Social Media and the Beauty Industry

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Millennials are completely integrated into the tech world which makes platforms like social media a prime opportunity for marketers to reach them. One report by Deloitte found that 47% of millennials say their purchase decisions are influenced by social media. While, in all other age groups, only 19% say social media influences purchasing decisions. When shopping, Millennials use social media as a way to receive input from their peers on what products and services are best to use, rather than paying attention to the marketing messages of the brands themselves. Consumers who include social media as part of their shopping process are four times more likely to spend more money on purchases. They’re also 29% more likely to make a purchase on the same day when using social media to make purchase decisions. Normal marketing material is no longer enough to influence the way consumers think about your brand and products. Statistics like these can greatly help brands to leverage millennials’ relationship with social media in order to drive sales.

VP of brand marketing at Ulta Beauty, Shelley Haus says, “Social media is shaping consumer behavior. Scrolling through Instagram, the pictures and videos bring things to life in a way that’s superabsorbable. [Consumers] go to Instagram for beauty inspiration and to learn how to wear this or do that. They relate in a really visual way, and they are getting a sense of urgency.”

With the increasing popularity of video on social media, as well as the new ability to post videos to Instagram, it’s now easier than ever for beauty brands to get their content in front of followers and also allows them to demonstrate exactly how the product is intended to be used. Social-media platforms like Instagram and YouTube have changed the way that brands market and consumers purchase.

Social media personalities, or “influencers,” are also having a massive impact on the way brands promote products. Collaboration and sponsorship with influencers is now par for the course. According to the results of the BuzzMyVideos Online Video Barometer, conducted independently by OnePoll, 95% of people searching for beauty content head to YouTube to watch makeup-related videos and get beauty advice with 98% of respondents reporting positive feelings towards beauty products featured in online videos watched. It has also been revealed that nearly half of all respondents turn to online beauty videos to find out how to do something at least a few times a week.

By building trust and authority online, as well as creating a place for fans to discover and discuss new products, customer feedback and word of mouth recommendations can naturally occur. Social media also provides brands with a way to more easily interact with its online community, so they are able to create a conversational cycle that can be beneficial to both the consumer and the brand.

While new social media platforms are appearing all the time, but it’s not necessarily about jumping on the bandwagon for each new platform, but rather, figuring out which platform works best for the brand and its audience and which content works best on each platform. Social media channels have created immediacy that brands are forced to keep up with if they want to see growth.

The power of social media has also given rise to a new breed of brands that live primarily online and has propelled existing brands into exponential sales increases. Social media’s impact has been seen primarily with makeup, but marketers are looking to soon apply their insights to other categories, such as hair care and skin care next. The lessons about what works—and what doesn’t—are being applied across the board. So far, the mix includes initiating affiliate programs, linking with social media influencers on limited-edition products, and celebrating user-generated content.