How To Stand Out In The Era of Hashtags and Clickbait

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We live in a digital age driven by content, clicks, and conversions, and when building a presence online, it’s easy to get caught up in numbers. How many followers do you have? How many likes do your posts get? Is there a formula to going viral? But believe it or not, a strong online community isn’t measured in numbers.

It’s the result of marketing to your target audience in real time; getting their attention and fostering a relationship that will translate beyond that initial like, share, or follow. And with noisy, filtered timelines, how do you stand out on social media in the era of hashtags and clickbait?

 

Storytelling — creating thoughtful messaging that generates a real relationship between a person or brand and their target audience.

 

Recently, I shared a personal story on Instagram about how much I used to love playing the piano and how music has the ability to uplift my mood when I’m feeling down. I shared a hidden talent of mine and asked my community to share something about them that no one knew. The post opened up a great conversation, received a lot of engagement, and love. I was able to tell a story that connected my followers to something that was special to me and honored their stories of something that mattered to them. We created a genuine connection.

Here are my five tips on authentic brand-building through digital media:

1. Pinpoint your message
Don’t just talk—say something. Make sure your social media platforms say something beyond, “follow me,” or “buy my product.” When preparing a post or image, think about how it will resonate, how will it truly engage your target audience? What do you want them to feel when they see the post or go on your social media accounts? Having a clear and authentic message will help you stand out online.

Model and Body Activist, Ashley Graham is a great example. Whether you are a follower of Ashley or not, on some level you’ve heard her message “beauty beyond size.”  Her message of celebrating beauty in all shapes is at the core of her brand and connects to women, who previously felt invisible. Ashley’s authenticity is a visible part of the stories she shares. She stands out on media platforms, to not just her fans, but to people globally. She is leading a conversation that is changing perceptions of beauty.

 

2. Curate an experience
The user-experience should align with your brand values–what you want your life and brand to represent. 

To zero in on those values, I use an exercise called “the five I Ams.” Ask yourself how you want people to feel when they visit your digital platforms, and then craft your online presence around those ideals.

For example, “I am compassionate,” “I am a lover of fashion,” “I am family-oriented,” “I am philanthropic,” “I am ambitious”— everything I share with my social community reflects back on these anchoring characteristics, and as a result, our interactions are authentic based on mutually aligned values.

What are five defining characteristics of your life or your brand?


3. Engage with your audience
In social media, engagement is what really matters. Ask questions that prompt conversations, check in and respond to comments- even to say thank you, show gratitude, participate in trending activities or tags, and establish relationships with social influencers to reach new audiences. Let people know that your business isn’t cold and faceless—it’s socially plugged-in and run by a real person. Remember, you are building a community.

 

“Speak to your audience in their language about what’s in their heart.” – Jonathan Lister, LinkedIn

4.  Know your platforms
It is not enough just to post frequently—you have to post thoughtfully. Every social media platform is tailored for a different user. For instance, Instagram is highly visual; you want to post captivating images, playful moments, and videos that demonstrate the values of your brand visually. When posting on Twitter, on the other hand, you want to share more newsworthy items.

5. Put a face to your brand
Facelessness and anonymity doesn’t cut it anymore. We’re talking about an age where everyone knows who Mark Zuckerberg is, whether they use Facebook or not. People like to know who’s behind the companies and causes they support, so it’s crucial to be a walking embodiment of your brand. Whether you are a business owner or not, speak up on the issues you care about, and be a vocal and physical presence in the communities you aim to serve. People want to see and hear from a brand that shares their values. And when you have their attention, you’ll organically cut through the white noise.

It’s not about posting every hour, it’s about posting with a purpose. Let people in—let them see what you stand for, what causes you believe in, and what changes you wish to make in the world. Keep your audience at the heart of all that you do, and I assure you, the numbers will follow organically.

Have any thoughts on what it takes to build a reliable brand on social media? Tweet me @NatashaNKPR to let me know!

