If you ask Christina Grasso (today's featured PLANOLEADER) what her position on social media is, she'll more than likely tell you: "Humans before @handles." In this day and age, that's an idea we can get behind, but for Christina, it's so much more. While her day-to-day consists of crafting social media content and strategies for powerhouse media company StyleCaster, Christina is also actively involved in social good as well (notably Project HEAL and Glam4Good). From style to philanthropy, we were interested in learning more about how Christina has blended her talents for content with her commitment to community-building. We visited this game-changing digital maven at StyleCaster's HQ, where Christina kindly took us for a tour around the office, walked us through her day-to-day as a Social Media Editor, and shared her thoughts on planning with empathy. Read on to learn more about her story.
Please introduce yourself!
Hi! My name is Christina. I'm 28 years old and originally from a really small town in Western PA called Sharon, and now I call New York City home. Professionally, my current title is Social Media Editor, but I also do a lot of writing, speaking, and philanthropic work, so I suppose my real title is Wearer of Many Hats!
Aside from StyleCaster, what were you up to professionally, what role did digital play in your job description, and what have been some notable moments throughout your career so far?
It's been a long and winding road, as the Beatles would say! I was extremely fortunate to intern at Oscar de la Renta right at the time digital was emerging, so I owe a big part of my career to Erika Bearman (AKA @oscarprgirl) who was my boss then and is still in my life now as a mentor and friend. So I started in PR, took a few detours, did a lot of freelancing and somehow through a lot of hard work and a little bit of magic, I wound up where I am now at StyleCaster. In addition to my day job, I've worked closely with an incredible non-profit called Project HEAL for over five years now. I'm never not working, but because I genuinely enjoy so much of what I do, it feels energizing and rewarding. And as far as notable moments, I would have to say the first runway show I attended as a 19-year-old intern is up there. It was one of the bigger shows, and when it ended, I tripped over a bench and fell flat on the runway in front of every editor I admired. I still laugh about it to this day. So that moment was fantastic on many levels, and recently I had the privilege of interviewing Mariska Hargitay about her philanthropic work and as someone I've always looked up to, that was pretty special.
Walk us through your day-to-day at StyleCaster. What are some exciting things on your to-do list lately that you can share with us?
I oversee all of our digital platforms, so most of my day is spent managing our channels' output, creating social-first content, and tracking analytics and trends. I write for our site, as well, which I really enjoy. One of my favorite parts of my job is Instagram–I'm very creative and a bit of a data nerd, so I find curating our feed pretty exciting!
How would you define the "Social Media Editor" and looking back from when you started, how would you say the role has evolved to keep up with the industry's constant changes?
I think the role of a social media editor is constantly evolving to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape. And because everything is still relatively new, I would argue that there is no such thing as a social media "expert." Sure, there are best practices, but it involves a great deal of experimentation and feels like the second we think we cracked the code, something else shifts. So, I think of my job as being a mad scientist and a storyteller.
When it comes to planning and creating social content how do you prioritize when it comes to considering both creative and data?
It depends on the platform, but balance is key.
Noting your involvement in Project Heal and Glam4Good it seems that you really value the synergy between social and social good. Would you agree? What are your three tips for those looking to incorporate ethics/empowerment/philanthropy into their social media strategy or personal brand?
I definitely agree! I don't know that I really have any tips, though, as my involvement with these organizations was never part of a strategy, but rather something I wanted to do for the greater purpose of giving back. I think authenticity, even though it's become kind of a buzz word, is crucial on social (and in life!), and not everyone will feel called to philanthropic causes, which is totally okay! It's so important to give back, but just as important to do it for the right reasons. Humans before handles, as I like to say!
With the above question in mind, who are a few influencers or content creators in this space that you're currently inspired by and think we should be keeping an eye on?
I love @ruthielindsey, @stacylondonreal, @sophiabush, @the12ishstyle, @nixinicks and @sofhoney to name a few because they're each transparent and have a clear message, but they're not one-dimensional. It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to fit neatly into a certain box, but I think it's much more captivating to see a well-rounded, complex human.