While leveraging Instagram with lifestyle posts looks like a no-brainer for Fashion and Travel brands, the beauty category has been one of the largest beneficiaries of the platform. In the first half of 2015, beauty brands have experienced an average of 90% growth in community size. The “millionaires club” (brands with 7-digit communities) has increased to seven brands. (Nars, Maybelline New York, and Essie have joined the ranks of MAC Cosmetics, NYX, Urban Decay, and Benefit Cosmetics).

However, along with fashion brands, the beauty category is encountering the problem of declining engagement rates. Average engagement rate among beauty brands tracked by L2’s Insight Report: Instagram: Beauty & Fashion is third to last among all categories.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 5.59.20 PMCommunity size seems to have no effect on engagement, as several brands (Essie, Maybelline) are high achievers in both.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 6.00.32 PMHowever, while engagement rates might be out of brands’ control, posting frequently can help raise absolute engagement. Average posting rates for the 40 beauty brands tracked by L2 has increased from 5.3 in 2014 to once a day. With that, absolute engagement has almost doubled from 3,991 to 7,509.

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