Pinterest is All About Powerful Images: Learn How to Use the Platform.

September is a beautiful month and what platform does beauty like Pinterest? Come learn about the highly visual social media platform and join SMCLA at the newest General Assembly in Santa Monica. (tip: this isn’t the usual spot we meet)

Facebook keeps us connected with friends. Twitter gives us real time news. But Pinterest has the potential to turn our digital dreams into reality. From Place Pins to Promoted Pins, Pinterest has become so much more than just a virtual corkboard. It’s a place to bookmark your favorite outfits, plan your wedding, map out future trips, and even do your shopping. So why are some brands nailing it while others aren’t? What makes this platform such a strong but often missed opportunity for brands? We’ll explore the ins-and-outs of the tool with experts – from marketers focused on actively selling their client’s products to content creators creating their personal brand.


  • Anne Hogan, Digital Manager/Digital Platform Council Pinterest Lead at GOLIN
  • Meredith Rodriguez, Los Angeles Partner Manager at Pinterest
  • More coming soon!


We rely on your tickets, donations, and sponsorships to keep our events costs at a minimum. If you are interested in sponsoring an event, or have any other questions, please contact us at Want to learn more about SMCLA? Check out our new website, follow us on Twitter and via our hashtag, #SMCLA, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

RSVP for SMCLA’s Holiday Celebration on 12/15

It’s our favorite time of year. The time we get to reflect on all of the amazing people in the Los Angeles community that we’ve had the pleasure to meet and connect with in person– and on social media, naturally. If we haven’t met you yet and for some reason you’re not following us on your favorite social network, don’t miss this chance to connect!

Please join us at our SMCLA Holiday celebration for a night of friends, food, drinks, fantastic fun, and giving back. Until December 1st, you can get tickets for $10.

Date: December 15, 2014
Time: From 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Location: General Assembly in Santa Monica

We’re also partnering with Friends and Helpers, a local charity that provides support and encouragement for the adults, teens and children, trying to help themselves out of a violent, hurtful situation. We will give everyone who walks in the door a raffle ticket but if you bring one of these items, you will get TWO MORE in addition to our deepest gratitude for helping us make a difference. (Please note the items are listed below are in order of priority.)

  • Gift cards – Grocery stores, CVS, Target, restaurants
  • Diapers
  • Toys for all ages
  • Teen Items (jewelry, perfume, fun accessories)


SMCLA Beyond Fashion Panel – Event Recap

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.” – Jean Cocteau

The same could be said about Twitter. Smack in the middle of LA Fashion Week, Social Media Club Los Angeles thought it would be the right time to hold a panel on how fashion brands and the companies behind them are using social media and ingenuity to dominate the industry and reach customers. Attendees dressed to impress and arrived ready to hear from our amazing panel.

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Moderator Tara Gardiner (@GardinerConnect) kept the event moving at a brisk pace, asking each of our panelists great questions pertaining to influencer marketing, customer service on social, community building and analytics:

Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom provided by our panelists Twitter style:

On building a community:

“It’s not our priority to be different, it’s all about personalization.” – Kristi Marquez (Director. Social Media, ShoeDazzle)

“Building a community is the greatest thing a brand can do.” – Laura Knapp (VP of Digital Content, SRAX Digital Impact – Social Reality)

“People are looking for the story behind the brand and something a little more nostalgic.” – Kristi Marquez

On data and new tools:

“Make sure you’re analyzing your data correctly so you understand consumer touch points – John Tomich (CEO & Founder, Onestop Internet)

“Don’t be afraid to experiment with new tools and sites.” – John Tomich

On managing clients and teaching them about social:

“Social media is a lot about education. We educate clients that it’s about quality, not quantity.” – Laura Knapp

On customer service in social:

“We try to answer every single inquiry & comments, but for us it’s very manual” – Kristi Marquez  

On searching for bloggers/influencers:

“It’s a lot more scalable for us to go through affiliate programs.” – John Tomich

After the panel ended, attendees talked amongst themselves, networked and sipped on spring water and coffee provided by sponsors Icebox Water (@iceboxwater) and Dogtown Coffee (@DogtownCoffee). Attendees also enjoyed the decor and ambiance of General Assembly (@GA_LA), who hosted this event for SMCLA.

SMCLA’s next event will be a member exclusive WordPress workshop taught by Adam Silver and will take place on November 8th at Mychal’s Learning Place.

If you would to learn more about Social Media Club Los Angeles or join us, here’s some more information. Also, if you have any suggestions for what programs you would like to see next, send us an email:, tweet us @SMC_LA or like us

Fashion and Social Media Collide in SMCLA’s October Event

Darling, you look mahhhvelous!

In the middle of LA’s Fashion Week, Social Media Club Los Angeles is dressing to the nines and showing off our sense of style as we present a must-attend event: Beyond Fashion: How Brands are Building Community and Sales.”

Fashion brands are leading the social media revolution. From creating entire stores on Pinterest to revealing their newest lines on Snapchat; whether it’s engaging customers on Twitter or offering full wardrobe tips on Instagram, companies are turning to social media to define style. Utilizing a wide variety of digital tools, fashion brands are changing the way companies reach consumers.

