ColourPop: Best Practices Guide for Instagram

Adriana Vasseur
4 min readFeb 20, 2021

ColourPop Cosmetics is an American cosmetic brand founded in 2014 by sibling entrepreneurs Laura and John Nelson. This duo saw social media as a perfect way to create this brand and market all products through Instagram versus drugstore shelves. Since then, ColourPop has had major online success on Instagram because of their consistent posting and their engaging audience. Below are a few of their best practices on Instagram:

Best Practices:

  1. ColourPop posts about 3–4 times a day. Given that this brand was created with the sole purpose of marketing their products on Instagram, they do a great job at posting multiple times throughout the day to keep their audience engaged and their content relevant.
  2. Constant collaborations with different influencers. ColourPop collaborates with a different influencer each month so the brand is not connected to one single influencer, but a variety of different ones.

3. Offer regular giveaways. ColourPop runs regular giveaways in order to increase brand engagement in a different way. In the picture on the left, you can see an example of what they did for their Valentine’s day giveaway which got over 110,000 likes and almost 20,000 comments.

4. Utilize a full range of video format. When it comes to a beauty brand, it’s important to show consumers how the product can be used. ColourPop uses IGTV and Reels to show their consumers how their products can be used and easily applied.

Voice and Tone

ColourPop’s goal is to emphasize their slogan “beauty that doesn’t break the bank.” Their voice and tone on Instagram does just that. It informs consumers that their products are made for everyone at an affordable cost. They focus on trying to make fun content by utilizing vibrant colors and using emojis in their posts by also trying to stay informative to their audience.

Responding to customers

This picture shows how ColourPop is constantly engaging with their own audience by replying to customers. Engaging with your customers humanizes the brand by letting consumers know there is actually someone behind the screen, versus an automated reply. Even something as simple as the comments seen to the left will drive up engagement and bring authenticity to the brand.

Applying Best Practices to Instagram

Do’s and Don’t for Captions


The ideal length for Instagram captions is between 138–150 characters. The image on the left is a perfect exmaple of an ideal Instagram post. It shows how ColourPop created a short and simple caption to promote the launch of their new heart shaped blushes for Valentine’s day. The caption is straight to the point by stating the launch date and time and does not go in to any detail about ingredients in the product, etc. The caption uses one simple emoji relevant to the product launch versus having an overwhelming amount of emojis. Having a simple caption increases the chances of your caption being read by your audience instead of overwhelming them with an abundance of information.


It is important to not overwhelm your audience with a lot of information at once. Keeping captions short, simple, and to the point is the way to go. The image on the left shows an example of an exceedingly long caption. The full caption is about 510 characters long. A good way to determine if your caption is too long is if your audience has to click the “more” button to reveal more text. Compared to the previous post on heart shaped blushes, this post had significantly less likes and one reason could definitely be due to the long caption. Viewers tend to stop reading captions after the first sentence, so having a caption longer than 150 characters will lose the attention of your audience.

User generated content

ColourPop uses a variety of user generated content on a daily basis. Most of their posts revolve around the type of UGC that their audience would want to see. Below is a picture from their most recent UGC post highlighting a makeup artist.

ColourPop is constantly using UGC to reach their audience in a new way. It shows consumers the many different people that are using their products and it allows ColourPop to highlight people using their products and make them feel included. UGC is great way to connect with your consumers and build authentic relationships.


ColourPop Instagram