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Crowded Social Submits Engagement Challenges for Beauty Brands

Growing amounts of social content is cluttering the channels, resulting in poor conversion rates.

As Millennials and Generation Z mature and refine their product research skills, beauty and skin-care companies are encountering more potholes in an already rocky market. Compounded by would-be influencers clamoring to social media, competitors are upping engagement levels resulting in social media hyper-saturation. This is contributing to a larger hurdle for skin-care brands to stand out and reach target consumers.

Nielsen’s “2016 Social Media” report said that only 15 percent of heavy social media users — those who spend three or more hours daily on the platforms — spent between $100 and $249 on online purchases. The amount of purchases dwindles with the amount of social media use, suggesting there’s still disconnect between social activity and purchase conversion.

What’s more, only 21 percent of high social media users purchased health and beauty items, Nielsen’s research found. Seventeen percent of medium social media users — those who averaged between one to two hours daily in the space — purchased items in the category. Beauty and skin-care brands looking to bank in from social media marketing strategies might be disappointed with the revenue return from these efforts.

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This is largely in due to the social space becoming obtuse and cluttered. “In Q1 2017, there was an average of 653 Instagram skin-care ambassadors and 184 ambassadors of the category on YouTube,” Tribe Dynamics’ “Q1 2017 Beauty Report” said. During that period, social media users were charged with maneuvering through almost 2,000 Instagram posts and 500 YouTube videos. That’s a lot of content — and product — to consider for purchasing.

And while influencer partnerships provide opportunity for brands to reach larger audiences, this requires that consumers remain on the content — not a simple feat. “Not only are they more likely to claim [Generation Z shoppers] skip ads whenever they can (both on desktop and mobile), our behavioral measurement from ad testing also shows that among those people that do skip, Gen Z skips faster: on average three seconds faster per ad than Generation X,” said Kantar Millward Brown’s “Ad Reaction: Gen X, Y and Z” report.

In order to capture and contain consumer intrigue and purchases, brands need to examine their holistic customer journey. These will be most successful when reinforced with personalization features powered by artificial intelligence technology and the collection and analysis of real-time shopper data. This white-glove customer service will resonate highly with consumers who are being courted by competitors in every corner of social media.

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