Beauty business embraces social media

Beauty marketing budgets allocations are shifting rapidly to reflect the surge of on line usage via social media.

Beauty companies have embraced social media in order to reach target audiences better than relying solely on traditional media channels.

According to Estee Lauder, women looking for beauty information are always in the top 5 searches on Google and You Tube.

A Total Beauty Media Group study highlights the role of web searches to research products, read reviews, seek value and share beauty product tips. There is a noticeable trend for increasingly detailed searches to assist in beauty products choice – a study by Demand Media claims 80% of beauty search queries have 5 or more words.

But these big trends go beyond search activity – there are allegedly 8000 English language blogs dedicated to beauty globally. It is claimed that more than 45% of all online beauty conversations come via blogs globally. Such ‘citizen journalism’ puts greater pressure on the role of the traditional beauty press.

A study by blogher and DeVries PR claim that blogs are twice as likely to drive beauty products purchases than magazines, reflecting the importance of seeking advice, tips in products usage, and perhaps even a scepticism in traditional advertising claims. ‘Advice from friends’ is seen as the number 1 influence on beauty consumers and 35-49 year old women are a particularly fast growing group within the blogosphere.

L’Oreal see social media as the vehicle to open up new opportunities for interaction between brands and their consumers so their recent announcements of significant increases in on-line and eCommerce investment comes as no surprise. Their US digital spend now equates to 10% of overall advertising outlay and L’Oreal brands now have a claimed 20 million Facebook  fans.

Smaller beauty brands are exploiting social media to achieve targeted communication where more bangs per buck can be achieved than using traditional media on a tighter budget.

What does the future hold ? Here are 3 areas for beauty brand owners :

Firstly, an evolution in social media usage by beauty brands as the take up of smartphone technology will drive the development of beauty apps. Estee Lauder claim 50% of selected brand sales in Japan are via mobile devices.

Secondly, the coordinated planning of blogging and social media campaigns alongside traditional media spend in the same way that maximum impact could be gained by joining up consumer media and trade promotional events.

Thirdly, the development of greater accountability for digital spend  – a focus on ROI measures for digital media beyond  levels of consumer interaction, product referrals within the social media traffic and more towards sales conversions and the associated profits.

Such changes present both challenges and opportunities for the smaller beauty brand owners or challenger brands.

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