Who is Influential in Beauty Social Media?
We all have the potential to be influential. But as George Orwell would have put it, some of us are born more influential than others.
To have influence you really only need 3 things:
- A desire to share your opinion
- An engaged audience that is willing to listen and then act on what you say
- A channel through which to communicate with that audience
While in the past the media has had enormous power to influence us, because it owned the broadcast channel, today anyone can become a major influencer by utilizing the many tools available on the internet.
The blogosphere, forums and social networks are now chock-a-block with influential voices. This is great news for beauty marketers who now have an abundance of routes through which to listen to what your customers have to say.
What Consumers Say about You is Important
Customer engagement has always been an important part of the development of beauty products. Clearly, when you know what they think, and why, you can use this information to drive the direction of what you do next.
The more authentic the feedback, the more you’re likely to thrill your customers when you include what they’ve said. But when listening, it’s important to understand who is saying it. All voices are not the same.
Know how to Segment the Voices
In every online audience there are different levels of influence; comments will be affected by where they are in the community. It’s important to differentiate, so that you can form appropriate conclusions on what’s being said.
This becomes clearer when we compare two voice profiles from different parts of the beauty community:
The Passionate User
These are customers who enjoy beauty products, like to ask for guidance or share experiences and read reviews to help make the best purchase. They don’t have their own blog, but may tweet, chat with friends online and write their own reviews of items they have experienced.
The driving force behind their information gathering is a need for a product that solves a particular problem. To get the information they desire, they will exploit the channels available to them:
- Chatting with friends & family
- Online research
- Their exposure to marketing messages in offline media
- Interaction at retail
Brands already have influence at retail and offline, and have the potential to be influential online with the Passionate User. It’s more than attracting fans and followers – keep posted for a future blog.
The Beauty Blogger
In every community, there are number of consumers that have risen to the status of influencer. They may have begun as Passionate Users, but with their online presence in blogs, tweets, videos and images, they have built a vibrant following of like-minded people who wait for latest postings. The key difference between these voices is the depth of information, how they receive it and their motivation for creating an online buzz.
When beauty customers gained information from traditional outbound marketing, it was a dilemma for brands to know which messages worked most effectively. The digital change to include social pull marketing asks customers to ‘like’, be ‘a friend’ and trust in communications; these are so much more achievable with the support of Beauty Bloggers. Their open and engaging style is courted by brands with latest products to try.
Beauty Bloggers’ experience and opinions of products must therefore be differentiated:
- They don’t necessarily have a personal need for the products they review
- They don’t have to think about the cost of a product
- They may rarely use a product all the way to its end, unless they adore it, of course
- They will be able to compare the products they test against a much larger number of competitive samples
Therefore, while they fulfill an important role, what they say might be very different to what you might get when you overhear the comments of two women sharing their views over a cup of coffee or a make-up counter.
Influencers can’t help but be changed by their relationship with brands. And for those of us who listen to comments, we do need to segment the voices, so what’s being said can be of the greatest benefit to the industry.