Social media plays a key role in reaching consumers for beauty brands

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care brands Facebook

As more and more consumers turn to the internet and word of mouth becomes more important, social media will play a key role in engaging the consumer, according to a new report by Mintel.

In its UK-based study, the market researcher found that 15 million Brits have interacted with beauty and personal care brands online.

According to the report, every day in the UK, 59 per cent of Brits log into their Facebook accounts and 13 per cent sign into Twitter, and Mintel reveals that Brits increasingly use the internet to research beauty products before purchase with social media sites, such as the aforementioned, informing purchase decisions on beauty products for 34 per cent of would-be buyers.

Mintel finds just over two thirds of Brits who engage with beauty brands have visited the website of a beauty or personal care brand, and almost 10 million people visit beauty and personal care brand websites.

Share what you think

“People use social media to share what they think with many people - not just their friends and family. In fact, sharing their thoughts on beauty products with friends, family or colleagues is a key reason that people talk about beauty and personal care brands both online and offline,”​ said Alexandra Richmond, senior Social Media and Lifestyles analyst at Mintel.

“This illustrates the strength of word of mouth and the internet plays a key role in enabling people to influence other people’s purchases whilst at the same time providing brands with valuable feedback.”

Facebook is the preferred vehicle to express thoughts or opinions on beauty brands when online with users more likely to become a fan or ‘like’ a brand on Facebook than they are to post a status update or engage directly on the brand’s Facebook wall.

Mintel also states that tribal behaviour motivates online visitors. Just over a third of those who interacted with beauty brands did so because they already own their label, 22 per cent wanted their friends to know that they like the brand and 14 per cent wanted to be associated with it.

Greater degree of intimacy

The role of social networking sites is also encouraging a greater degree of intimacy between consumer and brand - and also stretching the definition of friendship.

Just over one in three people engage with or share their thoughts on beauty and personal care brands that they already use.

However, one in three people also said they only friend a brand or share their thoughts on it in order to save money or get free samples.

“The ‘friendship’ between consumer and brand is not based on positive reciprocity, but on an assumption that they will be rewarded by the brand for being friends with it, liking it or sharing their thoughts and opinions on it,”​ Alexandra continues.

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