Social Media and Cosmetics Industry

Cosmetics industry is best defined as a preparation for external application on the human body and as a modification of the physical look and conservation for beauty usage (Chile, February 2012). Cosmetics industry has been controlled by a handful of multinational corporations in early 20th century. The dominated world largest cosmetics companies are The L’Oreal Group, The Procter& Gamble Company, Shiseido Company, and Estee Lauder companies.
According to the article written by Perry, the Cosmetics industry is composed of five product segments with market share in the following
§   Skin care 27%: Skin care makes up about 27% of the cosmetic industry, including facial cleansers, skin moisturizers, essence, eye cream, whiting products, body lotion, anti acne products and anti-aging products.
§   Make-up 20%: This segment has vast sub-segment lines. It prefer to coloring products intended to enhance people’s appearance. The categories are the following: primer, foundation, eye shadow, eye liner, eye pencil, mascara and powder.
§   Hair care 20%: The majority products in this segment are shampoo, conditioners, styling products, hair color and relaxer.
§   Fragrance 10%: It is the highest profit segment of the cosmetic industry, which occupies 10% of the market share.
§   Others 30%: This segment is made up of products like toothpaste, deodorants, sunscreens and other personal care products.

The Role of Social Media in Cosmetic Industry

Social media has revolutionized the way that cosmetic companies connect and communicate with customers worldwide. According to Sean Singleton, group managing director of Skive Group, discussed about social media impacts on cosmetic show in Milan last year. He presented some statistics about how powerful social media has changed the cosmetic industry. For example, 200 million blogs and 95,000 beauty blog has been posted and discussed among the age of 35 to 49 years old women. So, Let us find out how the power of the social media can influence on Cosmetic Industry.

High Customer Involvement and Engagement

Compared to the traditional media, social media is a two-way line communication between target audience and the cosmetic companies. Social media provides high customer engagement and enhance the communication with their customers. The cosmetic companies are able to generate customer feedbacks via different online presences. Additionally, cosmetic companies are able to use social media to better target and approach their own customers and listen to different voices from them.

High Brand Loyalty

Social Media has been successfully used by beauty and cosmetic industries as a way to maintain and build brands. Several social media platforms such as Tumbler, Pinterest and Instagram have been utilized popularly by cosmetic companies to present new products and gain brand loyalty from customers. In addition, social media offers phenomenal cost-effective opportunities for the cosmetic industry to build their brands.”At least half of Twitter and Facebook users said they had become more likely to talk about, recommend or purchase a company’s products after they began following the company on social media,” according to eMarketer (The Atlantic, 2011)

Generate Sales

Social media is transforming the way that cosmetic companies generate the sales. Cosmetic companies use the power of world-of-mouth on social media to double their sales. According to the Kingaby research, 79% of customers, who have online shopping experience of cosmetics and beauty products, make their decisions and purchase the products before researching and reviewing the comments from the company’s Facebook and Twitter (Marks, 2012).

Suggested Social Media Platforms on Cosmetic Industry

Facebook-Estee Lauder-Your Face, You Style, Your Profile

As a prestigious and global skin care and cosmetic company, Estee Lauder captured an opportunity on Facebook to create an event called “Your Face. Your Style. Your Profile”. It was an even hold in June 5th 2010 that invited consumers who were 35 to 55 years old to have their make-up done and a professional photo taken for them. After this evens started on the Facebook, Beth Zurn, senior vice-president of global education and special events, said “there were approximately 6200 customers in North America participated in this event.” (Cosmetic World.com, 2012)
The purpose of this Facebook event for Esteer Lauder is to connect with customers and provide the right and the best profile photo for them with professional advices. As a result, Estee Lauder has received extensive coverage in blogs as well as attracting more young women to buy the products (Lee, 2011).

YouTube-Lancome-Famous Makeup Artist Michelle Phan

It is evident that the significance of YouTube has dramatically increased in the cosmetic industry year over year in video views. The best example to illustrate is the official video makeup artist Michelle Phan who is authorized from Lancome. Michelle Phan is top one most popular makeup artist on YouTube and she has more than 3.2 million subscribers on her channel. In February 2010, Lancome discovered the power of the Michelle Phan on YouTube and authorized her as the brand’s first ever video makeup artists. Michelle Phan has created many special makeup videos tutorials by using Lancome cosmetics and having Lancome products giveaway to customers.
In January 2012, Lancome launched the limited edition cosmetic products line called Michelle’s Glamour Eyes Kits exclusively available online and Sephore, a French cosmetics retail store. Lancome has successfully used the influence of YouTuber to advertise their products and build the trust with customers.
 Twitter-Bobbi Brown
When I consider which company benefits the most from twitter in the cosmetic industry is Bobbi Brown, a makeup line led by Estee Lauder. In the past two years, Bobbie Brown has implemented a comprehensive social media strategy, resulting in a 177% growth in Facebook fans and a 243% increase of Twitter followers, as well as launching of the brand’s Pinterest page (Cosmetic World, 2012). Instead of promoting products on twitter, Bobbi Brown uses twitter to provide beauty tips and advices to customers. The success of the Bobbi Brown is that they know what customers’ needs on social platforms and how to engage with them on twitter.

