Strong women can tell stories that simultaneously rock viral reach and niche connection, and guess what? You’re part of this squad, and we’ve got a name: contagiously social. When we’re contagiously social, it’s not just our stories that ignite, but also the style in which we share them. Best of all, this fierce fusion is surprisingly simple. Just do three things:
Abandon. Obsess. Infect.
1. Abandon labels (hashtags included)
You know the nuances of your industry, platforms, and followers, so trust that your social strategy will work like muscle memory when you let go of labels. Share in the moment. This strategy is so real, it might be surprised to hear itself called that.
Teen Vogue Digital Entertainment Editor Ella Cerón rocks this. She’s a social media savant (Insta, Twitter, Facebook, and beyond), but people know her first and foremost as a funny, know-all fashionista who’s not afraid to get real when breaking news breaks hearts. It’s seamless yet unobvious content strategy focused on real-time stories, personality (on and beyond brand), and community (from close friends to influencers...and by that, I mean Kim Kardashian).
What inspires or surprises you right now? Tell that story, even if it’s not ready-made with a hashtag. There’s both freedom and followers to be found in this relatable-yet-reckless abandon.
2. Obsess over what you love
Reclaim obsession. It’s now a powerful, positive word that screams, “I’m passionate and my own person!” Be the #bosslady of can’t get enough. Champion what you love and pay no heed to “trending.” Start the social convo. Chances are, other women and brands obsess over cheap lipstick, hot sauce, and puns, too. (No? Just me?) Create a project, campaign, or partnership together! When you celebrate shared passion, the right people follow suit, and bam—obsession transforms into collaboration.
Jazmine Hughes and Jessica Kane rock this. Hughes, associate editor at The New York Times Magazine, wrote a brilliant Cosmopolitan story for which she dressed as Empire’s Cookie to explore a question on many women’s minds: Do I deserve this job? (Spoiler alert: Yes, you do.) Kane, director of millennial outreach at the Huffington Post, loves donuts. From HuffPost’s first-ever donut gif to deliciously-hyperlinked out-of-office emails, she bakes this love into her personal and professional brand like a boss.
Share what you love. Feelings and followers will be mutual. It’s the best answer to Mariah Carey’s enduring question, “Why you so obsessed with me?”
3. Infect with unique style
How is a huge part of storytelling. Take Tasty, for example. All it took was some sharp overhead camera footage in the kitchen, and now our Facebook feeds (pun intended!) are filled with BuzzFeed’s mac and cheese miracles. It’s all about style, so once you have your story, shake up how you share it. This could be visual or verbal, but it’s gotta be vibrant.
Fashion designer Misha Nonoo rocks this. Nonoo launched New York Fashion Week’s first-ever #instashow with her SS16 collection. Nonoo brought it to the hashtagged height of #NYFW with the help of 30 #bosslady influencers like Lena Dunham (hey, 2.4 million+ followers, nice to meet you). Media loved it, and it caught on: Nonoo just wrapped up her fall 2016 instashow in partnership with rewardStyle, this time using her personal Instagram and shoppable links with LiketoKnow.it. Now you see this content—monetized-yet-meaningful, Insta over in-person—and this style—larger images made from the ‘gram grid—from the best brands, corporate accounts, and small creative projects.
Stories and style infect our industry, and soon, we see their symptoms everywhere. We spread a brilliant bug. And don’t worry—“new” doesn’t have to mean “never before.” It’s all about finding fresh ways to fuse your what with your how.
You’ve got something compelling and contagious to share. Go forth and abandon, obsess, and infect. I can’t wait to catch this wildfire.
Aileen McGraw is a writer on on a mission to redefine sartorial by fusing all things social, art, and editorial. Her work intertwines stories and strategy to amplify the bold and the not-yet-told. She’s been published in the Huffington Post, majestic disorder, and Chickpea Magazine, among others, and currently rocks content strategy at Microsoft. She lives by the words, "There's no such thing as too spicy." Find Aileen’s portfolio here.