The “Benefit” of Social Media

It seems like everyone has some sort of social media channel today, whether it be a person, a company, a brand, or even a dog (seriously!).

Social media has allowed companies to interact with their customers in a different way. This has brought around some wins and, of course, some fails.

Overall social media has been beneficial to many industries and some have simply flourished with the growth of each channel. Perhaps one of the most successful in implementing social media into their identity is the beauty industry.

The beauty industry is a visual one. So many companies have really taken the visual aspect and worked it together beautifully with the personality of their companies. One has really set itself apart in the eyes of the beauty world and its followers: Benefit Cosmetics.

Benefit has been around since 1976, the company was started by Jean and Jane Ford and has thrived ever since. Benefit is known for their colorful and often times sassy packaging and products.

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How are they killing the game?

Benefit has effectively blended the sassy personality of their brand, the colorful charisma of their products and the behind the scenes looks at their company. Not only is their personal content on their channels amazing, but the relationships that they build with their fans and followers is something that all brands should strive for.

Benefit makes it a habit to interact with their followers. It is rare to send a tweet or tag a picture on Instagram that doesn’t garner some sort of response from this huge global brand. Benefit also makes a practice of displaying and promoting great work that their followers have created with their products. Whether it is a great wing using their innovative liner, or a set of eyebrows that is totally on “fleek” after a visit to the Brow Bar, they will let you know and sometimes even share your photo on their channels.

Twitter

Benefit “slays” the Twitterscape by bringing their bold personality into each tweet! Check out of a few of their most recent. Benefit isn’t afraid to color outside the lines when it comes to their brand and voice!

 

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Instagram:

Not only are they winning at Twitter on daily basis, Benefit’s most visual channel, Instagram, is a beautiful representation of the words aesthetically pleasing. The photos are bright, high resolution, simple and beautiful. The entirety of Benefit’s Instagram embodies the colorful charisma of their brand. Benefit embraces the different side of the beauty world, whether it is guys wearing makeup or cutting-edge products, they are not afraid to be different and encourage their followers to do the same.

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YouTube:

One of the biggest social media channels in the beauty world is YouTube. YouTube has quickly become a haven for professionals and enthusiasts in the beauty realm. There are billions of beauty related YouTube videos, and the amazing thing is most of them are not created by brands. Beauty “gurus” have quickly taken over YouTube as a channel. Benefit has done a great job of not only competing with brands that are trying to make their mark on YouTube, but they have worked to integrate these gurus (who have millions of followers) into their own channel and hold their own in the world of YouTube.

Check out Benefit’s new campaign featuring beauty gurus Dulce Candy (2,116, 131 followers) , Nyc Dragun (112, 717 followers), Nicol Concilio (193, 152 followers) , and Tess Holliday a well know plus-size model.

Snapchat

Finally, Benefit has made the leap that many companies are making to Snapchat (BenefitBeauty), which provides an even deeper look inside the world of Benefit. Behind-the-scenes looks, chatting with beauty gurus, contests and daily office life. Their story is a must follow for all the beauty lovers and social media enthusiasts.

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While Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat seem to be the fan favorites. Benefit has completely covered their bases in the social media game and have amazing accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest!

Benefit is a great display of what a dynamic social media strategy looks like for not only a beauty company but all companies and industries. They have created a strong brand and compelling voice that has been successfully applied and appropriate for each for channel they utilize.

Written by Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt, Digital Media Director

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Free Social Media Tools

Managing and maintaining consistent messaging across all of your social channels can be overwhelming. Finding shortcuts to successfully execute campaigns will not only save you time, but boost your following and engagement in ways you never thought possible. Below are five of my favorite free tools that I use to get the job done:

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  1. IFTTT (Various)
    IFTTT, an acronym for If This, Then That, connects two services together so that an action from one service triggers an action at another. These connections are called “recipes” and their possibilities range far beyond social media but here are my top three:

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  1. Crowdfire (Twitter and Instagram)
    Crowdfire makes finding and connecting with your target audience simple so you can focus on doing what you do. Here are some feature highlights:

    • Track audience growth by seeing recent followers and un-followers.
    • The Copy Followers capability lets you find who might be interested in your content through a competitor’s followers.