Pinterest-Sephora-Sephora Color Wash

Pinterest is a pinboard style photo sharing website that allows users to share and collect photos of their favorite events, interest and hobbies. Pinterest has become the third largest social media platforms; its main target audience is women (Mashable, 2013). Sephora, a popular French chain of cosmetic retail store, mainly sell beauty products. On their Pinterest website, they provide fashion tips, images from Instagram, products demonstration, and discuss about beauty trends with customers.
In April 2012, Sephora created a new competition on Pinterest called “Sephora Color wash”. It was an event that encouraged users to create new board titled “Sephora Color Wash” in hair and beauty category and pin the competition page on their board pinning five images featuring their favorite color (Simple Zesty, 2012). It would offer users a chance to win $250 Sephora gift card. In this successful Pinterest campaign, Sephora got an extremely high exposure for their brand among consumers.

Bibliography

Perry. (May, 2010). A Cosmetic Industry Overview for Cosmetic Chemists.
Simple Zesty. (April, 2012). 5 Brand Campaigns That Use Pinterest To Its Fullest. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013 from
In Cosmetics. (2012). Social Media Trends in the beauty markets. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013, from http://www.in-cosmetics.com/en/Contact-Us/
The Atlantic. (July 2011). Infographic: Using Social Media to Build Brand Loyalty. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013, from
Marks. (November 2012). How has social media influenced the beauty industry?. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013, from
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-has-social-media-influenced-the-beauty-industry
Cosmetic World.com. (2012). CEW discusses social media strategies. Retrieved on March 3rd, 2013, from http://www.cosmeticworld.com/Feature_Photos/05_14_12_CEW_Social/SocialNetwork.html

What? You are not using Mobile Marketing for your Business?

Since 2009, smartphone usage has been growing exponentially, so customers and businesses have had to adapt to become more mobile savvy. Smart phones provide an advanced platform and allow customers to access information at their own convenience. According to IAB Canada, approximately 85% of Canadians have cell phone plans, and 45% of which have smart phones. 50% of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 44 with cell phone plans are also monthly internet users.

Mobile marketing has become a top trend for a company’s B2B strategy. It provides a great opportunity for generating sales and keeping a high level of customer engagement. Using mobile marketing is five times more likely to convert a lead into a customer than online marketing. According to Forrester Research, business to business mobile marketing budgets will quadruple over the next five years, increasing from $26 million in 2009 to $106 million in 2014. Additionally, mobile search advertising will reach $1.28 billion the next few years.

Mobile marketing offers companies an opportunity to establish a high channel of communication with leads and potential clients. There are many different way of using mobile marketing to generate leads:

1. QR codes: Quick Response (QR) Codes are a sophisticated bar code designed to hold information. QR codes provide quick, timely, and brief information for consumers, and they were the most used technology in 2011. The QR codes can deliver information on the product, in store coupons or promotions, advertisements and so on. Having QR codes on direct mail, business trade, tradeshow booths, social media, and business magazines advertisement can provide clients a new contacting experience and increase interest.

2. Social Check-In: a location-based check -in which allow clients to comment and rate the products and services. Checking-in can help companies identify potential new relationships, and they can monitor who checks in to their business, and competition and business events. For example, GeoSoMo mobile services is increasing uptake for lead generation – they started to gain public interest in 2012 (age group 18 to 34 years old) with their GeoSocial service, which allows customers to share their location in their own social network. Monitoring check-ins can help with early adoption advantages.

3. SMS: Short Message Service is used to by companies to text message their customers. Companies can deliver their current promotions or coupons, new products or service, newsletters, and current news to mobile phones of the target audience via SMS. According to the infographic written by Dave Bui, texting is the most cost effective mode of communication for companies in their business to business strategy. There are 4.2 billion texters worldwide and nearly 200,000 text messages sent per second in 2012, which is a 338% increase from 2007. SMS has a response rate that is eight times higher than that of email.

saleschase_business_best-infographic-design_how-b2b-marketers-are-scoring-big-with-social-media-e1339380187127

Source: http://www.saleschase.com/blog/2012/06/11/how-b2b-marketers-using-social-media-get-new-business/

Reference

MMA Updates Definition of Mobile Marketing. (2012). Retrieved April 3, 2013, from Mobile Marketing Association website: http://www.mmaglobal.com/news/mma-updates-definition-mobile-marketing

Global Mobile Statistic 2012 Part B: Mobile Web, Mobile broadband penetration, 3G/4G subscrbies and networks. (June, 2012).Retrieved April 3, 2013, from http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/lastest-mobile-stats

