HelloSociety Blog

Influencer-Powered Social Media Marketing

Tori Stark

September 28, 2016


This month, our HelloStudio experts weighed in on their favorite ways to successfully edit and post exclusively on the iPhone. As blogging and Influencer marketing pick up steam as mainstream advertising avenues, more campaigns are being shot and styled on iPhone, and we spent the last month going through your questions about how to optimize that process. Below you’ll find all the details on the best lighting, apps, and accessories to make your iPhone pictures stand out.

Q: Are there any apps that are worth the money for editing and manipulating photos?

There are an overwhelming amount of photo apps for iPhone, and we totally understand being hesitant to lay down the fee and not get the features and tools you’re looking for. Here are some of our favorite photoshopping apps, along with the standout features on each one:

ColorStory: Buy the unlimited filter pack! These filters are all beautiful and fully adjustable. This is probably the best filter package on the market.

Facetune: This one has an amazing exposure tool to make your photos brighter and crisper.

Afterlight: Use this app when you need a great saturation tool that makes pictures more colorful and vibrant.

If you don’t want to buy a separate filter app, you can get a similar result using the Instagram app. Simply put your phone on airplane mode, edit the photo with the built in filters and adjustments, and hit post. The photo won’t be shared with your followers, but will be saved to your camera roll with your chosen adjustments. You can then repeat the process with the new version to layer different filters, exposure levels, etc.

Q: My pictures often come out with shadows that take away from the focal point of the image. Any tips on avoiding shadows and other lighting mistakes?

The worst lighting, and the hardest time to avoid harsh shadows, is 12 PM. We recommend avoiding shooting around noon if possible! If you absolutely must, be sure to step into a shaded area to soften or avoid shadows altogether.

You’ll find even, soft light around sunrise and for the few hours after. Another excellent shooting time, referred to as the ‘Golden Glow’, is from 3-6 PM. No matter what time you’re shooting, we recommend never using flash, as the iPhone flash is not high enough quality yet to affect the image in the way you want.

Q: Any insider tips for someone just starting out shooting on iPhone?

Experiment, experiment, experiment. One of the greatest advantages of digital photography over print is that you can save multiple versions of the same photo. If you’re taking images for a brand partnership, you can even send several versions and see which one they like, or which fits best with your aesthetic.

To submit questions for the next installment of HelloStudio Tips, send your questions to tori@hellosociety.com!

Posted In - Social Media Tips

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Jenna Handweiler

August 11, 2016


Laptop and coffee cup in girl’s hands sitting on a wooden floor

This month’s installment of HelloStudio Tips is about building relationships with brands. We’re covering everything from strategies that will help you land your dream collaboration, to the art of saying “no” without burning bridges. Read along as we answer your questions below and provide tips on navigating the tricky business of working with brands.

Q: I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with a lot of great brands, but there are still quite a few brands I’d like to work with that I can’t seem to secure. Do you have any advice for landing your dream collaboration?

A: One of the most effective ways to secure a collaboration is by getting the brand’s attention.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

· Demonstrate your loyalty – Brands want to work with Influencers who already use and feature their products, so consistency and loyalty goes a long way. It’s important to be mindful not to feature any brands or companies that might be direct competitors of the brand you’re hoping to work with.

· Connect via social media – Social media is one of the most effective ways to get on a brand’s radar. By consistently engaging with a brand and tagging their products, the brand is more likely to take note of you and your interest in them. Not only can this lead to a potential repost, but it can aid in building an organic relationship for future collaborations.

· Nurture your relationship and be patient – Building a relationship takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t land a collaboration from the get-go. Taking a genuine interest in the brand over time builds trust and shows that you value the relationship, as opposed to a one-time business transaction.

· Communicate professionally – Whether the brand is approaching you or you’re proactively pitching to them, it’s important to communicate professionally. This means responding promptly, having a media kit that outlines your experience and brands you’ve previously worked with, blog and social stats, audience demographics, etc.

· Reach out to them – Create an offer they can’t refuse by establishing your value and the ways in which a collaboration will benefit them. Whether it’s providing them with content, driving exposure through your audience or helping to sell their product, highlight the ways in which they can benefit from you and your audience. If you’re struggling to find the right contact person, consider reaching out to the brand’s customer service department to connect you to the appropriate person.

· Produce high-quality content – Social media numbers and blog stats are important, but they aren’t everything. Compelling content is just as, if not more valuable. So even if your numbers aren’t where you want them to be, don’t get discouraged.

· Be flexible – If your dream collaboration comes your way, but the budget isn’t what you hoped it would be, being flexible with your rate and terms in the beginning can benefit you in the long run. Your willingness to negotiate and invest in the brand relationship can ultimately lead to more collaborations down the line.

Q: While I’m flattered to receive emails from brands and agencies that want to work with me, it can feel daunting to respond to all of them, especially when I’m not interested in the opportunity. Is there an effective way to say no without burning any bridges?

