Over the last decade, the world of technology has grown by leaps and bounds. With new technological advancements, comes a change in the average everyday lifestyle. The world of social media seems to be one of the advancements that has most changed the way people live their lives. Social media is involved in pretty much every aspect of people’s lives. At work, the top form of communication is email. In your personal life, the way to communicate and stay up to date with your friends is through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. When shopping for anything whether it be clothing, kitchen appliances, or a new bronzer people are turning to social media and the internet. As I was thinking of a topic I was interested in researching, I realized that the beauty industry seems to be one of the top industries that have been heavily impacted by the rise of social media.
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Beauty has always been an experiential process, for the simple fact that you can’t necessarily ‘see’ beauty in the way that you can see fashion. Known for taking risks, the industry has always been the first to seize new opportunities as they’ve come along, to help demonstrate and bring products to life for the consumer. Whether that meant spraying the latest fragrance in a department store, offering a ‘free gift’ with purchase, selling beauty within the home or posting as a monthly subscription box, the sector has always been eager to try out new things and particularly those that wouldn’t be possible in other marketplaces. In beauty, talent-led marketing has become a fast-paced industry, and this has had a dramatic impact on brands within the sector. Above all, it has pushed the global beauty industry, worth $500 billion, to become more creative, transparent and accessible, with a need to bring the consumer in to every stage of the process. With consumers becoming increasingly savvy at spotting when they are being sold to, the beauty industry has recognized that while celebrities can still be successful at helping to launch a brand or product line, their involvement must now go far deeper than a traditional endorsement deal, and in addition the case for taking a tiered approach incorporating digital and emerging talent also has become stronger than ever.
A further matter to consider is that consumers are no longer shopping for beauty in the way that they used to. There are many factors at play here, and beauty experts interviewed for the report expressed reasons such as a volatile economy, the decline of high street shopping, dying consumer groups, inherent difficulties with purchasing beauty online, over producing, messages of sustainability, plastic-free and cruelty-free, which combined are breaking all the established rules of consumer behavior known to the beauty industry. Companies used to know how to sell their products to consumers, but due to the way social media has changed the game, companies are beginning to rely heavily on social media influencers and hope this new ‘strategy’ will be successful.
Last year was a defining year for indie beauty, and in many ways reflective of this change in consumer behavior, along with evolving tastes and preferences. Start-up, independent beauty brands have rapidly begun to steal market share from well-established players, offering something that’s far more accessible and grassroots, with a notable cool factor. Mergers and acquisitions and injections of capital in this space have soared, and there’s no doubt that the power of social media influencers, along with their willingness to share their passion for emerging indie brands and the values they stand for, such as clean, organic beauty and wellness; has helped to create a more level playing field.
Social Media and the Beauty Industry. (2019, Apr 10).
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