, business executives and hiring managers view all of these skills as the most important skills from a college graduate. Oral communication was rated at 90% by hiring managers and 80% by business executives, while critical thinking was rated at 84% by hiring managers and 78% by business executives.
As a liberal arts major, the soft skills you learn throughout college, like oral communication and critical thinking, cannot be taught in a training session, like Microsoft Excel can. The skills you learn are applicable beyond school and can make you highly valued across many different job fields.
The Probable Cause of Why the Algorithm May Still Be Against You
By: Kenya Pineda
Have you ever uploaded a picture on Instagram and have only 35 of your 500 followers like it? Or have you ever noticed that some influencers may have more than 100,000 followers but notice they can never pass 100 likes? Welcome to the ghost zone.
We’ve all tried to find our own ways of beating the algorithm on Instagram. Posting during “peak” hours, commenting back quickly or using popular hashtags. It’s the final boss battle that we can never seem to beat. But what if I told you that there’s one more factor that could be affecting where your posts show up on a feed? I like to call them, ghost followers.
Ghost followers, in simple terms, are the followers that followed you not to engage with your account. They’re there to simply admire your profile or mute you once you follow back. They boost follower numbers up but keep your numbers low in terms of engagement.
If you received 20 likes but have only 50 followers, that means your engagement rate shoots up to about 40%. Bonus points if you get comments. If you have 1,000 followers and only 200 likes, that’s only a 5% engagement rate. Instagram’s mysterious algorithm will assume you purchased followers or are not engaging back and push your post to the bottom of the feed.
In the past, having more than 1,000 followers allowed you to monetize. Now, prestige brands looking to collaborate are looking at engagement rates. There’s no point in paying someone with thousands of followers if their reach doesn’t actually include those followers. It diminishes credibility and authenticity of your brand.
I like to take a good look at my followers every 50 new ones or so and try to remember the last time we mutually boosted my engagement numbers. Do they watch my stories and not like my posts? Do they only like my posts when it’s good content? When was the last time this account was active? Do I actually like their content? If any of the responses bring back something I’m unhappy about, delete and unfollow.
Thankfully Instagram added a feature that allows you to remove a follower without blocking. All you have to do is click on the far bottom right corner to view your profile, then click on your followers list to check out who’s following you. Click on the three dots to remove any ghost followers. Easy, and no one has to know.
This technique is especially good for any brand that throws “follow” parties to boost their numbers. Many new ones will never interact with the account but others might. As a brand it may be more difficult to figure out who to clean out, especially when the following is so big. But it’s worth sitting down to remove spam and inactive accounts. It balances numbers and protects brands.
So next time you want to follow-for-follow someone ask yourself, is it worth risking my engagement numbers?
What is considered to be ‘too edited’?
By Jewel Dayoan
Oh, Instagram. The virtual world of photos, videos, stories, and your occasional follow-for-follow users. Instagram has become the outlet we use to show people we truly do have lives, and not just sit in our rooms all day. It’s the scrapbook of our lives without the scraps or the book. But sometimes we, as users, can get a little too contrived in presenting how we want to be seen on Instagram. A lot of users aim to be “aesthetically pleasing.” But is there a certain line that can be crossed by being too aesthetic and not authentic enough?
Remember when “like-for-like” was a trend for a time? Where users would spam each other with likes on each photo just to raise the number of likes people would see when they came across it? People nowadays still love a good “like” count. But now, a lot of people have shifted their focus from the numbers to how aesthetically pleasing their feed can be. From a minimalistic-type feed, to a neon-centric layout, many people tend to differ in what they consider to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Take fashion blogger and YouTuber, Weylie Hoang, for example. Her inner passion for being one with nature reflects in her Instagram feed as an autumn, rustic aesthetic.
Cal State Long Beach’s own Dig Mag also follows through with an eye-catching feed, while sticking to the trends their audiences can relate to the most.
“This year, we don’t necessarily have a fixed color palette,” Niyah Maldonado, social media editor of Dig Mag, said. “What we do is take a look at previous posts, see the colors that are being used, and then we try to curate a post that has an accent of that previous color. This helps create consistency.”
As a magazine, Dig Mag catches the most attention through social media, making it super-important to have a feed that encompasses their identity as a brand.
“First impressions are everything, so having a feed that flows, whether it’s in layout or colors, gives your brand an added advantage,” Maldonado said.
The key for smart companies is to balance an aesthetically pleasing feed that represents your brand with authentic content that doesn’t look too contrived. Afterall, social media is all about connecting with others in fun, social and authentic ways!
What do you think crosses the line of being too aesthetic, and not so much pleasing? Tell us in the comments.
Looking to get published on our blog?
Email your topics (or drafts) to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. The publishing deadline for Spring 2019 is April 19.
DRAFTS must be submitted before this deadline.
Drafts submitted after the deadline will NOT be published.