How Shadowbanning Can Ruin Your Social Media Strategy (and How to Avoid It)

Have you ever found your post reach or engagement suddenly slowing to a crawl? While keeping up the same posting and content strategies, all of a sudden, your likes deplete, as does your referral traffic.

It’s a disheartening position to be in, leading to many brands second-guessing their approaches to social media marketing. Shadowbanning is a social media phenomenon that causes engagement metrics to tank over time, with no immediate reasoning or explanation given.

Maybe you’re experiencing a shadowban right now, or have just recently crawled back from one. Whatever your situation, we’ll explain everything you need to know about shadowbans, to help you fight back and protect your hard-earned place on the internet spotlight.

What is Shadowbanning?

On social media, a shadowban is a hidden defect that gets applied to profiles on an algorithmic level. The process is pretty clear: algorithms work in accordance with direction given by social platforms in order to tailor the experience on each platform as desired. Some may promote posts that receive high engagement within the first hour of being posted, while others may boost posts that have longer view durations or more likes. In this context, a shadowban is a form of penalty wherein the algorithm intentionally excludes otherwise successful posts from receiving further attention.

Although it may appear as silent or non-existent, shadowbanning is evidenced through a decline of post engagement metrics: likes, comments, replies, re-tweets, reposts, shares, views, etc.

How Long Does a Shadowban Last?

As different platforms have varying levels of policy when it comes to shadowbanning, it’s hard to give a definitive answer as to how long a shadowban will last. Some are only applied for 24 hours, while others can go as long as a week.

Ultimately, the length of a shadowban usually correlates with the cause of it. The more severe rule breaks carry heftier bans, while more subtle breaks have the shortest.

Why Am I Shadowbanned?

Speaking of causes, let’s look at a few of the most common. For more specifics, we advise reviewing your platform’s own terms and conditions.

Promotion of Violence

Promoting hatred or violence on a social media platform is sure to either earn a shadow or full ban. Every current, popular social platform will have a strict policy on violence, with accounts seen to promote it being blacklisted from appearing in discovery pages, so as to not cause offence to new users.

Illegal Activity

Social platforms come down very heavily on illegal activity. Whether it’s the promotion of pirated media or selling of illegal substances, every platform will have measures in place to ensure that accounts which promote illegal undertakings are restricted.

Bot-Like Activity

There are thousands, if not millions of bot accounts on social media. These accounts are sold in bulk on the depths of the internet and used to inflate follower counts and like numbers in order to gamify the algorithms and soar above others. Thankfully, social platforms have become heavily adept to identifying bots, with a few indicators revolving around the posts they make, follower counts, and login locations. If you post like a bot, nobody will see it.

How to Tell If You’re Shadowbanned

Thankfully, a couple social platforms have introduced measures to check if a shadowban is in place:


Checking a shadowban on Instagram is as easy as navigating to your account settings menu. On a professional account, simply navigate to:

Profile > Menu > Settings > Account > Account Status

Then, Instagram will give you a quick update with your accounts guidelines status. If everything is good, you’ll see a message like “You haven’t posted anything that is affecting your account status”.


While Twitter itself doesn’t provide an account status overview, it does enable its users to check for the presence of a shadowban.

First, log out of your account and open an incognito window in your browser. Then, open Twitter and search for your username. If no results are displayed; you’re shadowbanned.

How to Avoid a Shadowban

If you keep running into shadowbans, here’s a guide on reverting them:

Re-visit Your Tone of Voice

Posting like a bot is never a good idea for social media. Writing repetitively and not conveying any recognisable brand tone of voice is sure to raise internal alarms on the platforms you post on. Specifically, accounts that post Tweets or captions on a very formulaic manner may come across as being completely automated, making the profile seem like a bot and not a human.

Try re-inventing your approach to tone of voice. If your dull, corporate tone doesn’t suit your style, it might be time to freshen things up with a more approachable technique.

Refresh Your Content Pipeline

Just as how your robotic posts are getting flagged, content that is repetitive in its nature is another way of causing bot detectors to initiate. If your content on social media is worded almost identically, has no variation or depth, and uses the same words and phrases over and over, platforms are much more likely to determine that your account is spammy and inauthentic.

Avoid Spam

Speaking of spam; don’t do it! We appreciate that you want to get your products and services seen by as many people as possible, but there comes a point where brands verge beyond promotional activity and turn in to more of a nuisance. Constantly posting about an upcoming sale or product release (or the dreaded giveaway spam) will cause alarm bells to go off on your account.

