With people spending more time on the internet and less time watching television, having a strong online presence through social media is absolutely crucial for cosmetics brands.
It is important to take into consideration what the company's goals are for its page whether it be to sell products, gain followers, persuade an audience, or all of the above.
However, identifying the company's goals is not the entire picture-consumers must know who you are as a brand. Investing in social media builds a reputation and creates a personality for your brand. As studies have shown, especially through viewing rates of vloggers, consumers crave an intimate and personal touch and if your company can develop that aspect in its social media, it will undeniably grow in the long run.
The next important step in focusing on your social media, is deciding which platforms best suit your brand's image. Facebook has over 1 billion users and has multiple different demographics that utilize the site, which makes it a perfect platform for spreading brand awareness and promotion.
When it comes to creating a dialogue between your brand and the consumers, Twitter is an essential tool. Twitter allows consumers to control the trends through hashtagging and provides an opportunity for brands to respond to those trends. Twitter also makes room for beauty brands to respond to customers, makeup artists, and celebrities who are wearing their products, which creates a sense of trust and loyalty towards the brand. Since the cosmetics industry is heavily image-based, Instagram is excellent for visuals, trends, and storytelling.
Many beauty brands have endeavoured to create 15 second long how-to hair and makeup tutorials that have revolutionized video and fulfilled the desire of an audience whose attention span has grown smaller and smaller. Currently, Dior and Chanel dominate the video and image based content on social media and both have utilized Instagram's 15 second videos, not just for makeup how-to's, but also for sneak peeks for new campaigns, behind the scenes glimpses, and runway clips.
Keep in mind that social media is about quality, not quantity. Cultivating valuable and shareable content is crucial. In a recent study by Entrepreneur.com, data proved that articles and posts that contain images receive 94% more views, and images in tweets receive two times as many views as text posts. Although it may be tempting, try to avoid an over use of memes. Meme culture is something that is always evolving, changing as soon as every two weeks and therefore, by the time they make it to mainstream culture, they typically are no longer relevant. Not only is relevancy an issue when it comes to memes, but it is also a question as to whether or not they appropriately reflect your brand.
In regards to timeliness, digital media is continually pushing brands to react quickly and to engage regularly. The brands that succeed in this, create personalized messages through their content and carry out the content in a way that their audience wants to receive it. Timing is all about creating the right content, executing at the right time, and delivering in the right location.
Creating valuable content is one half of the story, but a company can not solely rely on that-they must also be able to engage and respond to their audiences. Social media is a tool in which anyone and everyone can engage in the conversation and is one of the quickest ways to spread word of mouth. Therefore, by penetrating and participating in the conversation on social media, beauty brands can start a dialogue with its consumers and begin to understand what consumers want.
So what do consumers want from their favourite brands' social media pages? To feel that they are heard, to feel as though they know who the brand is, and to be inspired. In a recent Sticky Eye report, it was revealed that consumers prefer visual content that is video and image based, which accounts for about 40% of content consumed in cosmetics. Cosmetic consumers also want to review what others feel about a product before they purchase a product, which can be useful to brands in understanding the importance of sharing content on their social media page and sharing what other consumers have thought of the product, or how they chose to use that product.
Engagement is the key factor at maintaining a successful online presence through social media. The Sticky Eye report claims that "MAC cosmetics has the most developed social strategy, carefully balancing the volume of penetration points with an audience that is engaged, informed, and entertained."
So who are some of the brands to be watching on social media? MAC surpasses all other beauty brands when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. MAC consistently is posting how to wear certain products; conversing with makeup artists, followers, and celebrities who are using and wearing their products; talking about its involvement with charities and donations they are a part of; sharing behind the scene features; and taking photos of people wearing their products at certain events, such as Coachella.
Although Rimmel does not have as many followers as cosmetics brands such as MAC or Dior, it has proven that it engages far more with its followers and creates a brand loyalty that is a force to be acknowledged. Rimmel retweets followers that mention them and who talk about their products; encourages bloggers to talk about their products and to share their thoughts on them; uses sense of humour in its online presence; hosts contests to win tickets; and provides information as to where to buy their products.
Beauty brands who have become successful over social media platforms understand that it is important to build trust and to create a sense of community around their brand. It is also important to keep in mind that there exists and interdependence between sales and reputation. A brand's reputation can be further cultivated through social media by maintaining consistency in the overall message of their page and by responding to negative feedback.
Consumers are not just looking to see a celebrity as a source of influence, but they are also demanding that brands themselves become influencers through conversation. It is vital that beauty brands keep the conversation with its followers going all year and not just during peak seasons.