Planoleaders: Lucie Zhang of Vogue

    January 13 2020  |  Interviews , PLANOLEADERS

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    The advent of social media has transformed the way most businessesapproach building out their marketing strategies. Over time, this has been especiallyprevalent in the fashion world. With fashion's inherent storytelling DNA, marketers havetapped into the power of platforms like Instagram to take their visual storytelling to anentirely new level.

    Today's PLANOLEADER can attest to this, as she's approachedsocial media from different vantage points throughout her career. Enter Lucie Zhang,the Associate Director of Social Media at Vogue.

    Before working at the cherished publisher, Lucie cut her teeth in digital-centric roles in both agency and brand environments. These unique experiences ultimately helped hershape a more adaptable approach to building social strategies that are mindful ofcultural trends and expectations. As a result, Lucie believes that experimenting withdifferent content mediums and engaging in an ongoing dialogue with customers isessential for brands hoping to achieve success on social media in 2020. Read on asLucie shares more about this idea, how she's seen the social landscape change, andwhat excites her the most about working at Vogue.

    Please introduce yourself!

    Hi! I'm Lucie Zhang, and I'm the Associate Director of Social Media at Vogue.

    Before Vogue, 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?

    Digital has always been a part of my job description. My first three jobs were at agencies (Ruder Finn, Attention, and KCD) before I went in-house to work on the socialteam at Ralph Lauren, and then to Vogue. Social media was becoming a force ofmarketing when I entered the job market in 2010, and I naturally fell into specializing init between my interest in it and the growing need for expertise in thefield. When I first started working in social in 2010, we were building Facebook tabs,which sounds archaic now! It's been fascinating to see how behaviors, platforms, andindustries have changed over time—and as a result of one another.

    How would you describe your days at Vogue, and how much has your job evolved since first joining the team? Is there a particular project you've worked on that makes you incredibly proud?

    I first started at Vogue as the social media manager dedicated to Vogue Runway, whichis the fashion shows channel of Vogue.com that used to be Style.com. Over nearlyfour years here, my role has expanded as the team (and the number of accounts wemanage) has grown. Now, my team and I oversee four Instagrams (@voguemagazine,@voguerunway, @voguebeauty, and @vogueweddings), two Facebook pages, twoTwitter accounts, two Tumblrs, Pinterest, and more. We also just hit the 25 millionfollower mark on @voguemagazine's Instagram, which is something we are all proud ofbecause it shows the reach of our voice on social. Vogue is obviously an iconicpublication, and we're proud to be able to translate the authority we've had in print fordecades into our daily content strategy on social.

    How much would you say the approach to content has evolved over the last few years? How has this extended to Vogue's Instagram content specifically?

    It's become much more of a 24/7 news operation. Social (and the news) never stops. So we've adapted our own strategy to be at the forefront of what's happening inthe world today, whether that's highlighting climate marches or covering live redcarpets or profiling emerging creatives around the globe.

    Video also seems to be at the forefront of Vogue's Instagram strategy. What value do you think it adds vs. traditional static imagery or content?

    I think it's very important to have a mix of content types on Instagram, especiallybecause video is often able to convey a story through movement in a way staticimagery can't. We've also become known for a few of our video series, such as 73Questions and Beauty Secrets. I think people return to our video content—bothshort and long-form—because of our unique POV and access.

    Fashion is an inherently visual medium, but from a business perspective, how do you think the rise of social media has impacted the industry's approach to building brands today?

    Social media has often been said to have democratized fashion, and I think that's moreor less true. Having a social presence allows brands to share their narratives and brandculture directly with their consumers—and also to receive real-time feedback from theiraudience. A lot of brands have been able to harness the marketing power of socialmedia effectively, so much so that social has replaced more traditional avenues ofadvertising. A lot of trends also now emerge on social media. Put another way: when Ifirst started working in the industry in 2010, social still seemed a bit optional to brandsto include as part of their marketing mix. Now it's mandatory to at least consider social, if not prioritize it.

    What are your recommended best practices for professionals working at iconic publishers like Vogue who are looking to create exciting and memorable content for their audience?

    1. Stay true to your vision and the stories you believe in.
    2. But think outside of your bubble, seek diverse perspectives, tap into the array ofvoices on the internet, and move boldly forward.
    3. Stay flexible on your strategy and be willing and able to pivot if needed.Learning what doesn't work is almost as important as learning what does.

    Special thanks to our friends at Shoo Shoo for hosting us! Visit their website and follow them on social media at @shooshoonolita.

    The PLANOLY app and web platform simplifies social media marketing by allowing you to visually plan, schedule, and analyze your Instagram and Pinterest content.