Here you'll find the things and events that inspire and shape the work of New York-based advertising copywriter Katja Bartholmess. A trend spotter, fashion friend, globetrotter and party host, she promises to entertain and delight. -- Tends to be opinionated, so read at your own peril.

Beauty goes social media -- but how?

Whenever someone mentions the possibilities of digital and social media for the beauty industry, faces light up. But soon enough, smiles give way to furrowed brows and questions: How to get a handle on it? How to monetize it smartly? How to do it right?


If only this (relatively) new yet all-encompassing area came with a manual, right?


Well, while the Digital Beauty panel, organized by Cosmetic Executive Women, didn’t exactly promise a manual, it did invite the leading ladies behind the social and digital marketing efforts of beauty giants like Estée Lauder, Maybelline New York-Garnier, and mark. to share their insights on how to navigate the world of digital beauty and social marketing.


Let me share some of them back to you.


Marisa Thalberg (Estée Lauder) says it’s not a good idea to apply the copy&paste mindset: “Consumers expect a varied experience across the wealth of media they deal with. Cater to that expectation.“


Kristen Yraola (Maybelline New York – Garnier) highlights each brand’s new responsibility: “From here on out, you have to both educate and entertain your consumer.“


Annemarie Frank (mark.) found my favorite comparison: “Digital and social is like a new, foreign language. You have to learn how to say Thank you, Please, and Where can I find the bathroom?“


They all agree that we’re experiencing a “true paradigm shift,“ “a sea change“ and that digital and social media marketing is here to stay.


Thalberg, who also tweets as @executivemoms, said that beauty is prone to being successful in the realms of social media as women are really passionate about their beauty products and beauty and skincare in general. Opinions are strong and cosnumers are open to if not downright eager to share. Case in point: In the two years since they opened the Estée Lauder websites for reviews, more than 200,000 consumers shared their thoughts and opinions about certain products.


Frank was one of the first to monetize Facebook and turn it into a sales tool for their sales representative. mark. caters to generation Y, the web smart “digital natives“ and meets them exactly where they are. On Facebook, chatting with their friends. “I have one question I always ask.“ says Frank, “How can we provide support to our representatives?“


mark.’s sales reps (who are in the same age group as their customers) can set up shop directly within Facebook. And there are fun tools like inviting friends to chip in on a birthday present for a friend or selling directly through a link in a status update. Frank says “We think it’s a successful concept and what’s really important: Our sales reps just love it!“


Thalberg mentions JetBlue, Starbucks, Best Buy, and Charming (yes, the toilet paper!) as best practice examples for intriguing social media activities. “They seem to be doing a great job of leveraging traffic and bringing people to the stores.“


Yraola focusses on a smooth experience. “When technology becomes invisible and intuitive, that’s when you know you’ve done it right.“


My personal favorite was Thalberg’s assessment that you need to have a passion for understanding the consumer’s everyday behavior and that you have to be a kind of cultural anthropologist to get social media right. (Of course that’s my favorite quote, my Masters is in socio-cultural anthropology and I always thought it served me well.)


She also urges beauty brands to understand the „inherent service proposition“ that social media has. “Creating great experiences is key.“


Well, let’s go out and create fantastic experiences for our consumers while making sure the bottom line is taken care of.


And if you are interested in finding exciting ways to reach out to your consumers, I’d love to hear from you. When it comes to social media campaign for the beauty industry, I work with BeautyStat, a social media interface between beauty brands and consumers through their community of over 31,000 beauty addicts. Talk to me about it at


Thank you to the Digital Beauty panel: Annemarie Frank, director of e-commerce, digital media and strategic alliances for mark., Marisa Thalberg, vice president of global digital marketing for The Estée Lauder Companies and Kristen Yraola, assistant vice president of digital media and Internet for Maybelline New York-Garnier.

Anonymous wrote 7 years 7 weeks ago

I think Estee Lauder has the

I think Estee Lauder has the right mind set in saying that "you have to cater to the medium in which you are advertising in." I had the pleasure of working with a graphic design Sydney business, DPM Creative Group, that truly took that moto to heart. The campaign paid dividends to my business and I believe my consumers truly appreciated the varied campaigns.


Thanks and great article!

Katja wrote 7 years 8 weeks ago

You're very welcome!

You're very welcome!

Anonymous wrote 7 years 8 weeks ago

Thank you for such a fabulous

Thank you for such a fabulous write-up, Katja!

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