Rocking a black "We Should All Be Feminists" tee on Saturday at Create & Cultivate Seattle, digital darling Genevieve Padalecki took to the Microsoft stage to chat all things tag, snap, story, and social.
Though the Cali-native, who now calls Texas home, admits she's relatively new to the social game, she's clearly caught onto the rules. Genevieve boasts a highly engaged audience-- woman's got a 25% engagement rate. If you're wondering what that means, know it's relatively unheard of in the blogging world.
So what does the actress (she's classically trained), blogger (of Now and Gen), mom (of three), and wife (she met husband Jared on the set of Supernatural) think about this crazy, social world we live in? We found out. From how often she posts to her thoughts on political content, you've got to read through!
You launched your blog this year and saw immediate success. As part of the launch strategy you worked with skincare brand Elemis and crashed their site with a giveaway you hosted, thats MAJOR!.... How has the transition been going from social only content to long form blogs?
It’s been really surreal! I loved working with Elemis as I actually love their products, so it felt like an organic partnership that was really natural and aligned. Also, I’m breastfeeding currently as I have a 6 month old and so I’m really cautious of beauty brands that are low chemical and more natural. We decided to host a giveaway on the blog as part of our launch strategy - my followers really love a giveaway, and it was fun to create a space for them to participate! Yes, they actually BROKE the link in bio on Instagram...we were all trying to figure out why the link wasn’t working and TONS of comments were coming in, and after a LOT of confusion we figured out that they crashed the site where the giveaway was hosted! Pretty crazy!
I enjoy creating long format content because I get to tell more of a story. Long form blogs provide a space for narrative to build and for people to go deeper...I always think of social as a “tease” and a great place to foster community, but long form blogs are a DESTINATION where you can drive people and encourage them to go deeper...which is really fun in the beauty space, because we’re always looking to discover new products...but I especially love it for some more of the emotional pieces, like blogs about parenting, or an open letter that my husband wrote to our 3 children on the blog which was really rad too. The letter really moved people and was WAY too long for a social post!
What’s changed the way you create content the most in the past year? Do you love it or hate it?
I am really new to the social media game. I officially launched my Instagram prior to my blog earlier this year in March, and became really strategic about what I wanted to post about and promote. I had been private on Instagram for a while, but figured it was time!
We all know video is happening with IG LIVE and Facebook Live and algorithms propping up video the most. How are you all using it to build your businesses?
I only post once per day, and try to get more active in stories. I use my static “feed” as a place to post more curated things, and photos that I want to have a level of “permanance.” I use IG Stories to post what’s happening in real time, mainly of the kids eating...there is always a TON of food! I’m a big foodie and I love to cook, so that content tends to go there. Kids and food. LOL.
From a business perspective, your audience wants to really connect authentically. Videos, especially in stories since they delete after 24 hours, gives people a really inside look. I’ve seen a lot of engagement in stories, as well as fans screenshotting the stories because it’s much more intimate, fleeting, almost uncensored….there used to be a lot of focus on curating a gorgeous feed, which is still important, but there is so much connectivity in IG Stories, Boomerangs, videos...it’s also a place where I share my thoughts on the political climate or what’s happening in Texas (with the hurricane, for example).
There’s literally a million places we could be sharing content if we wanted. How do you decide what platforms to use? And what type of content goes where?
Social media is kind of like hosting a party. If you are creating an experience for your people, they will hang out there with you. It can be anywhere you are really, heavily engaged. Which is why there are “experts” in each space - youtube, pinterest, etc. Instagram is where I hang out because it’s the platform I’m most interested and engaged with personally.
As a mother who shares these amazing moments with your family, how do you decide what to share and how to share it when it comes to your family? Do you stick to any self made rules?
Personally, I try to be as open as I can about motherhood being messy. My most vulnerable posts, when I felt like I SURVIVED through a day, have gotten some of the most beautiful and best responses. I think people are really looking for permission to be real. I want to create a safe space and open up some of that dialogue.
I decided to launch my new blogging business while I was 9 months pregnant, I basically gave birth to my new baby and my blog at the same time. It hasn’t been easy, and I don’t want to hide that. There is a level of perfection that people try to project on social media, since everything is so highly curated. I love a pretty picture too, but I also try to balance brand partnerships and the curated stuff that I shoot with a photographer with a selfie I shot at midnight breastfeeding my baby and zoning out to Bravo. We all can be a little more vulnerable.
You’ve collaborated with brands, you’ve put political issues into the work, which as a new content creator that can be scary-- how are you deciding on content and what you want to put out into the world?
One of my first collaborations straight out of the gate was with Pop & Suki. One of my friends is a co-founder, and when Odette was born, we decided to announce our baby name on a heart keychain with the brand and created a space for others to personalize hearts with their names on it. 50% of proceeds went to the Human Rights Foundation, and the other 50% went to Planned Parenthood. We raised over $200,000 for these causes.
Not everyone is going to like what you stand for. And that’s fine, because there are enough people out there who will show up and stand beside you to do what’s right. The world is in a really crazy place right now, and anything I can do to spread awareness I will show up and do. Maybe it will reach one person, or two, or three...that is the beauty of having a platform. Use your platform for good.
I’m constantly amazed about how many brands are aligning with more causes every day. People are really conscious right now, and awake. They want to know they are spending money with a brand who is doing something to better the world.
I also worked with SECRET who launched a new campaign about transgender people, and what it must feel like for them to walk into a restroom and feel judged. That is a reality for many people, and something that should be shared and neutralized.
Any final advice for all the content creators out there in handling whatever gets thrown their way next?
Authenticity always wins. Be unapologetic about who you are, and have no fear. Perfection is bullshit, just find your voice and have a vision for what you want to create. Make sure to stand for something. That’s how you will find your tribe, keep giving, consistently.
Arianna Schioldager is Editor-in-Chief at Create & Cultivate. You can find her here.