3 Reasons Elaine Welteroth’s Social Media Presence is Inspo-Worthy

Journalist, editor, activist, inspiration: Elaine Welteroth transformed the teen fashion world with her editorial direction at Teen Vogue and now she’s taking on the world (and teasing exciting developments). Welteroth’s credentials speak for themselves: she is the youngest person ever to be named editor-in-chief of a Condé Nast publication and she’s the second person of color in the media giant’s entire history to hold such a title—and these are just her most recent accomplishments. Welteroth resigned from her position at Teen Vogue this past January and, with news that she signed with CAA, we’re hoping to see (and hear) a lot more from her in the future.

Welteroth will be our keynote speaker at our Smart Social NYC conference April 17th in New York City and we couldn’t be more excited to soak up her wisdom and passion—we’re preparing ourselves for major inspiration. But with her social media presence, Welteroth has already inspired us plenty, and we believe marketers of all types can learn valuable lessons from her. Here are our three favorite things about Welteroth’s social media, including actionable takeaways you can put to work right away.

1. She Has a Clear Point of View

On her personal Instagram and Twitter, Welteroth posts political commentary, most recently highlighting Martin Luther King Jr.’s thoughts on the inequality black people in the United States face:

A supremely necessary repost via @ijessewilliams

A post shared by Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelteroth) on

And she also posts about fashion, romance, and celebrities she admires and champions:

Her commitment to both activism and the lighter, fashionable (and famous) side of life were dual themes at Teen Vogue under Welteroth’s leadership. Her point of view on social is consistent: from her feed we understand she believes that people—women in particular—have rich, full lives and interests that include changing the world for the better and changing one’s style according to trends—the two aren’t, in Welteroth’s estimation, mutually exclusive.

The Takeaway: By now we know that brands must have a point of view to engage audiences, and that point of view, increasingly, needs to include the wider world. Customers today are looking to engage with brands who stand for values they share, even when it comes to potentially divisive issues and even if the brand’s product or service is neutral as can be.

2. She Highlights the Stories We Need

When she was interviewing for the position of Beauty & Health Director at Teen Vogue—before she became editor-in-chief of the publication—she told then editor-in-chief Amy Astley that she wanted Teen Vogue to highlight issues like the way teenage gymnast Gabby Douglas was often portrayed in the media: Douglas was often lambasted (by grown-up journalists and media personalities) for her “messy” hair, writes the New York Times. Welteroth has indeed been a force for wider—much needed—standards of beauty and her social feeds highlight her commitment:

And Welteroth’s recent Instagram posts about the March for Our Lives, a movement started and propelled by young people, highlight her commitment to ensuring young people have a platform:

When ABC @nightline asked me to cover #marchforourlives in DC, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what emotional state I’d be in and I had never delivered a story on-air as a broadcast journalist. But I knew this wasn’t the time to overanalyze or to question my own qualifications; every moment at @teenvogue that exposed me to the POWER of this generation of teens and young people prepared me to be the vessel for sharing their stories, their sorrow, and their fight. So I made the trek down and I couldn’t have prepared for what would ultimately be a life-changing day. One of the extraordinary heroes you’ll see tonight is Brooke Harrison from #Parkland whose story broke my heart and blew me away. A survivor in every sense of the word, she was in the first classroom that was attacked at Stoneman Douglas High School. Her backpack was grazed by a bullet. Everyone around her perished. She even vividly recalls putting pressure on her classmate’s wounds. Somehow, just six weeks later, she is smiling through the trauma of those memories and marching for the first time because she believes her generation can influence lawmakers to implement policy changes that protect innocent lives from gun violence. And not just white lives in suburban schools, but young people of all colors and backgrounds who are affected by gun violence. There is so much more to say but instead you can just watch the segment for yourself tonight on ABC @nightline. <3

A post shared by Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelteroth) on

The Takeaway: The same-old same-old is out; changing the world for the better and highlighting people who’ve been marginalized are in.

3. She Radiates Joy

And it’s contagious. Welteroth’s social media feeds are pleasant to follow because her posts are gorgeous and informative, but also because she so clearly enjoys what she does and her passion for all things social justice, beauty, and fashion shines through.

The Takeaway: True passion can’t be faked. Articulate your brand’s values and embody them with authentic vigor to create truly stand-out content.

We hope you’ll join us next week for Smart Social NYC—if you can’t attend in person, follow along with us on social media for of-the-moment takeaways.

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Jaime Netzer is Spredfast's Senior Content Marketing Manager, leading content operations. A Lawrence, Kansas native, she traded seasons for breakfast tacos seven years ago and hasn't looked back since. Also a fiction writer and journalist, Jaime tweets semi-regularly and reads constantly.