The fashion industry has endured so much change since the onset of the digital revolution. Today's PLANOLEADER has witnessed these changes through a number of lenses — Enter Kelsey Panicco, a leading multifaceted creative and social media professional. Since entering the industry, Kelsey has immersed herself in just about every aspect of fashion from trend forecasting to content production and now social media management, which she primarily focuses on in her current role as Social Media Manager at Club Monaco. Unsurprisingly, Kelsey's days are full and brimming with opportunities to flex her many creative muscles on social initiatives for the beloved lifestyle brand. We were ecstatic to have the chance to see her in action at Club Monaco's chic, loft-like HQ in Manhattan. Take a tour of the office below, and meet Kelsey who discusses her career background, the synergy between social and influencer marketing, and her best practices for all things digital.
Please introduce yourself!
Hi friends, I'm Kelsey! By day, I'm the Social Media Manager at Club Monaco. My evenings and weekends are sacred for anything experiential, styling, photography, astrology, self-care, and storytelling. But first, coffee...and then maybe a good cocktail.
"The fashion industry has endured so much change since the onset of the digital revolution."
Before Club Monaco 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?
Originally from Pittsburgh, I moved to New York and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2014. Throughout college, I interned at magazines, digital agencies, and trend forecasting companies where digital was just beginning to grow, and Instagram had recently been introduced to the world. During most of this, I was a blogger, and that's when I truly fell in love with brand collaborations, social media, and content creation — it's also when I realized that this progressive niche would most likely become mainstream marketing in just a few short years to follow. Before Club Monaco, I started as a fashion trend forecaster and then transitioned back into digital by way of social media within hospitality at RVD Communications. It has been incredibly eye-opening and exciting to watch businesses (small and large) adopt new marketing strategies for the purpose of social media branding and adaptation.
Since your work has evolved from trend forecasting to styling to social media, how would you say these areas of expertise have contributed to your point of view as a content creator and social media manager? Can you point to a specific example where you were really able to marry all of these skill sets for a project?
As a content creator, you wear many hats - from production to styling, to identifying trends emerging within the social landscape - but what it all comes down to is strategizing around engaging content that your followers and community will feel inspired enough to share. Club Monaco has an entrepreneurial spirit, and the way we work very much reflects that. It's one of the things I love most about Club — the freedom to collaborate and bring different skill sets and perspectives to whatever project we might be working on. We recently launched our latest, social-first spring campaign, For You., and I was able to leverage my past experience in styling, content creation and strategy to create digestible, high performing and engaging social content from a broader editorial shoot.
"Club Monaco has an entrepreneurial spirit, and the way we work very much reflects that."
What other areas of expertise do you think aspiring social media professionals should pursue to be able to compete in the modern landscape?
I would highly suggest aspiring social media professionals explore different content mediums, and to build their content creation skill sets such as graphic design and videography in order to tell product stories in unique and compelling ways.
Talk to us about managing social media for an iconic lifestyle brand like Club Monaco. What opportunities did you see to elevate Club Monaco's social to support its larger brand initiatives? What would you say has been the most significant change since you've joined the team?
Managing social media for an iconic lifestyle brand like Club Monaco is so rewarding. I love it because it's not only a blast creating content with such talented artists, but it challenges me to brainstorm strong ways to engage with our followers online and offline. Club also has an incredible organic following, and we've really begun to place our focus on deepening these relationships and engaging in more meaningful two- way conversations with our fans. A sense of community has always been an integral part of Club Monaco's identity, and it's something I'm really excited about building upon through social. I'm also excited to be incorporating more of our Club Monaco employees into social content. We have such a talented team with impeccable personal style who all wear the product well in their own unique way. It's been really fun to see how each employee styles pieces differently and it's allowed us to create content that showcases the product in really interesting and fresh ways.
How have you learned to create a robust social media plan that considers content for both men and women? What are some trends you've noticed when crafting content strategies for these two particular categories?
Club Monaco is a brand that has such a strong design aesthetic and really excels in creating incredible product across both men's and women's. It's a great opportunity and a fun challenge to keep our content balanced and understand how customers respond to different content. We have a very engaged male following on Instagram, and we've found that they really respond to straightforward content that features our most iconic pieces such as the Grant suit or Connor chino, whereas our female followers tend to prefer product that lives in more of a "real life" environment.
A lot of Club Monaco's Instagram posts feature prominent influencers. Why does it make sense for the brand to leverage the influencer community and what have been some unique rewards that you can share as a result of integrating them into the brand's content strategy?
As I touched on earlier, Club Monaco is focused on building a meaningful sense of community — whether that's with our customers in-store through panel discussions and conversation series or in the digital space through personalized campaigns like For You, rooted in customer feedback. The same sentiment applies to the influencers we choose to feature on our platforms. We have a very strong network of brand friends who we continue to partner with season after season and who truly love the brand and product. When it comes to influencer strategy, we always lead with authenticity. We're not interested in one time partnerships, but rather, long-term relationship building. This has allowed us to grow an incredible network of talent who understand and love the brand.
What are your recommended best practices for fashion brands with segmented customer bases who are looking to create unique social content that resonates with the community as a whole?
1. Create IRL content that is relatable
2. Post dual gender photography
3. Create community experiences that live on social