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Somehow, New York Fashion Week creeps up on us and it never seems to get any less frenetic. Fashionistas (legendary and newbies) come together and bop around town, going from show to show, and seldom having any time to grab a bite, take a pic, and enjoy the moment. So, for this week at Obviously, we were inspired by everyone attending Fashion Week. See some of our related campaigns from PRYNT, POSTMATES, and m6! 

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Top 5 Beauty Forums on Reddit

Although it can seem confusing, and somewhat aesthetically displeasing, you may be surprised to learn that Reddit is actually home to some of the best beauty forums on the Internet.

I used to never wear makeup, and when I got curious about trying it out, Reddit is where I learned everything I know today about beauty. (Not a great financial decision but certainly a lot of fun!) Check out these communities for a diverse group of ladies — and some adventurous men! — who trade up-to-the-minute news, products, tips, and tutorials.

r/MakeupAddiction (345k subscribers)

By far the largest of beauty subreddits, this is where you’ll find out about new products and offers the second they launch. It’s almost eerie how fast these detectives find the dirt. r/MUA is a great spot to ask for advice and get inspiration from the FOTDs (Face of the Day) that subscribers show off. You’ll see trends being born right before your eyes — Instagram crazes like greige lips and rainbow highlighter took off here first.

r/IndieMakeupandMore (23k subscribers)

More into Etsy finds than luxury brands? You’ll find likeminded Redditors here. There’s a totally different world of makeup outside of Sephora and Ulta, and they are mostly only available online. Since you usually can’t go test out the products in person, the comprehensive swatches and reviews you’ll find here are a great place to start. The fandom-themed products and uber-colorful eye pigments are especially tempting!

r/BeautyGuruChat (17k subscribers)

If YouTube is your happy place, this is your tribe. Both superstar beauty gurus and up-and-comers that you might have not heard of are discussed here. If you’re searching for a guru who looks like you, or want a roundup of tutorials on a certain trend, the subscribers here will know just what to do. There’s a heavy dose of gossip too, but the moderators keep things civil. 

r/AsianBeauty (70k subscribers)

Don’t forget about skincare! The regulars of r/AsianBeauty really know their stuff when it comes to cutting-edge ingredients from South Korea, Japan, and more. For any skin concern you have, there’s a genius product they can point to. Before you know it, you’ll know your AHAs from your BHAs and be totally obsessed with sheet masks. There’s makeup, too, in only the most adorable packaging you’ve ever seen.

r/MakeupRehab (16k followers)

If your addiction is getting a little out of hand, there’s always rehab. This supportive community shares tips on how to buy fewer new products and make the most of what you already have. You won’t hear about the latest discounts or limited edition releases here. Instead, you can share in success stories of saying no to temptation, repurposing forgotten purchases, and completely finishing (or “panning”) your favorite makeup.


Infographic: What We Learned During the Largest Instagram Protest Ever


Infographic: What We Learned During the Largest Instagram Protest Ever

Click For The Infographic

Click For The Infographic


On January 21, 2017, millions of people gathered around the world for a peaceful demonstration on an unprecedented scale. An incredible amount of social media activity documented the movement. We dig into the data, as we do daily for the Obviously community, to try and understand the patterns of this fascinating event.

On Instagram, the scale was as impressive. Over a single day of posting, the event generated 2.6M posts and more than 140M likes and 2.9M comments!

But this was primarily a story of solidarity. Along with the DC March, with estimated 500k marchers (of which almost half posted on Instagram!), people participated in marches all over the globe. Los Angeles, New York, London, Chicago, San Francisco and much more. What was surprising was to see some cities stand out regarding Instagram activity.

London for example, where "only" 100k people gathered, generated 34k posts and a staggering 4.1M likes. That's more likes than Chicago, SF, Boston and Denver combined! Regarding comments, Los Angeles’ posts generated the most conversation with almost three comments per post on average.

Solidarity was also visible in some of the popular hashtags that spontaneously took off. There were obviously Trump-related tags with the now classic #nastywoman and the great #lovetumphate. But other general trends surfaced, such as #womenrights,  #humanrights, #love, and #thisiswhatdemocracylookslike.

On top of that, it was great to see that men showed up too. 22% of all marchers around the world were men. Maybe as a sign of how happy this made Instagram, their engagement rate was slightly higher than women with 65 likes generated per post versus 55 likes for women contributors.

But solidarity was probably the most visible in DC were 27% of marchers made the trip from others states (including some of our Obviously Team members!).  And it was not just from very close states: California represents 21% of all out-of-state marchers made the trip all the way from the Golden State. And 5% of the posters came from another country and were physically present at the DC march.

