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A new collaboration with Benefit further cements Crocs’ cult status

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The past 16 months have been full of surprises. One example: Crocs are not only tolerated, but they’re cool.

In early June, the original “ugly shoe” brand launched a collaboration with Diplo that quickly sold out. Highsnobiety’s headline on the collab was “Diplo’s Crocs propelled me into an existential crisis.” They were, it should be noted, decked out with Crocs’ trademark Jibbitz — the decorative accessories used to customize the brand’s styles. For Diplo’s iteration, they were psychedelic, glow-in-the-dark mushrooms. Prior Crocs collaborations with Justin Bieber and Post Malone have also sold out, and a collaboration with Bad Bunny sold out in 16 minutes.

The spate of high-profile partnerships has worked to create buzz. “Collaborations have allowed us to start a new dialogue,” said Heidi Cooley, svp and CMO of Crocs. “They enable us to make the most out of the tension and polarization that surrounds our brand. Each collaboration is unique and even unexpected.” 

Now, on the heels of a successful co-branded giveaway with Crocs on Instagram last year, Benefit has become the first beauty brand to collaborate with Crocs. The giveaway exceeded expectations: Benefit gained 14,000 followers on Instagram and Crocs gained 10,000. That’s when we realized that collaborating with Crocs, whose motto is ‘come as you are’ and that everyone should be comfortable in their own shoes, aligns with our core values and brand. The audience felt the same way,” said Jenn Whipple, Benefit Cosmetics’ vp of U.S. marketing.

“We’re two brands unafraid to take risks and make noise. We knew that we needed to be the first-ever beauty brand to have a partnership with the brand,” Whipple said. The resulting shoes are hot pink, to match Benefit’s branding, and feature iconic Benefit products — like its Gimme Brow brow gel and a Benefit handheld mirror — in Jibbitz form. There are two styles in the collaboration: Crocs’ Classic Clogs, for $69.99, and Classic Sandals, retailing for $49.99. 

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In tandem with the launch, the two brands are hosting a social challenge across TikTok and Instagram Reels using the hashtag #benefitofcrocschallenge. “[We’re] bringing that humor and that fun. Crocs and Benefit are inviting all customers to do a typical makeup routine when joining this challenge, but there’s a catch: You have to do your beauty routine wearing Crocs on your hands,” Whipple said. To kick off the challenge, the brands partnered with influencers like Mariale (6 million followers on Instagram) and MannyMUA (4 million followers on Instagram). Those partaking are entered to win a press package that includes the shoes from the collaboration, as well as Benefit products. 

It would be unfair, however, to suggest the advent of Crocs began in 2020. Believers have always sworn by the foam clogs’ comfort level. They’ve also made runway appearances: In 2016, Christopher Kane presented a collaboration with the brand. In 2018, Balenciaga created a platform edition, which received ample criticism. That didn’t stop Balenciaga: It once again showed Crocs, in platform welly boot form, on its spring 2022 runway. In April, Questlove wore a gold pair to the Oscars. Even Ariana Grande wore them, back in 2019. 

And now, they’re showing up in street-style pics from fashion weeks in Milan and Paris for the current spring 2022 menswear collections. On June 30, Vogue.com writer Emily Farra wrote, “You’ll notice very few heels…Instead, there were Birkenstocks and, gasp, Crocs.” At this point, however, the “gasp” is more tongue-in-cheek. In the recent street style pics, classic white styles have been most prevalent. On July 3, Vogue UK asked, “Are you ready for a Croc girl summer?”

Crocs has been smart about its influencer strategy, using content creators who are excited about the brand. Take Bretman Rock (8.7 million followers on YouTube), who 10 months ago posted joyfully when he made it on Crocs’ PR list. He is now an official brand ambassador, working with the brand in a paid capacity.

Body acceptance advocate and influencer Katie Sturino is also an ambassador. Around April 2020, she often wore a white pair embellished with a strawberry pattern that became popular during the early months of the pandemic. She became an ambassador in January 2021.



“We stay top-of-mind by having genuine, two-way conversations with our fans, especially on social media. By speaking with them, not at them, we can be there when they need us and continue to better understand what they want to see from Crocs,” said Cooley.

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The company has seen massive growth: First-quarter revenue grew 64% year-over-year to $460 million. According to Tribe Dynamics, Crocs collected $46 million in EMV from March 2020 to May 2021. This is a 37% year-over-year increase. Crocs’ top five EMV drivers between March 2020 and March 2021 were Justin Bieber, Bretman Rock, Priyanka Chopra, Hypebeast and Post Malone.

The Benefit x Crocs collaboration will be available for purchase on July 13 at noon EST on Crocs’ website.

Of the latest unexpected collaboration, Whipple said, “We’re expecting a very, very quick sell-out. We’re not expecting this to last long.”

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?

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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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