Post Varied Material

To truly make your account feel more authentic, try mixing up the variety of content you post day-to-day. This not only makes your account feel less robotic, but can even result in higher follower retention rates. Provided everything you post is still interesting, entertaining, or a mixture of the two, you’ll be on to a winner.

Curate Your Hashtags

Did you know that Instagram has a list of “banned” hashtags? It’s true – in a bid to wave away bots and spam accounts, Instagram has taken a sample of the most bot-like hashtags used across posts, and collated them into a list of banned hashtags. It sounds otherworldly, but it is true.

The beauty industry has unfortunately come under fire from these efforts, with hashtags like #beautyblogger being the main one that’s affected. So, if you’re wondering how to avoid shadowbanning on Instagram – review your hashtags.

Monitor and Emulate Other Brands

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right? Monitoring the type of content that your peers post is one way of benchmarking your performance. Do you post similar things? If so, how are they received? What lessons can you learn from brands with higher (or more engaged) followers than you? Take these learnings, spot the gaps, and fill them.

Need a New Social Strategy? Get in Touch

While social media marketing may seem like a continuation of your other content marketing activities, it certainly deserves its own strategy and implementation approach. Algorithms change, as do consumer interests, so if you’re not adapting; you’re behind.

Start levelling up your approach to social media with the experts at Foundation. Whether it’s learning more about what you should post to having a full social media audit, we’ll be sure to tell you where the opportunities are. Contact us to learn more, today.


How Generative AI Will Change the Beauty Industry

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) in the beauty industry is nothing new. Deepfake technology has been instrumental in developing entirely new kinds of influencers in the industry, and AI itself has impacted more than just beauty alone. However, within the past 18 months, AI has proliferated thanks largely to the launch of OpenAI’s latest large language model, ChatGPT.

Mostly impactful through its ability to write, reason and converse with users, ChatGPT has been improving all of our workflows, with there being a common fear among us all: job security. Whether these fears are valid or not remains to be seen; after all, it’s still early days for this tech.

Having said this, AI, specifically generative AI, has been crucial to beauty marketers in a variety of ways. In this piece, we’ll explore all the ways in which we see generative AI improving the beauty industry.

What is Generative AI?

Firstly, it’s worth exploring the main subject associated with this article: generative AI. For those that don’t know, AI isn’t just a one-track discipline. There are various different kinds of AI technology in the works, all of which are capable of very specific tasks. The more specific a goal, the more advanced the outputs can be.

The gaming industry, for example, has started moving further away from raw processing power in favour of enhanced, AI-powered upscaling technology. This technology reduces the need for continual advancements in hardware, instead preferring the use of upscaling algorithms to produce ever stronger results.

Generative AI is named so due to its ability to generate responses and outputs from prompts given to it. ChatGPT is a text-based generative AI that focuses on giving back written responses in the form of text, whereas DALL-E focuses on providing visual responses in the form of images.

Applications of AI in Beauty

Fashion Concepts

The beauty industry is overwhelmingly visual. Makeup looks, hairstyles, clothing designs, all of it requires a strong aesthetic to resonate with buyers. Given how impactful these things are, it’s understandable why they take so much time to create.

Just like how an author sometimes gets met with writer’s block, designers often struggle to innovate on their latest best-selling products but thankfully, AI can help. AI art generators make use of large datasets of existing art in order to help users create something new.

With tools like DALL-E 2.0, Playground AI and Bluewillow, artists like Str4ngeThing have created convincing-looking beauty product imagery, all without touching a single piece of fabric.

Because using AI for aesthetics and concepts involves existing creative datasets, this kind of visual production is one of the most contentious elements of this new technology.  

A keen design eye is still essential to ratify the outputs of the AI, most importantly to ensure that the imagery complements your brand, but also to ensure that it’s not too similar to existing designs and prototypes.

Creating Product Imagery in Bulk

But, as this tweet shows, AI can be used to generate complementary product imagery at bulk. This example uses a handbag, but beauty products could be just as applicable.

Where beauty brands need to eschew AI and stay ‘real’ is in how the effects of products are communicated. After all, every consumer wants to know what comes after using a beauty product, and the advent of AI means that people will be more suspicious about whether they can really trust what they see on the screen.

Think: how can users be sure that they can trust the effects of your products?