It wouldn't be a proper Obviously study if we hadn't looked at how our influencers represented in the crowds. It was inspiring to see that micro-influencers (influencers with 1,000 to 100,000 followers) showed up in numbers: 15% of the marchers on average were micro-influencers. In Los Angeles, that number reached 26% of the Instagram contributors. That's to compare with celebrity influencers that were less than 0.3% of the contributors this time. And niche influencers (< 10,000 followers) generated a staggering 5% engagement rate on average. Go Obviously Influencers!

As always, with in-depth data insights, Instagram posts tell a story. And our data team loves digging into it to understand what's behind the picture, what motivates people, and what the value of each like and comment is. We will continue to analyze significant events and give you the rundown of what happened. In the meantime, check our infographic that sums up all these trends! 





Snapfluence: Influencer Marketing On Snapchat


Snapfluence: Influencer Marketing On Snapchat

Despite the fact that brand use of Snapchat has grown considerably in the last three years, the platform is just now beginning to be understood as a platform for influencer marketing. And few brands who see Snapchat’s potential in this area also understand how to successfully execute influencer marketing campaigns there at scale.

After all, Snapchat represents challenges for brands working on their own without the help of experts: it does not (yet) have an analytics platform for brands or agencies, making reporting and analysis completely manual and therefore annoyingly time consuming. It’s also difficult to assess basic metrics and information marketers are used to accessing or calculating on other platforms, such as engagement rate and aesthetic style.

All of these challenges can mean it’s difficult to take the leap to Snapchat as an influencer marketing tool, when really it just takes an adjustment of perspective. It’s a huge waste of time to judge Snapchat by the same criteria we judge running influencer programs on Pinterest or Instagram. The platform has its own unique merits, and brands who want to keep up with consumers and influencers alike do wisely to consider the benefits of Snapchat.

Influencers: Shedding Light on Snapchat

As an indicator of the platform’s ascendency, it’s worth noting that of the 230 influencers we recently surveyed on their views and use of Snapchat, 86% are active on the platform, with 55% of them using it actively as a platform for influencer marketing collaborations with brands.

It’s true that reporting is a challenge for a brand flying solo, especially when working with dozens of influencers on the platform. However, influencers understand the challenges brands face and are willing to collaborate on reporting: 90% said they would be comfortable sharing screenshots of stories and stats for reporting purposes. 44% were even willing to share their Snapchat logins so Obviously could dig up the stats ourselves.

Clearly, there are ways around the reporting challenges on the surface level. For brands, it helps to work with an agency such as Obviously with the personal relationships and expertise to handle reporting efficiently.

While there’s no consensus on the number of snaps per story that garner the most engagement (as defined as views and replies), 97% of influencers agree that there has to be more than two snaps per story to resonate with their followers. When there’s an actual cohesive story, there’s a clear relationship between the influencer and the consumer--something that we can capitalize on in a referral-driven market.

However, 55% of influencers ranked their most engaging stories as snap stories of them at an event, or out on the town. This supports the tactic of brands hosting events during which influencers have the opportunity to snap about their product or service. Funny and personal snaps of influencers hanging out ranked second, and opening or reviewing products third, making product posts viable as well.

Overall, influencers agree that the platform is all about a more personal, fun, and less processed view of their lives that their followers can access, versus the more editorially controlled YouTube and Instagram platforms, for instance.

Snapchat Influencer Marketing In Action

During a campaign for an international liqueur brand, we asked Instagram influencers who also have Snapchat followings to create content for both platforms at an event for an alcohol brand.

One influencer posted a 1.5 minute long snapstory, meaning her followers were engaged with her content for an extended period of time (in comparison to scrolling through an Instagram feed). She reported 804 views on the story. Conversely, her Instagram photo from the same event got 702 engagements--while that’s excellent engagement for an Instagram post, it’s 15% less than Snapchat content featuring the same brand. For events, it’s wise for brands to add on a Snapchat component to their influencer campaigns.

Additionally, the common thread through all snapstories from the event was the very clear divide between the type of casual, fun content posted on Snapchat and the beautiful, professional-quality posts that ended up on Instagram -- our influencers’ theory about the value proposition of this platform was proved correct again. And they’re right: Snapchat is simply more personal. It’s an authentic connection and conversation between the influencer and consumer, and it offers a great opportunity for brands to take part in that relationship.

The Conclusion

So, influencers are already on Snapchat, and already engaging with consumers for up to minutes at a time. And they're ready to share stats for tracking on an otherwise elusive platform. Can Snapchat be a legitimate influencer marketing tool? We say yes, and in fact it is already.