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  1. Iconosquare (Instagram)
    Iconosquare is a thorough Instagram analytics suite that helps you manage your Instagram activity, analyze your performance and engage your community. Here are some feature highlights:

    • Share snapshots of your activity with followers such as: #actionsquare and #monthiconsquare.
    • Suggestions of the best times to post and which filters to use.
    • Receive emails that summarize your main metrics.

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  1. Hootsuite (Various)
    Hootsuite has become an essential tool for managing social media, tracking conversations and measuring campaign results via the web or mobile devices. It helps to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks like Facebook and Twitter from one web-based dashboard.

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  1. Grama (Instagram)
    Grama is a free iOS-only app that helps you find hashtags to use on your Instagram posts through a keyword search. I love this app because you can type in one hashtag that summarizes your photo and it will provide a wall of related hashtags that you can then click, copy and paste directly into Instagram.

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Whatever your social media needs are, these tools will help you successfully boost engagement across platforms.

Written by Baret Yahn, Account Executive

Tips for Tight Writing

As poetic as your prose may be, few people want to take the time to read it. Here are a few tips to tighten your writing and get more eyes on your work.

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Give yourself time

You already know writing takes a long time. It seems like writing concisely would be a quick process, but you’d be surprised. Frequently when you write something quickly you end up with a rambling piece of nonsense.

Short is sweet, but it takes time.

 

Outline

Before you start, know where the finish line is and all the stops along the way. That means taking a minute to draft your path. Do your research, figure out your subheads and have your quotes picked out. If you can, get your visuals ready too.

Outlining takes almost no time, but it can save you precious minutes closer to deadline.

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Write fast

Put your fingers on the keyboard and bang out a quick draft any way you can. My biggest piece of advice to anyone struggling with writer’s block is “type it how you talk it.” Use slang, swear words and don’t be afraid to caps lock.

It may sound like a waste of time, but this is the most fun way to write. Let your voice out!

 

erinblog3Take a break

Go ahead, it can wait.

If you followed step one, this won’t be a problem. If you didn’t, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a long break. If you don’t have time to walk away and do something, just take a few minutes to work on something else, check your social media or send a quick email.

Don’t forget to come back to the piece after your break!

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Revise with fresh eyes

Once you come back, read your work like someone else wrote it. (Someone who would love to catch making a mistake, and I know you have a person in mind.) Look at your content: Are you getting your point across? Does the tone match the message? Will it resonate with your audience?

You should have a solid piece of work at this point. Now hack it down.

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Focus on your verbs

Now that you’re happy with the content it’s time to tighten it up. Remember to write in active voice. Put the reader in the moment and let the story speak. Cut out unnecessary words and phrases, having verbs as the focus makes this easier.

Think of this as simplifying an equation. Unless math stresses you out, then just get to work.

Have someone else read it over

Sometimes cutting and condensing can go too far and confuse the story. Give the piece to a friend, a co-worker or an editor to make sure your message is still strong and you haven’t lost a comma along the way.

Written by Erin Wylder, Account Executive/Editor

Social Tools You Could Be Using in The Future

Every year there are new social tools to make life easier. No one knows when the next tool will come out or be implemented to their workplace. All anyone can do is be aware of the next online gadget, and know what kind of perks they could provide. The only thing that’s predictable about social media tools is that there will be new ones in the future.

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2016 Apps on the Rise

Created by the founder of Vine, Peach is a new app made exclusively for mobile. It combines Facebook, Path, Slack, Snapchat, and Tumblr all into one. For some that may be overwhelming, but for PR professionals—it is exactly what you need to never miss a moment. When it was first was introduced, many users were captivated by it, but with time, interest weakened. Bloomberg Business wrote an article about the app describing why it’s great but unnecessary. However, with all your apps’ feed in one place, it could certainly make some PR professionals’ lives easier.

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Hyper is another interesting app. It allows you to choose your feed depending on a hashtag. Some hashtags are a question for users to comment their answers, while others are just pictures to view. People can post pictures of their art, tattoos or gym workouts and get feedback. When people view your profile, instead of people seeing the amount of people you follow or have people following you, you get points. Points are determined by followers, who you are following and the type of comments you use. This app is not too popular, but is gaining traction. The majority of these users fall in the age category of 13-17.