Writing Product Descriptions

Between the release of GPT 3.5 and GPT 4, various improvements were made to its text writing capabilities. Aside from being able to score in the top 10% percent of all American bar exam-takers, GPT 4 is truly one of the most advanced, AI-powered text generation technologies available on the market.

For beauty brands, especially those operating in the world of ecommerce, this tech is extremely helpful when it comes to the more laborious tasks of selling such great products; writing product descriptions. After spending hours making sure a product is packaged well, tested appropriately, and functioning as intended, now comes the time to advertise it as such on your website.

This process can take a lot of time, especially when you have thousands of products being sold at any one time. Whether you use it for a head start, or simply make minor tweaks here and there, the text generation features of ChatGPT make it an essential companion for writing on-site page copy.

When you consider that writing a single page can take hours of carefully curated word choices, the ability for AI to give a workable draft in a matter of seconds is nothing to sneeze at – just make sure you follow the usual SEO best practice for the rest of your page.

Read more: SEO for e-commerce product pages – The Do’s and Don’ts

On-Page Chatbots

At present, the most accessible way of interacting with AI is in the form of chatbots. From Google’s Bard to Microsoft’s in-search ChatGPT companion, the industry seems to have settled into a conversational mode of communication.

This is sure to level up the game of on-site, customer service chatbots like those used by  Sephora and Estée Lauder. Brands can train up these chatbots to be their own personal super users, giving them every ounce of knowledge across all products they sell.

Or, they can be used as part of promotional campaigns like with L’Oréal’s Facebook messenger chatbot that helped users whittle down their preferences on perfumes, based on characteristics entered into the conversation.

Campaign Planning

One potential downside to the proliferation of AI across beauty marketing is exactly that: proliferation. Tools like this are accessible to everyone, meaning that the demand for more eye-catching, engaging material is sure to rise from this point on.

This will demand out-of-the-box thinking from the individuals responsible for developing marketing material, be it for always-on marketing activity or dedicated to attention-grabbing campaigns. Thankfully, AI can help with these campaigns, acting as a non-biased soundboard for your ideas, and even generating ideas of its own to be used to capture audience attention. Generative, text-based AI is great at talking through campaign briefs, helping set aside timelines for deliverable material, and even helping brief creative teams on the resources needed each step along the way. You can even try this for yourself, by asking your chat bot of choice something like this:

Prompt: You are an expert marketing campaign planner. You will reply only with unique, creative marketing campaign themes that can be used to capture the attention of audiences. The brand name is [BRAND], and the goal of this campaign is to [GOAL].”

When you settle on an idea you like, be sure to research it to make sure no one else has beaten you to the punch.

Marketing Strategy Evaluations

In the case of ChatGPT specifically, the data it has access to expires somewhere around Q4 2021. This means it is unaware of any new brands, products or societal developments that have occurred since this time.

If your brand has been around since this period, though, you’re in luck. At Foundation, we’ve been utilising AI to help us conduct even more detailed strategy evaluations for our clients. Of course, these evaluations require a human touch for them to be workable but if you’re in need of a head start; ChatGPT can absolutely get you there.

Even if your brand came into existence after 2021, you could always supply the chatbot with a description of your business. Just be sure to include things like your brand name, KPIs, competitors, USPs and rough position in the market.

Prompt: I want you to act like a business and marketing analyst/auditor. I want you to perform an analysis of [YOUR BRAND] with the following top 5 competitors, [COMPETITOR 1], [COMPETITOR 2], [COMPETITOR 3], [COMPETITOR 4] and [COMPETITOR 5]. I need you to assess the differences and similarities between [YOUR BRAND] and [COMPETITOR 1], [COMPETITOR 2], [COMPETITOR 3], [COMPETITOR 4], [COMPETITOR 5]. I need you to focus on pricing, market positioning, branding, and messaging, Research the relevant market and analyse each brand to identify key differences and similarities. Present all the information in detailed reports that includes charts, graphs, and tables. Based on all the information let me know how [YOUR BRAND] can improve and actionable steps we can take to make [YOUR BRAND] be better than [COMPETITOR 1], [COMPETITOR 2], [COMPETITOR 3], [COMPETITOR 4] and [COMPETITOR 5].

Is AI In Your Workflow?

With its ability to write, produce imagery and develop detailed analysis, AI clearly has some strong applications for the beauty industry. As with all new things, though, it’s usually the brands that are last to react that will get left behind. Don’t let that be you.