ROI and the Power of the Mid-Tier Social Influencer at Scale

IG photo by @jmcregan

IG photo by @jmcregan

Your 2017 marketing budget: should it be allocated for content creation, ad spends, PR, or influencer marketing? While the answer is likely to be a mix of the above, only one of these options allows you to slash your content creation budget, increase the ROI of your social media ads, and increase exposure (measured by both impressions and increased follower counts). And that’s influencer marketing.

Specifically, influencer marketing at scale among mid-tier influencers leads to all of these positive outcomes. At Obviously, we have seen this strategy of engaging influencers at scale work for our clients because it accomplishes each of these marketing goals -- with a multiplier effect.


Why work with mid-tier influencers?

Let’s face it, celebrities like Kim Kardashian don’t care about your product or telling your story, and their fees are significantly higher than influencers who are much more targeted in terms of aesthetic, interest, and location. So when you pay for Kim & Co., you’re getting blanket exposure from sources who have no emotional attachment to your brand, among audiences who are largely unlikely to convert.


Working with 25-150 mid-tier social media influencers, however, accomplishes the goal of exposure, but in a targeted way. Working with a larger number of mid-range influencers has much more of an impact on the ROI tangibles such as follower growth (for continued exposure), increased ad efficacy, and ability to reduce expensive content creation budgets. And since Obviously influencers receive product rather than payment, they only collaborate with brands they love, insuring that their posts will be authentic, genuine, and effective.


Who is a mid-tier social influencer?

The definition of an influencer can vary widely in the industry. We at Obviously define mid-tier influencers specifically by the following characteristics:

  • Have between 2,000-70,000 followers. Depending on the type of vertical a brand is functioning in, the audience size of an influencer will vary. For instance, a surf company geographically targeted to the northeast will have more niche influencers in the 2,000-10,000 follower range, whereas an international fashion retailer will be more likely to work in the middle and upper ranges of these follower counts.

  • May or may not have a blog. A lingering misconception about influencer is that they are necessarily bloggers. Not so. While many influencers do have incredible blogs, most influencers of today and tomorrow are solely focused on creating beautiful social content.

  • Have a well-developed aesthetic and persona. Whether it’s monochrome urban, gentle country pastels, or colorful prep, influencers have a signature personal aesthetic and brand that has allowed them to build and retain an audience. These unique visual signatures allow our account managers to strategically select influencers who are already working in a brand’s style and tone of voice.


What results are you likely to see from these types influencers?

We don’t call them powerful for nothing. The combined power of 25-150 mid-tier social influencers posting within a condensed span of time means that brands gain exposure, which in turn results in increased organic followers for your brand -- also known as people who will have hundreds of touchpoints with a brand as they follow its Instagram account, for instance. Each of these events increase the likelihood of conversion, and long-term customer loyalty.

Let’s do some influencer marketing math. An athleisure brand wants to reach more women in their mid twenties in cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Austin as they launch flagship stores. They also want to increase exposure for their brand and create hundreds of pieces of content featuring products that their social team can start using right away.

The brand contracts us to create a network of 150 influencers in these cities, running 2 campaigns over the course of 2 months. Influencers are gifted with product, and instructed to post to Instagram using the brand’s handle and hashtag. On average, the influencers have 27,000 followers.

The results from the creation of this mid-tier influencer network, and the deployment of two campaigns, would be:

  • 300+ pieces of content created for brand to use on its own channels -- that’s enough for 5-7 months
  • 4,050,000 impressions by end of campaign 1
  • 8,100,000 impressions by end of campaign 2

Compare these results with the 10 pieces of content that a brand would receive from working with 5 large influencer bloggers (for a hefty fee), and it’s clear which approach is better for ROI.







Last week was a big week for the music industry. If you’re reading this, you most likely don’t live under a rock, which means you’ve definitely heard Adele’s new single “Hello,” because hello, it’s Adele and she’s BACK. You've also probably experienced firsthand the Internet-takeover of Drake’s new “Hotline Bling” music video and all the Vines, memes, and GIFs that have since spawned from its existence.

In an interesting analysis of the video, New York Times writer Jon Caramanica discusses this phenomenon, the inevitable virality of Drake’s Internet persona, and how his art is created with the intention of being manipulated and contorted by the Internet. With its minimalistic visual effects, solid color backdrops, and Drake’s somewhat spazzy and basic dance moves, the “Hotline Bling” video functions as a foundation for the Internet to run amok. Caramanica writes, “It’s important at its full length, but even more so in the screenshots and few-seconds-long GIFs that it’s designed to be broken down into. It’s less a video than an open source code that easily allows Drake’s image and gestures to be rewritten, drawn over, repurposed.”

