Kat Hasenauer Cornetta

Writer. Communications assistant. Coffee drinker.

Category: Social media (page 1 of 6)

What Marketers and Communicators Can Learn From YouTube Beauty Vloggers (Plus My Favorites)

What maintained my sanity during this crazy year of trying to be a mom, an assistant and a sportswriter?

YouTube makeup videos.

(You were expecting a planner, I know. Or some organizational app. Don’t worry, I’ve invested in such things for 2017.)

My Yearbook editor Alexis (who blogs herself) introduced me to the genre of YouTube makeup vloggers sometime in early March. Over the past few years, hundreds of channels have popped up devoted to makeup reviews and tutorials.

Recognizing the massive total views these videos were getting (some of the most popular can be viewed 3,000 times or more within the first 30 minutes of their publishing), makeup companies began sponsoring videos on channels or having vloggers guest curate their social media. Companies also began sending product advances to popular channels in the hopes that their product would earn some screen time.

Alexis introduced me to one of her favorites, RachhLoves, a Canadian YouTuber who has a trademark North-of-the-Border sense of humor combined with strong branding and graphics. (It’s no surprise that she has studied and worked in marketing.) I started watching her video archive on my daily commute, and she was my gateway to other popular YouTubers in the genre. After watching many, I settled on a core group that I watched non-stop while I was housebound during my maternity leave. (I’ve listed the group at the end of this post.)

Some women sit on the couch and binge watch a Netflix series while home with a newborn. I sat on my couch with my tiny son and watched hundreds of YouTube makeup videos. (The only break? There were two days where I watched the entirety of the 1992 Olympic figure skating competition on YouTube.)

At one point, I wondered why I had fallen down this rabbit hole. Thanks to dance, I’ve used makeup for over half my life. But when I wasn’t dancing, I would wear the most neutral and unnoticeable makeup possible. 

But RachhLoves and her fellow YouTube makeup vloggers were appealing not because of the makeup, but because the talking head style of their videos makes you feel like you are hanging out with a friend. The only other time in your life you sit there and watch others put on makeup? In your residence hall room in college, getting ready to head out for the evening. It can take a year and a day to get ready because you and your friends are having fun just chatting and experimenting with makeup, hair and outfits. Some of the time you don’t even end up going out because you’re having too much fun.

With their conversational and honest nature, YouTube makeup vloggers harken back to those times spent with friends, and I think that’s why their growth has exploded. I was stuck inside my apartment while my son was a newborn, and watching these videos made me feel like I was having some modicum of social interaction.

The genre reinforces so many best practices that social media managers and marketers have heard over the years:

Be conversational. – I have no desire to wear a smokey eye makeup look. But I’ve watched about 38 YouTube tutorials on it because the video’s creator was gabbing away during it.

Be honest.Jessica Braun, another one of my YouTube go-tos, is transparently blunt, and that’s what endeared me to her channel. She is open about when she has received something for free, but doesn’t mince words if it doesn’t work for her. Honesty isn’t limited to product reviews, either. Another much-watch blogger, CoffeeBreakwithDani, led off a recent video by noting that she was conflicted with posting in her trademark peppy style because she was getting divorced. She didn’t go into detail, maintaining her privacy, but she admitted the video might feel different because she was dealing with something so substantial.

Build relationships. – There are multiple layers of relationship building at play: both with viewers and with other video creators. Braun makes videos where she reads fan mail and features items that viewers have sent her. RachhLoves pairs up often with other YouTubers for collaboration videos. Both engage in the comment sections of their videos on a regular basis and are active on social media. They don’t “post-and-run,” and viewers feel a bond with them because of it.

Be consistent. – One of the most famous beauty vloggers, Tati Westbrook/GlamLifeGuru, posts a video every single weekday at 10am EST. You can just about set your clock to it. She’s done so for years, giving her what has to be one of the largest video libraries on YouTube. Tati is so committed that she posted daily videos even when she was on her recent honeymoon. If you want to succeed at social media or blogging, you have to do it consistently, which builds a level of anticipation.

If you’re a content creator or social media manager of any kind, I highly suggest starting 2017 by taking a dive into the genre and seeing what has caught the attention of so many people – women and men, old and young. They’ve influenced how I approach social media curation at work, as well as what I think about my own blogging.


Appendix: My can’t-miss YouTube beauty vloggers


Tati Westbrook/GlamLifeGuru

Jessica Braun


Dominique Sachse

Fly With Stella (she’s more of a flight attendant vlogger than beauty blogger, but she’s still great.)


Posting a URL on Facebook: take advantage of the preview

So you want to post a link on your company or organization’s Facebook page. Did you know that you don’t have to include the long URL in the body of your post? Thanks to Facebook’s preview functions, there is no need to keep that ugly looking URL (even if it is a shortened link) in the text of your post. Plus, you can customize that preview to make it much more attractive to your audience.

