Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 1.38.22 PMOur highly anticipated Brand Passion Report on Beauty and Skincare recently made its debut, and the results have generated quite the buzz. Our report, which includes analysis of more than 200 million social conversations over a two-year period, set out to identify the top 30 beauty and skincare brands around the world. However, what we ultimately uncovered was a variety of surprising findings that speak volumes about the beauty and skincare industry. Here’s a peek at some of our most interesting conclusions:

The rise of online retailers

A look at the year-over-year growth of social chatter around brands and beauty and skincare suggests that change is afoot in the way that consumers are buying cosmetics. Social mentions of online retailers associated with beauty and skincare have increased 11 times faster than mentions of traditional cosmetics retailers over the course of a single year.

Of the top 15 most-mentioned brands in beauty and skincare, online retailers like eBay, Etsy and Amazon dominated social media mentions, making up 53% of conversations on the topic between February 2014 and January 2015. Meanwhile, traditional brands (Mac, Sephora, Dior, Maybelline, Chanel, Revlon, L’Oreal) all fell in the rankings during the same period.

Picture-perfect beauty

The rise of the selfie has resulted in a proliferation of self-portraits across social media. Today, the Internet is immortalizing us in pictures shared online, and the drive for “always-on” beauty is consistent with always having a phone camera within reach. According our research, social sharers are frequently posting selfies with associations to beauty. As one social sharer stated, “Taking pretty selfies makes me feel better when I feel like crap. #me #selfie #makeup #hair #mua.”

Five dimensions of beauty and skincare

From our evaluation of seven key beauty brands, we discovered five dimensions that surfaced in social conversations: great scent, natural looking, great moisturizer, value, and anti-aging. With a little digging, we were able to see which of the seven beauty brands was more driven by these dimensions in terms of conversation. For example, is a brand known primarily for being of “great value” or for dominating the “great scent” conversation?

After looking across these top five dimensions, we were able to plainly see the weight of each attribute for the seven brands – and, with 52.1% of the conversation, the winner was clear: Moisture matters the most.

Nike makes us feel beautiful

Perhaps the most surprising finding in this most recent Brand Passion Report was discovering what other objects are associated with beauty and skincare. It seemed that social conversations around this subject actually covered a variety of categories, including sports, technology, retail and makeup. Nike, whether within the context of feeling beautiful or as a complement to beauty items, popped up as a frequent match for these social conversations. (i.e. “@jennna_mariie: I want new makeup & Nike clothes.” – @MorganScherch).

These discoveries are of great interest to us – but what can we do with them? Well, uncovering trends like these through social listening can ultimately help beauty brands drive business decisions. For example: If consumers are talking about beauty and skincare in conjunction with Nike and athletic gear, perhaps cosmetics marketers should find ways to reach consumers when they’re thinking about fitness apparel. This type of social listening can also help brands understand emotion from millions of consumer conversations.

What this data really taps into is consumer passion, allowing brands to answer three key questions: “Who loves us?” “Who doesn’t love us?” and “What can we do about it?”

Download the NetBase Brand Passion Report on Beauty & Skincare to learn more.

About the Author: Patrick Brennan is a solutions specialist with NetBase. Patrick uses the NetBase product to report on interesting insights and trends online as part of the marketing department.

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