Today everyone is a digital expert. Choose someone at random in your Twitter feed and in more cases than not, you’re guaranteed to find someone touting their digital skills. As with most terms nowadays that are bandied around to the point of tedium, it’s completely lost its value and to some extend, devalues the digital prowess of those who truly know what they’re doing.

Dina Fierro fits firmly in that camp. The New York resident is well qualified to talk about the social media landscape. If there’s a common factor across her vast creative input, it’s her sheer ability to predict to where the winds are blowing. Over the course of her career in fashion that spans nearly a decade, almost three quarters of them have been spent in the digital space. Since graduating from FIT, she’s worked on both sides of the fence, as an editor and PR, but for the most part, she’s sat comfortably on the front line of all things social, long before anyone else caught up.

She’s a personality and has an uncanny way with words – her posts on Twitter often leave me in stitches – but when it comes to her work, Dina can do subdued with just as much verve. And as the global director of social media at Christian Louboutin, the ability to be able to adapt is partly what makes her so good as what she does.

Overseeing all of the output across the brand’s social media channels globally isn’t easy but it’s a challenge Dina thrives on. Her role is not so much about the day-to-day. Instead, she’s more like the in-house nose for keeping the team up to date with the most interesting new platforms and changes happening in social. Here, she shares more about her story.

What You Can Learn About Making It From This Social Media ProI studied Fashion Merchandising and Buying at FIT [the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York]. I was always drawn to a career that felt equal parts creative and analytical, and aside from a few early stints in editorial and styling, I’ve stayed true to that. FIT was a tremendous place to begin, in part due to location, of course, but also for the incredible industry connections the school offers.

My first role after graduating was as a public relations assistant at Girlshop. It was a really interesting online multi-brand boutique – the very first of its kind. It was very much a start-up when I began as an intern in the PR and Marketing department. I was hired full time while in my final semester at FIT. Our team was tiny – around 12-13 people in the office. It was during my time there that I learned how to wear many hats and to be scrappy and resourceful, all skills I’d like to think I’ve carried through subsequent roles.

A few years later I joined Attention as the executive fashion director where I was responsible for the ideation and execution of creative social media strategies for the likes of Avon, Estee Lauder and Banana Republic. By then, I always already immersed in the blogosphere. I’d been working with niche beauty, wellness and fashion clients at small agencies and they’d started asking questions about social media and bloggers. The space was still very new, but I knew that it was going to change the face of communications and I wanted to be on the front line.

After three years at Attention, I became the vice president of social media at the HL Group. The founders Hamilton South and Lynn Tesoro are smart and among the most respected minds in marketing and communications. They had previously invested in Attentions and our paths had crossed there on joint projects on accounts like David Yurman, Barbie and Diane von Furstenberg. They presented me with the opportunity to build a digital practice within the agency, as more and more of their clients were looking for integrated solutions. It continues to be a trend, and a challenge, for agencies. My role was focused first on education and business development and later on integrated digital strategies and campaign execution.

I left there to join the Christian Louboutin team for my current global digital director role. When Christian Louboutin calls, you answer – it’s that simple. If I could give any advice about when it’s time to look for new opportunities, it’s to ask yourself whether you’re still learning. If you’re not being stretched, it’s time to move on. I never want to feel like I’m the smartest person in the room – for me, that’s the kiss of death. I am risk-happy, at least professionally. I live for innovation. Once you take a leap and survive, you feel more comfortable the second time round. The biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life have come when I didn’t follow my instincts; they have never led me awry.

The role of a publicist has become so much bigger and also so much harder since when I started. The media landscape continues to evolve and grow – there’s more media than ever before. Under the ‘new media’ umbrella you have to think about online influencers, vloggers, Instagrammers, Snapchat artists and the like. Embracing ‘new media’ definitely requires a very different and more labour-intensive approach. They’re not driven by the same obligations, access or incentives as more ‘traditional’ editors.

It’s so difficult to pin down the secrets of a strong social media presence of a powerful social campaign but authenticity, as cliché as it sounds, is definitely one of them. Be it an individual or a brand, you have to be true yourself or true to the brand – that’s what people connect with most. Consistency of voice and experience is also key – be who you are regardless of where you are. Good social requires strong instincts, a human touch, leaps of faith and a willingness to fail to be first. Today, everyone wants to call themselves digital experts but if ‘everyone’ is a digital, no is a digital expert. I know a lot about digital and social media – I’d be downplaying my professional experience to say otherwise – but it’s impossible to know it all in a space that moves so quickly.

Amy O’Dell wrote a really interesting piece on Business of Fashion advocating women to use social media for self-promotion. She’s very smart – I just finished reading her book, ‘Tales from The Back Row’ – and I could not agree more with the BOF article. Women need to be more comfortable taking responsibility for and about their accomplishments. Even I catch myself crediting “luck” in conversations, meanwhile anyone who knows me knows that luck actually had little to do with it.

I launched by blog Eye4Style nine and a half years ago because I needed an editorial outlet and an online portfolio for the freelance writing I was doing at the time. Like so many ‘veteran’ bloggers, I had absolutely no idea that my blog would present me which incredible opportunities personally and professionally. I just went along for the ride. I joke on my Instagram and Twitter bios that I’m a ‘Recovering Blogger,’ but in all honestly I’m in semi-retirement. I can’t quite let it go.

I’ve always felt a connection to Christian Louboutin – to both the collections and the creative universe created by Christian. My very first pair of designer shoes – purchased when I had absolutely no business buying designer shoes – was in fact a pair of electric blue satin Christian Louboutin pumps. I’ve never been practical. At Christian Louboutin, I help shape the brand’s digital presence around the world. It’s a very collaborative assignment and I’m lucky to work across many different teams within the company. The great thing about being a global brand is that our collections and photos transcend language, though we are conscious of creating more localised assets for our social channels.

The key thing for brands now is to be early adopters. So many brands wait so long for the ‘right’ moment to test a platform, which can make sense strategically but wait too long and you’ve missed out on the advantages early adopters see – the time to test, learn, cross-promote, the list goes on. My favourite platform at the moment is Snapchat and I’m also wildly interested in WeChat, which is the biggest platform in China. I love Snapchat because it forces authenticity – it’s almost the anti-Instagram in that way. It also allows for so much creativity in terms of storytelling. Social and digital is constantly evolving. I’m naturally a curious person so that definitely helps. I think you need to look for and find inspiration everywhere, particularly outside your own sector – so much innovation happens in entertainment and consumer products, for example. While the exact idea might not work for what I’m doing, I still get so many ideas from it.

Networking is so important in what I do and follow through is key. If you’ve met someone at a networking event or party, follow up the next day via email or even a quick, funny, appropriate tweet. If you have plans to meet, confirm in advance. Be proactive about professional relationships and don’t be afraid to ask someone you admire to spend a little time with you. I have a hectic schedule, but I’m always so flattered when someone reaches out and wants to connect without an immediate favour attached.