Natasha Koifman

The Launch of Cibo Wine Bar South Beach with Special Guest Mr. Brainwash

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On December 6th and 7th, Liberty Entertainment Group opened its third Cibo Wine Bar. Originally opening in Coral Gables, Miami, the success of the Toronto location inspired Liberty Entertainment Group decided to take Cibo to South Beach, where they purchased the last piece of property on the famous waterfront strip.

The Cibo Wine Bar South Beach  features the restaurant’s authentic Italian dishes and impeccable wine selection, however it is the aesthetics that make it stand out amongst its Toronto and Coral Gables counterparts. Cibo South Beach partnered with world-renowned street artist Mr. Brainwash, who has been the inspiration for the restaurants unique and stunning interior décor. Mr. Brainwash’s famous art installation titled “Life is Beautiful” is featured on a piece of exposed concrete inside the restaurant along with works of various other artists from the South Beach community.

Cibo Wine Bar South Beach features other notable Italian-influenced aesthetics that contribute to the restaurants unique and inviting atmosphere. Hanging 20 by 12 feet over the restaurant’s dining room is a beautiful custom-made chandelier featuring 3,000 glass spheres in red, white and green – Italy’s national colours. The restaurant also has a two-story glass enclosed wine cellar, standing 24 feet tall in the middle of the restaurant. The cellar holds over 3,000 bottles from around the world with hydraulic features to lift and collect bottles. Additionally, Cibo’s European style rooftop patio covers 6,000 square feet and gives guests an opportunity to enjoy the fresh, ocean air.

The restaurant opening took place during Art Basel, the world’s premier international art show for modern and contemporary works. An incredible opportunity for Cibo to be a part of celebrating of the arts, while showcasing the restaurants own artistic pieces and stunning visual aesthetics.

Take a look at the new restaurant…

The Decor

The Food

The People

 

 

Ovest Cucina e Vineria – A Grand Celebration

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Last week we celebrated the grand opening of Ovest Cucina e VineriaToronto’s cantina-inspired Italian kitchen and wine bar.  Located at 788 King St W, Ovest is a brand new concept in Italian dining and entertaining.

With an innovative space, Ovest offers an in-house pizza oven, local salumeria, and walk-in vineria. Their menu is updated seasonally and features a combination of fresh regional Canadian and authentic Italian offerings including produce, meat, and cheese, with a special focus on seafood.

Leading the kitchen is Chef Luca Stracquadanio (previously of La Bettola di Terroni and Terroni) who brings his unique Italian traditions mixed with French techniques creating dishes with unparalleled flavour and spectacular presentation.

Whether you want to grab a quick bite at the bar with a paired glass of wine or signature cocktail, or enjoy a relaxed sit-down dining experience, Ovest has it all – and let us tell you, it’s delicious!!

Find Ovest on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook!

See below for an inside look at the opening of Ovest Cucina e Vineria…

The Space

The Food

The People

Have you eaten at Ovest yet? Share your thoughts with us at @natashankpr!

TBT to Halloween Inside NKPR

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When witches go riding and black cats are seen…the moon laughs and whispers, “ti’s near Halloween!

It’s that spooky time of year again…when witches casually walk down the hallway, ghosts nonchalantly fly by on streetcars, and chocolate is available in the masses. Inside NKPR, our favourite part of Halloween isn’t always the trendy new costumes…instead it’s often the hilarity of looking back at past Halloween costumes.

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Whether it was the last-minute thrown-together-with-your-mother’s-jewelry kind, or a seriously thought-out I-had-this-planned-since-last-year kind of costume, we can’t get enough laughs out of our old costumes. In honour of the big day tomorrow, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite TBT Halloween costumes…

Best princess costume ever from Rebecca
Best princess costume ever from Rebecca
Natasha as fabulous as ever as a gypsy
Natasha as fabulous as ever as a gypsy
Olena ready to boogie down at the disco
Olena ready to boogie down at the disco
Lauren as the most adorable princess ever
Lauren as the most adorable princess ever
Try to resist Corinne as Candy Land
Try to resist Corinne as Candy Land
Meow, Meg makes the perfect Catwoman
Meow, Meg makes the perfect Catwoman
Tory shows us his best bird impression
Tory shows us his best bird impression
Ashton's become a lady bug
Ashton’s become a lady bug
Beautiful Denise as a princess
Beautiful Denise as a princess
Nathan as Super Grover
Nathan as Super Grover
Don't wake Kristin as Snow White
Don’t wake Kristin as Snow White