As beauty marketing experts, we’re always looking towards the next big thing in the industry. Contact us today and let’s chat about how we can help you step up your marketing strategy with enhanced insights and knowledge.


Everything to Know About Lemon8: the Beauty World’s Next Big Social Platform

A new social media platform has surged the app store rankings, but this one’s different; it’s TikTok’s sister app.

Lemon8 isn’t anything new; in fact, it has been around Asian markets since 2020, but its launch has ruptured European and US markets having amassed over 5 million downloads in its first week back in the start of April 2023. So, what exactly is Lemon8, how is it best used, and what could its future hold? Let’s talk about that.

What is Lemon8?

The lifestyle app Lemon8, owned by ByteDance, is a photo-sharing social media platform catering to users’ interest in food, beauty, wellness, and travel. Lemon8 describes itself as a “content sharing platform for a youthful community” where its users can discover “beautiful, authentic, and diverse content.”

The new social media app focuses on lifestyle photo and photo carousel sharing for inspiration and recommendations. Videos may be posted, but they are featured far less prominently.

Launching Lemon8 is a smart move. With more and more people using the TikTok search bar instead of Google, Lemon8’s focus on tutorial-esque posts such as “how to achieve ‘clean girl’ makeup” and “step-by-step tutorials” is sure to make it an app people are ready to welcome – think, if Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest had a baby.

How Do You Use It? Our Top Lemon8 Tips

While Lemon8 is still finding its footing (as are its users), there are a few things to stick by when setting up your own profile:

Pick (and stick to) a Theme

Lemon8 users can view a feed of the accounts they are following, as well as a “for you” page, on which they can also choose a specific lifestyle topic to view. Or, users can search for specific content.

Your content needs to fall under one of the 5 categories to get optimal engagement: fashion, beauty, food, wellness and travel.

Use Grabbing Visuals

You also need to post a cover picture with an attention-grabbing title. Cover photos help tell a story and attract readers from the get-go. From the below image of the feed, you’ll see that it’s the posts that do this well that draw your eyes in first.

Write Detailed, Specific Captions

As far as captions go, like we mentioned previously, Lemon8 users create catchy headlines and often share lengthy text captions in several paragraphs, followed by location tags and up to ten hashtags to help categorise the content. Captions often feel more like blog posts.

A nice touch that Lemon8 have added which we haven’t seen on other platforms is that there are templates to help users write captions too, if you’re struggling with ideas. (We can hear a sigh of relief from Social Media Managers out there.)


If Lemon8’s own dos and don’ts guide is anything to go by, there’s definitely a preference for a more relaxed tone-of-voice on the platform. Your captions should read like a stream of consciousness as though you’re having a conversation with one of your best friends, with little to no corporate overtones.

Lemon8 Pros and Cons

So, should you make Lemon8 part of your social media strategy? We think there are both pros and cons for doing this:


• It’s a fresh start. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a huge following on other channels, being an early adopter to this app could give you a head start over your competitors.
• It feels authentic and community driven. This could be the perfect opportunity for brands who already have a great influencer / UGC strategy in place.
• Content doesn’t need to look “perfect” to be interesting. This means small social media teams will be able to jump on this new app easily, without needing a production team or budget.
• It’s highly intuitive and easy to use. Taking the best aspects from other social media channels means it’s likely that people will warm to the app and continue to use it.
• It feels like a return to the “original” days of social media.


• It’s not similar enough to TikTok to be a replacement if TikTok gets banned since video isn’t its focus.
• If TikTok is banned, Lemon8 may be limited as well, since they have the same parent company.
• Currently, desktop capabilities are extremely constrained. In fact, we were unable to log in on mobile for a brief period. Only a more general feed can be viewed and searched.
• Some influencers have been paid to post on it. If you look for #Lemon8partner you’ll see who has been paid to use the app, which could put off users who are looking for an authentic new app.
• Some people are posting the same content they posted on other social media apps which doesn’t provide users with value.
• It’s too early to say whether interest in the app will increase or decrease.

Can I Make Paid Ads?

Not yet, but our Paid Media team suspect that in the next few months. If the app continues to be a success, they will update the app to enable functionality for paid ad creation.

Our Opinion on Lemon8

The general census around Foundation HQ is that we think this app is here to stay. All of us have flocked to the app to create our profiles, lock in our handles, and play around with posting. As it’s the only platform (besides Twitter) that’s not pushing users to make videos right now, there is a very low barrier to entry, which we think will encourage more people to jump on the bandwagon.

