I Live Lokai and Here’s Why

It’s early 2016. Chances are, if you live in a big city, you’ve met at least one person who has this bracelet:

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What is it? It’s a Lokai. Both a new brand, and the official name of that brand’s bracelet, these guys are the talk of the town these days in the branding world and fashion communities alike. Lokai bracelets are comprised of clear rubber “beads,” with one white bead and one black bead on either end. The white bead contains a tiny drop of water from Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth, while the black one contains a bit of mud from the Dead Sea, our world’s lowest locale. The general idea behind this contrast is that we can use this bracelet as a reminder to stay hopeful in times of turmoil, but to also stay humble when we’re feeling unstoppably high. In fact, Lokai coined a simple, catchy tagline, “Stay Humble, Stay Hopeful,” which is a memorable and terse way of iterating their very simple, very meaningful message. Skeptical about the sourcing of the special beads? Not to worry, Lokai’s got you covered. On their official website, there’s an entire section dedicated to authenticity – you can see a series of breathtaking images and a video depicting a few sherpas’ trek up Everest to get just enough water for the bracelets (which is a lot of water, when thinking of the scale!).

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What’s better is that Lokai releases limited edition bracelets every few months – there’s no method to their madness (that’s publically revealed, anyhow), and no way to know for sure when they’re releasing a new color, or how long it will be around. The best part, in addition to being able to add a physical variety to your collection, is that each limited edition bracelet goes to a worthy cause. In 2015 alone, Lokai had a camouflage bracelet for the World Wildlife Federation and a blue bracelet for charity: water (an organization dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to developing countries). They ended the year with a rather festive red bracelet for Save the Children (and hey, subliminally the Holiday season), and also had a pink bracelet for Susan J. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization. Each special edition bracelet includes a partial donation to the chosen charity, and an even better reason to become part of the Lokai community, much like a charitable yet trendy business model before them from the Warby Parker’s and Tom’s shoes of the world.

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Lokai has done everything right because they’re not just selling a rubber bracelet, they’re selling a lifestyle. Their Twitter handle is “Live Lokai,” as is their Facebook page and their hashtag. This hashtag hits on the most crucial way to appeal to a millenial audience – experiential marketing that makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger. Yes, Lokai is an $18 piece of rubber when you think about it from a hyper-rational perspective. But it’s also a symbol of a community. A group who embodies free-spirit and thrives on adventure. Lokai is symbolic of people who get excited by the prospect of new experiences, and live to share their stories with the world. From subtleties like, “Join the Lokai Circle,” as their chosen copy for a phrase more oft labeled, “Subscribe to our Newsletter,” to more obvious  ways to establish community, Lokai has worked hard to build a brand from the ground up (quite literally, Dead Sea, up!) and used social media to their advantage in doing so.

A lot of Lokai’s traction comes from Instagram – everyone loves a pretty photo, especially when it’s of some land unknown. We want to go there. We want to see that. It’s in every recent publication and all research points to the obvious – we want a life filled with new experiences. Forget about the days of new cars and fancy houses. Sure, that stuff is still cool, but you know what’s cooler? A spontaneous trip to the Galapagos Islands with 5 of our closest friends. Riding a camel through the Moroccan desert. Cage Diving with sharks in South Africa. Taking a Thai cooking class actually in Thailand. These are some of the new aspirations, and Lokai does an excellent job of hitting the nail on the head when it comes to marketing that desire. Their Instagram feed is full of foreign fantasy lands, beautiful images that look surreal when we see them on Google. We question the reality of photos like these, because of Photoshop and other picture enhancers that reshape the digital photography landscape and alter our sense of reality. But Lokai’s photos on Instagram include, of course, the Lokai bracelet – a way to ground a viewer and let them know that the images they see before them are in fact, quite real, and more times than not, they’re also user-generated. The Lokai community can click a chosen photo, which is always given credit, and find it’s photographer to be yet another fan, another traveler, another human being who lusts for adventure just like they do.

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Their business model is brilliant. Simple. Smart. I live Lokai because I believe in their message, and I 100% embody their exact target audience. If you don’t yet live Lokai but like what you see, I definitely recommend checking them out!

Instagram hits the Interweb

Yes, I know, Instagram has been been on the web for a while now (just a few weeks, but in the Social Media world that’s old news). But a recent Mashable article got me thinking. Soon enough, Instagram will have badges that users can opt to post to their websites. That’s exciting news, but I can’t help but wonder..how did this all happen so fast? Through 3rd party websites like Webstagram and Statigram, we’ve been able to log onto our accounts from the Internet since as early as last spring. We were able to see our RSS feeds and like others’ photos…but now that Instagram has decided to establish a web presence personally, the once trendy iPhone app has fully hit the mainstream. Those 3rd party sites will soon be obsolete.

