Actress. Mom. Beauty pro. Scandal star Kerry Washington wears a lot of hats, but despite a full schedule, she stays connected with her fans through her social media channels. Washington recently sat down with InStyle's editorial director Ariel Foxman during South By Southwest in Austin to discuss her social media strategy, and said that she gets some of her most valuable feedback from her followers.
For example, when she was named a global brand ambassador for Neutrogena, her mission was to help build out the beauty company's makeup options. "They approached me about coming to work with the company because I have kind of a know-how in the beauty space," says Washington. "I spend all day in makeup every day. But when they signed me, there was literally not a single Neutrogena foundation that matched my skin." Washington explained that when her deal with Neutrogena was announced, the response on social media was overwhelming. "People wondered, 'How could they possibly bring Kerry Washington on when they don't even have a foundation that fits her?'"
Washington says that the social media response made her all the more motivated to work on expanding the brand's offerings. "Neutrogena is one of the few lines where I really believe in the science of the company," she says. "And they tracked every single social media response, so when we re-launched, each person who commented received a letter signed by me saying thank you. It's an amazing experience to be able to say to a woman of color that her voice matters. It's so rewarding, and that wouldn't have been possible without social media."