Our favourite aspect of this app so far is that there is no gatekeeping. Outfit of the day posts are clearly tagged with the brands used, travel photos are posted alongside itineraries, and selfies are captioned with the exact cosmetic products used to achieve the look.

It’s clear that Lemon8 is perfect for influencers, content creators and brands in the beauty landscape.

Will Lemon8 Last?

We do believe it has great potential to follow in the same successful trajectory as its sister brand TikTok, however we cannot ignore the fact that there is a lot of risk around any ByteDance company right now. As TikTok ban conversations have intensified, brands are more concerned with how this will unfold rather than adopting a new app that is owned by the same parent company.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that until the official TikTok verdict is announced, brands are watching from the sidelines. Advertisers that are already wary about placing their budgets on TikTok are not going to risk rebuilding an audience on yet another app that could be blocked from the U.S. market.

Despite the uncertainty around ByteDance and the U.S. market, we cannot deny the incredible potential this app has for creators and brands. Think Instagram in 2011, YouTube in 2009 and TikTok in 2020 – being an early adopter to Lemon8 increases your chances of being the first to build up an impressive following.

Stay Ahead of the Curve with Beauty Social Media

At Foundation, we specialise in social media marketing within the beauty industry, so our beauty social media specialists can help you curate the content your audience want to see, to get the results you want.

We can help you with digital strategy, content creation, influencer management and full-service social media management to drive engagement, build communities and spread the word about your brand. Get in touch to find out more.


Google Audiences and Beauty: The Key to Advertising Success?

When setting up any advertising campaign, one of the very first things to consider is how you’re going to reach the most relevant audiences, and minimise wastage wherever possible

The good news is that Google’s audience targeting options do just that. With a variety of different tactics to segment audiences, you can ensure your ads appear on the screens of very specific people.

This minimises your waste, and gives you more space for creativity in how you speak to different audiences. It’s also good for audiences, as they see adverts that are more relevant to them.

It’s fair to say that Google audiences broaden the possibilities of your digital advertising, but what are the different kinds, and how can you make the most of them?

What are Audiences in Google Ads?

Google audiences are groups of people with specific interests, who have demonstrated certain behaviours, or opted to share their contact information with your brand.

There are currently several types of audience that exist:

Affinity Audiences – accumulated by their interests, lifestyle, passions or habits.

  • App Users – people who have installed your brand’s app.
  • Custom Intent – an audience defined by you, using keywords, apps, or URLs related to content your ideal customer would be looking for.
  • Customer Lists – people who have provided you with their contact information.
  • Detailed Demographics – more generalised common traits, like students or drivers.

In-Market audiences – those who have shown an active interest in your product or service.

  • Life Events – built from sites visited during certain milestones, like weddings or graduations.
  • Remarketing – people who have visited your site or engaged with your services before.
  • Similar Audiences – ideal for finding new customers, Google creates a list of customers similar to a pre-existing audience list.
  • Website Visitors – people who have visited your website, or another domain. You can also narrow this down to visitors of a particular page.
  • YouTube Users – people who viewed or liked your content, viewed your ads, or subscribed to your channel.

You can also create a custom combination of audiences, in which you can manually combine two or more of the audiences listed above. One person could also belong to more than one audience.

For example, if you visited sites that discuss skincare and beauty and searched for ‘face wash for dry skin’, you’d appear in both an in-market audience and affinity audience, and could be targeted as such.

It’s important to know that some audiences are only available for certain campaign types. For example, GDN campaigns are the only ones that allow you to use Life Event audiences, and you can’t create custom audiences for search or shopping campaigns. However, when editing audience segments, you’ll only be offered audiences that you can use for the type of campaign you’re creating, so you don’t need to worry about creating an impossible combination by mistake.

Targeting vs. Observation

Targeting and observation are two different ways that you can set up your ads regarding your audiences.


The targeting setting means that your ads will only be shown to people within the audiences you’ve specified. It’s available as an option for all search, display, and YouTube campaigns, and is great for when you want to adjust your message for different audiences.

It’s particularly important when you’re creating a remarketing campaign, as this content will be considerably different to how you target your new audiences. It’s the final push for a sale to someone who’s already considering your product, rather than sparking the initial interest.


