Style, social media, and storytelling are all part of Kayleigh Harrington's job description. The NYC-based influencer and social media manager has lent her unique experiences in tech, public relations and more to her current role as Social Media Manager at M.Gemi. The luxury shoe brand is making bold moves in the digital space and is leveraging both social media and influencer marketing in their overarching content strategy. With that said, Kayleigh's days are full, and we were interested in learning more about her daily responsibilities and efforts in bringing these strategies to fruition. Read on to catch up on highlights from our visit to M.Gemi's gorgeous Soho shop and to learn more about Kayleigh's career path and suggested best practices.
Please introduce yourself!
I'm Kayleigh Harrington. By day you'll find me creating content for M.Gemi as our manager of social and community. On evenings and weekends, I'm traveling, writing stories, shooting photo and video for my personal travel and style blog. I'm always planning my next vacation.
Before M.Gemi, 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?
My career started in product planning in the luxury automotive industry, so analytics have always been incredibly important. The "digital" part of my job description has grown exponentially over the years. I've worked in creative strategy, at agencies, in-house, in tech, and in travel. I love that expertise in social and content allows you to try new things and constantly learn. Before M.Gemi, I managed digital talent at the influencer agency Socialyte. I worked with our talent to develop strategies to grow their followings and educated brands on ways we could work together. It was an amazing experience to see this industry grow from a niche service to a mainstream advertising solution.
"I love storytelling and sharing the things that I love with a community of passionate people."
Give us an overview of your role as Social Media Manager at M.Gemi. What excites you about planning and creating content in this category?
Mondays mean new shoes at M.Gemi. I host our Monday Drop Live on Instagram every Monday to reveal the new styles and take questions from our audience. We've started sharing the Drops on IGTV. It's always an exciting challenge to figure out how new platforms can help us tell our brand story. Throughout the week I'm writing Monday Drop scripts, working on ongoing influencer and partner projects, writing social copy, taking photos, responding to incoming comments and questions. At the heart of it all, I love storytelling and sharing the things that I love with a community of passionate people. It's so energizing to see our clients responding positively to new styles, and we get to experience that wave of excitement and enthusiasm every single Monday.
Tell us more about the role influencer marketing plays in M.Gemi's social strategy. Has there been a specific campaign or project with influencers that you're most proud of?
Influencers are not just a part of our marketing; they are part of our community! They're fans of the brand and our shoes go with them to meetings, to weddings, on vacation, and everything in between. We want to give our influencers the best tools to share what they love about our brand with their audience. That could mean collaborating with Marianna Hewitt on an exclusive summer sandal or making sure that our unboxing experience is picture perfect. We recently launched a limited edition collaboration with Marianna Hewitt that sold out in days. Part of what made the collaboration such a success was that Marianna had been a fan of M.Gemi and wearing our shoes long before we kicked off the partnership.
Outside of your 9-5, you are also an influencer yourself. How would you say your experiences as an influencer inspire your work in your role at M.Gemi?
Seeing both sides of the business, you become very sensitive to the challenges and goals of your peers on the brand side and the content creator side. It's important to put yourself in the shoes of your partners, help each other succeed, and you'll both get the most out of the collaboration. As an influencer, that might mean that you help keep up the energy on a long content trip with a brand partner or jump behind the camera at events to help a fellow creator get the perfect shot. As a social media manager, I try to create campaigns that allow influencers enough flexibility to do what they know will work best for their audience. I've made some amazing friends through my work and social media.
Why do you think Instagram is the best platform for M.Gemi to innovate in the footwear category? How do you generally use social media to support broader initiatives or promotions?
Instagram naturally encourages and allows for the community to be engaged. They give us feedback on samples, and they let us know which styles are their favorites. We're accessible to our clients at any time and in any place they are. They can DM me about a detail on a shoe, and I can send them back a video within minutes to answer their question. It encourages deep connections and I genuinely feel like I develop a relationship with the women and men who wear our shoes and share them with us on Instagram. Instagram has also created an environment with Live and IGTV where you can efficiently produce and share video content with your audience. When I shop, I really enjoy seeing the product in motion to get a better idea of what it will look like when it arrives and how I can style it.
Based on your experience at M.Gemi so far, what are your recommended best practices for those looking to create influencer-driven social media strategies in this particular category?
Nurture your brand's influencer relationships, value the time they take to share your product with their audiences and take note of those who go above and beyond! An authentic influencer relationship is so important to creating great content and planning successful campaigns.