Flesh Beauty on Humanizing its Brand and the Power of User-Generated Content

From unique, textured images (think a shade of foundation sitting on top of a mound of strudel or submerged in a molten chocolate cake) to curated UGC beauty shots, Flesh understands why it’s important to create a varied Instagram feed.

But Flesh’s diverse range of shades isn’t just a predictable line of nudes; it’s chockful of punchy colors, which gives way to its inspirational and aspirational Instagram feed. Behind that feed is Christina Grasso, Flesh’s Social Media Manager, who got into her vocation as a happy accident. Being a creative, she admits she’s always had a lot to say but is more of an introvert. Yet, social media has allowed Grasso to express her love of words and visuals without having actually to speak. 

Here, Grasso shares her strategy for Flesh’s Instagram, how to up your brand’s engagement, and why your iPhone is your best tool for creating engaging content. 

When it comes to Instagram, what is most important to Flesh? 

Flesh has a very distinctive, tongue-in-cheek voice, as well as a vibrant, engaged audience, and I love chatting with them in the comments and the DMs every day. I believe it’s important for a brand to behave more as a creator– as a human – rather than a brand. From a consumer’s point of view, I find it to be off-putting when a brand gets too pushy or promotional, or when it starts to feel cold, almost robotic, in tone. Flesh’s social media has a real personality: she’s a bit informal and speaks with warmth, humor, and kindness. She wants everyone to feel welcome, regardless of whether or not they buy product, and she responds to everyone. It’s been fun breathing life into it with my team.

Planoly is about making the lives easier for social media users and organizes their content. How do you strategize your feed and stories? 

We post daily on our feed and stories seven days a week, but each plays a different role for us. Our stories are typically more interactive, and our feed content usually features sharper imagery and punchier copy. Often the two speak to each other, as well, depending on the day. 

In addition to our regular programming, I like to take advantage of Instagram’s native Stories tools, like the Q&A, multiple-choice, and poll features. We have a “Did you know series,” where we do regular Q&As, Name That Shade games, and I like to ask our audience random questions from time to time to learn more about them.

What are your best social photography or editing tips for beauty bloggers and brands? 

First and foremost, I usually prefer to shoot on an iPhone for Instagram. Beyond that, I always seek out good light and play with different crops. In general, I’d say less is more, and don’t overthink it. I like things to look natural and shy away from filters or other editing tools that can compromise an image’s resolution or make it look overdone.

What are the biggest challenges for Flesh’s Instagram? 

I think now is a difficult time for any brand on Instagram, given the ever-changing algorithm and its effect on engagement and audience growth. It’s also such an oversaturated market. It’s important always to evolve and keep improving but stay true to the brand’s ethos. We’re always game to test and learn and try new things so long as inclusivity and our brand values continue to be at the heart of it.

What is your average engagement, and how did you initially grow on Instagram? 

On Instagram, Flesh’s engagement rate sits around 3%, which is higher than the industry average for a beauty brand. I attribute that to the way we speak to our followers: kindness, a sense of humor, and by responding to everyone as a human rather than as a robot or a brand. But I’m not so concerned about numbers as I am giving each of our followers a reason to keep following. Slow and steady, consistency is key!

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