Sponsored by Dogtown Coffee and Icebox Water, SMCLA’s fashion forward panel takes place on Tuesday, October 21, at 6:30pm at General Assembly, 1520 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

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For tickets, visit:

Meet and mingle beforehand and then stick around after the panel for networking with many of LA’s top social media minds.

Kristi Marquez @shoedazzle
Kristi Marquez brings over eight years of social media experience to ShoeDazzle. As Director of Social Media at ShoeDazzle, Kristi oversees the strategy, branding, growth, and engagement for the company’s millions of fans across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. In addition to overseeing all social media platforms, she supervises the brand ambassador program, Stiletto Society. Prior to her role at ShoeDazzle, Kristi served as a Senior Account Manager and Social Media Strategist at one of the top-ranked U.S. public relations firms, O’Donnell Agency. Kristi’s digital experience spans across multiple industries, with accounts such as Red Bull, retail
brands, film and entertainment clients, and a nationally ranked video game. She has also worked in both online reputation management and digital content marketing. Kristi holds a BA from Florida State University in Communication. When she is not training for marathons, she spends her free time on set assisting in wardrobe styling and costuming.

Laura Knapp @LauraKnapp
Laura Knapp founded Social Spotlight Media in 2012, a digital marketing and media relations agency, with a focus on lifestyle consumer brands. It was recently acquired by Social Reality, Inc., an Internet advertising and platform technology company that provides tools to automate digital advertising marketing.

Before launching the Los Angeles-based agency, Laura spent nearly a decade at global public relations and marketing agency Fleishman-Hillard in both New York and Los Angeles as part of digital marketing and online influencer teams.

Combining her big agency experience and her passion for working with lifestyle brands, Laura and the entire Social Spotlight Media team have been responsible for the strategy and execution of digital and social media campaigns utilizing a strategic cross-channel approach. Together they have well over a decade of experience working with brands big and small including Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, De Beers, AT&T, Robert Graham, Sara Haley Fitness, Charming Charlie, iRobot, Urology of Indiana, Ruze Shoes and many more. Aside from their professional work, the team participates and belongs to the Social Media Advisory Council for the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

John Tomich
Founded in 2003, Onestop is a full-spectrum e-commerce partner whose integrated technology, design, marketing, imaging, customer service, and warehouse facility is located right here in Los Angeles. Their prestigious client list includes Juicy Couture, Rag & Bone, Seven For All Mankind, Lulu Lemon, Paul Frank, Paide Denim and more. In his role as Onestop’s Chief Executive Officer, John Tomich is responsible for successfully guiding the company’s continued growth and product innovation. Prior to Onestop, John was a Senior Associate at Shelter Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based $200M venture capital fund, focused on investments in technology and technology-enabled companies in the Southern California area at all stages of development, principally in the media, wireless/communication, enterprise software, and semiconductor industries. At Shelter, John was involved in sourcing and screening potential investments, as well as providing financial analysis, market research and due diligence support. Prior to joining Shelter, John worked as Vice President, Client Services for iXL, a leading Internet services company which provided Internet strategy consulting and comprehensive Internet-based solutions to Fortune 1000 companies and other corporate users of information technology. After a series of acquisitions, it is now part of the Razorfish agency, owned by Publicis Groupe. At iXL, John led strategic e-commerce development initiatives for key clients including Sony Electronics, General Electric, Kawasaki & Warner Bros. Previously, John was a partner in Spin Cycle Interactive, a multi-media and Interactive Television developer, which was acquired by iXL. John earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance, with an emphasis in Russian Language, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Tara Gardiner @GardinerConnect
Gardiner Connections is founded by Tara Gardiner who has worked in numerous sales and marketing industries for the past 12 years. Her in-depth experience ranges from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, including those in the architectural and design community, fashion industry, pet industry, non-profits and with technical and specialty products. Gardiner earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Marketing from Michigan State University and has studied at the University of London in England, Scotland and Ireland. Currently based in Los Angeles, California, Gardiner Connections services clients throughout the United States.

General Assembly LA: Social Strategies and Analytics for Brands

SMCLA is honored to have General Assembly in Los Angeles!  With 11 locations around the world and growing, General Assembly’s mission is to transform thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in technology, business and design. - @GA_LA – @GA_LA

Besides hosting our Online Dating event on February 26th, General Assembly is offering a workshop specifically designed for the social media marketing community in Los Angeles.  On Saturday, March 9th, you will have the opportunity to spend 4 hours learning  how you can further optimize your brand’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+. Case studies will be reviewed, learnings will be discussed, and students will also have the opportunity to apply what they have learned at the end of the course by preparing a pitch for an e-commerce brand’s product launch.

For more information on this workshop, or to sign up, click here: GA Social Strategies and Analytics for Brands. Be sure to follow General Assembly on Facebook and General Assembly LA on Twitter for the latest updates on their workshops and events here in Los Angeles and around the world.

This is your chance to meet other digital influencers in the industry, learn from your peers in digital marketing, and take advantage of General Assembly’s network and facilities in Santa Monica!  We look forward to seeing you both on February 26th and March 9th!