Shots is a mobile app mostly for comedic uses and does not allow users to post comments, but instead has people post their comments with a reaction of their own face. It is getting a lot of traction with the younger demographics. Twitter attempted to buy the app, but the CEO denied the offer because of the users signing up, including Floyd Mayweather. Also, they have had steady funding since the beginning. Shots started at $1.6 million in 2012 and had $15.2 million as of December 2015. Direct messaging is allowed, but what I found most interesting is that it does not publicly show the amount of followers a user has. This really levels the playing field by not letting anyone get “Shots-famous” like “Instagram-famous”.

So for all you future PR professionals, don’t get left behind by not knowing the newest social tools out there.

 

Written by Sam Wolfson, Account Executive

 

 

Buzzfeed: News of Nonsense?

Buzzfeed launched way back in 2009. Since, it has become a popular source for entertaining online content, such as 21 Precious Puppies Who Need To Be Protected At All Costs. The website is very user friendly, including interactive quizzes about everything from Beyoncé’s style to what kind of grilled cheese matches your personality.

Practices like these would leave the traditional journalist and reader laughing about its credibility. However, there is a growing community who believe Buzzfeed has a bit more to offer.

As far as content, Buzzfeed has received recognition for its quality. Their Buzzfeed Tasty series provides decadent recipes via video. It has been named Tubular’s Most Watched Overall Creators four months in a row, boasting 2.2 billon views in March 2016.


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Buzzfeed News reports on stories akin to any
major paper. Recently their top stories included coverage on the Harriet Tubman $20 bill, the passing of Prince and the killings inOhio. The news is sectioned into business, world, politics, technology and science.

Advertorials are the main way Buzzfeed features ads. Content looks like a regular post by the company, but is marked as promoted. Advertorials tend to get under the skin of traditionalists—it is viewed as being sneaky to their readers. Online users haven’t raised too much fuss about it, though.

Earlier this month, they even created hype about blowing up a watermelon which generated 800,000 live views.

They are mixing the socially palatable with the traditionally newsworthy. This fresh look at journalism and their ad structure seem to be the secret to their success.

It is up to the reader to decide: Is Buzzfeed news or nonsense?

By Britney Witherspoon, Editorial Assistant

Typography Basics

Good typography can make your work more legible, readable and appealing while bad typography can do the opposite. Learning the basics can help boost any project whether for school, business or even recreational event planning. Check out this infographic to help you make the right choice with your next project.

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Written by Tiffanie Hancock, Art Director.

Everything You Need To Know About The World Of Public Relations

If you’re thinking about getting into public relations, be ready for a fast-paced environment that is constantly changing. If you already know a bit about PR that’s probably why you’re interested.
There are many different industries within PR, ranging from fashion to public affairs, and each industry has its own sub-categories. For example, within technology PR there is enterprise, consumer, security and more.
If you have particular interest in one of these industries, run with it! Some PR firms specialize in just one or two industries, but others do a bit of everything.
Working in PR also requires you to be a jack-of-all-trades sometimes. PR specialists are flexible multi-taskers. While being a good writer is a must in PR, having public speaking skills or computer program experience is also very attractive.
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An infographic on public Relations industries, skills and firms. Created by Sara Pimentel.
Written by Sara Pimentel, Editorial Director/Account Executive

The Beauty of To-Do Lists

If you’re like most people, you live a busy life which pulls you in multiple directions. We have all been there: you grab your morning coffee and begin checking emails. By the time you’re done you have a list of to-dos the length of your arm and you are frantically searching for more coffee.

We live in an age where more is expected of young PR professionals and it is the fast-paced environment that defines what we do. This infographic is here to help you plan out your to-do lists and hopefully ease some of your troubles.

Remember at the end of the day that you did your best. Now get out there and show the world what you are capable of!

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Tips for staying on track. Created by Madeline Merlic.

Written by Madeline Merlic, TGC Editor.

Companies Killing the YouTube Game

A lot of companies are looking for ways to reach customers, but haven’t exactly found the correct platform to do so. Here’s a list of companies, in different industries, that are excelling on YouTube.

  1. PlayStation

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The gaming giant PlayStation has over 4.2 million subscribers, which is 3 million more than its biggest competitor Xbox. There is never a dry week on the PlayStation channel. They upload more than 15 videos a week, keeping their loyal subscribers on the up-and-up with the latest game trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, in-game moments, tips and tricks and exclusive sneak peeks.

  1. GQ

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With over 600 thousand subscribers, the men’s lifestyle magazine GQ stunts on all of its magazine competition in the YouTube realm. With the promise of new videos every week, GQ has offered its subscribers a view into the life of their favorite celebrities. Its current feature video is Justin Bieber proving it is possible to skateboard in a suit.

