MAC Cosmetics: runaway social media leader in sector
MAC Cosmetics: runaway social media leader in sector
A view from Heather Healy, creative communications director, Stickyeyes

MAC Cosmetics' social media strategy triumphs over L'Oreal, Benefit and Chanel

The cosmetics sector has a long way to go to rival the most compelling brands in the social media space, particularly if you compare the sector as a whole to the fashion retail space.

Our study, the Colour Cosmetics Social Engagement Report analyses the social media strategies of 20 of the UK’s most recognisable cosmetic brands including MAC, Clinique, L’Oreal, Chanel, Benefit, Estee Lauder, Clarins, Dior, Maybelline and Lancome.

Uniquely, the report doesn’t just rank the brands that produce the greatest volume of content or have the largest following but looks at how brands engage with their customers, where they engage with them and how brands are benefiting from this engagement.

MAC Cosmetics was revealed as the runaway leader, dominating the colour cosmetics sector due to the seamless integration between its social channels and brand website.  It has a highly targeted content strategy that is fulfilling the needs of consumers, earning shares and interactions on the key social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

With almost 40% of content consumed in this sector being video and image based, Dior and Chanel are stealing the spotlight at the expense of L’Oreal, Givency and Clarins who, despite being in the top five, had weak levels of social shares.

But brands such as Rimmel and Bourjois prove that’s it’s possible to have highly engaging social strategies despite low audience volumes. However, their inability to grow their audiences undermines their activity, with their content going largely unnoticed amongst consumers. This allows the main social powerhouses to dominate the conversation on social media.

The report also found that online searches for cosmetics brands have grown 1,054% since 2009 but changing customer demographics and insatiable demand for product information is posing new challenges for brands.

Changing audience demographics and insatiable demand for product information pose new challenges for cosmetics brands

The report highlights significant differences in the social media habits between key age groups within the target cosmetics demographic and, with different audience groups having very different expectations on how they expect to communicate and interact with brands, this is set to pose a real challenge to brands in the coming years.

The importance of product releases and updates are also identified as a key focus for brands wanting to capitalise on consumer demand, although brands face competition from bloggers and vloggers, for a share of the audience.

With the exception of MAC Cosmetics, all of the brands profiled in this report could improve their approach, drive meaningful engagement, track results and be braver with the activity they are deploying across social media.