In all of these clips, it’s often the same portion of the original video being edited, from the 4:00 minute mark to about 4:40. It’s a musical interlude point in the song, so Drake is only dancing, no lip syncing to spoil the mood. The videos are often accompanied by the hashtag #DrakeAlwaysOnBeat, because well, it seems he really is always on beat, whether he’s grooving to Aventura’s “Obsesion,” Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” or the Cosby Show theme song.


A video posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Then we have Adele, who resurfaced from a 3-year hiatus with the release of her newest single “Hello,” and in the process knocked Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video out of first place for most-viewed video in 24 hours. Along with this reemergence came her first print interview in that same amount of time, where she spoke with i-D magazine's Hattie Collins about her upcoming album and the difficulties of fame.

When asked why she doesn’t like being famous, Adele said it’s not about having a distaste for fame, it’s about being frightened of losing herself to the toxicity of it. While Drake is all the more ready to let his fame and the Internet essentially control the style of his art, Adele uses the opposite approach. She says, “I just want to have a real life so I can write records. No one wants to listen to a record from someone that’s lost touch with reality. So I live a low-key life for my fans.” For the sake of her music, Adele chooses to stay out of the limelight, and as Collins puts it, it's how she can continue to “sing about life in a way that deeply moves and affects us. She does this in spite of ‘engagement’ and ‘coverage’ and ‘reach.’”

Adele is rarely photographed by paparazzi, occasionally tweets, and has only just joined Instagram. In our social-obsessed world, where information about anything and anyone is so easily and instantaneously accessible, Adele’s anonymity seems to work to her advantage rather than alienate her, as her video has already reached 82 million views on YouTube in under a week. It would be unfair to say that her infrequent use of social media is the reason for her success, because, my God, the woman can SING. But it’s certainly interesting that a musician with her caliber of talent and fame has been able to maintain that level of fame without the daily input of content on today’s most widely used form of technology and communication.

But perhaps it’s that Adele’s talent exceeds her need for a social presence. Adele broke a record that Taylor Swift previously held with her “Bad Blood” video, which had weeks of social media build up and a lot of celebrity cameos. Adele managed to accomplish the same feat with a sepia-toned video that featured only herself and co-star, Tristan Mack Wilds, and with no previous advertising or campaigning of any kind.

Of course, that’s not to say that Drake and Taylor Swift, or any other artist for that matter, need to rely on social media in order for their music to be successful or to maintain longevity in their careers. It’s only to say that, in a way, Adele’s absence on social media is how she uses it. It has served the same purposes that Taylor’s Instagram teases and Drake’s highly “GIF-able” video have served, in that its element of surprise worked just as well as playing into the tropes of the Internet. As Adele said, “You’ve got to give people a chance to miss you,” and that’s just what she did.


Watch full versions of the music videos below.


#OSFW Round Up


#OSFW Round Up

Happy Fall! Summer is over and soon New York City will look like a scene straight out of a Nora Ephron movie. Who's excited?!

Between the launch of our new platform, Obviously Studio, the array of projects we were able to offer our social creatives, and all of the amazing content they created, we had a pretty spectacular summer. We closed out the season with a special project focused around one of New York's busiest and most stylish times... Fashion Week.

We started our own social media Fashion Week, aka #OSFW. We asked our Instagram followers to submit a photo of the outfit they would wear to New York Fashion Week so @diarysketcheslk could turn it into a beautiful fashion sketch for them to share with their own followers. Leave it to our fashion social creatives to knock it out of the park with awesome content. Take a look at some of our favorites...

We got 178 posts tagged with #OSFW and garnered impressions that reached an estimate of about 800,000 Instagram users. Not bad for our first Obviously Social Fashion Week! Of course we're a little partial to the sketches @diarysketcheslk made of 3 of our strategists, Lauren, Saya, and Miriam


A big thank you goes out to everyone who got creative and submitted a photo -- follow us on Instagram for more photo contests coming soon!


Interview with collaborators @manolopadron and @afroista


Interview with collaborators @manolopadron and @afroista

Curating a beautiful Instagram feed might look effortless, but that's what makes these influencers so good at what they do. Obviously Social sat down with two of our favorites, @manolopadron and @afroista, to talk about how their accounts got started, where they want to go from here, and how to make it as an influencer in this big ol' social-obsessed world.

Manny is a men's lifestyle influencer, with a focus on fashion and grooming. With over 15k+ followers, he's certainly one to watch.

If you're looking for a beautiful and natural lifestyle account, look no further. Tessa's flair and eye for natural beauty will have you hooked.

