Strong social media skills and digital competence often go hand in hand. However, L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty finds that many newcomers –despite having excellent social media skills – struggle to achieve well-rounded digital competence.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is a prime example. The newcomer dominates the Beauty category on Instagram, where it generated 34% of interactions in October despite accounting for only 8% of posts. That outsized success is largely due to the brand’s network of influencers, who were mentioned in 98% of those posts.

Beauty brands on Instagram

However, the study shows that Anastasia has yet to translate that success to other platforms. The brand performs poorly in nearly every area of digital, from web advertising and email marketing to mobile and desktop site performance. The brand also has no detectable display presence on either desktop or mobile, according to Pathmatics.

The reason may not be a lack of competence so much as a lack of funds. Smaller Beauty brands often struggle to match the digital aptitude of large conglomerates, especially in areas like digital marketing and site, which are heavily budget-dependent. Even social platforms like Facebook and YouTube require ad spend, in contrast to Instagram. For the time being, Anastasia’s best strategy is to continue building a large and engaged community on Instagram – before it becomes a pay-to-play platform like Facebook that favors brands with large budgets.


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