In the Spotlight: How the beauty industry uses social media

The beauty and cosmetics industry is fierce. With so many companies competing for the attention of the consumer, and the consumer more empowered than ever before, it’s become a marketing minefield. Social media seems to have levelled the playing field for beauty brands and opened up the platform for the smaller brands to shine, while also making the bigger brands work harder for their coveted position.

When a head social media representative from L’Oreal recently announced that she’s bored of Pinterest, it got me thinking about how the rest of the beauty and cosmetics industry is using social media.

Blogger Outreach

Bloggers are powerful; beauty and fashion bloggers in particular. So it makes sense that the PR arms of beauty brands are always striving to build stronger exclusive relationships with the cream of the crop. There have even been stories of bloggers and Internet personalities progressing into brand advocate roles. The most famous example of this is P’Trique (of Sh*t Girls Say fame) announcing a new face of Maybelline.

Another approach is to go the other way: find a celebrity and turn them into a blogger. Escentual managed to secure Binky from Made in Chelsea as their resident blogger.

User Generated Content

Beauty products aren’t something you can just write about, they’re a real show and tell affair. User generated content is one way that beauty brands reach out to their audience, and let them do the marketing. This approach obviously relies on confidence in your product, and a cult status wouldn’t hurt matters. Models Own, the nail polish brand, are a prime example of how user generated content can work wonders for a brand. They use Twitter to showcase their users nail art.

Online Video

In the beauty industry, tutorials and how-to guides are big news. L’Oreal Paris dominates the branded tutorial videos with their epic YouTube channel crammed with how-to guides and content that is genuinely useful. They’ve amassed over 2 million views, so they must be doing something right.

Community Over Sales

One of the interesting differences in the way MAC Cosmetics uses social media is that there is little to no focus on sales. The tutorials and content speak for themselves, so there’s no need to push for sales, likes or shares. A strategy like this places sales and ROI on social media on the back burner, and instead allows them to focus on creating better content that users will want to share. Which in turn will result in an increase in sales.

The Take-Away

The beauty industry has their social media strategy spot on, even if different brands take different approaches. None of them are afraid to let their product do the talking for them, and also allow their fans to take the centre stage, without pushing excessive marketing messages in their faces.