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Social Outbound Engagement and the Beauty Industry

By: Nate Myers and Ron Robinson
Posted: December 6, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 11

Some numbers:

Americans spend more time today on social networks than any other activity online; 906 million hours, in fact, are devoted to social networks and blogs by Americans per month, more than twice that of any other category. That’s more than six and a half times the amount of time they spend on Internet search.

  • Americans are spending 43% more time on social networks today than just a year ago.3
  • Nearly two-thirds (66%) of online Americans, according to a 2010 report, visit social networking sites, up 230% from 20% two years prior to the study.4
  • The average Facebook user spent six hours and three minutes on Facebook in June 2010, nearly three times or more than the time spent by any other audience of another top 10 website.5

The numbers are impressive, but still don’t convey the entire impact or implications of social media for the beauty industry.

Further, numerous studies have shown that women are more likely to spend time on social networking sites than men. An Edison Research report, for example, found that women comprised 57% of all consumers who checked social networking sites multiple times a day.6 And it’s not just the amount of time, but the degree of influence social media carries in the buying decision of American beauty consumers. Consumers have shown that they are more likely to accept the opinion of friends, family and even other consumers online (whom they may not even know) over the opinions of brands themselves, as expressed on brand websites and other marketing channels.7 Reading community message boards, general interest websites and blog reviews have been shown to make women more favorable to a product when shopping, compared to brand websites.8 And a report issued by Gartner in July 2010 found that the majority of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions.9

Social media, simply put, is the most engaging channel available to consumers today. From a promotion code for an exfoliating scrub announced on a blog to a foundation blending tip shared on an online beauty forum; from a video testimonial on a new mascara by your cousin in Ohio to a friend’s Facebook post about a leave-in conditioner she likes, social media is empowering consumers to choose when and how to learn about brands, and infiltrates every step of their purchasing decisions. Social media is the dominant player on the Internet today, and the usage and impact has been skyrocketing. The brand that learns how to swim best with the social media current will be the one to maximize the tremendous ROI it has to offer.

Social Marketing and Beauty Companies Today