A few months ago, I made a quick two minute YouTube video showing how I always make sure to delete the link, and then use Facebook’s options to customize the post’s preview. Take a look. If you aren’t in a spot to watch a video at the moment, some tips follow below:

Kat’s Facebook Page Post Tips

First off, just delete the link in the body of your text. It’s a pet peeve of mine, and it just looks repetitive. Some reason that the need to keep the link or at least a shortened version to ensure they are getting the tracking information from that link. Even if it is a shortened URL, keeping that link is not worth the awkwardness of how that link looks in the post. If you are using that shortened URL to create the Facebook post, you should still get the insights. Or, you can make the most of your Page Insights to see how much engagement (aka, people going to the link from your post) your post is getting.

Here is an example of the Facebook link insights on a page I manage. It gives me my Facebook specific clicks.

Here is an example of the Facebook link insights on a page I manage. It gives me my Facebook specific clicks.

Customize the image that appears in the link. (I reference this as “a topic for another day” in my video. I will eventually make a separate video about this, but until then, I’ll explain it in text.) Unless you are showing a gallery of items, you don’t need to use the gallery option for images, which Facebook seemingly defaults to if you have multiple images on the page. Just click on each image to delete each one from your preview.

You don't need to use Facebook's gallery option if you aren't showcasing a variety of items.

You don’t need to use Facebook’s gallery option if you aren’t showcasing a variety of items.

You can also choose an image separate from the ones Facebook automatically pulls from the link. I like to use a service like Canva or (if I am feeling especially creative) Adobe Illustrator to create an image that fits Facebook’s ideal image dimensions (940×788 pixels.) You then upload it via the dashed box with the plus sign you see at the bottom of your link preview. That keeps your image from being cutoff awkwardly.

Take time to customize the preview of your link. I think this is especially important if you are a news source or blog sharing your links on Facebook. The Facebook link preview will just post the first few lines of your post cut off at a random point. It will also include information like the date. You don’t really need any of that in your preview. Plus, instead of giving your reader the first lines of the post that you want them to visit, why not tailor that preview to a summary that will pique their interest?

Edit your post's preview to eliminate unneeded words and entice your readers.

Edit your post’s preview to eliminate unneeded words and entice your readers.

Facebook is so mainstream that users now have high expectations of how a professional organization or business will use the service. I think making sure your posts are neat and not repetitive will lend your Facebook page further credibility, and eliminating the URL and customizing preview options will give your page that leg up.

New Facebook Feature: Delete and block a group user from your phone

Many are all a buzz because Facebook added emoji-style like/dislike options, called “Reactions,” Wednesday. While finally being able to “sad face” a friend’s post about their having the flu is all well and good, I noticed a Facebook addition this week that is much more useful.

If you manage a Facebook group, one aggravation you may have had is that you could only delete posts from the group when moderating on your mobile device, and not ban the user from your group. You could only delete a post and ban the user while on your browser.

Well, not any more! Facebook’s iPhone app now gives admins the option to “delete post and block member.” It appears above the regular “delete” option.

The new options for deleting a post and banning a group member on Facebook mobile.

Now when I wake up in the middle of the night, turn to my phone and need to laser zap a porn post that has made it to the closed group of university freshman I administer, I can delete the post and get rid of the spam account who posted it. Thanks, Facebook!

For more of my tips on moderating closed Facebook groups, check out my guide.

Managing Closed Facebook Groups: Get ready to put your foot down

Though I know it’s not the best thing to do, the minute I wake up, I grab the phone from my nightstand. Not to check Twitter, not to look at scores, but instead, to look at Facebook. I go directly to the Facebook groups I manage, because who knows what hell hath broken in my six hours of slumber.

Facebook groups are one of the biggest reasons I think the platform remains popular – especially closed, invite-only groups. At my full-time job, I manage a few groups full of students at the university. Personally, I’m a member of a few, including one for my career coach’s clients, one for the communications and tech sector in higher education, one for the direct selling venture I horribly failed at (but at least I had pretty nails in the process) and a mothers group (because as a first-time mom come May, I need all the help I can get.)

These groups are powerful. In a closed group, there is a feeling that you can ask and share whatever you want because your fellow members are like-minded. In the student groups I manage, they look for roommates, ask for help navigating financial aid and grumble a ton about the lack of snow days. In the mothers group, many use it as a Google alternative, asking what to do if their three month old has a rash or what the best car seat is. (Holy smokes, are there opinions on car seats.)

But so much can go wrong in Facebook groups. Here are three tips for successfully moderating closed groups to maximize their potential.