CONTEST ALERT: Tweet us at @NatashaNKPR your best TBT costume for a chance to win 1 of 3 luxury tins of DAVIDsTEA Pumpkin Chai

Fall Fashion: The Great Camel Comeback

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As we say goodbye to summer’s colourful sundresses and flowy skirts, we welcome the return of fall and most importantly… jacket weather! Jackets and coats are an accessorizer’s dream, from bold prints to traditional neutrals we’re loving this season’s take on old classics.

One of our favourites: The Camel Coat. No longer just your grandmother’s go-to, this classic staple is a fall fashion must-have.

We break down this season’s hottest trend with help from Jones New York taking this look runway to realway. Introducing The Great Camel Comeback

 

JNY_TR_trenchR222_Tell us how you’d style your Camel Coat…tweet us at @NatashaNKPR!

 

Artists for Peace and Justice Gala 2014 – A recap

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On Sunday September 7, Artists for Peace and Justice hosted their annual benefit sponsored by Bovet 1822 at the historic Casa Loma. The organization, founded by Oscar-winning director/producer Paul Haggis, supports communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare and dignity through the arts.

The night was co-hosted by Pascal Raffy of Bovet 1822, Madeleine Stowe, and George Stromboulopoulos and co-chaired by dedicated humanitarian, Sylvia Mantella, and APJ board member (and NKPR President!) Natasha Koifman.

In one night, we were able to raise 1.5 million dollars! This incredible generosity will dramatically change the lives of Haitian children with 100% of the money going directly towards empowering local communities and fostering economic growth through education.

From red-carpet moments to inspiring speeches…see some of the highlights from the Artists for Peace and Justice Film Festival Gala 2014.

For the full gallery of pictures, click here.

Photographer Caitlin Cronenberg
Photographer Caitlin Cronenberg
APJ Board Members
APJ Board Members
Director Jason Reitman
Director Jason Reitman
Property Brother's Jonathan and Drew Scott
Property Brother’s Jonathan and Drew Scott

NKPR’s Top Film Festival Cocktails

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Although we near the end of Film Festival, the city is still bustling with movie screenings, classy after-parties and high-profile events. One of our favourite parts of Film Festival is the specially curated menus and cocktail lists made specifically for sophisticated, celeb-inspired taste buds.

From the highest rooftop to the heart of of the Entertainment District, we’ve rounded up our Top 3 Film Festival cocktails (plus a non-alcoholic option!)…

The Toronto Sunset

(an original cocktail created by Robin Kaufman, Toronto Temperance Society)
1oz bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial
1.5oz Tequila Tromba Blanco
0.5oz fresh lime juice
0.25oz fresh grapefruit juice
Grapefruit zest

Tromba Product Photos Kieran and Nick

Thompson Toronto’s Strawberry Fields

1oz Gin
1/2oz Maraschino Liquer
1/2oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Top with Champagne
Mix in a chilled shaker, pour into a champagne flute, and garnish with strawberries.

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Montecito’s The Beekeeper

1.5 oz Irish Pot Whiskey
.75 oz Rosewood Honey syrup
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
House Floral Bitters

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Non-Alcoholic Refreshments

bottlegreen Sparkling Pressés

Elderflower: The fresh, clear taste of hand-picked elderflowers blended with pure, sparkling spring water. Serve over ice.

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Elderflower & Pomegranate: Hand-picked elderflowers are combined with fruity pomegranate for a refreshingly exotic fusion of east meets west. Serve over ice.

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TIFF 14 Hot Spot: Montecito Restaurant

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Last week we had an amazing opportunity to discover Montecito, a new restaurant partnership between Hollywood director Ivan Reitman, world-renowned New York chef Jonathan Waxman, and local restauranteurs Tom and Jordan Bitove from Innov8 Hospitality.

