A great social media strategy: the future for beauty brands in 2014
15/04/2014 by The Red Tree
We asked Nidhima Kohli, Founder of mybeautycompare.com, to outline why beauty brands should invest in a social media strategy, and how brands with an existing strategy can take their campaigns from good to great. MyBeautyCompare, beauty’s ‘match.com meets moneysupermarket.com’, was also delighted to feature in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 11th April.
Social Media has become another key tasks for each brand to work on. It does not matter if you are a startup or a company that has been running for many many years, this is on the to do list for each company. Online sales in 2013 increased 13%, so having a good social media strategy to further increase online sales should be on the priority list for 2014.
At MyBeautyCompare, social media has played a big part in our company’s success. We are match.com meets moneysupermarket.com for beauty. As we have created a completely new and innovative way to shop for beauty it was extremely difficult to get our message out there without wanting to spend the budget for a T.V advertisement or a big PR company. Bigger brands also suffer with the same issues as for online sales everybody is always fighting for the “eyeballs” to increase sales and this is becoming increasingly difficult across all multimedia channels.
Brands and companies from Dove to Space N.K are all investing in their social media strategy and so should everybody else. Here is why:
Top 10 reasons beauty companies should invest in their social media strategy:
It allows brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors
It helps build brand awareness
It helps brands understand for free what their customers are a looking for
It helps you generate more traffic to your website and thus sales
It is a free channel to grow your newsletter database
It helps you promote any offers or giveaways you have for free
It allows you to find great testimonials for your own marketing
It helps you build an online community that loves you
It contributes towards your SEO
It is a great path for customer relationship management and allows you to even ask for feedback to help with new product developments.
We did a survey of over 3000 women and found that 73% of women look for ways to save money when buying beauty products and 96% of women check prices before they by. Social media really helped us to gather this unbiased information too and all for free. We then managed to connect with the same users and let them know that we are the first price comparison site for beauty. This is a clear example how to leverage off a digital age community, understand your potential customers better and then deliver your product and marketing strategy for new business according to your findings. At the same time you build a community of fans that follow you across all social media channels and promote it to their friends and do the hard work for you.
Social Media also helped build brand awareness as it allowed us to run competitions and enable sharing of posts to build a much bigger community of ambassadors. It helped us understand better what different age groups are more interested in when it comes to skin care tips or hair products and which ones are more keen to learn about how to recreate certain makeup looks. Also if there was any feedback, we would find out easily through facebook and twitter and the response rate was much faster than the conventional email channel which allows us to improve the product much faster.
Social Media is also the 3rd biggest resource for most companies to get online referrers for their company as well as contributing to their SEO, creating a free and additional revenue channel for every company not to miss out on. There are also several other benefits, for instance through social media we received some amazing testimonials from dermatologists to customers. This on the other hand helped us towards our seo and brand awareness further and more people contributed to our competitions. The impact of this for any brand is quite substantial. Through our research we found that the biggest influence on any shopping decisions is done through peer recommendations, 63.27% to be exact, and once we found this out we could implemented it in the ethos of our social recommendations for product matching. I.e. busy women want to discover what is the right eye cream for them based on their skin concerns, age, and more and through social media we managed to spread the message that through us customers can discover unbiased personalised product recommendations.
One may think that spreading the message across several social media channels can be quite time consuming, however in this digital age there are several tools all companies should be aware of to enhance their social media strategy.
Top 5 tools to use to improve your social media strategy
1. Hootsuite to schedule posts in advance across many multi media channels
2. Bitly to find real time analytics on your social media sites
3. Topsy to find the key influencers for your competitors
4. Local Response to see what people are chatting about and then build targeted adds
5. Sprout Social to do all the above but a little more advanced to use
Which social media channels to use?
There is no such thing as 1 size fits all, it really depends on the ethos of your business. For instance if you want people to discover your new brand then youtube could be great. If you want to build brand awareness for an older age group as well as for a younger age group then facebook is a great option. If you want to bring big traffic to your website and have amazing images then pinterest would be the best option to focus on. If you want to build relationships with journalists or an online community of fans then twitter would be the best. There is also google+, tumblr, vine, etc just to name a few more. A company will probably have to put some heads together, focus on what is priority and then focus on which social media channel can help them achieve their goals.
Our top 5 picks on companies running a great social media strategy:
1. Herbal Essence. Their facebook page is great as they have many videos and testimonials from users: https://www.facebook.com/herbalessences?fref=ts
2. Dove. They have a facebook page with a great example of how to build an online community: https://www.facebook.com/DoveUKI?fref=ts
3. Birchbox. They have done a great job using youtube by sending many vloggers boxes of products, asking them to talk about it and get many followers and customers through youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/birchboxtv
4. @MyBeautyCompare 22.4k followers 6 weeks after being beta is an example for how to use social media to promote competitions and build relationships.
5. Bloom have done a great job at creating visual content from makeup artists who can showcase their work: http://www.pinterest.com/bloomdotcom/
Top tips on how to start or improve your social media strategy:
The most important task to remember is to not do everything at once. If you have a facebook page, first concentrate on building your facebook business page before you start a pinterest page. The second main tip is to remember to engage with your followers and add a personality to it. If it sounds dry and very corporate like, then most “social media fans” are put off. Third tip is, if you have done something wrong or a fan does not agree with you, then this is a great way to communicate with them for and build a voice for your channel. Do not ignore the ones that do not always respond “positively”. Any feedback is a great is always beneficial so embrace it.
We hope other companies can also experience the benefits of social media and make the most of the social media tools and learn from our top 5 examples.
For more from MyBeautyCompare, contact Nidhima Kohli via Linked In or follow her on twitter @NidhimaKohli.
The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.
Middle East Beauty Hub
Explore our series of articles uncovering the intersection of tradition, innovation, and regulation within the nuanced Middle Eastern beauty markets.
Female Founders: The Lip Gloss Gap
Our series of articles highlighting how the UK beauty industry plays a vital part in closing the female fundraising gap.
New to the beauty industry? Our Founder Hub series brings together an array of articles covering topics from the costs of starting a new brand, to our recommended branding agencies.
Meet The Team
Get to know each of The Red Tree team members with our interview series. From our favourite campaigns to tips on how to enter the beauty industry.
Our series of articles exploring our fitness test for beauty brands. The unique RaceFit™ questionnaire allows you to quickly review the 7 building blocks crucial to brand success.
The Beauty Accelerator™
Read our series of articles focusing on The Beauty Accelerator™, which sees one emerging independent beauty brand receive equity investment plus the knowledge and expertise of The Red Tree.