NetBase and Edison’s report, ‘Social channels of influence in the cosmetic market’, divides female Facebook, blog and message board addicts into two major segments.
‘Fashionistas’, who find fashion and beauty extremely important in their lives, often used blogs and message boards for inspiration, using them nearly as often as fashion magazines.
‘Social shoppers,’ on the other hand, were highly influenced by the brands and products used by their friends, and tended to look to Facebook more than fashion magazines to make their purchase decisions.
The study also found that influence from celebrities was also very strongly correlated with the use of all social media channels.
Gretchen Hoffman, VP of marketing for NetBase, commented: "This report confirms the necessity of accurate social data for the cosmetics industry to fully understand their consumers' preferences and behaviors."
Age and ethnicity differences
An unsurprising finding of the survey was that social media use was heavily correlated with age, with younger women using the majority of channels to a greater extent.
However, the thirtysomethings fought back on Facebook, with more women in the 25-34 age-groups using it as a source of inspiration than those in the 18-24 age groups.
The study also found that Hispanic and African-American women were more influenced by social media than Caucasian women.
Hispanics and African-Americans are on to social media
19% of African Americans and 25% of Hispanics were found to regularly check fashion blogs and message boards regularly for inspiration compared to just 14% of Caucasians.
The figures were also high on Facebook, with 17% of African Americans and 20% of Hispanics using the site, compared to a tiny 5% of Caucasians.
On the other hand this was reversed for Pinterest, which a higher percentage of Caucasian women used for inspiration.
Hoffman commented: “A well-crafted social strategy that takes into account the nuances in social media usage can really help cosmetics brands move the needle.”