The top benefits and risks of using social media marketing for the promotion of cosmetic products

I’m sure we can all admit that social media has now become a ‘staple’ in our lives, using Facebook, Twitter and more, to connect with people and find out the latest news. With 70% using Facebook daily in 2014 (which we can assume has now increased), it proves to have a huge scope for businesses to promote products (Duggan et al., 2015). However, with this comes challenges. Ramsay (2010) interestingly suggests that as consumers are gaining more power to make their views heard, businesses need to up their game and engage with people effectively, to maintain their reputation. This blog will provide you with the top benefits and risks, using the cosmetics industry to provide a deeper insight.

 

Benefits:

1. It helps build a relationship with customers

Chu, Kamal and Kim (2013) suggest that unlike websites, social media marketing allows for companies to engage with customers on a more personal level, and provide real-time information about the products being offered. This provides a particular advantage in the cosmetics industry, as consumers are becoming increasingly interested in having products personal to them (Cosmetics Europe, 2017). Posts can be tailored towards customers more easily, making them feel as if you are directly communicating with them (Lee and Hong, 2016).

A good example of this is a tweet by Molton Brown (2017), with the use of the stress of Christmas shopping (which most of us can relate to!) and direct words such as ‘you’.

 

2. Consumer feedback can be received and listened to more efficiently

Social media platforms such as Facebook allows companies to receive direct information from fans (Nobre and Silva, 2014). Farshid et al. (2011, cited in Dootson, Beatson and Drennan, 2016), suggest that conversations can be formed about the brand, and help to improve reputation. However, a contradictory view is that as feedback can be in the form of complaints, this can actually damage the brand image (Einwiller and Steilen, 2015).

So, despite the possibility of negative feedback, how is the cosmetics industry positively affected?

With female consumers having more purchasing power, it is vital for their views to be listened to (Pudaruth, Juwaheer and Seewoo, 2013). Two-way communication will allow you to tailor your cosmetics to your customer’s needs more effectively (Sorescu et al., 2011).

Below is an example of two-way communication from The Body Shops’ Facebook Page (2017). More can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/TheBodyShopUK/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Increased brand exposure/sales

Social media allows for a multitude of different people to view your content, exposing your brand to new eyes (Lozano, 2016). Ismail (2017) further explains this, stating that with people liking, commenting or sharing, this then gives an increased chance of your content being viewed by their other friends/followers. This in turn could entice more people to make purchases, having seen people they know use the brand.

With video tutorials of makeup being frequently posted on Instagram and Youtube, this also provides the advantage of being able to show other customers how efficiently the product works, and engaging them in a different way (Hoffman, 2016).

 

Risks

However, with every digital marketing channel comes the downfalls. Here are some you may face, and can be prepared for:

 

1. Reputation could be damaged

If a customer does not like a product or experiences poor customer service, negative posts can be made. These can then be shared by thousands (or more) people within a few hours (Pfeffer, Zorbach and Carley, 2014). Reputation could potentially be damaged, especially if it has affected a high amount of people’s opinions. It is vital you respond to the customer to sort the problem (Einwiller and Steilen, 2015).

With cosmetics products, potential customers often look at reviews online if looking for a new product to use, such as social media pages, and other stores such as Superdrug. If there have been numerous negative reviews about a product, it may be off putting.

Here are some examples of MAC Cosmetics (2017) replying to complaints. https://twitter.com/MACcosmetics/with_replies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Time intensive

Social media marketing can take up a lot of time, which could alternatively be used for other business functions. In 2014, 58% of digital marketers used social media for 11 hours or more a week (Digital Marketing Philippines, 2014). Often, if businesses do not have the time to update it regularly, it gets neglected, meaning less engagement with customers. However, contradicting this, is that social media marketing is worth spending time on. This is because it helps drive sales, connect consumers with companies, and understand customers better (Hanna, Rohm and Crittenden, 2011; Lindsey-Mullikin and Borin, 2017; Vinerean, 2017).

 

Summary:

Overall, these benefits and risks will be useful when implementing social media marketing. Chaffey’s 6 channels is an academic model that can be used to show other options of digital marketing, such as emails and SEO (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2012). However, it is vital to consider how much social media can be valuable to your company, due to the closer relationship it gives you with customers (Nobre and Silva, 2014). Hopefully these points will help you gain a further insight into how social media can help your business, and what to be aware of when using it!

These are some useful links/videos that provide further information:

WebMarketers (2015)

 

Further information on benefits and tips can be viewed here:

https://www.business2community.com/social-media/10-key-benefits-social-media-business-01461178

https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-for-businesses

 

References:

Chu, S.C., Kamal, S. & Kim, Y. (2013) Understanding consumers’ responses toward social media advertising and purchase intention toward luxury products. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing. Vol. 4, No. 3, p158-174.

