Psalm 23:1

EniThingIWant, the Lord will provide.

Paris Lit Up

Case Study

Paris Lit Up

Paris Lit Up is a non-profit located in Paris, France. They were established in 2012 by Jason Francis McGimsey. Jason endeavored to create Paris Lit Up because he felt the poetic groups he found in Paris were often unwilling to give a platform to more radical and emotionally charged poetry that talks about the struggles of all types of people and experiences. Jason said “ I have pretty severe beliefs in social justice and whatever I do has to be a reflection of that.” 

Their company vision is to give all poets, particularly the young, somewhere to share their politically and/or emotionally driven creations. 

Old Instagram Aesthetic

Before I came up with a new idea for the Paris Lit Up Instagram account, they had a theme that was pretty similar to Bowery Poetry’s. They post images from their open mic events held every Thursday at Culture Rapide, a bar located in the 20th arrondissement in Paris. The posts usually consist of an image or video of a performer on the stage. It was different versions of the same thing, with the only difference being the person in the photo or video. 

When I went further down on their feed, I noticed they had gone through different phases of instagram aesthetics. At one point they used to post selfies with people from performances, pictures of the city of Paris, and sometimes events hosted at different locations. However, as of recent they have stuck to posting images from the Culture Rapide stage.

Problem 1

Too much repetition of similar content

Problem 2

Engagement was continuing to drop substantially.

Problem 3

An overall inefficient portrayal of their brand goals. Focus was put on the wrong part of the business.

Understanding The Brand Identity

 According to Marieke de Mooij in Global Marketing and Advertising: Understanding Cultural Paradox, a brand is a “form of communication and entertainment… (used) to differentiate against the competition and to build intangible value in the form of customer goodwill, trust, and loyalty (27).” 

In order to create a good social media strategy it is imperative to get an idea of what the brand is, how it operates, the brand’s vision/goals and how that can be conveyed into images that will bring all those attributes to life.

I want to elaborate on why I mentioned above that the focus was put on the wrong part of their business on their Instagram account. When I went to their open mic event and spoke more with members of the PLU team, I noticed they had a great turn out for most if not all of their open mic nights. This initially made me worried as I realized that creating a better social media strategy was not necessary for the event turnouts. People show up because the event is free, in an active nightlife part of Paris, and has been going on for long enough that they know about it. So I began to wonder if creating a new strategy would simply be more for aesthetic purposes. This felt like an inadequate reason to create a new strategy, so I decided to dig deeper by talking more with Edward and the founder Jason. 

Through our conversation, we began to talk more about the fact that Paris Lit Up is also a publication. Each year, they take all the poetry submissions people give them, then create a magazine. The magazines are sold for as little as 10 euros on average, sometimes even less. To them, it is more about the art and community than the profit. However, even though the magazines are cheap, they rarely sell them all. The people in their immediate audience (those who go to the shows, perform etc.) typically do not have the disposable income to buy the magazine because they are often young struggling artists themselves. 

With this revelation, I finally had a better end goal for the new instagram strategy. I asked Edward for some magazines. After I got the magazines, I took them back to NYC with me and began creating a mock layout along with tips on the instagram marketing strategy for PLU. I wish I had the chance to take pictures of the books in Paris, but sadly I did not get the magazines until I was about to leave.

Defining Objectives:

Brand Identity:

Playful, artistic, perhaps a bit rebellious, attract poets and art lovers, particularly the younger crowd.


Give all poets, particularly the young, somewhere to share their politically and/or emotionally driven creations and boost sales for PLU magazine.

New Strategy

I worked with what I had and came up with the strategy on the right. Since they are not in need of more people at their free open mic nights, a more efficient instagram strategy would highlight the magazine and poetry submissions. In doing so, they would be improving the chances of people getting interested in and buying their yearly magazine.

However, the open mic nights can still be used in the social media strategy. In my proposal I suggest using the open mic nights as instagram stories, maybe post one video a day. This is an easy way to stay engaged on the instagram account without doing too much work. Pictures from the open mic could also be posted from time to time on the instagram feed, thus making it a rare occurrence which might help boost likes on all the posts. I hypothesize that by posting the same images as before, but sparingly, they are likely to gain more engagement just like in the case of the images I posted on the @poetny pages. When there is too much sameness you lose people’s attention; but if that sameness is spread out between dynamic content, it is welcomed and is more likely to be engaged with by followers.

In this marketing strategy, I make it more about the magazine and less about the open mic events. Although I started out as just a social media marketing consultant, the process of creating a new instagram layout emphasises mostly on the consultant aspect of what I am doing. Although PLU believed they were meant to showcase their open mic events, as their consultant, I believe their true aspiration is to get their Magazines to reach a wider audience. I believed it to be in their best interest to begin to highlight the fact that they are also a publication that creates an annual magazine that showcases the works of poets around the world.

Reason 1

This strategy uses instagram to the company’s benefit, they now have a chance to grow their brand identity and boost their magazine sales.

Reason 2

The incorporation of more parts of Paris increases their chances of their brand being discovered by more people in their target audiences.

Reason 3

This strategy relies on the use of people and the snapshot photo strategy which makes it easier to integrate images taken by book instagrams and magazine purchasers.


I must note that my mock up is limited due to the lack of content produced in Paris. Since it took awhile for the team to get back to me, things did not fully move forward until the last few days I was in Paris. My suggestion to them would be to take inspiration from the images I have generated in NYC and try to do something similar in Paris. They can take pictures of people reading in cafes, tourist attractions and parks. Tagging important locations or restaurants in their post can also help them reach a wider audience. 

For example, if they go to Angelica cafe for tea and post a picture of someone reading a PLU Magazine they are able to increase the odds of their brand being discovered by the people who can afford to go there and possibly also afford to buy a 10 Euro Poetry book. 

To reach a younger audience they can do the same thing and go to parts of the city their target audience tend to hang out such as a specific park or hang out spot and ask one of them to take a picture reading the book. 

To reach a younger audience I think they would first have to do an open call for poems created by young poets in Paris. The current poetry books are good but feel more mature in style than most young adults would like. They might also benefit from printing an all french poetry book since most French people, both young and old, do not speak english fluently.