Mobile Market. (March, 2010). B2B mobile marketing spend will reach $106M in 2014: Forrester. Retrieved April 3, 2013, from http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/5589.html

Dave Bui. (June, 2012). How B2B Marketers are Using Social Media to Get New Business [Infographic]. Retrieved April 3, 2013, from http://www.saleschase.com/blog/2012/06/11/how-b2b-marketers-using-social-media-get-new-business/

Online Audit for Zappos.com

Company Background

Zappos.com is the most popular and largest online shoes and apparel retail store based in Henderson, Nevade. It was founded in 1991 by Tony Hsieh and Nick Swinmun. Zappos.com is premier selling various selections of branded shoes, growing ranges of accessories, and clothing. Beside the tangible products, Zappos.com is famous for its loyalty business model and relationship marketing. What makes Zappos.com competitive and distinctive is their excellent customer service in the industry; they promote three benefits to customers, free shipping both ways, a 365-day return policy without extra shipping and restocking fees and a 24/7 call center.
Official Website
Zappos has put a lot of efforts in designing, optimizing and managing their official website in term of being accessible and easy to navigate for customers. At the top of their website, it has a search engine to allow customers to find their products in a second. On the menu bar, the website list all different categories from shoes to accessories. It also presents the popular shopping items as recommendations and customers testimonials about their products (Zappos, 2013).
From my perspective, although Zappos.com positions their unique selling point which is their extraordinary customer service in the entire website, I found that Zappos still has traditional online shopping website pattern. Their website is too informative to distract my attention. It is important for Zappos.com to distinguish themselves of the website between eBay, Amazon and other online shopping stores.
Facebook
Zappos.com uses their Facebook page to update with the latest news, photos and products. They currently have over 420,747 likes and over 6373 people are talking about them, as well as hundreds of other likes for their individual posts (Facebook, 2013). What astonished me the most is that they actually respond every single customer’s comment promptly on Facebook. Zappos.com presents an image of outstanding customer service at anytime and anywhere.
The second most surprising thing I found is that Zappos was one of the earliest companies creating its Facebook page in 2004 when Facebook was just established. It is a company that is able to seize the trends of social media beyond other competitors. Additionally, Zappos has put a lot of efforts on their Facebook page. Their theme, image, branding and message coincide with website, blogs, and other online presences.
Twitter
Zappos initially encourages 500 employees to use twitter as a daily and causal communication approach instead of promoting and marketing. Tony Hsieh commented that it was a great way to help build their company culture, as well as connecting with customers. Tony Hsieh-the CEO of Zappos.com is one of the most followed persons on Twitter with 2.67 million followers (Hsieh, 2012). There are several twitter accounts from Zappos to function differently, such as Zappos customer service, Zappos Stylists, Zappos Insights and so on.
Unlike other companies on Twitter, all of the Zappos.com twitter accounts deliver a joyful company culture, present employees’ own personality and communicate with customers and followers. On the other hand, the company did a great job at responding to direct tweets and replying every customer’s positive or negative comments.
Blogs
Zappos.com has various blogs online, such as Zappos Family, CEO and COO Blog, Inside Zappos. Zappos’ blogs, updated frequently, focus on fashion trends which may appeal customers’ eyeballs, some top-picked products, and introduce the new brands and products (Hsieh, 2009). The message and photos on blogs are consistent on their Facebook page and Twitter. After I read many their blogs, I found that their posts were more female-oriented, because women are their major customer base. By posting those fashion trends blogs, Zappos.com has a desire to position their company as a fashion hub.
The only issue I found is that there are limited numbers of people to comment on blogs or even share to customers’ own Facebook. The reason of this problem is that Zappos only allow the users who have Zappos accounts or Amazon accounts to comment on their blogs.
YouTube
As a social media savvy company, Zappos.com has its own YouTube channel since March 2006 with only 3020 subscribers, 354 videos, and total 3.74 million video views. Zappos.com keeps the overall outlook consistently. For example, they use “Zappos.com offers free shipping and free return shipping with a 365-day return policy. Choose from over 1000 brands, over 100,000 styles, and over 3 million items from our warehouse full of shoes, clothing, handbags, and accessories!” in any channels of their online presences.
Their channel mainly still focuses on fashion trends, new brands or products introduction and even their employees’ activities. At the same time, they encourage customers to upload and share videos on YouTube about Zappos. Compared to eBay on YouTube, eBay has double subscribers and views than Zappos.com. Additionally, the average view of Zappos’ videos is around 800 to 1500 (Zappos, 2013). I have watched couple of their videos; I found their videos were not interesting and entertaining enough to attract customers. At this point, Zappos needs to switch the focus and create more impressive videos.
Google+
Although Google+ is a new social media platform online, Zappos.com has made numerous contributions to it. They try to be consistently updating information on Google+, also presenting similar content and pictures to it as same as Facebook and Blogs. Personally I think that Zappos.com should tailor Google+ differently than other online presences, instead of posting similar contents and pictures. Repeatable posts could lose customers’ interests and attention.
Mobile Apps
I consider mobile apps as one of the most important online presences for Zappos.com. It is available for IOS, Android and Kindle (Zappos, 2012). Zappos has taken a customer-centric approach to capture more new customers and provide a better navigation tool for them to shop. Having the mobile apps could not only improve customers’ shopping experience up to the next level, but also can increase customer loyalty and trustworthiness. Ordering products on Zappos mobile apps could able to earn more VIP points, expedited returns and 24 hours shipping (Kats, 2012).
Online Influencers
When we talk about accessories, shoes and clothing, the very first thing coming into my mind are fashion, trends, and brands. Since Zappos.com targets itself as a fashion leading company on different online presences, other fashion magazines are the key online influencers to Zappos at the same time. These magazines such as Elle, Trend Hunter, and Vogue have huge influence on fashion trends and customers’ shopping decision making.
The second online influencers are Zappos’ suppliers and existing customers. The voices of customers and suppliers online have ten times effective and valuable than advertising. Customers’ comments, posts, testimonials and suggestions can influence the credit, reliability, and reputation of Zappos.com. Zappos.com has done a great job on maintaining long-term and stable relationship with all three influencers.

