11/19/2014 12:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cultural Brand Maven Chelsea Matthews: 5 Insider Tips to Being Relevant on Social Media

Chelsea Matthews is a cultural brand maven. As the CEO & Founder of Matte Black, a culture-marketing firm based in Los Angeles, she spends her days moving the needle forward in everything she does. Some of her clients include POOLTRADESHOW, VW, G-Star, Juice Served Here, TOMS, Cooper Design Space & Goldfaden MD. Chelsea was recognized as a 'Tastemaker To Know' in the DELL #Inspired100 campaign.

She's one of my favorite curators of brand awareness, and one of my top takeaways from Unique CAMP ( where I spent four days cell-phone free, soaking up morsels of brilliance from entrepreneur tastemakers and visionaries in the midst of nature. ( I wrote about it here: "Mommy Is Going to Camp: No Cell, No Email, Curated Workshops and Dance Parties") Her talks on social media are in such demand; she's expanded into a one-day social media workshop called Social Derby. If you have any dreams of being social media relevant, this is your ticket to greatness.

There's this unspoken thing that certain women in business have, Chelsea has that--she thrives on elevating, supporting and incubating with likeminded women to move each other forward. She's my kind of lady. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions she gets asked from the front lines.

Why is social media a key in doing business right now?
There are so many factors, but primarily it's this incredible opportunity to build a community that drives brand awareness + advocacy, and if you do it right, a lot of sales. It's also a potential customer / client / friends first perception of your brand online.

Do I really need a Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter ?
You only need what will work for you. It's better and more beneficial
to focus on a smaller group of networks that you know you'll truly nurture and build. That said, be sure you own the handles for your company across every channel firstly, so no one takes it and secondly, in the event someone talks about you on that social network, they can tag you and you can chime in and engage.

If I can't handle managing being on multiple platforms, which are the most important to focus on and why?
It will really depend on your brand, your product / service and your target demographic. If you're a fashion brand, and your target customer is 18-35, then you have to be on Instagram. If you're an editorial site (like Huffington Post) then Facebook and Twitter are supreme at driving clicks and traffic to your website.

Is there a trick to posting an item on all platforms at once?
Unfortunately, no. But you wouldn't want that anyway, as you should be creating different content for different platforms, even if it's just tiny tweaks.

What does "original content " mean?
Content that you create yourself - whether it's a photo you take, you hire a photographer to take, a video you make, a creative asset you/your graphic designer makes... the list goes on.

How do I grow my social media community organically, especially on platforms like Instagram
It's a grind. But, hashtags are your friend. "Like" a lot of photos (that you actually like), comment often, and do the digi-dig, (a phrase I'd like to think I coined) which means digging deep into the hashtag vortex and discovering so you have endless engagement possibilities. Also, rather than just thinking about other companies networks you want to engage with, think about their followers. A good friend of mine (Puno, Co-Founder of MAP) once asked: "If you could take anyone's followers, who would it be?" Such an interesting question, and an important one to consider. Engage with the followers of the likeminded companies and brands you follow.

How many times a day should I post a week?
I always say; if you don't have anything to say, don't say anything at all. BUT, you can always find something to say when you have a thorough, creative and unique content strategy for your company. At minimum, you should post once a day, but the more you post, the more likely you'll content will get seen.

I want to create more original content, but I just don't have the eye for it. What do you recommend?
Hire someone! There are so many incredible freelancers and companies out there that do this for a living. For example, the photographer Sisilia Piring ( will take a whole month worth of social media photos for you for a small fee.

I'm a small business, so my social networks feel very personal. How do I translate this into a more business-focused strategy?
You have to really think about how you want to position yourself - look at similar companies you respect that are like yours, and are creating social media in a way you'd like to emulate - and start creating the kind of content that speaks 'big'. It can be as little as your tonality, or choice of words (changing "I" to "We").

My social media voice tends to lean in the lifestyle lane merging my business and personal life. I post a mosh-up of home interiors, art, surf lifestyle, and mommy related content, Is there anything specific I should be doing to expand my followers or elevate my position? Should I dump my cute toddler photos? (My husband @thevintagesurfboard says no one cares our cute baby!)

How funny, because babies and cats reign supreme on the Internet! It really comes down to who's following you - are you followers your friends and fellow Moms? Or are they your clients and brands? The more you post a certain kind of content, the more you'll build followers who resonate with those kind of posts. The most important thing is that you post things you care about, that are genuine. But if you're goal is to focus on creating a more business related feed, then I'd suggest dropping the baby photos (unless you have a baby brand!).

What is Social Derby?
Social Derby is a one day social media workshop that we've been running for a little over a year. It really sprouted from the people I surround myself with - the creatives, entrepreneurs and small business owners that are constantly stumped with social media, especially from a resource perspective. So I wanted to create something that taught them all those tools - the tactics we use every day - in one day.

Can you share some key social media etiquette tips?
Do: Be social at the core. You'll truly connect with social media, and build a community, if you're truly social in nature.
Don't: Expect for things to just come your way (such as followers). You need to give people value before they'll opt in.
Do: Collaborate. Work with influencers and content creators to help you create amazing content and grow your community.

Do you have any tips to gaining followers?
Like and comment on others content at least twenty times per day and engage with other brands.

How do I connect with social influencers to help build awareness with my brand?
Contact them either through social media or email, and create a dialogue. Not a pitch, a conversation. Find out what they're interested in posting about, and if they'd like to try your product. See what ideas they have on how you can collaborate. And try not to undervalue or expect too much, especially if you're not paying them.

You're stuck on an island, if you could only follow one person on Instagram who would it be?

@fatjewish. At least I'd be entertained.

The next Social Derby Workshop is Friday Nov 21st from 10am - 4pm at The Unique Space.
For more information and to purchase tickets