Clean Skincare Brand TOWER 28 on Authenticity & Investing in Micro-Influencers

    August 07 2020  |  Interviews , Behind the Brand

    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Tower 28 - Feature Image_v1

    In April, the clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and safe for sensitive skin color collection, Tower 28 celebrated its first anniversary. And for only being around for one year, the brand has amassed a cult following. 

    Founded by Amy Liu, a former beauty marketer, Tower 28 looks to California beach culture for inspiration. The team likes their beauty products the way they like their beaches: clean, full of sunshine, and for everyone! From creating product colors to designing packaging, the natural beauty of the sand and water is their forever muse. Even Tower 28’s latest launch, Bronzino, an illuminating bronzer balm inspired by that magical moment when the sun sets over the ocean, is a clear indication of that consistent theme. 

    While clean ingredients are at the heat of the brand, Tower 28’s hashtag #ItsOkayToBeSensitive aligns with its ethos, which is designed for sensitive skin, made for all. 

    Here, Liu reveals why passion and authenticity is king, the importance of reiterating their ingredient philosophy, and the reason behind identifying and engaging with influencers and industry leaders early on was paramount.

    When it comes to Instagram, what is most important to Tower 28?

    The most important thing is that we are speaking to our followers in a way that is authentic and true to our brand! Our Instagram page is a place for people to learn more about Tower 28, the ingredients we use (and don’t use), engage with us, and maybe even have a bit of a laugh. We always keep things fun—we’re talking about beauty products, after all! I make sure to personally answer all the DMs that roll in and think our community appreciates that we keep things real.

    PLANOLY is about making the lives easier for social media users and organizes their content. How do you strategize your feed and stories?

    Using PLANOLY is a huge part of how we strategize our social content. Since we are still in the early days of building a brand and awareness is still relatively low, we do put an emphasis on the way the grid looks. Nowadays, when consumers want to understand who you are, the first thing they do is look at your profile and part of that is the vibe and aesthetic.

    PLANOLY helps us plan things out so we can make sure we have a variety of content, but all within the look and feel of our brand. We make sure to have an even balance of product, people, education, and fun, plus communicating #ItsOkayToBeSensitive. I think you can really tell when a brand buys their followers or outsources all their content. We try to add that authentic human piece to it because I think everyone is craving that— and it’s real!

    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Tower 28 - Image 2
    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Tower 28 - Image 3

    How far out do you plan your posts? Is your schedule pretty set in stone or does it move around a lot?

    My team and I schedule posts on Planoly about one week in advance. We aren’t too rigid about following the plan exactly, as it is important that we have the flexibility to slide in a cool regram or something that feels topical. Without that give, things can feel a bit out of touch and stale. If you suddenly find something that you are itching to post in the moment, put it up! Your followers will appreciate the passion and authenticity.

    Tower 28 takes clean very seriously. How do you implement that information onto your Instagram, while creating engaging content?

    First and foremost, we make sure that our ingredient philosophy is super clear and easy to find on all of our channels. Instagram “highlights” are a great place to organize this information and it is easy for our followers to locate. We find that a Q&A video format, either with me or with other beauty professionals in our community, is a great way to keep things engaging. For example, for our SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, we spoke with plastic surgeon and my friend Dr. Kelly Killeen about the benefits of its hero ingredient (hypochlorous acid) and how she uses it in her practice. The video can be found in our SOS highlight and is a great tool for consumers looking for a bit of education around the product. 

    We do take clean very seriously, but we also like to keep things simple and fun. The best way to speak to your audience is in a way that they will enjoy learning about and digesting the information. And we definitely steer clear of fear-mongering.

    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Tower 28 - Image 1
    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Tower 28 - Image 5

    You utilize a lot of User-Generated-Content (UGC). How do you decide what to post on your grid versus Instastory?

    We are so lucky to have such amazing people using and talking about our products on social! My team and I have so much fun watching and reposting all the great content. We have a recurring “regrams” series on stories where we post every Sunday. It’s a great way to shout out to our creators and encourage them, too. 

    The UGC we post on our feed is creative and informative content that we know our audience will relate to. Much of it is from people we greatly admire in the space. For stories, we try to share as many as we can. We love giving the people that share their experience with Tower 28 a shout out!

    What are your best social photography or editing tips for beauty bloggers and brands?

    My team and I love to play with natural light and shadows when shooting products or swatching. Nothing needs to be too perfect or overly edited. I think the days of using multiple filters and heavily Photoshopping your images is over (finally!). People want to see imagery that they can relate to.

    PLANOLY - Blog Post - Tower 28 - Image 7

    What are the biggest challenges for Tower 28’s Instagram?

    It can be so expensive to create content and we still have a small team (and budget!). We’re always trying to figure out ways to do more with what we have! Good thing is that there is no shortage of ideas!

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

    Three to five percent! I personally have never had a huge following on social media, so we really started from the ground up when creating Tower 28’s account. I am super lucky to be working with a brilliant team that understands the space, and I look to them for a lot of guidance. 

    A big part of growing our brand, not only our Instagram following, was identifying and engaging with influencers and industry leaders early on. We decided to invest in a few large product seedings to micro-influencers as well as people with larger followings like Jillian Dempsey, Nicole Guerriero, and Katie Jane Hughes. As these people began to organically talk about Tower 28 on their accounts, we saw the numbers climb. We also try to give back to our audience with giveaways and collaborations with other brands, too!

     
    Personal: Amy Liu
    Instagram: @tower28beauty