With social media impacting everything from readership to consumerism, Elaine D’Farley, Beauty Director of Self magazine, has undergone a reinvention. Over the past several years Elaine has turned her role into one that’s multifaceted: it requires business savvy, creative marketing, social outreach and communications expertise. At Fashion Group International’s beauty networking event May 2, “Changing Lanes,” Elaine spoke about why success as a beauty editor is truly predicated on reaching out to readers.
1. On being relevant now: “Being relevant now with readers is about building a social media platform that takes the brand’s core values and translates them so they are appropriated into digital [form] and to be nimble and flexible when doing it. The brands that do it best spark user interactions; inspire audience engagement all while maintaining credibility authenticity and being open to change.”
2. Social media can make a campaign: “For Self’s Drop 10 Diet Plan [book launch] we surrounded the consumer [with various tactics] and within days it reached the bestseller’s list at number 12. For starters, we unveiled the program in our March 12 issue. At the same time we launched a Facebook app, called the Drop 10 Diet Together, the first social dieting app on Facebook. In less than three weeks, Self had achieved nearly 3,000 unique visitors to the app, over 4,000 members within the app, over 1,000 unique visitors to Self.com, and over 700 groups were created. It drove our web site crazy to surpass 4 million uniques and 28 million page views and it’s still rising. In fact, we are pleased to report Self reached a new high in milestones in page views with 30.1 million and monthly unique visitors to 4.3 million for April.”
3. Today’s beauty editor’s mission: “To create traction on multiple platforms, elicit and heighten reader engagement; the business side is to leverage that energy. Because magazines are a go-to source for product recommendations, partnerships with brands are a natural next step that moves us beyond just an editor and ad page. I’m sure in the not-so-distant future we are going to have Self readers ‘check-in’ at drugstores, department stores or specialty stores and then instantly receive a scannable coupon from [Self’s] Healthy Beauty Award winners so they can get a winning product at a discount without any fuss. We’re working on it right now for next year.”
4. Citizen journalism: “[Social media in all of its forms] is leading to citizen journalism, which is great news. It’s connecting the world we editors are creating with the world our readers are creating. It’s sharing our world and giving us real-time interactions with our readers and it’s allowing our endorsements to translate into authentic advice, as if given from a trusted friend, allowing our readers to weigh in on our picks. Readers are no longer just receivers. They are our empowered partners and our goal is to help them figure out what works best for them at this very moment in their life. The service is actually coming to life.”