Beauty brands and social media

Digitalization has undoubtedly changed the way people, especially Millennials and Generation Z, communicate. With everything happening online, companies’ and brands’ social media presence can be seen as a crucial aspect of their marketing and communications strategy (Ryan, 2014). Social media allows for – and also requires – constant interaction between a brand and its users. With the pace of changing trends and preferences constantly speeding up, brands need to keep up with the newest innovations and vogues in order to be relevant, fresh and inspiring.

Cosmetics and beauty companies have definitely noted the situation. Every major beauty industry player is active on social media, and most popular brands post on channels such as Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter many times per day. Nowadays there are even beauty brands that have been built solely online with the help of social media and its influencers such as Youtube makeup artists, one example of such a company being Makeup Geek. Cosmetics brands have noticed that highly visual and easy-to-digest content is king, and that they need high quality content, storytelling, and very preferably social media famous brand ambassadors in order to stay in the game (WWD, 2016).

A great example of a cosmetics brand utilizing the power of social media and content created by others is Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH). The company’s Instagram feed is filled with first-rate pictures of makeup artists, beauty gurus and cosmetics enthusiasts wearing and using ABH’s products. The company is currently one of the most popular beauty brands on social media and people are constantly creating makeup looks and other social media content that showcase ABH products. Due to this, the brand rarely has to put out any content of their own as they are able to utilize high quality visuals that are usually created by makeup professionals and social media superstars. This is very beneficial for the company as the consumers get a more comprehensive picture of how different products look on different people, and can get inspiration from the various different makeup looks and how-to videos instead of just seeing impersonal and monotonous pictures of the product packaging.

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 22.47.23

Screenshot from Instagram

Some companies take brand ambassadorship to even greater lengths and truly understand the importance of lifestyle content to their social media savvy audience. U.S.-based Tarte Cosmetics recently sent a bunch of beauty gurus and video bloggers on two holiday trips to exotic destinations basically just to advertise the company’s new products. The participants were actively promoting the brand during the trip by showcasing all the goodies they were receiving and using the hashtag #trippinwithtarte in every social media channel they were posting to. Most of the beauty gurus and vloggers taking part in the trips have over a million followers on Instagram alone. Thus, it is clear that these trips massively boosted the cosmetic company’s social media visibility, and many people now associate Tarte with these brand ambassadors and feel that the brand has their approval.

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 22.54.03

Screenshot from Instagram

So what is the future of marketing and communications for beauty brands? Currently, social media is without a doubt the place to be active in for any Millennial-targeting brand and the customers rely on any big news airing there first. Cosmetics companies and beauty gurus have both been able to create strong customer and follower communities that often interlink with each other. But will we see a change in this in the near future and if yes, to which direction will it be? Let me know your predictions in the comments section down below!



Ryan, Damian (2014). Understanding Digital Marketing. 3rd edition. London: Kogan Page.

WWD (2016). Social Media in the Beauty Landscape. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5.3.2016]



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7 Responses to Beauty brands and social media

  1. pauliinaluukkainen says:

    There has been a definite change in branding the cosmetics companies from just Youtube to also Instagram, FB and Snapchat. Especially with Instagram you can be active with your followers and show how-to-do clips very easily and attractively. And companies also use a lot of bloggers to advertise their products which I think is very smart at the moment, because blogging has and is becoming more popular every day and you don’t have to be professional to start a blog. But I think you have to have a unique quality to it because I see a lot of similar beauty and lifestyle blogs which just don’t offer anything different than the other 5.

    I believe that there will be developed more social media networks in our near future, maybe even specific for cosmetics which would give the cosmetics companies an opportunity to go to the next level and get probably more attention. Who knows, the world changes so rapidly that companies need to be on the top of everything to maintain its success.

    • Anni E. says:

      Thanks for your comment, Pauliina! I agree with you that using bloggers is very clever given their current popularity and influence on many young women’s purchasing decisions. I find that in the States bigger cosmetics companies mainly collaborate with beauty vloggers and even MUAs, while in Europe the focus is still more on “standard” bloggers as there aren’t that many exclusive beauty influencers in the market.

      Your idea of a social media network for cosmetics only is very intriguing, and I wonder if there are any already. Maybe there might actually be a market niche for some business graduate to get one up and running 😉

      – Anni

  2. elsangashi says:

    I can say from my own experience as the client, that marketing in Instagram is very effective! Those mini-tutorials and different makeup looks that makeup artist do, makes you want to buy the products, no matter what brand it is! Thanks to Instagram, even unknown, startup companies have a change to grow and build their brand for the whole world to see.

  3. kialahti says:

    I think social media is great way of market your beauty product! As a client, I actually found this brand from a blog, and later my decision to purchase was influenced by Instagram! I think those IG videos are great and very inspiring. Yet I don’t know how I feel about Snapchat as marketing channel, I think if it is used correctly and in interesting way it can work, the time will show. I believe there will be some new marketing channels, for example Periscope might be the next bigger one. I think the transparency of business is more valued nowadays, so I believe that kind of marketing ways will be used in the future.

  4. juliashepek says:

    Great post Anni, I have to say this is a topic that I am particularly interested in. As someone who has been a consumer of YouTube content, specifically from the “beauty community”, for many years I feel like I have had a front row seat to the evolution of brands within this space.

    YouTube is an interesting thing because there is a strange feeling of trust that the viewers have with the content creators. As brands began to capitalize on this trust, it went from people talking about/reviewing things they had purchased, to being sent items for free to review, and now videos are made that are entirely sponsored where the creator not only receives items for free but also gets paid to make the video. Where it gets complicated is now the lines between a YouTube video of a regular person and a straight up advertisement have blurred. Because this has been recognized, there have even been regulations put into place (in places such as the UK) where YouTube videos must have “Ad” in the titled as a disclaimer so viewers are aware.

    While this seems to be becoming more and more popular and its nearly impossible to go on YouTube and not consume sponsored content, there has also been frustration expressed among viewers. People do not like “Ad” videos. Anyway, this isn’t a prediction comment as you had asked for. I’m just curious to see how beauty brands with go forward within the YouTube community, clearly they feel what they are doing now is working as it is so popular. But as time goes on and the “trust” between content creators and viewers is lost, I’m interested to see how beauty brands will be able to utilize YouTube.

  5. aliciakief says:

    I agree with that, but the cosmetics brand take a large place in the social media. The youtube’s video tuto for example, the influence of the celebrities and in general it’s a beautiful girl who present the cosmetic and she is pay from the brand to show. It is the same things about the brand in Instagram.

  6. mauranedanlos says:

    It is true that Social Media has brought a bunch of opportunities for cosmetics brands. Thanks to them, a brand can go forward and show to potential consumer what their product can do and how it can look like. Plus, by using Social Medias, those cosmetics brand can increase their awareness by creating partnership with famous Blogger or Youtuber. It can help in order to creates review to influence the buying behavior of consumer. It can be the same use of Instagram.

    Great article !

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