I remember the early days of Instagram. I downloaded it when it was still new to iTunes, thinking it’d be yet another picture-editing app that could perhaps help create more contrast or turn my pictures into sepia tone before I uploaded them to Facebook. Sure, it did all that. And more. I forgot about Instagram for almost a year, and when I went back on this past summer, I was surprised to find I had over 100 followers. Never did I think that people would begin to use this platform as its own entity. Some people post images on Instagram that don’t surface to Facebook now because they aim to please a different audience.

Now that Instagram has hit the Internet, all my pictures have gone public for the entire world to see. Sure, I can change my setting to private (don’t worry, there’s nothing to hide!) but that’s besides the point. “Public” in the sphere of the mobile world–the iPhone only world–versus “public” to anyone with access to the Internet yields some different audiences.

I can definitely understand why the company made the move to the Internet, but I can’t help but wonder what it’ll do to the business. For now, it’s not so different than when the 3rd party apps started giving us access to our images online. But, that’s not to say that someday things won’t change again. Will we soon be able to edit our pics from the web as well? At that point, it might as well become the next Picnik or Photoshop for Dummies. I still love Instagram, but I’m curious to see what you guys think on this one.

Happy August! (A Summer Recap)

With all the pictures and infographics I’ve posted lately, I figured it was time to actually write a blog post & now seems like a perfect time to do so.

Though summer’s not entirely over just yet, my internship with Collective Media ended today. I’m actually really sad that it’s over! I feel like I’ll be hopping on the LIRR tomorrow and greeting everyone in the office just like yesterday. But goodbyes are never easy, are they? I had a great summer and truly learned A LOT. Working at a small company allowed me to get to know my bosses on a much more personal level, and as an added bonus, I witnessed (and sometimes assisted) a lot of their work first hand. I found out a lot about what it takes to be an entrepreneur…especially a female entrepreneur in NYC. As an added bonus, I got to know the other interns really well and made some friendships along the way.

Earlier today I did a bit of reflecting on my work this summer and I figured Facebook was a good place to start. The Insights tool on fan pages allows you to really get a feel for all sorts of statistics. I plugged in 6/4/12 (my start date) and today’s date to do a full summary on one of our most successful clients, Body Space Fitness. BSF was just getting started in their Social Media strategy when I first walked into Collective early June. They had 207 likes and as of 5 minutes ago, they now have 909 (and this number will definitely break 1,000 by Friday) . Body Space’s media presence was left up to me, as they were one of the clients I was assigned to. I managed their Facebook page and wrote the daily posts (Wellness Wednesday tips, healthy recipes, etc) and pinned to their Pinterest as well as scheduled hundreds upon hundreds of Tweets. Of course it’s not solely my efforts that allowed their likes to skyrocket by the hundreds. Rather, I’m sure a lot of the surge has to do with a paid Facebook ad campaign (which I got to design!) and their location in bustling NYC. This being said, it was nice to see my efforts have resulted in something concrete.

Overall, in regards to my internship, I’m delighted I had this opportunity this summer but I’m even more excited about what doors it will hopefully open for my future. In a more immediate sense, I’m ready to go back to school for sophomore year. I know more about the communications major and college life in general than I did at this point last year and the fear that was once jumbled amongst my excitement is no longer present. Those collegial worries washed away with freshman year. Now I’m just ready to learn a lot more (taking a Marketing class should be interesting after two internships) and spend time with the friends I haven’t seen all summer. Though the summer is dwindling down, for the next two weeks I will still be working at Laffey. So, I will still be blogging of course. But with a lot more free time on my plate, I get to fit in some much needed R&R. I think I’ll use some of that now & cheer on the USA in the Olympics. I’ll leave you with this great image I found on Pinterest.

So what’re you waiting for?

-Olivia

Learn More About LinkedIn

Inspired by another Mashable article I read this morning, this post exposes some features about LinkedIn that you may not have known about. In addition, I’ll offer some tips on how to improve your existing profile and optimize your use of the networking site effectively.

1- LinkedIn is great for conducting a job search. Of course Craigslist is still an option, or in the case of an internship, websites like InternSushi and InternQueen are also great resources for beginning a search. As for me specifically, Cornell offers a job connection website as well–filled with exclusive opportunities for it’s students. All this being said, LinkedIn is another great job search engine to add to your list. Whether you get scouted by a Headhunter,  reconnect with an old classmate or utilize the Jobs section of the site specifically, opportunities are endless.

