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!

Shannon Speaks: The 518 Movement – A Community’s Reaction to a Tragedy

“It started with the tweet, #TebowCallMatt….in less than two hours, people all across the country were tweeting it. The hashtag reached the 3rd most tweeted topic in the world.

via Shannon Speaks: The 518 Movement – A Community’s Reaction to a Tragedy.

 

This story is truly empowering. One of my best friends at Cornell went to Shenendehowa High School and knew of the victims of this tragedy. As Shannon said, our generation used social media to unite and rally for a cause. May the victims rest in peace and may those who have heard of the tragedy never stop tweeting, and never forget the horrors of drinking and driving.

I pledged to never drink and drive. The question is, have you?

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.

Social Media Savvy: The 2012 Election

Social Media Savvy: The 2012 Election

Here’s an interesting New York Times article I stumbled upon last night. ’08 marked the beginning of social media campaign integration with both candidates on Facebook and Twitter, but this time around, they’ve even made Tumblr profiles and Pinterest pages! 

This just really reiterates how effective social media is for marketing. I’d add more thoughts but I’m in a crunch for time today–lots of last minute errands before I head back to Ithaca. Fall break was just too short!

I’ll be sure to follow the leading ladies’ Pinterest pages now for some tasty new recipes!

Summer 2012 Social Media Strategy

Today marked my last day interning at Laffey Fine Homes. I head back up to Cornell in 6 days! Time flies. But I already had my nostalgic post, so this time I’m here to share a project I worked on at Laffey.

It was an idea that my boss came up with–something both beneficial for both the company and myself. Not only does it help with building my portfolio, but it will also help my boss explain the value of Social Media to managers and high execs at Laffey, in addition to serving as a guide for future interns. While a lot of what I strategized may seem to be common sense to a social media connoisseur, some tips and tricks excited a lot of the company’s executive office. They held a meeting today to discuss it! If you’d like to see it for yourself, I uploaded it here: Laffey Fine Homes Social Media Strategy. I’d love some feedback!

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