ZitSticka Talks Navigating Social Media and Beauty Standards

    September 18 2020

    When it comes to Instagram, what is most important to ZitSticka?

    The real and really diverse people who use our products. That, and our mission (beyond empowering people to fight breakouts of all types and zits in all stages), which is to change the way people think about acne. 

    We truly believe that no skin is normal and we reject the pursuit of perfection that has fueled the beauty industry.

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

    We use a simple Google doc to visualize the grid and how posts hang together with respect to visual diversity and content pillars (UGC, different products, laugh-out-loud content, and so on). Then we use Sprout to schedule and measure the effectiveness of our posts.

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

    We generally plan a week ahead, but always with a flexible view in case we decide to pivot at the last minute. The news cycle, the cultural/social zeitgeist, and the weather, are among other reasons why we might divert from the schedule. 

    How have you positioned yourself on Instagram as a brand for all sexes? 

    Our influencer program includes a broad spectrum of people who identify in different ways, including LGBTQI folk. Within that are people of different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities with different types of interests, aesthetics, and personalities. While our customer base is naturally skewed toward those who are female and female-identifying, many fit elsewhere. Zits don’t discriminate, and neither do we.

    Our brand exists at the juncture of beauty and tech and we try to weave elements of technical innovation into our storytelling wherever possible. This part of our DNA, together with our open and relatable storytelling using real voices, is something we feel most people are naturally captivated by, irrespective of who you are or how you identify.

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    You utilize a lot of UGC. How do you decide what to post on your grid versus IG Stories?

    Yup! We like to repost a loooot of UGC because we think the best way to tell stories is through the lens of the people that use our products, and their various experiences and points of view.

    By and large, a lot of educational, testimonial style video content from customers and influencers goes on stories, as well as links to our blog, The Spot, for which we’ve recently brought on about 8 (super smart, funny, and cool) new writers with very diverse perspectives. Some of this content is a little more ephemeral than in-feed content, or some invites deeper reading (like blogs) for which we can easily direct people to swipe up.

    The most important thing for the feed is ensuring we represent a broad cross-section of skin types and experiences of acne, and supply a podium for people to talk openly about their skin and how it makes them feel. This reflects our brand DNA and is, therefore, exactly what we love people to see when they land on our account.

    You have a range of before and afters. How does this impact your storytelling? 

    Given our relative newness, people struggling with acne have typically tried a lot of products or strategies before arriving at ZitSticka. This makes them really discerning and even suspicious of something else that might not work! And so, before and afters—despite the dated clinical connotations they carry—are a super important indicator of efficacy for us. 

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

    200% start with good lighting—we are big fans of natural light!

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    What are the biggest challenges for ZitSticka’s Instagram? 

    Negotiating the space between ‘aesthetic’ content and best communicating the technical functionality of our products. Instagram is supportive of pretty things—swatches, textures, conventionally ‘beautiful’ people—and the beauty space certainly benefits these ideals. We want to ensure our content is visually appealing as well as being any combination of useful, enriching, educational, and funny. 

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

    We aren’t a skincare brand as much as we are an acne brand. A lot of acne products exist within a wider suite catering to all types of skincare, or even both skincare and makeup. Our narrowed focus on an end-to-end acne routine and our roots in technology definitely helped to accumulate early followers.

    Ultimately, though, people really resonated with and continue to appreciate the frankness and openness with which we address the universal *thing* that is acne. And lols! We need lols because acne can be traumatic.

     Personal: Melissa Kelly 
    Instagram: @zitsticka





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