I don’t know if you know the term ‘disruptive media’. Brian Solis explains disruption in this context as ‘an act of disturbing or interrupting the norm and its effect is measured by the following series of events that unfold.’ He has some incredible insights HERE.
There isn’t a better term to describe what beauty blogging does in the beauty industry. I can’t get the words out of my head – I’m not looking at it from a business angle where disruptive technology is a common term, but more from a literal angle, because it is exactly what beauty blogging has done – disturbed the norm.
If anything, really thinking about disruption has made me slightly more sympathetic to brands who find it hard to make the leap or commitment to social media. Imagine companies who have guidelines on everything – who have departments dedicated to the smooth running, by the rule book, of absolutely every aspect to ensure the millions of wheels it takes to manage a brand or a company turn smoothly every day. And then, along comes blogging; unmanageable, unpredictable and uncontrollable – everything that any company should, quite rightly, treat with trepidation (if an individual was so described, they’d be pretty much unemployable).
You can then see why they rest so much trust on social media ‘experts’ – why any port in this sh*tstorm that has literally disrupted every last rule in their books is a welcome one. And yet, it’s impossible to predict when you drill it down to an individual level what beauty blogging is going to do next. I quite often describe my life as a blogger as always walking round corners – there is no defined, straight, one-way path and you just never know what you’re going to find on a day to day basis.
It’s no wonder that some of our biggest beauty brands have dipped their toes into the world of disruptive media and found it a little too hot for their liking. But, truly understanding bloggers and blogging is understanding that there can’t be a rule book. There can’t be umbrella policies that are applicable for all – we’re all too different – and in many ways brands have to take a leap of faith and that totally isn’t in their policy book! On a personal level, I think I’ve been too critical of brands finding it hard to make the jump into disruption and my approach has slightly softened.
I think the key lies in individuals; getting the right people to send the right messages in a way that bloggers want to hear. It’s not about policies, brand messaging or corporate ideals; it’s about people and how they communicate. I’ve said many times that (particularly) women have such a strong emotional connection to beauty that any feelings of manipulation (lash inserts in mascara ads as an example) pulls at strings that the suits don’t even realise exist.
So far, from my experience, the people best qualified to develop relationships in the beauty blogging world are the PRs who understand the wider emotional concept far better than any social media expert. So, rushing to call in ‘experts’ is often the very last thing they should do and instead recognise the experts that already exist right under their noses. #justsayin