A: For many of us, learning to say no can be a challenge. We often say yes to things we’re not interested in for fear of being rude or letting others down. However, the problem with saying yes too willingly is that it often results in sacrificing our own needs and priorities.

As an influencer, you’ve probably found yourself in this very situation when being faced with an opportunity that just doesn’t suit you or your brand. Regardless of the reason, it’s still important to respond. Not only did this person take the time to reach out to you, but you never know if they might turn out to be a valuable contact for another opportunity down the line, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them.

A brief, polite response should do the trick. We suggest something like this:

Hi _____ ,

It’s so nice to hear from you, and thank you so much for reaching out!

Unfortunately I have to pass at this time due to _____ (timing, budget, not the right fit, etc.), but I really appreciate your consideration for this opportunity and hope we can collaborate in the future.

Thank you again, and best of luck with this campaign in the meantime!


To submit questions for the next installment of HelloStudio Tips, send your questions to tori@hellosociety.com!

Posted In - Social Media Tips

Kerry O'Donoghue

October 23, 2015


Halloween is an exciting time to be creative with your costume!  You don’t have to spend a ton of money to transform yourself into a different character for the evening.  Repurpose clothes you already have in your closet and with great makeup you can disguise yourself for All Hallows Eve.  YouTube videos are a great resource for creating a new persona for the holiday, all with the power of makeup.  Learn how to imitate cuts or scrapes with scar wax to look like a zombie. Use angled brushes to create lines on your face that turn you into your favorite animal.  Here are some of the best makeup tutorials on YouTube to create a few of our favorite Halloween looks!


1. Puking Rainbow Snapchat Lens

The introduction of lenses in a recent Snapchat update has taken the user fan base to a whole new level.  We are now seeing the Snapchat lenses being recreated as Halloween costumes.  Check out GettingPretty’s video to learn a few makeup techniques to create this 2015 costume. (more…)

Posted In - Social Media Tips, Top 5 social examples of the week

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Zoe Waldron

October 22, 2015


Crafting a holiday marketing strategy across multiple social media platforms is a great way to increase product and brand awareness, followers, engagement and holiday sales. The first step? Name your holiday campaign as a whole and create a unique hashtag around that name. By creating a simple yet memorable multi-platform hashtag to represent your holiday campaign efforts, you’ll be able to spread awareness efficiently and collectively see participant engagement. The following tips outline ideas by platform for social campaigns to help you increase holiday awareness and sales.

– Pick an official ‘holiday hashtag’ (if you haven’t already) and use it to spread the word about your brand and products during the holidays. Use it everywhere, including your website, social platforms (except Pinterest) and in-store. Make sure it’s unique and that no other brand is already using it. Retweet fan posts to boost awareness and to keep you top of mind.
– Aim to share 7-15 tweets per day. Add your new holiday hashtag to all relative tweets.
– Tweet out links to each platform where you’re sharing content, promotional deal information, exclusive first looks, etc…
~ Consider adding holiday keywords whenever possible:  Black Friday, Christmas Gifts, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Winter, etc…
~ Go off of trending hashtags when relative. For example, if ‘#XmasWishlist’ is trending, first research why it’s trending. If it’s just for users to share what they want as a gift, start tweeting out links to your shopping categories, new trending items, and articles with products that would make great gifts. Don’t forget to add your own hashtag after this trending one! Just don’t do more than 2 hashtags per tweet.

Posted In - Influencer Marketing, Pinterest tips, Social Media Tips

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Zoe Waldron

September 29, 2015


Each social platform has its own unique benefits, setbacks, and primary users. Integrating campaigns and content across social platforms helps fill in those gaps with features of another platform, all while helping your brand reach the widest market possible. Planning an Instagram campaign soon? Tie those images in with a Pinterest board theme and link them back to your Instagram. Teaming up with a Vine influencer to create a branded Vine video? Make sure that video gets shared or promoted on Twitter for an extra boost of awareness and engagement. Have a new video you’re hoping will go viral? Consider uploading it on Facebook and YouTube for extended reach. The following integrations explore ways you can boost views, engagement and shares with a multi-platform strategy.

Pinterest and Instagram are two very visual platforms. They are also two very different platforms. Pinterest is the perfect place online to plan for your future. Instagram is great for sharing highlights from your life currently. So how can they support each other?

Let’s compare some complementing pros + cons: (more…)

Posted In - Pinterest tips, Social Media Tips

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Zoe Waldron

August 13, 2015


When sharing an Instagram with a product to feature in mind, it’s important to keep that balance of personal aesthetic and making sure the brand is happy. Below we’ve shared four different styles of product Instagrams that have a nice balance of inspiration and promotion, with examples from pro-bloggers and top Instagram influencers, Sincerely Jules and Damsel in Dior.

1. The Flat Lay — Let a product shine by surrounding it with beautiful + inspirational items, like flowers, candles, accessories, home decor or food/drink.

– This can be taken directly above the items or at a slight angle in front (as shown below).

