Beauty Store Business

SEP 2017

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Page 45 of 75

44 September 2017 | times per day," Rouchou says. They've found that further engagement constitutes as over-sharing, which may lead to viewer disinterest that could potentially culminate in the kiss of death: unfollowing. On the other side of the spectrum, nine times is the charm for CosmoProf Beauty account managers. "Over time, our team crafted a schedule to best meet the browsing patterns of our com- munity. Maintaining this timetable helps keep stylist features top-of-mind, and gives beauty mavens around the globe the chance to catch up with our conversa- tion," Gentz says. DON'T HASH IT ALL OUT Fear the dreaded hashtag overkill! A few specific markers are a must. "The most popular IG tags are #Love, #Instagood, #Me, #Cute and #Follow," note WordStream experts. But if hashtags have taken over your entire caption, stop, rethink and revise. "Having a good eye for what Insta- gram users like to see is crucial, and that includes the use of hashtags—too many of which will be fatiguing," Rouchou points out. What sets certain shops apart from others? The ability to conceive and create an alluring IG feed. GIVE IT ALL AWAY Everybody loves free swag. Social media giveaways are often the fastest, easiest way to accomplish four essential objec- tives: share knowledge, drum up excite- ment for new and existing products, gain followers and generate engage- ment. Here, the call-to-action is also of utmost importance. Include a "Follow @ YourBrandName on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for your chance to win!" line in all captions, so as to see the max bang for your investment buck. KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS Like any app, Instagram is not infallible. It comes with its own inherent set of boundaries. "Our biggest struggle is figuring out new ways to continuously resonate with customers," Gentz says. The brand has endeavored to cultivate a platform where everyone from novice to licensed cosmetologist feels wel- come, and now the trick lies in growing that base while preserving originality. Because, truth be told, IG is not the most forgiving of all mediums. You're often just as good as your last hit post. For brands striving to drive traf- fic to web stores, the inability to link products via captions presents a further challenge. "Occasionally we must tell viewers to click the 'Link in Bio' to pur- chase the product about which we're posting," Rouchou says. "It's a bit of a setback, and not as instantly gratifying as we'd like this technology to be." She and others are keeping fingers crossed for the introduction of a hyperlink fea- ture in the near future. (Wink, wink, Instagram developers!) IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VISUALS When all is said and done, Instagram is where you go to scroll through pretty pictures. Aim for the stratosphere— don't settle on mediocre sights. Photos should inspire and thrill and educate and scintillate and make products pop from the cosmos of sameness. "It's all about the image," concludes Gentz. "That two-by-two square must be impactful enough to stop a scroll and trigger inter- est in the caption." If the visual isn't arousing, it won't matter what you've scribed below. In Gentz's experience, transformation posts depicting a clear before and after tend to spark lively conversation. "People love to see the process and hard work that have gone into crafting a finished look." At Planet Beauty, Rouchou first identi- fies a product, then crafts a cool con- cept for how to represent it virtually. Recent examples include posts about two Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics items. "For the first, a lipstick called Strange & Unusual, we created a Beetlejuice- themed graphic," she explains (see page 43). "We also did a turntable-style GIF for another lipstick named Synth." It's incredible to witness the enthusiasm this type of original idea can incite. Think outside the box, and you'll win the hearts of IG followers. ■ Francesca Moisin is a beauty and hair- care writer based in Rockport, MA. "There's a level of implied trust that comes with Instagram. Your followers have chosen to be part of the conversation, so they're inherently more active in it and more likely to participate beyond a simple scroll or like." –Meghan Gentz, senior manager of social media and content, CosmoProf Beauty FUN FACTS Beyoncé holds the record for most- liked Instagram post with her pregnancy announcement—it garnered over 11 million likes. Selena Gomez boasts the most IG followers—with over 123 million! Next are singer Ariana Grande with 110 million followed by Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo , with 105 million . GET INSPIRED! Check out some of these top-performing beauty retail accounts on Instagram. Sephora: @sephora, 12M followers Ulta: @ultabeauty, 3.5M followers Violet Grey: @violetgrey, 230K followers Sally Beauty: @sallybeauty, 165K followers Naimie's Beauty Center: @naimies, 118K followers Ricky's NYC: @rickys_nyc, 75K followers Peach & Lily: @peachandlily, 65K followers Courtesy of Cosmoprof

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