When it comes to social media, few industries have been as successful and consistent as Beauty. Often early adopters of emerging platforms and with some of the highest rates of engagement among the luxury verticals, Beauty brands in many ways serve as the example when it comes to watching where the people are and very quickly following them to provide a community they want and services they need. In China, the story is similar. According to data collected in our Digital IQ Index: China Beauty Supplement, 90 percent of Beauty brands have active accounts on at least two Chinese social media networks. The big standout here is Benefit Cosmetics, which increased its presence from four to seven platforms in 2012. Top-ranked Estée Lauder is not far behind, going from three to six.
All 20 of the Beauty brands included in the research have built communities on China’s most popular network, Sina Weibo, but the reach is still fairly limited. In terms of size — an average of 168,000 followers on the Twitter-like microsite — the Chinese social community is much smaller than brand pages on Facebook, for example, which currently average more than 10x the number of fans. Engagement, too, is significantly lower, despite the lower administrator-to-fan ratio. Last year, Sina Weibo added several new features mimicking Facebook’s “custom tab” format and Pinterest’s “pinning” functionality. Though both have gained huge followings here in the U.S., only six and 10 beauty brands have invested in each respective feature on the Chinese platform. Even more of an opportunity missed given the Chinese persuasion for everything eCommerce is that no brands have pursued integration. For the full picture of Beauty brands and the Chinese social media landscape, see the chart below (click for more detail).
To download an excerpt of the Digital IQ Index: China Beauty supplement, click here.