Observation, on the other hand, means that the reach of your campaign won’t be affected by adding an audience. Your ad will still be shown to everyone, but Google will gather data on your allocated audiences’ response. You can then compare this response to other users.

Observation targeting is great for monitoring the performance of a certain audience without limiting who will see your campaign.

Why Should I Use Audiences?

Using audiences in Google ads is a great way to ensure your content is personalised without using additional budget. It’s the most efficient way to target your key demographics.

The main benefit in using Google ad audiences is bid adjustment. By separating people into audiences, you can track a group of potential customers and see how much or how little they interact with your site. If one audience leads to a higher return on ad spend, you can increase your bid on one while reducing another lower-performing audience to make the most of your ad budget.

How to Use Audiences in Google Ads for Beauty Audiences

Across your campaigns, you’ll target different audiences. You can also stack them, targeting multiple audiences with one campaign, as this can sometimes give the best results.

It all comes down to what you’re trying to sell and who you’re trying to sell it to, so the most important thing is to adapt your ad copy and content to best suit that combination. It’s pointless separating out your audiences if you’re not fine-tuning the way you approach each one.

For example, if one of your audiences is female students with oily skin and another is middle-aged women looking for anti-ageing serums, not only will your subject matter differ, but your tone of voice will, too.

Utilise Paid Media with Foundation

We specialise in digital marketing for the beauty industry here at Foundation, so our paid media experts can help you utilise Google audiences and other areas of the advertising sphere in the best way for your specialised brand.

Whoever your audience is, our passionate specialists can create and monitor the advertisements that will engage them best. Get in touch to find out more.

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TikTok Advertising for Beauty Brands: A Guide

In the advertising space, TikTok presents a playground of opportunities for brands to utilise. This is especially true for beauty brands, with 68% of luxury consumers stating that TikTok has inspired them to buy from premium brands.

As a relatively new social media platform, there are still some kinks for TikTok itself to iron out in terms of how both original and paid content makes its way to users. Some plans have been laid in place, including the fact that brands must not only outbid competitors, but also win the entertainment battle.

With this in mind, you might be asking yourself, “How can I use TikTok to get my beauty brand in front of the right people?” well, we’re here to help. I caught up with one of our PPC Specialists, Alex Cox, off the back of a recent project with one of our newest clients to get his views on how to advertise on TikTok as a beauty brand.

TikTok Advertising Options

Firstly, let’s review some of the options available to brands for paid advertising:

In-Feed Ads

In-feed advertisements are exactly that: advertisements that are displayed within a user’s TikTok feed. As your audience members scroll through their For You Page, they encounter a mixture of content that is picked out via an algorithm, as well as content paid for by advertisers. It can be difficult to discern what content is organic and paid, as these ads are usually curated to make them feel seamless within a feed.

In-feed ads are great for driving referral traffic to your website. If you’re promoting a product, sale, or service, you might consider using in-feed ads first.


Top view ads are by far the most expensive and impressionable type of ads on offer. These adverts are displayed at the very top of a user’s feed, placing your brand front and centre.

Due to their bold nature, top view ads are excellent for brand awareness. Pushing products and services with an ad like this would be a less-than-ideal approach, as users tend to scroll past the first thing they see anyway.

Remember, these ads are the very first thing users will see on their TikTok journey for that  day. Make it exciting, bold, and entertaining.

Brand Takeover

Brand takeover ads are very much like Top view ads in the sense that they are displayed at the top of users’ feeds, except with the addition of a five second, unskippable section at the beginning of each ad.

These ads are best used to hook the attention of viewers within those first five seconds. Place the most important information of your advert here, make it engaging enough to keep watching, and you’re on to a winner.

Spark Ads

Like other paid social platforms, TikTok also has its own implementation of post boosting under the guise of Spark ads. If you have a post showcasing your product that has performed well or maybe even gone viral, you can use Spark ads to give them an added jolt of visibility.

Spark Ads are great for boosting your brand’s authenticity on TikTok. Content that is created solely for paid success can sometimes appear very blatant, whereas Spark Ads feel more like the usual type of algorithmically curated content that a user would normally see.

TikTok Considerations for Beauty Brands

With the basics out of the way, let’s look at some more beauty specific tips for TikTok:

Never Forget Influencers

Before jumping straight to paid advertisements, it helps to first consider your options with influencers. Influencers are an incredibly powerful tool on social media, bringing with them the power to introduce your brand to a sizable audience in just one simple post.

