How Glamour grew its social following by 500,000 in six months

Glamour UK, the Condé Nast women’s lifestyle title, has grown its social media following by half a million since February to reach over 8 million across platforms. This number is made up of its 3.3 million Facebook fans, other social media accounts and internal Google Analytics of its web traffic.

While worth noting this number doesn’t account for duplicates, it still represents a growth spurt compared to previous quarters. It’s being driven by Facebook Live and Instagram, rather than any notable growth in web traffic figures, according to Glamour publisher Jamie Jouning, who explained that internal restructuring has helped a more considered approach to platforms.

“We now have a full integration of our editorial teams, rather than a separate digital and print team,” he told Digiday. “This has led to a sharing of skills and responsibility, which is empowering. We’re putting in the tools to everyone’s hands to get digital out there.”

The number of people in the editorial team has remained at around 25 for the last six months. Now editorial is organized across sections like fashion, beauty, features and entertainment, with each team member creating content across all channels. There are several platform specific experts as part of the editorial team to advise staffers. To grow reach across platforms, Glamour took on several new hires in the form of Kat Brown, the current social media editor previously at Twitter, and a digital strategy director Natasha McNamara. During each morning editorial meeting, with all 40 Glamour staffers, the day’s content is discussed and divided up among the team.

“We have a more considered approach to social; it’s less scatter gun. We think about exactly which content goes where, that’s starting to have a positive impact on numbers and engagement,” said Jouning. “A testament of that is what we’re seeing on Facebook Live.”

Jouning pins much of the growth in its following on Facebook Live, which the publisher has been experimenting with from the beginning of the year, creating nine videos in June alone. June was a good month; data from Tubular Labs shows that during this month Glamour UK’s Facebook videos had over 8 million views, in April this was just 2.2 million, and in May 1 million.

The team is still developing its Facebook Live strategy. Every Thursday beauty director Alessandra Steinherr holds a clinic for beauty advice on Facebook Live, lasting around 50 minutes, giving tutorials on how to create wavy hair, or the best moisturising products in the summer. The last four videos have been getting around 25,000 views. More impress is that people are watching for upwards of 20 minutes. “Getting anyone to watch anything for 2o minutes is a success,” said Jouning.

“We know that expert advice in fashion and beauty goes down really well, one-to-one personal advice and guidance does well in the magazine, this live forum is fantastic way of bringing it forward,” he added. Glamour is not in the stable of publishers that gets an allowance from Facebook to create live video, and isn’t yet taking part in Facebook Live mid-live stream ad play either. Right now it isn’t making money from it.

Jouning estimates that the number of native campaigns the publisher has taken on has grown by approximately 50 percent, but was unable to give further details. He added that clients are adopting a more “native philosophy,” rather than asking custom solutions, like microsites.

In April, a campaign for retailer New Look for its Spring/Summer collection included Instagram shots of Glamour’s editors in four key pieces of the season ahead (these included the bomber, the slip dress, stripes), combined with an in-store event with Facebook Live streams and also Glamour created a geo-targeted Snapchat filter, a platform that Glamour has yet to make a splash on.

Glamour’s social strategy has also emphasized events. A key date in the Glamour UK’s diary is the Woman of the Year Awards, which takes place in June.  This year, the strategy was to create content for each platform: Instagram-only images of the winners leaving the stage, a Facebook Live from the red carpet. “It’s the quality of the content,” said Jouning. “It’s in an exclusive, private setting and not readily available anywhere else.”

Insta glamour
Native campaigns for Glamour have increased 50 percent year-on-year

Images courtesy of Glamour, via Facebook.

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