2-LinkedIn statistics are your friend.  Network Statistics are relevant to your specific professional connections and help you find out which industries most of your friends, colleagues and classmates are in, as well as which geographic areas they represent the most.

3- Take the Skills and Expertise section of your profile seriously. While on a paper resume it’s sensical to leave out the obvious “skills” such as Microsoft Office (Who doesn’t know how to use that these days?), on LinkedIn it’s helpful to include skills as simple as “creative writing” and “public speaking.” These skills are labeled as clickable links (think hashtags on Twitter) so employers looking for particular criteria can search for people who list the skills they desire in their staff. Another reason I personally enjoy the Skills & Expertise feature is because the “More” tab of LinkedIn offers a global skills database. Not only can I see what other skills are comparable to the ones I have listed on my page (This is great for getting more ideas. I may not have thought of something I did as a “skill” but an employer does!) but it also displays a percentage next to every skill. Green stats = good stats. This means that your area(s) of expertise are becoming more & more important, as well as raising the bar in terms of competition. For example, “Hootsuite” is growing by 81% at present. It’s the 84th highest growing skill on the site, and clicking on the skill specifically offers several options. #1) I can see related skills and their comparable growth (maybe the competitors- i.e. TweetDeck- fare better) #2) I can find and join groups of other professionals with this skill #3) I can find Related Areas (In this case, Hootsuite is a web-exclusive, working wonders across the globe. But for something more specific like Computer Graphics, Silicone Valley pops up as the top location for this expertise.)

4-You can, and should, customize your newsfeed.  While it’s great to see what current connections are up to, the “LinkedIn Today” feature lets you tailor your newsfeed to what interests you specifically. Interested in PR and Online Media? Then, follow those industries! The top stories will be featured on your news stream. You can also opt in to the email service, so instead of logging on, these updates can come straight to your email.

5- Try out LinkedIn LabsI personally had no idea what this was until reading Mashable’s article this morning. It appears to be a separate website from LinkedIn, and these labs require your permission before accessing your LinkedIn information. However, as long as you choose to approve specific apps, they can be quite informative and entertaining. Apps include everything from a Resume Builder to WordCloud and a search bar for Google Chrome. Here’s two graphics from my experience with LinkedIn Labs. The first, a timeline of my friends & experiences (that doesn’t quite look the same as a still image) and the latter, a web of my network connections.

The different colors represent different parts of my life (High School, working as a camp counselor, interning, college, etc) and the scattered people who pop up show when we connected on LinkedIn. Pretty cool, huh?

This web shows my network in terms of whose connected to whom. The blue dots represent Cornell, and of course, that’s where most of my current connections are from.

Downtime at your Internship?

Although there’s always something to do at work, I know that sometimes after finishing a project (especially if it’s done faster than my bosses anticipated) I’m left with a bit of free time.

In those instances, here’s a few ideas that I’ve come up with to occupy your time effectively (inspired by Intern Queen’s article on the same topic, which I’ll include at the end of this post).

1) Browse the web: Depending on the specifics of your internship, websites may vary..but I know that as a current Social Media/Digital Marketing Intern I constantly scan http://www.Mashable.com. It’s the social media guru’s version of the New York Times. Speaking of the NYT, you might want to check up on that as well..it’s always good knowing what’s going on in the world. For PR, http://www.prdaily.com is a great start.

-Checking up on PR Firms’ Twitter accounts is always great too. They feature daily tips, inspirational quotes, useful articles and more. Plus, sometimes you’ll even find a good new website to browse!

2) Blog, blog blog!  As I’m doing right now..hehehe. It’s always great to record some of the day’s highlights, as well as the downfalls. Writing things down will help get your mental hamster ball rolling. What did you absolutely love about the day? What cool new things did you learn? Find any great photos or info graphics? Share them! Answering these questions and more are a great way to keep track of your summer internship’s highlights..as well as some of the things you didn’t like much. But that’s okay too, because the negatives can always be improved upon!

3) Ask for more work: It’s not pushy, nor is it annoying (unless, of course, your boss is in the middle of an important phone call). They love to see interns taking initiative, and the more you can get done, the better!

4) Keep Up With Social Media: Depending on whether or not your internship allows you access to the company’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter pages and etcetera, you may or may not be able to do this step effectively. I get the passwords for Collective Media and Laffey Fine Homes’ accounts..plus a few of our clients. When I have downtime I pin relevant things to their pinboards, find great articles to post on Facebook, and come up with new Tweets (and reply to people who’ve tweeted at us! Plus it’s always great to thank new followers & always follow back!).

