Instagram recently reached 500 million users; not bad for a company that had less than 50 million ‘instagrammers’ the year it was acquired by Facebook. That was in April 2012 and this latest milestone is a big one, okay - a huge one. Of the 500 million users, 300 use the photo-sharing platform every single day; with 80% living outside of the United States. Here’s a statistic for you: 95 million photos and videos are being shared each day on Instagram alone. This is a staggering number and takes the platform to the next level in terms of a must have for your next digital strategy, if you are not currently convinced. Here at Coup Media we have taken a look at how beauty brands in particular are using this now very substantial platform, to grow their brands.
Instagram is no longer just a place to look at other people and their food (but seriously, just wait until you see these doughnuts) but a place you can discover more about the brands you love or ones you want to learn more about. The brands we are taking a look at are Frank Body, Boots and Benefit Cosmetics UK.
We kick off with Frank Body! Are you a fan? We are. Not only is it a killer product, but they have a social media account to match. On Instagram you will be treated to the inner thoughts of Frank; their very bold persona who has to be heard to be believed. We think he is hilarious and he has helped take the Australian coffee scrub brand to big heights. His creation came about through a want to speak to their customers in an honest and direct way. The company use Instagram as their most dominant marketing tool. Co-founder Erika Geraerts has said that it allowed them to take risks and connect with customers directly without the costs of traditional advertising. In only three years the account has reached a strong 689,000 followers, which has been key to sales (1.5 million+ products have now been sold in 149 countries). When it comes to Instagram, Erika has also said “The thing people forget is that it's not just about having a huge following, it's about having a loyal, engaged base of customers to talk to”.. And that’s it for Frank. Do you like him?
Next up is Boots. Big on the High Street, and around since 1849; so very different from Frank. Already well established before Instagram even launched, or the internet, or electrical power for that matter? Anyway. Their approach had to be different. They are very much an offline company. Yes, they have an eCommerce side to the business but most customers will walk through the doors on the high street. Although Boots has the No7 cosmetic brand they also sell all of the top brands throughout the world and their Instagram feed reflects this. Colour is something utilised massively here too. Posts for mini brow rescue kits, blushes, primers, lip sticks, and nail varnishes keep the feed varied with engagement pretty high. The average post gets just under 5,000 likes. Do you ‘feel good’ when you take to their Instagram feed?
Finally we look to America and Benefit Cosmetics UK offering. They very much want you to share your look and even have a hashtag. I know right? Simply tag your own photo with #beautybanter The tone of voice is very fun and posts ask you to do a lot of double tapping. The pay off? A chance to win the product of course. One recent post “OMG... Double tap if this is your kind of vending machine 😍😍😍! 📷 from the gorgeous @nixiepixi1” features well known YouTube vlogger Nicola Hast, who along her sister Samantha Chapman produce make-up tutorials on YouTube under the name, Pixiwoo with over 2 million subscribers. Engagement varies from 6-7K likes a post to 30K+. Overall this is an exciting page to keep an eye on; especially if you like the chance of free eye make-up. Oh, and they have launched their very own brow emojis!
Instagram is a visual platform and it is no surprise that the beauty and cosmetic sector are on board. Frank showed us how if you are bold, it can pay off. Whether or not you are in agreement about the need to call every customer ‘babe’, either way it’s working for them. This is all the Frank Body customer base has ever known and have come to expect. Boots, the more traditional brand in this space play heavily on all of the brands they have in store as well as their No7 brand. This mix allow them to remain fresh on the photo-sharing platform. And finally we looked at Benefit Cosmetics from the USA. They are fun, in a different way from Frank. Remember him? Sharing content from prominent fashion and beauty vloggers sets them apart and is probably why they have the highest engagement when it comes to likes and comments.