  1. Vevo

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Vevo is one of the most trusted and viewed source on YouTube when it comes to viewing your favorite artist’s music video, as well as getting behind the scenes footage to that video. With 11.7 million subscribers, Vevo seems to be utilizing YouTube as an extension of their site.

  1. Red Bull

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With over 5 million subscribers, and over 1.4 billion views Red Bull is obliterating its energy drink competitors. With the channel’s heavy focus on extreme sports and its own web series, it covers a lot ground and pulls in audiences from all over. Also, Red Bull posts quite frequently and allows subscribers to stay up to date with extreme sport competition highlights. Its current feature video is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs pranking a community college team.

  1. Sephora

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Sephora holds the most YouTube subscribers in the makeup realm. However, with over 64.14 million views, don’t let the humble following of a little over 500 thousand fool you. Sephora posts videos frequently of tips and tricks its audience wants to know. The current (and rather timely) featured video on their homepage is a “What’s in my bag: Music Festival edition” which is definitely helpful to those who love a good smoky eye, but also love to feel fresh and clean in the desert.

Across the board, these notable companies are killing the YouTube game in their industries. Yes, they’re all pretty up there in terms of being easily identifiable, but is definitely their video frequency and relevance that make their videos worth watching.

What do you think about the list? Are you subscribed to any of the companies above? Comment below!

Written by Prin Mayowa, Assistant Account Executive

Misconceptions of Fashion PR

The fashion world is a fast-paced environment, one that is dependent on creating trends that attract and retain the attention of an image-conscious public. Many assume fashion PR is a glamorous gig – you get to work closely with well-known brands, attend the coolest parties and always meet A-list celebrities and designers. Though there can be some amazing perks working in fashion PR, it’s simply not an easy job.

The role of a PR professional in this industry is critical because they put the face of their client’s companies out in the world. This person is responsible for marketing the latest fashions in a creative way, creating a buzz among influential journalists and bloggers. Any individuals leaning towards this industry must understand the following:

Creating a strong brand

A strong brand in this industry is an image that the public can easily identify when they think of your client’s styles and products. Because it is such a competitive industry, if a distinctive brand isn’t created this will definitely mean failure for your client. One must be able to narrow the focus of the styles you are promoting in order to draw out what is unique. This is where all of the other responsibilities in the industry start; the brand must always be front and center. 

Kelly Cutrone, one of the first fashion publicists and founder of People’s Revolution, one of the leading fashion public firms. Courtesy: Women of Upstate New York
Kelly Cutrone, one of the first fashion publicists and founder of People’s Revolution, one of the leading fashion public firms. Courtesy: Women of Upstate New York

Understanding social media trends

Social media is giving the fashion industry an extreme makeover. Fashion is worn as a statement, and those who are active on social media use their profiles to illustrate their unique styles through their outfits. For fashion brands, these platforms are a way to show customers new upcoming trends, as they leverage celebrities and successful bloggers to market their products.

For example, Snapchat provides users with a live stream from the runways of well-known brands, such as Michael Kors and Burberry, during New York Fashion Week.

As a PR professional it’s important to be able to come up with innovative social media strategies for your client’s brand, as these networks are giving the public a more intimate look into the behind-the-scene details of the fashion world.

Designers and models give Snapchat users a closer look into fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. Courtesy: Harper’s Bazaar
Designers and models give Snapchat users a closer look into fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. Courtesy: Harper’s Bazaar

Creating relationships with fashion editors

Being able to work with the editors of fashion magazines is crucial for a PR professional. It’s your job to create long-lasting relationships with not only the editors, but with their writers and photographers as well.

Major fashion magazine teams have the capability of creating the most effective buzz for fashion lines and events. Not every designer’s creations will make it into the pages of major magazines, so it’s important for the PR specialist to be creative and to have continuous interaction with these editors in order to help the client stand out in such a saturated market.

Anna Wintour, the influential editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine. Courtesy: Ozon
Anna Wintour, the influential editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine. Courtesy: Ozon

People might expect this job to be purely social and fabulous as shown in television shows and movies, but it takes a lot of hard work and consistency in order to be successful. But for someone who is passionate about all things fashion, it will definitely be an exciting and rewarding adventure.

Written by Neelam Kumar, Account Executive