 

Recommendations
Zappos.com, as one of the leading online retail empires, has done an excellent job and has effectively used different social media platform to communicate with customers. Zappos.com has handled successfully on the security threat that was happened in Jan 2012. Zappos has well established crisis management skills to comfort customers and respond every single negative comment online immediately. There will be no company like Zappos who could maintain its reputation and win customers back after being hacked 24 million accounts information.

After researching about Zappos, I recommend that it is better for Zappos.com to use every online presence differently and try to avoid posting the similar contents and pictures. In addition, establishing a long-term relationship with customers and fashion leading online influencers are the key to increase their sales and build their brand.

Bibliography
Zappos.com . (n.d.). Shoes, Clothing, and More- Zappos.com . Retrieved February 8, 2013, from http://zappos.com
Zappos. (2013). Zappos-Facebook. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from http://www.facebook.com/#!/zappos?fref=ts
Hsieh, T. (2012). Zappos.com ceo -tony. Retrieved February 8, 2013 from https://twitter.com/zappos
Hsieh, T. (2009, January 3). Instant dance party at Zappos! [Web log message]. Retrieved February 8, 2013 from http://blogs.zappos.com
Zappos. (n.d.). Zappos – YouTube. YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/user/zappos?blend=2&ob=0
Kats (May, 2012).. Zappos exec: Apps are a loyalty tool. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from Mobile Commerce Daily http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/zappos-exec-apps-are-a-loyalty-tool
Zappos. (n.d) Zappos-Google +. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from https://plus.google.com/+zappos

8 social Media Policies in Cosmetic Industry

There are 8 social media policies that Cosmetics Undustry should be aware.

1.        Research about different segments of target audience: It is the priority rule for the success of the cosmetic companies. Company should consider from customers’ views and research about what they expect the company to have on different social media platforms and analyze the best platforms working along with the different segments.
2.        Focus on cultivating company culture: Exposing on the social media means cultivating its company culture. Every tool of the social media platforms represents the image of the company. So it is important to keep the culture value of transparency, consistency, connection, creativity and promptness.
3.        Keep Transparency: Social media is all about transparency. Especially for the cosmetic industry, it is necessary for the company to show all cosmetic ingredients in the products. It could eliminate the allergy and roseola. Choosing the best products and considering the safety about customers can build the long-term trust.
4.        Train Employees on Social media: As a leading cosmetic company, they have the ability to increase employees’ accountability and set expectations while dealing with the social media. It is important to make every employee to aware and update the new trends on the social media and let them be the core people to create value for company and customers.
5.        Focus on communication and engagement instead of selling: As we all know, customers become more passive online than before. It is important to keep in mind for cosmetic companies to make customers motivated and active in the dialogue on social media rather selling or advertising products.
6.        Present an additional value of the products: Cosmetic industry is very competitive and it has a short life span for fashion trends. It is important for customers to understand the additional value instead of the products itself. Such as its Michelle Phan exclusively collection.
7.        Keep update on Pinterest and Instagram: In the cosmetic industry, pictures talk and communicate. The secret of success in the cosmetic company is keeping update the trends, popularity, and new products on Pinterest and Instagram. Making customers stay connected and starts the conversation among them.
8.        Monitor comments: The cosmetic company’s responsibility on the social media is monitoring and responding the either positive or negative comments from customers. It is crucial to respond the comments timely and respectfully.