– Solid white backgrounds are always a winner, although solid backgrounds of other colors or subtle patterns like tiling and wood also work well.

– Make sure to leave visible space between each item to keep it looking nicely organized. (more…)

Posted In - Social Media Tips

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Zoe Waldron

June 10, 2015


Keegan Adriance is a HelloSociety Influencer and professional photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has over 857k Pinterest followers. Keegan has been kind enough to share some tips with us on image editing for different social media platforms in this week’s guest blog post:


When you look at your Pinterest homepage, what images stand out to you most? I’m sure some reel you in using bold color or shiny text gimmicks, but I can guarantee that the small, horizontal/landscape images on your screen are not the ones immediately catching your eye. Pinterest’s layout is designed to best feature vertical images. Just look at how much real estate they take up on the screen compared to horizontal shots, or even square. It’s such a bummer when I find a beautiful blog post and want to share it but all of the images are horizontal. I understand that some subjects, like interiors or food, may be more challenging to present vertically, but if you’re a blogger and want your images to do well on Pinterest, I highly recommend posting a few vertical shots.

This is even more important if you plan on sharing the images yourself. Your vertical images will almost always get more attention (which leads to more clicks) than the horizontal images surrounding it. Although I’m personally not a fan of this specific pin look, even combining multiple images into a vertical representation is a better option than a single, horizontal photo. Think about those pins you see that are longer than your screen. It may be obnoxious, but you definitely see it. Editing (and shooting) for vertical images is probably the most basic, yet arguably most effective, step you can take to attract more attention to your pins.

Instagram (more…)

Posted In - Guest Post, Pinterest tips, Social Media Tips

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Zoe Waldron

June 3, 2015


Have you ever been the one to awkwardly stand over your plate at a restaurant to take a photo of your food? It’s nothing to be ashamed of if the photo ends up being awesome! Food photography is becoming more an more prominent on social platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest. So how can you become a master at food photography? What sizes are best for each social platform and how can you get the most out of each post? This content creation guide covers tips and examples on how you can become a pro at food photography and videography for social media.

The Most Important Aspect of Food Photography: Lighting

With food or drinks placed on a flat surface, it’s critical to have natural lighting (or lighting that looks natural). That means not using flash and not just relying on regular indoor lights, but not being directly under bright sunshine either. Returning to my past blog post, The HelloSociety Content Creation Guide for Pinterest, I highly recommend that anyone that plans on photographing or videoing food, whether it be for a blog post, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine or YouTube post, invest in a lighting system. It can be as simple as buying a reflector ($10-$20) and a grip holder ($15-$25), buying a light box, or making your own light box at home. (more…)

Posted In - Social Media Tips

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Zoe Waldron

May 21, 2015


Partnering with a talented creator to develop and share their take on your product with a sponsored post and by creating styled images through photoshoots of newly-created recipes, stylish outfits, room makeovers, or beauty looks is one of the most powerful ways your brand can build a presence on social media.

How is content creation different from UGC (User-Generated Content)? UGC is when someone shares a photo or video showing or commenting on your product. UGC is one of the most-valuable assets a brand can have online. It doesn’t cost anything, but you have no control over what’s being shared and it can be difficult to get rolling. It takes some effort on your part to promote UGC, like by having hashtags printed on material in-store during a special seasonal sale for example or having your brand’s handle and hashtag automatically generate in the descriptions from your website’s social share buttons.

Once you’ve set the foundation for easy UGC, call upon top bloggers and style icons in your brand category to create content and share it with blog and/or social posts. It publicly shows their support for your product and will spread brand awareness, improve brand opinions, increase engagement, and promote sales. It is important to work with creators/bloggers that share a similar aesthetic as your brand and fit your target consumer’s look. Content creation by bloggers or icons and UGC are especially valuable to brands that don’t have any content, have little content, or that have a lot of generic-looking product photos with white backgrounds. (more…)

Posted In - Social Media Tips

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Zoe Waldron

May 13, 2015


Is your brand on Vine yet? The platform’s tagline is ‘Create and share beautiful looping videos.’ Vine is a platform that requires creativity since videos can only be six seconds or less. Many popular Vines include six seconds of cute animals, funny pranks, singing, cool stop motion, and visual storytelling, with the occasional brand mention or product placement.

Vine is a great platform for tracking virality. A Vine is deemed as viral in my mind when it gets one million loops. Updates to the app have made it even easier for you to have better control over the video quality your brand shares on Vine. The app now allows you to upload videos, allowing your team to create and edit videos then upload them to Vine. Keep in mind that the truly impressive Vines are those that look ‘just created.’

Vine is the kind of social platform that can change someone’s mood instantly. A great Vine can make a follower smile and laugh out loud in a matter of seconds or can inspire them with a fun and unique short story. How can your brand create a positive presence on Vine and what kinds of 6-second videos should you be making? See some great examples below.


Posted In - Social Media Tips

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