Public speaking is a bete noir for me..it’s a toss up between that and a root canal.  So I’ve politely declined a few invitations to speak at beauty conferences lately, but one topic I think is fascinating at the moment – and will ruffle more feathers – is the power of social media influencers.

This power may gradually be dwindling, however, as brands start to run smaller campaigns across wider/more “credible” platforms and people. Zoella may have a massive following, but are her followers the ones you really want, if your product is really for more mature skin/very holistic/etc.etc.etc? Various polls/predictions tell us that brands will be throwing even more money at social media influencers next year – but investing in, throwing money at, and throwing money away are three different things.

Keeping it real

The Beauty Shortlist Awards and Mama & Baby Awards

 NO ads, NO sponsors, NO voting

We all know by now that the bigger the following, the smaller the “real” engagement. Brands are gradually shying away from the “big numbers” influencers to ones with fewer, but more relevant, more interactive, followers. In other words…people that might actually BUY that new SPF/age-enhancing/multi-tasking primer, not just comment on a photo of it. This is not brand new news but there is a definite turning of the tide and it looks like it’s accelerating. With the need for authenticity and transparency at an all time high in a very crowded beauty/food/health arena, how do brands keep it real, how do consumers know who to trust – and what’s the answer here, basically?

As you may know, we are not running sponsored posts or ads, although one thing I am possibly looking at is collaborating on campaigns that will have authenticity and longevity. More of an ambassador role, and just for a very few brands – handful, even, alongside consulting/brand development and retail placement.

I’m recovering from unexpected surgery at the moment, and our Mama & Baby Awards close on Friday 19 May, so I’ll keep this short for now as this week is one of the busiest of the year.  But I will do a post on the rise of microinfluencers and what works, and doesn’t (anymore) in influencer marketing. What are the real keys to a successful campaign? And what does the road ahead, as far as we can see it, look like?

If you’d like to take part, contribute, predict, share your thoughts, agree/disagree, the podium’s yours (!) it would be a great to hear from you and you can drop me a line or comment below. It’ll probably run just before or after the Baby Awards which are on Thursday 15 June (entries close SOON, so please make sure you catch that deadline in time!)

(To enter the 2017 MAMA & BABY AWARDS please email: hannahbeautyshortlist@gmail.com for the next steps on how to wrap things up ahead of the last day this Friday. Entries will close at 5pm UK time).













May beauty spotlight (eyebrows)


  1. Great topic Fiona and being in the business for 20 years now I actually find some relief in people wanting and looking for the ‘real deal’ or even just keeping it real in following the brand, product, company, person whom they resonate with at that particular moment. I hear more often than not that everyone is up to their ears with information overload – so it’s nice for people to remember that they actually have a voice of their own – and they can listen to it without being influenced by ‘someone’ outside of themselves. I know it’s natural to share information – and in most cases it’s the most authentic way to make a sale – because you DO trust your best friend or mother etc etc…but the question for me is if it’s a complete stranger – then what is it that you are really buying in to? So, yes, I agree that this is a topic worth uncovering and examining – especially for the younger generation. Anyway, your voice and topic is refreshing! I hope you heal quickly and wishing you a beautiful spring.

    • Fiona - Beauty Shortlist says:

      Hi Trish, Thank you! How lovely to hear from you. We do need more genuine voices to calm down the scrambled, hyped buzz all the time. I hope all’s well and catch up soon x

  2. Firstly sending healing vibes your way Fi! It’s interesting/ironic that ‘big’ blogs have become more and more like glossy magazines in terms of production values as well as content. The overwhelming majority of content in mags is paid for in some shape whether declared advertorial or not and are not trusted credible sources for info for me. I don’t think I’ve ever read an non-glowing product review in one! And so it is with some influencers. The good thing though is that it does make authentic influencers stand out and having an audience’s trust is a special thing. When you say you love a product, I want to check it out – that’s real influence not just a gazillion likes. x

    • sorry hit before i’d finished! I do think it’s a good thing that they are now declaring #ad #spon now. If brands want to throw money at you I can see why that would be hard to resist for some so I think brands have a big role to play in how this evolves. If they just want quantity over quality then not much will change.

    • Beauty Shortlist says:

      Yes! “This month we’re loving…” in XYZ glossy mag…”such and such a brand” (who’ve got a double page spread a few pages along) Let’s see what happens!! Thanks for your comments, I’ll mention you in the upcoming post! x

  3. I have often noticed on my two years blogging that comments/ likes etc are limited from big numbers, maybe there is room for us all, great post. Lyn x

    • Beauty Shortlist says:

      Yes let’s see how it all pans out…would love to Fast Forward and have a sneak peek! x

  4. This is something we as a brand are hotly debating right now and developing our own strategy we believe in. At the end of the day we feel you can’t replace authenticity and genuineness. Our customers deserve that from us and equally people we collaborate with. Thanks again for your support and interest in us! Watch this space….

    • Beauty Shortlist says:

      Definitely will keep an eye open, looking forward to hearing more and by the way thanks for creating a fab brand. Two thumbs up from our Men’s Grooming judges!

  5. This is such a hot topic, one that I have been mulling over for some time. Here, in South Africa, a lot of brands are still going for the bug number “influencer” route. Most of it is quite heavy-handed product placement and relies on quantity of engagement, rather than quality of engagement. The idea of micro-influencers is a step in the right direction, but perhaps we need to move beyond the idea of influencers. Hope you feel 100% soon and the awards go well. R

    • Beauty Shortlist says:

      “I think we need to move beyond the idea of influencers” – yes – exactly my thoughts a few months ago when I was pondering this subject! Thanks for stopping by (and I’m on the road to recovery, thanks for your good wishes too!)

  6. Lisa barrett says:

    Hi Fiona. You’re right I think, the tide does seem to be turning. Especially so since the ‘fake followers’ debacle that was going a couple of weeks ago. I believe brands really need to think about who they collaborate with carefully and not just go shooting off willy nilly with those with huge followings. Not saying huge followings are a bad think, of course not! Many have worked damn hard to get those followers and if they’re genuine that’s great. But, brands need to dig a little deeper with bloggers who are perhaps a little under the radar but have a really loyal and trusting following. It’s interesting times and I’m excited to see what happens next! 🙂

    • Beauty Shortlist says:

      Absolutely, it is going to be really interesting, I think whoever comes up with a fresh, new and real/effective way of marketing online/via SM is going to pioneer a new direction and rattle a lot of cages. I can’t think of what it might be right now (!) but totally agree…interesting times. Let’s see how the land lies in about 2 yrs time! I’m secretly hoping for someone to turn things upside down as I just yawn when I see #ad #spon beside almost every post on some Instagrammers’ feeds. There are still some influencers who I believe/respect but the numbers have shrunk as quickly as a delicate damp cotton T-shirt in a very hot dryer…thanks for saying hello! Proper post to come…and let me know if you want me to include you!x