BeautyBay tops list of most socially engaged premium health and beauty retailers

BeautyBay is the most socially engaged multi-brand premium health and beauty retailer, according to a study.

15 brands’ social activity was analysed by retail marketing agency Leapfrogg across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, alongside content quality.

Engagement levels across social channels influencing purchases were scored using analytics tools and qualitative testing. Retailers received 0 to 5 for each platform, with 5 being the highest.

BeautyBay received 16.5 out of a possible 25. Research found that while social content displays a much younger tone compared to the website, Facebook posts are shared and engaged with daily. Customer service on Twitter is timely and the channel is used to cross-promote BeautyBay’s Instagram feed. My Beauty, a navigable standalone area on the site with rich narrative demonstrates a clear value placed on editorial.

The study showed that Escentual, ranked number two with a score of 14, has a strong brand personality on Twitter, hosting multiple conversations with customers and resident beauty bloggers from Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea around beauty solutions. It’s also experimenting with live streaming video app Periscope. Links to social media platforms on Escentual’s website spell out what customers can expect from each.

Cult Beauty made it into the top three, scoring 13. Although producing the least content, Leapfrogg’s analysis revealed it had the strongest brand identity of all health and beauty retailers, curating posts for its premium target audience. Make-up tutorials appear on Pinterest featuring classic wearable looks, distinguishing the site from youth-focused retailers highlighting fashion-forward styles.

Two of the top three brands researched – BeautyBay and Escentual – are using Pinterest’s shoppable Product Pins. Four others were found to be using different types of Rich Pins: Lookfantastic, Beauty Expert, Blow and Content Beauty.

“Social channels have distinct ‘jobs’ within a retailer’s content ecosystem, and brands that recognise the strength of each will offer customers an immersive and engaging experience far beyond a simple e-commerce transaction,” said Rosie Freshwater, MD of Leapfrogg. “Twitter is great for customer service, Facebook for data capture via promotions while Instagram showcases a brand behind the scenes. Demonstrations of colour and texture via videos and images are important for the online health and beauty sector, creating a viable alternative to buying in store.”

Despite finding many best practice examples of social engagement across the 15 health and beauty retailers studied, Leapfrogg identified common areas for improvement. Brand identity across channels, consistency of content and missed opportunities to create compelling editorials were widely overlooked.

“Beauty retailers need to think more like traditional publishers with a seamless blend of content and commerce,” Freshwater continued. “Those that create relevant, inspirational and shareable material will see social audiences and conversion grow.”

Leapfrogg’s engagement rate scorecard covered actions including likes, comments and shares, which were then divided by the number of fans to ensure brands with different sized audiences could be compared.


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