Collaborating on content, sponsoring videos and gifting products are just a few of the ways you can get started with influencer marketing.

If you feel like learning more about the subject, we’ve got you covered: 6 Tips For A Top-Performing Influencer Marketing Strategy.

Use the Right Language

TikTok advertising regulations are as strict as anywhere else. That’s why it’s so important to adhere to them when advertising your beauty products.

There are risks of advertisements being rejected depending on the type of claims they make. Beauty products can often be misconstrued as having health benefits, which is something TikTok heavily regulates. Before publishing your advert, we sincerely recommend that you cross-reference your phrasings with TikTok’s Industry Entry Policy to avoid any delays.

Target the Right People

TikTok provides the ability to segment your audience depending on how much money they spend. High spenders can be split out to avoid improper targeting to those who are more financially restricted, which provides advertisers another layer of intricacy with the ads they publish.

By doing this, you can create adverts for your premium, mid-range, and lower end products that all get delivered to the people who are most likely to buy them.

Rinse & Repeat

Trends come and go, so there’s never really a justification for just having an advert run continuously. TikTok ads are susceptible to the dreaded “ad fatigue”, a case where your creatives have run their course and come to a natural plateau of both viewership, engagement, and most importantly, ROI.

As a result, try to refresh your visuals every 2 to 4 weeks. This will allow you to benchmark what type of adverts perform best, while paving the way for improvements in the future.

Keep it Natural

On TikTok, polished content typically doesn’t perform as well as organic-looking content. Content that isn’t created on the platform sticks out like a sore thumb; and it’s enough to really put a pause to your advertising success.

For starters, try and piece together your adverts using TikTok’s own posting tool. There, you’ll have access to trending audio clips, filters, voice overs, etc. All of this will help your content blend in to a user’s feed.

Integrate Your Storefront

We cannot stress this final point enough: Integrate. Your. store front. Whether it’s Shopify, Woocommerce or another platform, doing so allows you to sell products directly from within the TikTok app, removing yet another barrier placed in front of your potential customers.

Setting this up takes a matter of seconds, and gives you access to all sorts of statistics that can be tied directly with your TikTok analytics.

How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on TikTok?

Like all other types of digital advertising, TikTok’s cost structure is scalable depending on the amount of views or impressions your campaign receives. Costs begin at just £8.26 CPM (Cost Per Mille/Cost Per Thousand Impressions), and advertisers are required to spend at least £400 on a campaign. But every campaign spend should be bespoke depending on your goals and the specific market you’re operating in.

Brand Spotlight: Cult Beauty

One of the best TikTok examples we’ve seen comes from Cult Beauty. After scrutinising its progress on the platform, we’ve seen some genuinely brilliant utilisation. Here’s what Alex had to say:

“I almost see Cult Beauty’s TikTok as a reference sheet for other brands to follow. While not being a beauty brand itself, Cult does an excellent job of showcasing a wide range of products through a mixture of both influenced and organically-created content.”

Product hauls, shop floor tours and look tutorials are everywhere to be seen, so it’s no surprise that the brand has gained almost 50k followers in little over 2 years.

“Scrolling through the feed, it’s almost impossible to determine where the paid content starts and the organic content begins, which is really an ideal scenario.”

Consumers, especially those looking for beauty products, are much more clued up these days, and are less susceptible to obvious advertisements and false language. This is something Cult Beauty has clearly recognised on its TikTok.

Need Help with Paid Social Media? Foundation Can Help

With these initial considerations, your beauty brand is in a strong starting position for plenty of ROI on your next advertising campaign.

At Foundation, we take the hard work of managing campaigns, budgets and objective setting away. With a portfolio of both high profile and independent beauty brands, our team of beauty experts can give your brand the digital attention it deserves. Speak to one of our paid media specialists for a consultation session, today.

Insights Uncategorized

The Latest Look: What Happened in Beauty Last Year

2022: The first year since pre-pandemic days where we didn’t have a lockdown. Covid-19 saw many industries, beauty included, adapting to be successful online without the luxury of trying products in-person. With the restrictions now fully lifted, people are back to shopping in stores – but the way they find and choose their makeup and beauty products may never be the same as it once was.

Virtual influences, on platforms like TikTok and Instagram in particular, are more impactful than ever as we continue to style ourselves based on the recommendations of posts-gone-viral.  

