As we've learned in this series so far, each of our featured PLANOLEADERS contributes a unique quality to their organization, and in turn, the social media industry as a whole. Today's interviewee is no exception, and even as a full-time intern, is already making waves. Enter Raleigh Norris, who blends PR and social media at her internship with Tictail. For background context, Tictail is an innovative marketplace that provides a platform for independent brands to build their own e-commerce shops. In addition to this, Tictail also has a beautiful stand-alone storefront (affectionately known as Tictail Market) in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood. It was there we met with Raleigh who walked us through her day-in-the-life and spoke more to being a multifaceted creative in this particular field. From Tictail's identifiable color palette to their empowering storytelling initiatives, read on to meet Raleigh and find out what's in store.
Please introduce yourself!
Hi! I'm Raleigh Norris and I'm a 23-year-old lady living in Brooklyn and working at Tictail as a PR Intern—I help manage our Instagram, run our influencer program, and plan events and activations. In my free time, you can find me selling and buying clothing in a constant loop at Beacon's Closet, reading my horoscope, writing, and exploring the streets of NYC.
Before Tictail, 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?
Prior to working at Tictail, I was in college at The New School for fiction writing. While I was there, I held a bunch of different jobs and internships. I worked at an artist's studio, a magazine, even a fried chicken restaurant! At Tictail, I was so excited to be given the opportunity to help rethink our social strategy. Instagram is a constantly changing platform, and I love exploring how to better interact with our shoppers and brands, whether that's through new story ideas or outside apps like PLANOLY.
A lot of Tictail's content also ties into the brand's brick and mortar location, Tictail Market. With this in mind, how does having a physical space play into creating and planning social content? Have you found a balance in posting about the store, brand community and internal initiatives?
Our storefront is visually stunning: it's a corner lot on Orchard and Broome with big windows and a rotating mural on the side of the building where we feature huge scale artwork of Tictail artists from around the world. The space also has a ton of history - our building was actually a speakeasy during prohibition, and today you can still see remnants of the detailed crown molding and elegant tiled floors from this period. Plus it's so exciting to see so many of our products in person. All of this is to say that Tictail Market is the best spot in the Lower East Side to hang, snap pictures, and shop. It's completely blown up our Instagram feed!
With Tictail's signature yellow logo and colorful feed in mind, what role does color generally play in your/Tictail's approach to social media content? What are your tips for those looking to establish visual brand guidelines and brand color palettes?
Top three tips:
- Target a color scheme and stick with it. If you're a retail brand, for example, and your merchandise tends to fall along a similar color grouping, try adding supporting images with a consistent feel and palette interspersed between product shots.
- Planoly is super useful for visualizing what your grid will look like before you post—it's a great planning tool to keep your Instagram looking professional and cohesive.
- Have fun! Don't be afraid of trying something new if you love it and think your followers will engage with it. The beauty of social media is that it's pretty easy to tell what content is working and what's not, plus you can always use the new "Archive" tool if it really doesn't work out!
Being an intern presents the opportunity to soak up as much as experience in different departments as possible. With this in mind, during your time at Tictail how have you learned to harness both PR and social? Knowing what you know now, what do you think you can bring to the team/industry?
My favorite part about working at Tictail, as well as working at both of these fields, is the ability to really see how something, whether that's a story or a marketing campaign, comes to life from all angles. I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to dive deep into so many aspects of media and e-commerce. From event planning to creating campaigns with our influencers or spreading the word about our community of emerging designers and creators, working on such a small and engaged team has given me a fresh perspective on the many ways a story can be told.
While you probably love ALL of the brands on Tictail, who are a few stand outs for you when it comes to their product and their content?
I'm absolutely obsessed with Wray—not only is the clothing absolutely beautiful, but all of it is made from ethically sourced textiles. I could see myself living in the Wrap Dress or Upstate Romper all summer long. I've also been on a huge art/home decor kicks lately as I've been decorating my new apartment. I recently bought a print from Alice Weitzel that's so beautiful, and I love the way Elise Peterson integrates Black figures from pop culture into classic art. Oh, I also have my eye on the Desert Days Blanket from BFGF... and pretty much everything else in her shop.
We love Tictail's mission of championing emerging designers. Why do you think social (and specifically, Instagram) is so key in building a successful modern brand?
We spend a lot of time at Tictail talking about the importance of creating the most personal shopping experience. Arguably, the most personal (and pervasive) social channel used today is Instagram. You're getting a visual peek into the world of your friends, family, media outlets, and brands you love. So much of Tictail's story is about getting to know the brands you're shopping -- where do they live in the world, how do they produce their pieces, what do they stand for. To this extent, Instagram has been a powerful channel in opening up our followers' eyes to so much more than the products behind Tictail brands because it shares the stories that make these creatives human.