Made up of “10 best beauty Instagrams to follow,” “19 of the best cheekbones in history” and a video on how model Ashley Graham does her own makeup for the red carpet, Vogue.com’s beauty stories are some of the site’s most popular content, according to Vogue’s digital creative director Sally Singer.
So, launching a Vogue Beauty Instagram account dedicated to the vertical—which Vogue did today—seemed like a natural extension.
Content for the new beauty account will be a mix of images pulled from Vogue’s archives, photo shoots and videos. “For us, starting a channel on Instagram about beauty allows us to marry the past with what’s new,” Singer said. “We have an enormous wealth of images that tell stories about the drama of beauty that may not have a place on Vogue.com or in print.”
In a somewhat crowded beauty space on social media, Singer believes that Vogue’s archival beauty images, along with its point of view on beauty, will help it to stand out against other content—as will its close relationships with some of today’s most sought-after celebrities, who often share their skin care, beauty and makeup routines with Vogue, usually from their bathrooms. In terms of how often they’ll post images, Singer said it’s a bit of wait and see with traffic patterns.
Currently, Vogue.com’s beauty coverage is led by beauty director Catherine Piercy and a team of three others, who work closely with the print’s beauty team. The look and feel of Vogue’s beauty Instagram feed will be influenced by both the digital and print beauty teams and will be led by visual editor Samantha Adler. While Vogue has a social media team of three, which handles the management and strategy for Instagram, Vogue’s Instagram accounts are editorially driven.
Beauty stories are often among Vogue’s top three read pieces on any given day, said Singer. But the magazine, which has a wealth of celebrity and fashion connections to pull from, approaches beauty in a way that doesn’t necessarily relate to the runway or other culture stories. The site’s stories cover everything from celebrity beauty, like “The secret to Kendall Jenner’s high-gloss hair,” to “Can grey hair be sexy?” to health and fitness stories like “Cara Delevingne isn’t bloated, she’s just fed up with body shaming.”
But it’s not necessarily those stories that do the best—often, readers are after something a bit different. “It’s not the obvious posts that do well,” said Singer. “People want to know what’s super-special, they want global tips: what some person in Korea is doing to their face and why.”
Vogue’s social footprint is arguably the largest of any fashion publication. On Instagram, Vogue magazine’s account boasts 13.1 million followers, and Vogue Runway — launched in 2015 as a digital extension dedicated to covering fashion shows — has 1.8 million. The Condé Nast-owned brand is also on Snapchat and Snapchat Discover, as well as YouTube and Facebook, in the U.S.
“It’s [Instagram] is a real laboratory to tell stories about fashion, about our archive and history,” said Singer, who added that the brand’s feeds, in particular Vogue magazine’s, are carefully curated. “We try not to over-post, and we never bombard users with content for content’s sake.”
Like most publishers, video is also a key part of the Vogue’s digital and social media strategy. Vogue is particularly bullish with video and social-only content, and it shows. Its videos had a total of 31 million views in October across social platforms, including YouTube, with 3.8 million of those views coming from Instagram alone.
For publishers creating anything beauty-related, Instagram is one of the key places to be: In the first six months of this year, Instagram reported that the total time users spent watching videos increased by 150 percent, according to a recent Pixability report. Beauty influencers are also having a moment—and Singer said that, while they’re not a specific part of Vogue’s strategy, the publisher has strong relationships with social media stars, including Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.
Singer doesn’t believe a separate Instagram will pull readers away from other accounts. Vogue launched a separate Vogue Living Instagram account in the U.S. in August, which now has 18,000 followers. “We know it doesn’t diminish the people who follow us on magazine or runway. There’s another audience out there,” she said. “What we’ve learned is we need to do more.”
Photo courtesy of Vogue: Photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld, VOGUE, January 1950