Of course these are just a few of the ideas to spice up your downtime. Intern Queen has come up with her own tips for making the most out of your internship experience. Check out her ideas–the very inspiration for this post– and feel free to add a few ideas of your own to the comment box below!

Intern Queen’s Article: 3-ways-spend-down-time-your-internship

Thanks for reading..now get back to work 🙂

–Olivia

Building Clientele and a Following

In terms of Social Media, it’s great to have posts on Facebook and Twitter that are simply fun and informative, without the ulterior motive of selling your product to a fan or follower. For Laffey Fine Homes I often put links to great restaurants on Long Island, fun things to do for the weekend (whether it be a concert or a place to bring the kids) and unique elements of the home like this one waterfall shower I found. I think my favorite topic of all is Fantasy Fridays, a theme I came up with, where I post gorgeous images of assorted travel destinations around the world.

But while all this is great and will start building up a stream of followers, sometimes, it IS important to market your product or idea…but tastefully. So, while on Sundays when I do often post a couple of our open houses, I try to keep things interesting during the rest of the week when posting one of Laffey’s listings. I’ll put a picture of the country-style kitchen or the pond in the backyard, an aerial shot of the property or a photo that accentuates the architectural elements of the home…anything that’ll catch a viewer’s eye. Photos are most important to include in all posts, because if someone’s attention is caught infinitesimally thanks to a great picture, then they’ll be more inclined to reading the post.

Fantasy Fridays: Bora Bora. This was one of our most famous posts on Laffey’s Facebook Fan Page. A picture really does speak volumes!

The easiest way to market your products is via another name with a bigger social media presence. Laffey Fine Homes has a property that was once the home of former NY Met, Carlos Beltran. I tweeted at AOL Real Estate–an account with over 1,000 followers–and they responded. My tweet was casual..something along the lines of “We love your listings! Check out one of our favorites,” with a link attached. Hopefully if they feature the listing on their Twitter, we’ll gain more followers with their help.

Waterfall Style Shower: another popular post for Laffey Fine Homes. A simple image speaks more than my words could to describe this cool feature.

Now, onto my assignment for Collective Media Group today. The goal is building clientele, rather than followers and in a city as grandiose as Manhattan, there’s two great ways of doing so:

1) Take advantage of Networking. At the office you can network with people in the elevator..those companies a floor above or below you–maybe even the other ones that share your floor–can make for a great client, and a conveniently close one at that.

2) Utilize the Web. Obviously both of these points apply to building clients in any part of the country or world, but NYC is great because a lot of the small, start-up businesses find it difficult to make a name for themselves in such a big city, so they look the the internet for help.

I’ll be utilizing the web today as I weave through Gilt City and GroupOn looking for the companies with the best deals. Then, I check out their website and Facebook Fan Page to see how active they are in Social Media and find contact information so my bosses can reach out to them personally. The worst thing that can happen is a rejection, but my philosophy is that being rejected is better than not being rejected or accepted. In other words, trying always surpasses inactivity–especially in this world.

Well, I better get to work. That’s it for now! Please feel free to like this post or follow me if you enjoy my blog..I follow back!

Thanks,

Olivia

 

For your reference:

Laffey Fine Homes Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/laffeyfinehomes

Collective Media Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveMedia

Pinterest: beyond the pretty pictures

The fastest growing social media site on the web today has proven itself as a dual procrastination-favorite-browsing site and a marketer’s heaven. At first glance, Pinterest seems like a site full of gorgeous beach pictures, precious little puppies and the occasional Pottery Barn-esque room decor.

But in all actuality, Pinterest is a billion dollar company that’s blowing up the the internet faster than much of its competition. Youtube, Reddit and Google + yield lower percentages of referral traffic and Twitter holds just .01% over Pinterest, proving this young site’s potential.

More than just those cute puppies (they ARE really cute though..) Pinterest is great for retailers looking for product exposure.  Its addictive nature leads users to discovering DIY tips, “Dream Homes” that are actually on the market with local realtors, and great recipes for all kinds of foods.

Even the 2012 Presidential Election isn’t untouched by Pinterest. Leading candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s wives have gotten in on the action, both creating pages earlier this year.

The site’s traffic is primarily driven by women by a long run, though this statistic shouldn’t deter marketers. Rather, I see it as the perfect opportunity for specific targeting. If we know the ladies are watching, products should be geared to the feminine mind. Rather than Armani posting its latest men’s suit to their typical male client, the product should be catered to a shopping wife or girlfriend..perhaps looking for a birthday gift for her significant other. Knowing how to take advantage of Pinterest’s statistics helps leverage a company’s influence on the site tremendously.