What’s more, the international borders of the beauty industry are continuing to blur as brands adapt to the climate with where and how they sell. Feel Unique’s website finally changed over to Sephora, and Morphe made the decision to close all their US stores, both choosing to prioritise the online space to gain more traction internationally.

With beauty being such a major talking point online, trends are quick to come and go in all three products, styles and brands. So, what were the most popular brands and products of 2022, and how do they compare to the year before?

How Much is the Beauty Industry Worth Worldwide?

As of 2022, the global beauty industry is worth approximately $528.6 billion, or £433.2 billion. If current trends continue at the rate they are, then it’s expected that its worth in 2023 will be higher still, at $571.1 billion or £468 billion. This marks an 8% increase year-on-year.

While its worth dropped briefly between 2019 and 2020, every year has seen a steady incline ever since. In the last year, what have been the brands and products driving this revenue?

Top Beauty Industry Trends 2022

We looked at Google search data to find out which brands were defined by which products in 2022. The top beauty marketing trends of 2022 were widely dictated by social media, particularly as many brands have chosen to prioritise their online shops in recent years. So, which brands’ products are beauty lovers interested in most? Let’s review.


Every year, the most popular way to style eyebrows is something that drastically changes. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Julia Fox amongst other names were all seen sporting the bleached brow look this year, whereas laminated brows took off on TikTok for the DIY beauty-lovers.

A staple in all beauty boxes, eyebrow pencils were searched for alongside the brand name Benefit most often in 2022, with an average of 2,900 monthly searches. While the likes of NYX and Revolution became popular for styling soap brows, it seems that nobody can quite knock Benefit off their eyebrow throne.


The most searched-for beauty product by quite some margin, foundation was searched for most often in conjunction with NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, and bareMinerals, respectively. In fact, ‘nars foundation’ saw a monthly search volume of 40,500 throughout 2022 – 7,000 more than Charlotte Tilbury.

Soft skin was a very popular look throughout 2022, with people looking for a natural, delicate finish. To do so, higher-end foundations became more popular, as these typically make it easier to achieve a flawless, ‘no makeup’ finish.

Back to Basics

Concealer and mascara have had the highest increase in searches in 2022. Both of these had a monthly average of 18,100 searches for their top associated brand, compared to 14,800 in 2021.

Nars have held onto their crown as the most searched-for concealer last year, likely in part because Nars is the most popular foundation. People like to perfectly match the products they use for their base, so will often buy concealer and foundation from the same brand.

Setting in Style

When it comes to finalising your makeup, setting powders are perfect for doing just that. With 2,900 average monthly searches, Huda Beauty is the brand most often searched for alongside the phrase ‘setting powder’, retaining its crown and improving on its average of 880 searches in 2021.

If you want to go the extra level, setting spray makes your makeup long-lasting, so that you don’t have to touch up throughout the day. Urban Decay have always been at the top of the list when it comes to search volume for this product, but in 2022, Charlotte Tilbury caught up, matching Urban Decay at 12,100 average monthly Google searches.

Interestingly, Charlotte Tilbury was also the most searched for brand in 2022 in conjunction with highlighter, blusher, and lipstick, too.

The All-Rounders

Over the course of the year, some brands ranked highly on their own, regardless of the product you paired their name with in your search.

Some more generalised self-care brands, like The Body Shop and Lush, have ranked highly this year because of their pre-established industry-leading status. Other brands with higher competition, however, could have products going viral to thank.

With over 62.7 million views on the TikTok hashtag #olaplexno3, it’s safe to say that TikTok has been a leading reason behind the success of this brand over 2021. Similarly, Elf saw a burst in popularity following the release of their Power Grip primer last year. Elf was already doing well in the realm of primer, as its Poreless Putty Primer has been well-known for some time. With both of these products now being among the industry’s most popular primers, #elfprimer on TikTok currently has over 46.7 million views.

With all that in mind, below are the top ten searched for beauty brands in 2022.

BrandAvg. Monthly SearchesThree-Month ChangeYear-on-Year Change
the body shop450,00050%-18%
charlotte tilbury450,000173%22%
St. Ives201,000-55%83%
the ordinary135,00083%22%
beauty pie110,00023%23%

Beauty Marketing Trends with Foundation

At Foundation, we can help you and your brand grow by providing insights into beauty industry analysis, strategy, and campaign performance. Our team specialises in digital marketing within the beauty industry, so we can keep you in the know of the relevant search landscape, complete competitor analysis, and more.

Find out more today about how we can help by getting in touch.

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