5ab8d94649705f9cc41c screen shot 2023 09 18 at 11.01.47 am

An open letter of encouragement to fellow Instagrammers in the beauty industry by Roger Molina, Sam Villa ArTeam, and Master Stylist at Lunatic Fringe.

Tips for Increasing Instagram Engagement in the Beauty Industry

I recently quadrupled my Instagram following from 10k to 40k in one month. The first video to hit (The Bullet) was at a million views in a week and 2 million in two weeks, garnering 20k new followers. While the iron was hot, I posted another video (Round Concave Layers) that took off and accumulated 10k more followers in week three. It’s insane how fast it happened, one video was all it took.  When looking at other content on my page that was doing well, I noticed that the ones with a similar vibe to my ‘viral’ videos were going up by thousands a day, but anything that was off niche to them wasn’t. So, I started cleaning up fast. The more on track I got my page, the higher the retention rate was. 2.5 million accounts reached, and I had less than 1 % of those people actually following me. 

I still suffer the imposter syndrome, so I had to fight back my feelings of inferiority to even write this. A couple viral videos and less than 100k followers is not what makes an influencer. So, I’m not making any claims. I just wish someone would have told me all this before I ground it out over the past 10 years posting for posts sake.

All too often we work to gather content and wait, hopefully, for impact.  We engage with every comment and barter with friends to share our posts, yet our posts do nothing.  What’s the point? I certainly had years of discouragement. I even bought some followers at one point, huge mistake! Do yourself a favor, don’t do that. My engagement was instantly in the trash and stayed like that for a long time. 

The truth is there’s no magic button. If you want social success, you have to really think hard about what’s important to you and to others.  If you teach, teach. If you make people laugh, get em!  No matter what you’re about, find your voice, speak in it and make it relevant to your audience, otherwise no one will listen and/or engage.

The Nudge

There’s a saying, something like…people know in 5 minutes after meeting you what takes a lifetime to learn about yourself.  So, ask 5 business friends, preferably of social media significance or competence, to look at your account.  To literally go post by post reading the captions/comments and give you honest feedback. Have them answer these 4 things and after honest feedback, you will be closer to finding your voice.

  1. What is the page about (can you understand the message)
  2. What’s my niche? (special offering)
  3. What experience does the content create? (happiness or joy /deep thought/learning/ encouragement)
  4. What’s in it for the followers (the ROI for spending time on the page)

My friends, the key isn’t finding out every answer, it’s more about getting some answers so you can take action.

The Cleanup

Deleting old posts is a mistake, so archive them and it won’t negate any footholds you gained. If IG knows you like certain hashtags and content, it will feed it to you, as well as feed your content to others with a similar focus. On the same note, if there are posts about non niche things, then let ‘em go, delete, delete, delete. What’s on your page determines the algorithm for it. A.I. doesn’t actually know you, just what you post, tag, share, etc. 

Finding Your Niche and Voice

For some it’s technique, knowledge, humor, facts, science, tools, products, curating. There are so many niches in the beauty industry, the hard part is finding yours and sticking to it.

Look at the real world around you and the role do you play in others’ lives. Are you a teacher…voice of encouragement, tech savvy, artist…?  Chances are the answer is pretty clear, just identify it and stick with it.

As you refine your voice and sculpt your platform you will gain a better idea of who you are and in return, send a clearer message to others about who you are, and your IG will attract those you that are inherently interested in what you have to share. Just begin, get out your digital fine-tooth comb and get down. 

To date, I have 2.8 million accounts reached and 42k followers and I’ve noticed that positing on social media requires a circle.  So, don’t post alone, tags and handles are essential to getting people to see you.  Curated pages such as @samvillahair and @pivotpointintl were a pivotal part in this journey and learning that hashtags and handles you to navigate a repost easily. @danielmasonjones said something profound, “It’s called SOCIAL Media.” You don’t go to a social gathering alone, unless you’re meeting people there.  So don’t post alone…tag those curators, they really are looking for work just like YOURS!. 

You can reach out to me if you need a good word or idea. Thanks for listening. I hope this encourages you to keep up the fight and remember, success may only be a post away! —@rogermolinahair.