In Conversation with Lindsay Arakawa From Refinery29

Hélène Heath
August 28, 2017
Lasted Updated On

If there's one thing we love in this life here at Dash Hudson, it's people that understand the importance of a strong brand narrative on social.

Cue Lindsay Arakawa, social media manager extraordinaire behind Refinery29's killer Instagram content. She graciously allowed us to pick her brain, where we inquired about R29's inspired posts, but also what she can't live without (spoiler alert: her travel bucket list is #goals).🦄

Co-founded by major boss babe Christene Barberich when the concept of the internet taking over our lives was but a subtle rumble, Refinery29 became the voice of a generation. It must have taken a hefty amount of foresight to bank on an underdeveloped industry. This ideology has enabled R29 to become one of the most important media companies of the decade, first as a city guide type of fashion blog, and now as a true lifestyle empire that isn't afraid to take on controversial conversations in this precariously divided climate. They've solidified their leader status by charging ahead with social marketing.

The company has been able to develop an incredibly strong, trustworthy voice that's made them a reference in the cool girl circles of today. The Refinery29 Instagram account is a vehicle for the distinct brand image the team has developed, and their credo is unmistakable when glancing at their posts. The main feed boasts a healthy mix of created and curated content that ties into a brilliantly crafted social media strategy.

Lindsay Arakawa is the talented lady that's responsible for R29's meaty Instagram gallery. She ropes in the brand's content pillars into a cohesive image grid that their target demographic can't get enough of. We're talking things like fashion trends (though check out @r29fashion for more of that), body-positivity, inclusiveness, playful memes, modern feminism, and living your best life. Each segment is a conduit for the publisher's values, powered by an unmistakable visual narrative.

Seriously, this girl's got social management nailed. And don't worry Lindsay, we look at Instagram over 50 times a day, too. 🙈

Name and occupation:

Lindsay Arakawa, Senior Creative Social Strategist (Instagram Manager) at Refinery29

1. What was your college major, and why did you choose it?

College Major: Media Studies

I really wanted to be on television when I was younger — I'd always say that I was going to be the next Oprah, so I went with a major that felt the most relevant.

To be honest, it's really hard to figure out what you want to do and who you want to be when you're 18 years old, but I've found that college is a good time to test out all of your interests to actually figure out where your passions lie.

I ended up doing a handful of video production and social media internships throughout college and ended up really enjoying the latter, hence my current job!

2. Favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of working at Refinery29 is that I'm surrounded by really smart, creative, and hardworking people every day. Landing a job at Refinery29 has always been one of my biggest goals in life, so it feels somewhat surreal that I'm here and enjoying the heck out of it.

3. Favorite social media platform and why?

Instagram — for obvious reasons.

4. What makes a great Instagram post for Refinery29?

We created the @refinery29 Instagram feed to be a place for users to come to for inspiration — ultimately, users on the platform want to be awed and to feel like they are living inside the minds of people who inspire them and creative thought leaders.

At Refinery29 we use art, photo, and design as a means of activism, self expression, and to incite change. Placing a strong focus on these topics has helped our Instagram to become one of our most powerful platforms for meaningful storytelling.

Using illustrations, videos, gifs, and photography coupled with deep captions (and now in carousels as well), we're able to bring to life our mission of inclusivity and optimism, putting women at the center of every conversation.

When curating our feed, I've also created a mental checklist when it comes to curating content for our Instagram feed — I always try to make sure that it fully represents our brand voice and values — and it seems to be working because 77% of our our audience says they can recognize a @refinery29 image when they are scrolling through their feeds.

5. What is your personal Instagram guilty pleasure?

Ooooooo hmm, I love @drpimplepopper. So gross, but so good.

6. Three things you can’t live without?

Blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese, reasonable access to WiFi, and doggos.

7. What’s on your travel bucket list?

If I could live two lives at once (meaning that I could keep my job, but travel the world for months at the same time), I'd love to travel all over Japan – everywhere from Hokkaido to Okinawa. All of it.

8. Who’s your style icon?

I am con-stant-ly looking at @stylenanda_korea's Instagram for outfit inspiration.

9. Biggest vice? (be honest)

Oh! Scary! Hmm maybe looking at Instagram more than probably 50 times a day?

10. Where can we find you on a Friday night?

During the summer: In my room with the AC blasting, watching Terrace House. In the winter: In my room under a blanket, watching Terrace House.

Now go make your daily Instagram scrolls better by giving Lindsay and Refinery29 a follow!

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