I am on Pinterest 24/7 for Laffey Fine Homes, the Long Island luxury real estate company I work for. I can attest to the “Dream Homes” being real listings aspect of the site, as it’s a truly great way to drive viewers–and potential buyers–to Laffey.com. I post pictures of the pools and kitchens, the spiral staircases and luscious green backyards, all with a click-through link back to the listing’s page. Granted, many of our viewers hail from all over the country..so it would be a cool addition if Pinterest marketers could target specific geographic regions, much like Facebook Fan Pages can.

Another Pinterest tip I learned from a webinar I stumbled upon thanks to a LinkedIn group I joined may come as a no-brainer; write captions.

It’s true…time and time again we’re told to take advantage of the 500 character limit when creating pins. Pinterest makes it mandatory to insert a comment along with every pin, but most people cheat the system and write a measly period as a placeholder. If you just take an extra 15 seconds to your posts you’ll wind up using the site to it’s full potential. Like Twitter, Pinterest lets you include popular hashtags which help pinners who aren’t following your boards to discover your content.

Mark Zuckerberg..you should’ve bought this one! Instagram is cool, but certainly doesn’t have the marketing capabilities that Pinterest does.

Anyway, I originally intended for this post to be terse (an impossibility for my loquacious mind). I do wish to include a helpful info graphic that I stumbled upon once. Ironically enough, I think I found it on Pinterest. If you’d like a larger copy I’ll be glad to email one: omp7@cornell.edu.

Enjoy!

-Olivia

PR: More than party planning and celebrity gawking!

NYC PR Girls, a blog I frequently peruse, has published this list to answer the age old question, “So what do PR girls do?”

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These 10 bullet points are only half of what Public Relations is all about, but this list alone explains volumes about a PR Career. Some of the highlights include:

-Monitoring Media (As a current Social Media Intern, I can attest to the amount of time I spend on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram…all things social and I’m there!)

-Brainstorming Creative Ways to get Client X Coverage (This is another great point…any communications related field needs a creative mind to be on her toes to come up with the most innovative way to spread her company or client’s message.)

-Maintain Relationships With Media (Maintaining relationships is important for all industries, but particularly so in PR. Networking is a huge part of the field..you never know who you may meet that can get you press coverage where you wouldn’t believe, connections to a new client or invitations to exclusive events. So make sure you maintain those close contacts– and even start to build those acquaintance relationships. Were you featured in a particular media outlet’s publication a few years ago? Reach out! It can certainly happen again if you’re willing to try.)

Thanks again to NYC PR Girls–an inspirational site for us all! Read the full list here:

http://nycprgirls.com/what-do-pr-girls-do 

What’s On Your Mind…tell us, really.

Do you know what would make the Twitterverse a lot more fun?  If celebrities actually used their accounts!  Social Media news website, Mashable, reported on 7 celebrities who they believe could truly help this cause.

Beyonce’s account has over 4.5 million followers, but she’s only tweeted once. Must’ve been a really riveting message!  I know for sure we at CMG would LOVE to see more from her!

Funny man Adam Sandler doesn’t boast the same number of followers, but we’ll give him some time though; his anonymous publicist tweeted twice that Sandler is not yet active on the account.

J.K. Rowling actually warned her followers about her eminent inactivity: “This is the real me, but you won’t hear from me often I’m afraid, as pen and paper are my priority at the moment.” Luckily for her 1.2 million followers she has a whopping 13 tweets, which is much more than her other inactive A-List celebrity friends.

Naturally, we wouldn’t expect the creator of social media rival, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to be an avid tweeter. However, we wish he would make more of an effort on the site. Atleast  he did change his twit pic. Seems like Zuckerberg is more of an observer on Twitter; following over 800 people must mean he’s intrigued by some trending topics.

Also on Mashable’s list are actress Emma Stone, NBC News anchor Brian Williams (nothing newsworthy to report?) and Apple Senior Vice President, Scott Forstall.  The irony doesn’t escape us on that last one…guess he didn’t download his own iPhone app!

So unless we can magically convince these famous folks to start tweeting, our next best option is to look before we leap. Next time we see those verified accounts pop up on “Who to Follow,” it seems like a great idea to click on their page first to ensure we’ll be getting updated tweets. If you’re interested in reading Mashable’s write up that inspired this blog, here’s the link: http://on.mash.to/MRzQK6

Happy Tweeting!

[See my original blog post published on Collective Media Group’s website here: http://bit.ly/MSmkDf ]