In the first episode in Glossy’s new weekly Instagram Live series, Leading From Home, executive editor Priya Rao spoke to Kristie Dash, Instagram’s manager of fashion and beauty strategic partnerships. Signing on from her parent’s home in Pittsburgh, Dash talked about how she’s tackling new challenges in her own day-to-day life.
“For me, there’s no disconnect at all anymore,” she said. “But at a time where a lot of people are feeling isolated, to be working is keeping me busy and keeping me motivated to just continue to plug through what’s going on.”
Dash described her role as being the liaison between the fashion and beauty industries and Instagram, serving as a resource to top accounts and emerging accounts alike. She said smart brands are now evolving their Instagram strategies to remain both sensitive and top of mind.
“This is uncharted territory for us,” she said. People are using our platform and in more creative ways than ever, and the industry is finding new ways of storytelling while not being tone deaf — and that’s the biggest question: How do you do that?”
Below are more highlights from the #LFH episode, lightly edited for clarity.
Beauty in the new normal
“The brands that aren’t set up to be nimble are going to struggle through this. Next week, we could be in a very different place; we really have no clue what’s coming. You have to be able to move quickly. I know there are many teams out there that have this huge chain of approvals, and it’s tough. But opening up the line of communication among your team, which is harder than ever for big teams, is really key. The silver lining of all of this is that brands, influencers and the entire beauty community will have to be a little bit more real. To stay connected, the way you’re presenting your product has to feel a little bit more human.”
The shift to lifestyle content
“The [new incorporation] of lifestyle content is quite fascinating, and I’m really curious to see if that will continue on beyond this. [Until now] people have been a little bit greedy with their content and constantly pushing product on Instagram. But the Glossiers and Ouais and Fentys of the world have already created this lifestyle around their brand, where they’re not just posting product, product, product in every post; they’ve always added context to what the customer is buying into, in terms of the brand identity. Now, a lot of other brands are starting to do that and trying to figure out, for example, what does it mean to be a Beautyblender girl? Being experimental, and figuring out what other facets of Instagram content make sense for [your brand], is going to pay off.”
Standing out on Instagram Live
“There’s some great Live content out there right now, so it’s competitive. There are two schools of thought with Instagram Live: One is that when you go live at really random times, it feels really off-the-cuff and fun, and I know that a lot of creators and public figures find a lot of success with that. When Justin Bieber goes live, it’s unplanned, and that’s the beauty of it. But for more traditional creators, influencers and brands — now, more than in the past — you do have to promote it a little bit more to break through the noise. The more you can drum up hype, the better. Also, find a time where you’re capturing as many followers as you can, and then instill that behavior by [sticking to a schedule]. And don’t put a lot of pressure on the first five to 10 minutes; it takes a good 15 minutes for people to start tuning in.”