I’ve read a lot about how to engage your audience with SEO, eye-catching designs, etc. I have taken plenty of design-centric classes throughout high school and college that taught me what colors look best together, how to mix fonts and vary thicknesses. However, to keep up with the landscape of today’s ever-changing technology, it’s not enough to mimic what’s “always worked” in design.
You have to be more than just unique on social media. You have to recreate the entire definition of “social media”.
In 2004, Facebook changed the way we viewed connecting with others. In two short years, this social platform was open to everyone over the age of 13 with a valid email address. When Instagram (owned by Facebook) first launched it’s Instagram Stories, it did so well that it dipped Snapchat’s stock by 3.4%, with 250 million daily users in 2017.
Personally speaking, it is much easier to have an all-in-one platform like Instagram that has aspects of everything available; direct/group messaging, photo and photo set posting, Snapchat-esque stories and business tools (to name a few). With the capability to post 60-second videos, makeup gurus, nail-a-holics and many other content creators have been able to expand their brand to more than just YouTube and take it to a whole new level.
As I am starting to recreate my brand and push for product/promo influence on Instagram, I’m really enjoying how it feels to work with the business aspect of the app. If you are a blogger or social media influencer, you probably know what I’m talking about; the statistics, the ability to create topic-oriented highlights… the whole shebang. With 3×3 gridding, you can create an entire photo with individual pictures. You can tag products in photos and even create paid promotional material by yourself or in partnership with other brands. It’s unbelievably easy user-in-mind marketing.
With that said, there are some serious game-changers that I love within the Instagram/YouTube community:
Nikkie is my Instagram Inspo when it comes to photography and videography. She knows how to work her angles in her photos and she makes THE BEST edited Instagram makeup videos I’ve ever seen. She is closing in on 10 million followers on Instagram (currently 9.7M) and since her collab with Too Faced, it’s only been up from there. She’s been real with her followers and always gives the hones-tea about products she’s reviewing.
2. James Charles:
I will admit that James is the reason I bought my new Morphe 35B and 35K palettes (and the 702 Eye-Credible Brush Set… oops) because of HOW MUCH HE RAVES ABOUT THEM AND USES THEM! I think if you partner up with a brand that you love, trust and mesh well with, your set for life. While James is definitely more active on Twitter than any other of his social media, he makes use of his Instagram Stories pretty well (especially his “Brushes” story that literally showcases his EXTENSIVE collection of Morphe… Use code “JAMES” for 10% off, AMIRITE??)
3. Jeffree Star:
Jeffree Star taught me two very important things: Be unapologetically you and don’t give a f***. He literally built an empire putting his own spin something that he already loved—beautiful makeup and a ton of highlighter. What keeps me coming back to his videos every time is his infectious, drag-queen-style comedy. That, plus the fact that his video format has perfected the product review game.
4. Stef Sanjati:
Stef. Is. My. Bread. Mother. You need to watch her channel if you don’t understand that reference. Stef recently went through some rough recovery after she had a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift)/Liposculpture surgery to enhance her curves and give her the body shape she wanted. After seeing how she chronicled the entire process, both for informative and entertainment purposes, it made me think about how being real and raw with your viewers can only bring the community together closer. Plus, it’s a lot easier to feel better when hundreds of people that care about you are hoping for a speedy recovery.
Patrick first introduced his channel—and himself— as a “boy who wears makeup.” Since then, he has really redefined the beauty industry standard of catering to “women only.” From working at a MAC Cosmetics counter in Orlando, Florida (only a few hours from my hometown!) to having an entire makeup line created in partnership with MAC, it’s safe to say PatrickStarrr is living his best life after years of perfecting his art. He’s a huge inspiration to people who are learning to be comfortable with the body they’re in and he’s worked with TONS of celebrities to show that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes.
All of these people are role models to me in one way or another. Whether it’s how they handle trolls in their comments, going through a tough time mentally or trying to prove themselves in their industry, every one of these people has made a name for themselves. Learning how to be comfortable with who you are (while killing the social media game) is important in building your brand.
I’m not, by any means, a social media professional. I’m still learning and I definitely have a lot to learn. But until I have it completely figured out, I’m going to continue posting new makeup looks on YouTube to my small group of subscribers and share Instagram Story templates with my few hundred followers. And I’m going to love every second of it.