Social media photo sharing platform Instagram is opening up a big opportunity for beauty brands to utilize user generated content and grow eCommerce channels.
Although fashion brands and retailers ostensibly dominate the platform, a new L2 ThinkTank report suggests that beauty brands have the fastest growing communities.
The New York-based digital agency says that Instagram is beginning to shine in the social media scene because of its proliferating and attractive user base, high engagement levels and ecommerce-encouraging format.
According to the figures, Instagram reached 150 million users in three years, half the time it took Twitter and two years faster than Facebook. It also had the strongest year-on-year growth of all mobile platforms in 2013, at 66%.
The report also shows that 93% of prestige brand are present on Instagram compared to 63% in July, proving its fast growth, and the successful launch of Instagram ads and video could transform it into a media company with more revenue than Twitter.
So where can beauty fit in? The segment is already touted as the fasted growing in the platform, and L2’s report also highlights the digital ‘Genius’ of brands who have benefitted from utilizing the platform most effectively.
Given the nature of photo-sharing and the world of the ‘selfie’ (photos taken of one’s self) that we live in, Lancôme’s #BareSelfie campaign gets recognition, having garnered 500 user images and the ensuing UGC gallery generating 50% of sales for its newly launched DreamTone serum.
L2 ThinkTank highlights this as an example of how brands can leverage user-generated content, a trend that will become much more pronounced in the coming months.
“The appeal of Instagram to brands is less about content sharing and more about using it as a means of capturing user-generated content that can be reused across a brand’s digital landscape, especially in influencing commerce,” says Danielle Bailey, research lead at L2.
“If Instagram hopes to continue its love affair with brands, it will need to continue to evolve, reducing ecommerce friction and providing analytics that will help brands identify and target influencers.”
Images that are posted on Instagram can be placed on a brand’s website to provide organic examples of a product and streamline ecommerce. The images with the highest engagement levels can also be repurposed on social media and in targeted emails for even higher rates of engagement.
The L2 ThinkTank Instagram 2014 report evaluates the performance and programming of 249 prestige brands on the social media platform. The full report can be downloaded here .