Located in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District and just steps away from film festival headquarters, Montecito’s decor (inspired by Reitman’s expert eye) combines a casual elegance with effortless sophistication. The menu, which changes daily, marries the simplicity of California cuisine (that Waxman pioneered) with ingredients that pay homage to the best of Canada coast-to-coast.

Montecito welcomed 50 of Toronto’s top foodies to sample a specially curated menu with some of the best signature dishes served family-style from Jonathan Waxman and exec chef Matt Robertson.

From cocktails to homemade pizza, see our favourite moments from the night here.

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Festival Countdown – A Recap

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Wednesday night we kicked off the Toronto film festival with our annual Festival Countdown event. Along with Canadian fashion line RUDSAK, who showcased their 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection, we inspired guests to get into the film festival spirit! Despite the rain, we partied poolside while dining on film-inspired comfort foods and custom cocktails.

Some of the irresistible eats included charcuterie boards from Vertical Restaurant, fresh Portside Shucker oysters, Fancy Franks gourmet hot dogs and Yogurty’s frozen yogurt! To toast the Fest, guests were treated to bottlegreen Sparkling pressés in Elderflower and Pomegranate & Elderflower (official sparkling beverage of the IT Lounge), Pommies Dry Cider, a selection of beers from Stiegl and FIJI Water.

After a fun-filled night, guests left with our Know-IT-All guide giving them a sneak-peek at the upcoming film festival events and film critic Richard Crouse’s top 10 films to see!

Here are some of our favourite highlights as we rang in film festival season in true NKPR style…

For the full story click here!

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RUDSAK 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection
RUDSAK 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection
bottlegreen
bottlegreen

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Jill Godin & Natasha Koifman
Jill Godin & Natasha Koifman
Liz Trinnear
Liz Trinnear
Chloe Wilde
Chloe Wilde

NKPR Loves Liu Jo Canada (Plus Win a pair of Bottom Up Jeans!)

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At NKPR, it’s no surprise that fall fashion has our hearts aflutter. Summer is glorious indeed, but our time in the sun is gently eclipsing and our minds are already wandering to nippy mornings, falling leaves and luxurious fabrics.

Check out some of NKPR’s Liu Jo street style…

“There’s nothing like a 60s throwback to make a girl feel glamorous. Paired with neutrals, leopard makes a big, gorgeous statement.” – Lauren
“There’s nothing like a 60s throwback to make a girl feel glamorous. Paired with neutrals, leopard makes a big, gorgeous statement.” – Lauren

Hello, Abbey Road! The swinging sixties are back – with a vintage twist, the Liu Jo leopard statement coat would’ve make even style icon Eddie Sedgwick jealous.

“The epitome of fall fashion is the marriage of comfort and style… I could live in this oversized houndstooth jacket.” – Krystal
“The epitome of fall fashion is the marriage of comfort and style… I could live in this oversized houndstooth jacket.” – Krystal

Sky-high heels, mid-wash denim and a wild mane transport you seamlessly into the season. And who can resist a Liu Jo knit?

“This is my ultimate go-to jacket for fall! I love being able to layer with different textures to create whatever look I’m going for that day.” – Jasmin
“This is my ultimate go-to jacket for fall! I love being able to layer with different textures to create whatever look I’m going for that day.” – Jasmin

The menswear aesthetic balances out an otherwise feminine outfit – reminiscent of the Helmut Newton woman and the YSL Le Smoking suit, the Liu Jo tweed asymmetrical zip coat is a tasty treat for a daring fashion palate.

CONTEST: In honour of our upcoming Canadian launch, win a pair of Bottom Up Jeans before they hit the shelves! ‘Follow’ and ‘Like’ @LiuJoCanada on Twitter and Instagram and tell us how you’d style your pair!

Find Liu Jo Canada here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/liujocanada

Twitter: www.twitter.com/liujocanada

Instagram: www.instagram.com/liujocanada