Cosmetics Europe (2017) ‘Innovation and future trends in the cosmetics industry’. [Online] <https://www.cosmeticseurope.eu/cosmetics-industry/innovation-and-future-trends-cosmetics-industry/> [Accessed 23rd December 2017]

Digital Marketing Philippines (2014) ‘The Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing for Business’. [Online] <http://digitalmarketingphilippines.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-social-media-marketing-for-business/> [Accessed 30th December 2017]

Dootson, P., Beatson, A. & Drennan, J. (2016) Financial institutions using social media – do consumers perceive value?. International Journal of Bank Marketing. Vol. 34, No. 1, p9-36.

Duggan, M., Ellison, N.B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2015) ‘Social Media Update 2014’. [Online] <http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/social-media-update-2014/> [Accessed 19th December 2017]

Einwiller, S.A. & Steilen, S. (2015) Handling complaints on social network sites – An analysis of
complaints and complaint responses on Facebook and Twitter pages of large US companies. Public Relations Review. Vol. 41, No. 2, p195-204.

Gaitho, M. (2017) ‘What is the real impact of social media?’. [Online] <https://www.simplilearn.com/real-impact-social-media-article> [Accessed 7th January 2018]

Hanna, R., Rohm, A. & Crittenden, V.L. (2011) We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business Horizons. Vol. 54, No. 3, p265-273.

Hoffman, H. (2016) ‘How the Makeup and Cosmetic Industry is Ruling Social Media’. [Online] <https://www.likeable.com/blog/2016/6/how-the-makeup-and-cosmetic-industry-is-ruling-social-media> [Accessed 30th December 2017]

Ismail, A.R. (2017) The influence of perceived social media marketing activities on brand loyalty. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics. Vol. 29, No. 1, p129-144.

Lee, J. & Hong, I.B. (2016) Predicting positive user responses to social media advertising: The
roles of emotional appeal, informativeness, and creativity. International Journal of Information Management. Vol. 36, No. 3, p360-373.

Lindsey-Mullikin, J. & Borin, N. (2017) Why strategy is key for successful social media sales. Business Horizons. Vol. 60, No. 4, p473-482.

Lozano, D. (2016) ’10 Key Benefits of Social Media for Business’. [Online] <https://www.business2community.com/social-media/10-key-benefits-social-media-business-01461178> [Accessed 30th December 2017]

MAC Cosmetics (2017) [Online] Twitter Page. <https://twitter.com/MACcosmetics/with_replies> [Accessed 31st December 2017]

Molton Brown (2017) [Online] Twitter Page. <https://twitter.com/MoltonBrownUK> [Accessed 19th December 2017]

Nobre, H. & Silva, D. (2014) Social Network Marketing Strategy and SME Strategy Benefits. Journal of Transnational Management. Vol. 19, No. 2, p138-151.

Peters, B. (2017) ‘8 Tips to Quickly Master Social Media for Businesses and Entrepreneurs’. [Online] <https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-for-businesses> [Accessed 29th December 2017]

Pfeffer, J., Zorbach, T. & Carley, K.M. (2014) Understanding online firestorms: Negative word-of-mouth dynamics in social media networks. Journal of Marketing Communications. Vol. 20, No. 1-2, p117-128.

Pudaruth, S., Juwaheer, T.D. & Seewoo, Y.D. (2015) Gender-based differences in understanding the purchasing patterns of eco-friendly cosmetics and beauty care products in Mauritius: a study of female customers. Social Responsibility Journal. Vol. 11, No. 1, p179-198.

Ramsay, M. (2010) Social media etiquette: A guide and checklist to the benefits and perils of social media marketing. Journal of Database Marketing and Customer Strategy Management. Vol. 17, No. 3-4, p257-261.

Sorescu, A., Frambach, R.T., Singh, J., Rangaswamy, A. & Bridges, C. (2011) Innovations in Retail Business Models. Journal of Retailing. Vol. 87, No. 1, p3-16.

The Body Shop (2017) [Online] Facebook Page. <https://www.facebook.com/TheBodyShopUK/> [Accessed 23rd December 2017]

Vinerean, S. (2017) Importance of Strategic Social Media Marketing. Expert Journal of Marketing. Vol. 5, No. 1, p28-35.

WebMarketers (2015) WebMarketers | 7 Key Benefits of Social Media Marketing. [Video] Youtube. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGQj9lKXvp4> [Accessed 3rd January 2018]

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