It might not be the democratization of trendsetting, but social platforms are playing a major role in shaping beauty industry’s agenda.
Social influencers are increasingly leveraging their clout to set trends and establish predilections through Instagram feeds and blog posts. Beyond pushing products, these beauty aficionados make waves by showcasing how a brand fits into a particular lifestyle or looks on average women.
We asked social media experts, publishers and beauty insiders their thoughts on how social influencers are changing the beauty industry.
Devon West, social media director, Sephora
Social influencers help shape our clients’ opinions about beauty products and drive demand through their authentic bond with their audience. By making trends accessible, we find they’re helping our clients feel more empowered to try something new, like a bold lip or false lashes, for the first time.
Influencer product collaborations and influencer-founders are also having a huge impact on brand loyalty. Millennial shoppers are more likely to purchase a product if they feel connected to its story or the genesis of the brand. This kind of emotional connection resonates with our millennial clients. The caveat, however, is that as influencers partner with an increasing number of brands, their impact is being diffused. They risk losing the authenticity that helped them become an influencer in the first place.
Amy Keller Laird, editor-in-chief, Women’s Health Magazine
People always want to be able to relate to someone’s experience and be able to see a beauty product in the context of someone’s life. They don’t want to see things just in a vacuum — “Oh, here’s a red lipstick” — but they are inspired by someone they admire, how they use a product and when they use it. It’s fascinating that consumers now really do have such a voice that they can make a discontinued product come back by talking loudly enough about it or even can create a product that doesn’t exist.
Erin Dress, brand marketing specialist and CPG industry lead, Twitter
Social influencers make brands realize that there are multiple ways to tell a story. It’s not all about the brand. It’s about pushing out a form of the story centered on their campaign. It’s about engagement with individual consumers. It’s about believability and authenticity, and learning from a perceived expert. It used to mean that editors were setting the trends in magazines and that we had to wait for those tastemakers to come out. Now influencers become the tastemakers and there’s a power shift.
Kay Hsu, global lead for The Facebook Creative Shop, Instagram
Brands benefit from using talent when it makes sense for their business goal. When considering who to work with, think about the story you’re trying to tell and the aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve. For some, it’s going to be a still image, for others it’s going to be a video or even using a third party. It comes down to your brand’s campaign objective and finding the right approach. Consider this question: Will the influencer help you achieve your business goal and reach your target audience?
Bridget Dolan, vp of innovation, Sephora
Beauty has always been aspirational, but technology has enabled beauty to become inspirational. It’s allowing any woman to create amazing beauty looks, skincare regimens or fun hairstyles and then share selfies and how-to videos with friends and enthusiasts on social media.