Doing the digital dance: but who’s the belle of the ball?

Doing the digital dance: but who’s the belle of the ball?

I don’t know about you, but it seems I can’t turn my phone on without yet another social media app being touted as the latest ‘must-have’ to download in order to keep up with the masses in the game that is digital. Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Whatsapp, You Tube – need I go on?

And hand’s up who spends a large percentage of their precious time engaged with a variety of these apps at multiple points of the day? Guilty. A fact that the beauty marketers know only too well and have been flouting to their advantage for some time.

Shelley Haus, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Ulta Beauty, agrees, telling WWD back in February, “Social media is shaping consumer behavior. Scrolling through Instagram, the pictures and videos bring things to life in a way that’s superabsorbable. [Consumers] go to Instagram for beauty inspiration and to learn how to wear this or do that. They relate in a really visual way, and they are getting a sense of urgency.”

But what are the beauty behemoths choosing as their app of choice when it comes to their audience interation? It’s time to Dosey Doe and dance the dance that is digital.

Imogen Matthews, Beauty Consultant, wrote for in-cosmetics 2016 of the important of You Tube, “A quick look at You Tube reveals that it is no longer a place for “cats doing silly things.” Instead, it’s a social media platform being embraced by young beauty ‘vloggers’ who are creating their own Channel to review, communicate and even sell new and niche products.”

And while Haus obviously totes Instagram, in my humble opinion Snapchat is coming out as the most prized debutante at the ball. While we first sunk our teeth into Facebook, then got to grips with Twitter and Instagram, it seems both mass market and premium brands are harnessing the power of the image and video sharing application Snapchat.

This week Snapchat opened up to e-commerce, launching shoppable ads. And Lancôme was one of the first to create content to capitalize on this via the app’s Cosmopolitan Discover channel. Allowing buyers to peruse the company’s featured products without leaving the app, I can’t imagine the beauty brand’s peers will be far behind in benefitting from this money-making avenue.  

Burberry also pulled a first out the bag on the app, being the earliest luxury brand to create an advertising campaign on the Discover section. Rimmel decided to get in on the act by using it as a media platform for a press conference following the appointment of Cara Delevingne as brand ambassador, while Japanese beauty brand Shiseido has also joined the app, hosting a popular blogger on the site in order to drive traffic to its site. And that, my friends, is just the tip of the Snapchat iceberg.

So it seems, at least for now, that Snapchat is coming up smelling of roses – highlighting the power of visual and video. Of course, the digital dream doesn’t end with social media apps. No, the powerhouses are coming up with increasingly innovative ways in which to wow. And with the recent unveiling of Unilever’s weather sensitive billboard advertisement in Time’s Square, it seems the sky really is the limit (excuse the pun). But that’s a whole other story…