Keeping the door wide open

A closed group is closed for a reason – the exclusivity is warranted because either the topics or the people involved. If you look at your requests panel and “approve all” without a vetting process, there might be point to having a closed group.

There are many closed groups (especially surrounding colleges and universities) who are targets for Facebook spam accounts…very obvious spam accounts. This is what I often see when I wake up and check Facebook on my phone:

Facebook group entry requests from Sock Bun and Christmas Carol

Christmas Carol? Sock Bun? I’ve seen people change their Facebook names to avoid being searchable, but something tells me these accounts aren’t that.

If I don’t try to weed out the spam accounts, they either post scams (looking for students to give their Social Security numbers or trying to rope them into work from home schemes), post pornography, or use the “in” to the group to start adding their fellow spammers.

A spammer gets into a closed Facebook group and starts trying to add his friends

A spammer gets into a closed Facebook group and starts trying to add his friends

Facebook often shuts down spam accounts before you even have the chance to approve them (the name in the black font above means that the account has been deleted.) If you see an account requesting access to your group, and the name is in black text and isn’t an active link to their account, they’ve been shut down.

No matter how many requests you receive, don’t just approve all. Doing so proves the closed nature of the group pointless. You might as well make it open.

If the exclusive nature of the group is important to you, take your time to approve each person. For the groups I manage for a university, I run names through the university’s directory. If it doesn’t come up there, I look at the person’s profile and see if I can discern if they are actually a part of the institution. I also take a moment to scroll down and see what other Facebook groups they belong to. If it looks like they’ve joined every group under the sun, or every university “class of” group in the area (they’re a member of MIT’s, UMass Boston’s, Fisher’s, Emerson’s…), I’m weary. I message them to ask if they are affiliated with the school and why they want to be a part of the group.

Communicate and delete.

Don’t be afraid to use the message function to ask why someone wants in. It is a closed group, you are the admin, and that’s your prerogative as admin to do so. That’s not bad customer service towards them; that’s great customer service towards the other members of the group who are there for the right reasons.

If a member is already in the group, and starts using the group for the wrong reasons, take action. When I grab my phone right when I wake up, I’m really on the search for someone posting inappropriate material on one of the groups. And 80% of the time, that material is of the sexually explicit variety.

The minute I see something posted that belongs on Skinamax, I click on the grey down arrow on the right top of the post, scroll to “Delete and Remove User,” remove them and ban them permanently. (Don’t worry – I won’t post an example of that.) The porno posters never debate their removal, because most of them are spam accounts.

But who does debate their removal? Those who join spam groups with business opportunities and those with the intent of trolling. I respond to their frustrated Facebook messages to me with my clear reasoning: this group is for X purposes, and your actions run counter to those purposes. Stand by the group’s purpose in these interactions.

Set rules and remind your group of them.

It’s difficult to see groups run amuck by shameless promoters, especially in closed groups of clients of a service provider. For example, my career coach’s group had a few members who were there just to promote their own coaching business, and posted links to their own offerings daily. As I wrote this post, she made a great move: she clearly posted group guidelines.

Group guidelines are the way to go in every type of closed Facebook group. You can post brief versions in group descriptions, or post longer versions in the Files section. Make references to both on a regular basis, be it just reminding new members to review them, or highlighting particular sections of them once a week. For example, remind your group that you don’t want members personal messaging each other about their direct sales business or that if a threat is posted, it will have to be reported to authorities.

Managing a closed Facebook group is far from effortless, but the rewards of a well-managed one make it worth it. I’ve helped students through difficult circumstances in the ones I manage, and I’ve found communities of encouragement in those I belong to. If you enter the world of Facebook groups, be ready to invest your time and put your foot down.

Confronting Social Media Negativity: Did OPI Do It Right?

Who knew nail polish could bring out the worst in people?

Nail polish manufacturer (they of the crazy names) OPI was concerned with the amount of negativity popping up on their Facebook page. On Thursday, they posted the following image:


If you click on the image or the link above it, you can read the live responses, which are mixed. Some commenters thought that this post only brought more attention to the negative comments and users. Others claimed that OPI themselves were hypocrites because their nail polish names are negative (honestly, this comment boggled my mind, but it is one of the top ones, so it’s worth mentioning.) Still others appreciated the sentiment, and noted that it set an expectation that trolling behavior would not be tolerated and set a good tone for the change moving forward.

I use and study a lot of social media (understatement of the day), and this is the first time I have seen a Facebook page address negativity and trolling behavior this way. There are a few accounts I manage where I would love to be bold and make a similar statement, but I haven’t found the perfect way to.

What do you think of OPI’s statement? Do you think this was a good way to go about addressing what they perceived as a problem on their Facebook page?

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