In 2010, there were just over 67,000 beauty conversations on social media—in 2016, there were almost 1.5 million. In less than a decade, social media has revolutionized the beauty industry, leveled the field for indie brands, and shifted power from editors to influencers. Social has changed the way women discover and talk about beauty and emboldened them to try new brands and trends. More important, social media has challenged old beauty standards, shaking up the status quo with an approach that includes women of all shapes, sizes, and shades.
What Sparks the Social Conversation?
The surge in beauty conversations has been propelled by topics that not only influence buying behavior, but also indicate the types of products they prefer. Broadly, three key topics dominate: buying makeup products, everyday routines and general use, and product application. Among women, 66% say they use social media to read beauty product reviews, 60% get tips and advice, 57% use social to stay up-to-date on the latest products.
Natural Continues to Gain Momentum
Among these topics, the one trend tying them all together—natural. Mentions of natural and eco-friendly have tripled since 2014. In 2014, there were fewer than twenty thousand posts discussing natural beauty, in 2016, there were sixty thousand. Women are much more conscious of ingredients, cruelty-free testing, and eco-friendly ingredients and packaging and are not afraid to share their feelings about brands. Social listening confirms that positive sentiment stems from brand conversations that praised beauty brands for being vegan, organic, gluten-free, eco-friendly/sustainable, and cruelty-free. Meanwhile, the social audience called out brands, such as MAC and Nars for animal testing with many threatening to stop using the brand.
Finding Their Voice – Why Women Share on Social
What prompts a woman to voice her concerns about a brand or share her enthusiasm about her latest discovery? Ninety percent of women (and 92% of Millennial women) say they simply love the product and want to share their experience with other women, 80% share so others can benefit from what they’ve learned about using a specific product, conversely, 58% of women share a negative experience to warn others and prevent them from “making the same mistake I did”. Interestingly, these numbers are up considerably from 2006, when only a fraction of women felt comfortable discussing beauty on social.
The beauty conversation has evolved in many ways over the past decade and consumers are growing increasingly aware–and vocal–about the products they buy. Social listening gives us insight into what consumers are talking about and what they’re saying about your brand. Contact us to learn more about our insights practice.
Sources: Crimson Hexagon A Social Media Analysis of Trends in the CPG Industry 2017, The Benchmarking Company, Impulse Control How Beauty Consumers Shop Now 2017