OS : Looking back at day 1, when you first created your Instagram account, did you ever think that it would grow as much as it did? What was the turning point for you that made you want to monetize your Instagram feed?

Tessa : My first account on IG was solely used to edit my photos for FB, I had no idea that I was creating a feed. During this time I wasn't privy to the natural hair community, and began to notice that people were using this platform, to share their message, or show themselves. I decided to create a page due to a picture that went viral. The beginning of Afroista was more than just about my hair. My intention has been to create content that reflects my lifestyle, share tools and knowledge. To have the ability to reach and make connections with others has been humbly motivating. Through developing my voice, I have questioned if this was a fleeting hobby, or I would take my brand to the next level.

Manolo : When I first started, Instagram was very different. I just wanted to post about my lifestyle. I feel like, today, my feed is similar but my lifestyle has changed dramatically. I definitely did not expect it to transform into what it is today nor did I know that Instagram was going to become as popular as it is now. My snapchat (@manolopadron) today is what my Instagram was 4 years ago. I’m not curating a perfect image, just being more ridiculous and silly.

OS : What is the most challenging part of trying to make it as an influencer today?

Manolo : I think it’s really exciting what we're experiencing now through social media because we are seeing personalities come out. There is a lot of fashion menswear out there, but there can only be one ‘you.’ Everyone has a different personality. I think my Cuban-American culture really plays a part in my identity. People see there are a lot of layers to me and that I’m not one dimensional, and that’s what makes me stand out. I’m a father, I have a family, I own two businesses, I’m an entrepreneur, and those are the layers that help me stand out.

Tessa : At times seeing myself as an influencer has created blockage. I can recall the various obstacles I was facing "behind closed doors" and I didn't feel very empowered. I couldn't fathom that I was making a difference, and would often tell myself that I should just stop what I was doing. Mystically in those moments I would receive emails from followers on how much I have inspired them. Which encouraged me not to be swayed, and affirmed that I must not give up! When a being makes a determination, you are sure to be assailed with obstacles. You either win or lose! In the midst of the chaos, life is always shifting, and is filled with endless positive possibilities.

OS : How have you integrated the “maintenance” of your social media feeds with everyday “real” responsibilities? Do you put a lot of planning behind every post or are you more spontaneous?

Manolo : I like that question because it made me think about what I do and I think it all comes down to my lifestyle. I’m very fortunate to have an active social lifestyle. I get invited to many events and once I’m there, I try to think about what single photo will translate the vibe and then what social media outlet to use. You want to stay "on brand" but to me I’m just like “Hey, be real!” to collectively put something together that people will appreciate. I love finding things that describes my culture, my brand and allow me to be real. I’m not going to promote a product that I genuinely don’t care about or don’t find inspiration from. It’s all about being creative and artistic.

Tessa : I try to be as conscious as possible about my post. Social media has created various lanes, unfortunately a lot of it is fluff. I feel responsible about what vibration I put forth. You never know who's going to see it. With that being said, most posts are organically spontaneously created, a mere glimpse into my life.

OS : What is the craziest thing that has happened to you so far because of social media? This can be either working with a “dream brand” or people recognizing you on the streets, to maybe meeting someone who has had a big impact in your life since then.

Tessa : My close friends joke that I'm Insta'famous, which I brush off as a silly statement. I'm still taken back when beautiful beings recognize me. I have seen actual proof of determinations; from being spotlighted in a various magazines to musing for FLOTUS Hair stylist Johnny Wright. The greatest continuous blessing has been making more connections with those in my community, that are of like mind.

Manolo : Social media is a whole other world. As much as we want to say it’s not real, you do deal with real people. I met the Godfather of men’s fashion in New York City, Ignacio Quiles. I met him on the street one day and I recognized him, and now we do things together all the time like collaborating together on different projects. Everytime I’m with him, I cannot walk for 5 minutes and not have people stopping and wanting to take a picture with us, or wanting to talk to him. It’s just crazy! It’s almost like you are a celebrity. I think it’s funny when people comment on my posts but they don’t think that I’m a real person. But I handle my Instagram, and I curate the feeds myself.

OS : Speaking of which, what would be your dream collaboration?

Tessa : I would love love love to do an ad campaign for Uniqlo, Levi's, Swatch....!

Manolo : This is a tough one. Anything creative, artistic and fits my lifestyle. That being said… I mean there is so much…! I want to work in editorial because it’s the one industry I haven’t been in to yet but influences people a lot. So either in a magazine or with a magazine, a project, a blog or something. Working with Esquire or GQ magazine.

Thanks for being so great, Tessa and Manolo, and thanks to all our influencers rocking their 'grams on the daily! 

To collaborate with us, apply here:

With love, The OS Team