The Impact of Social Media on the Beauty Industry

The dominance of social media as a form of modern communication is indisputable, and many industries have already jumped on the bandwagon as a way to expand the reach of advertising efforts and bring in new customers. The beauty industry, comprised of a plethora of companies that help consumers to look their best with cosmetics and other products for body and hair care, is no exception. And in many ways, the marriage between social media and the beauty industry is a natural fit. Look at it this way: if the aerospace industry wants to create an engine, they have experts in the fields of mechanical engineering, physics, and other disciplines to ensure that their products get off the ground. They don't need the help of consumers to make or sell their products. But the beauty industry, while in some ways technical, depends on the whims of customers and public trends to operate. So an ongoing dialogue with the consumer public is essential.


Social media has made it possible for those in the beauty industry to tap a major source of information and inspiration: the very public they serve. While some industries rely on social media outlets as a means of taking information and products to the marketplace, and others use it to get feedback, savvy beauty brands see it as a means for building long-lasting and symbiotic relationships with consumers. Not only can these companies use the interface of social media to showcase their wares and receive feedback; they can deliver added value to those that follow them as well as tapping the public for ideas on creating new or improved product lines or even placing themselves squarely at the forefront of emerging trends.

In terms of offering added value, the truth is that there are tons of people out there that haven't the faintest idea of how to use beauty products properly or how to pick the right products for themselves, meaning that many are missing out on the value of these consumer goods. Some may try products randomly while others give up altogether after a few failed attempts to adopt trends. But beauty brands can turn this negative experience around by using social media to push content like tutorials and even consultations that will give followers insight into the products that will deliver the modern looks they crave.

But of course, consumers aren't the only ones who can benefit from the exchange of information; they can also provide manufacturers with valuable insight into rising trends. There is no need to put these two variable into a chicken/egg scenario - the public is nearly always responsible for trendsetting when it comes to beauty, and the industry is usually in a mad dash to keep up. Social media can help companies to spot grass roots movements and convert them into marketable products before they become passé. Unlike other industries that try to dictate what the public wants and needs in terms of consumer goods, beauty brands have long seen the value of give and take when it comes to luxury items like cosmetics. And social media is a natural fit to further the conversation.

Contributed by Carol Montrose

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