Is Social Media a Waste of Time for Beauty Brands?
Maybe it is if…
- You don’t like knowing what your customers are saying about you
- You’d prefer to continue to spend large sums only on traditional advertising even if the audience is declining
- You’d rather not engage directly; preferring third parties to do it for you
- You’re not interested in maximising SEO
- You think that social proof and credibility aren’t beneficial to your business
Okay – so we’re playing devil’s advocate. But why then are so-o many beauty brands not active on the major social platforms? And too many of those who are, are still ‘pushing’ messages rather than pro-actively stimulating and responding to online conversations with their customers that will increase their social influence?
Why is Online Influence Important to Beauty Brands?
Having an online presence is essential to all brands irrespective of whether they benefit from retail or ecommerce sales. Customers will want to be able to locate you online, review your news, get to know the brand and your products better and seek the advice of others in the selection. Having a presence on at least the major social media platforms is essential, as there is interdependency between sales and reputation.
Customer loyalty has to be earned – and the brands that identify the most with their customers’ needs will be the ones that will be rewarded. It’s the consistency of the message that will build identity and trust, not the speed in which you bring that to market. Social media ‘conversations’ need to happen all year round; they’re not seasonal.
Traditionally, beauty brands have used well-known people as a spokesperson, or a celebrity or model to increase brand or product visibility and influence purchase decisions. With the prolific rise of social media, celebrities still play a role, but the real opportunities to connect their brand with targeted and highly engaged audiences is now with the new breed of influencers. And that includes the brands themselves.
How many loyal customers wouldn’t feel excited if someone from their favourite beauty brand tweeted them or responded to them on their Facebook wall? You can now get very close to ask anything you wish (offering insights for product development and customer service) without having to actually be there. You can enquire, inform, enthuse, allay concerns…and yes, you do need to answer any negative issues that arise, but how much better that is than have it flare up as a major talking point all over a social platform, as often happens!
Word of mouth marketing is powerful. Purchasers want to review how others feel about a product before they take the plunge, remembering that belonging is a strong motivator.
Social media’s influence on driving business via the web is expected to surpass search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2013, according to eMarketer. Web marketers need to pay attention to how social media affects search, and ultimately how it can change the rules of online visibility and brand engagement – Mashable.
Beauty companies have a lot to say about their products and it’s perfect for social content. It will take longer to gain traction than traditional advertising, but with newly found Inbound Marketing expertise (Content + Social + SEO) it scales better than advertising, reaching more people for less money – which is particularly good for smaller budgets.
How are Beauty Brands Measured Online?
It’s now possible to rank the influence that individuals and companies have on social networks. The two most popular, Klout and Kred achieve this by aggregating data from your social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, issuing a score that reflects your influence. This can be viewed with real-time streaming of your social media posts – plus other influencers can be identified.
It’s particularly revealing for an industry that has finely tuned outbound marketing strategies, to show how influential these businesses are in developing inbound techniques to become specialists. They reach out, listen and share information and opinions, which contributes to their high outreach scores. The Global Beauty Community achieves an Influence of 343 and Outreach 5, so you want to stand out from the crowd.
Today, beauty brands can develop their own relationships, host conversations and drive initiatives directly with their customers online. It certainly isn’t a waste of time being socially influential.