Osea Malibu on Digital Positivity, Balancing the Instagram Feed, and Pivoting from UGC

Osea Malibu stands for ocean, sun, earth, and atmosphere, and the skincare brand brings those natural elements to life through its Instagram feed. Ultimately, Osea Malibu wants to represent what their founder, Jenefer Palmer, created 24 years ago, which is celebrating all things that lead to a healthy lifestyle.

Here, Mary LeGassick, OSEA’s Social Media and Influencer Manager (and Palmer’s daughter) shares why they’ve pivoted from User Generated Content (UGC), how they straddle their skincare line with being a family brand, and the challenges of being small yet mighty.

When it comes to Instagram and Pinterest, what is most important to OSEA Malibu? 

It’s most important for us to maintain a positive tone and communicate a message of wellness. We try to avoid framing things negatively and using words like “can’t,” “don’t,” or “no.” We want to highlight the benefits of our products and ingredients for the skin, rather than highlight the negative effects of harmful ingredients in other products.

How are you addressing social media in light of COVID-19?

This is such an unprecedented situation. We’re doing our best to keep our positive tone while being sensitive to the overall social climate. We are deeply inspired by the collective action of our community committed to social distancing. We want to contribute to keeping everyone connected with themselves and each other even though we are physically apart. 

So we created our “Well + Connected” series, where members of our community are sharing their gifts with our audience on our social channels to help bring moments of calm and connection to our follower base. The first was with our founder/formulator Jenefer Palmer, who shared a calming Vagus Nerve Oil ritual. Other examples of the series include a vegan cooking class with Tara Sowlaty and a grounded poetry reading with Bonnie Wright.

How has PLANOLY been an asset to OSEA Malibu? 

It’s a very useful visual platform that helps create and plan an Instagram feed that is cohesive. It has also been very helpful with storing content that we want to use for future posts.

The analytics function is great for seeing what content performs the best and what we should continue to post and not post. (Related: The Power of PLANOLY’s Analyze Dashboard)

Your Instagram is both lifestyle and product heavy. How do you strategize your feed and stories and decide where to place what? 

We always have a product photo as one of the last three posts, so when followers look at our feed, they’ll know right away that we are a skincare and wellness brand. Our marketing team determines our content calendar for the month, which guides what we share.

You use a lot of UGC. How do you decide what you want to post in your feed? What are the parameters?

We recently pivoted away from UGC. We are currently strengthening our brand voice by using our own photography. When we do repost UGC to our feed, it must be visually on brand or aspirational and provide a strong wellness point of view.  

OSEA Malibu owns the plant-based seaweed ingredient story. How do you implement that information onto your Instagram, while creating engaging content?

We highlight the benefits of seaweed as a skincare hero! Seaweed has so many amazing skincare properties and we use a variety of seaweeds. Benefits include brightening, anti-aging, and hydrating. 

You also are a family brand. How do you lean into that and make that known and impactful on Instagram?

We love sharing our family’s adventures in our stories whenever its entertaining to our audience, or whenever it sheds light on our brand story and lifestyle. My mom has always had a strong vision behind OSEA and those same core values apply to how we are as a family: adventure, kindness, and well being. And, of course, healthy food!

The algorithm on Instagram can be tricky. How do you tackle that?

We always send a message of positivity, as well as content that is meaningful and useful for our audience. When you look at it in that sense, the algorithm doesn’t matter!

What are your best social photography or editing tips for beauty bloggers using their phones? 

I’m also a photographer, so most of our content is taken with a DSLR camera. They provide the sharpest images, which makes it easier to edit photos. I also love using different story apps to make our content as interesting as possible. Layer and Unfold are a couple that I like using.  However, we mostly have our graphic designer create stories.

What are the biggest challenges for OSEA Malibu’s Instagram? 

Sometimes we get so excited about taking pictures of our products, that we forget to take more lifestyle shots! Even though we’re now in a lot of amazing retailers like CREDO and Neiman Marcus, we are still a relatively small family-run brand. We don’t get the chance to create enough content for something as wonderful as IGTV.

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

Initially, to grow our engagement, we did a lot of collaborations with like-minded brands and influencers who promote a sustainable, plant-based lifestyle and cruelty-free products. Many influencers generously shared our products with their followers.  We also did many giveaways with these like-minded brands and influencers.

That said, currently, we do not use an engagement rate to determine the success of our social platforms. Our main key metric is monthly revenue. February 2020 Instagram revenue grew by 416% from 2019. We really want to focus on building and fortifying our brand’s narrative. 

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Website: Osea Malibu
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