When Selena Gomez recently became Pantene’s new spokesmodel, she explained that she wanted to represent the brand “not only because Pantene stands for strong, healthy hair but also because it encourages women to be their best selves.”
No longer content with producing functional shampoo, hair care companies are launching ambitious social media campaigns that encourage users to engage with their brands. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color reveals the most successful of these endeavors.
Like Pantene, Head & Shoulders (ranked 10th in the Index) employed a celebrity spokesperson, actress Sofia Vergara. The brand increased its Twitter following by almost one-third in two weeks with a promotion where @HeadShoulders followers who shared photos with the hashtag #PartOfOurFamily – a reference to the campaign featuring Vergara and her relatives, all Head & Shoulders users – could win a trip to an advertising shoot.
Companies from OGX (ranked 35th) to L’Oréal (ranked 2nd) also took advantage of Instagram, pointing to the platform’s increasing popularity with hair care brands. The average Index brand had more than 36,000 followers in 2015, a significant increase from 12,000 the previous year. Revlon, which also produces cosmetics, boasted the biggest community with 440,000 followers.
Twitter and Instagram campaigns are particularly attractive because unlike traditional advertisements, they can rapidly boost engagement at zero financial cost. OGX saw its Instagram following surge by 35% after its #BadAssHairDay campaign, which prompted users to submit selfies depicting their unfortunate hairstyles. Similarly, L’Oréal’s #PowerOn encouraged women to upload good hair day selfies, for which they could win a trip to hang out with spokesmodel Karlie Kloss in New York City. Within a month, L’Oréal received more than 700 submissions and gained 15,000 Twitter followers.
Dove (ranked 4th) also saw significant success with its #LoveYourCurls campaign. With almost 11 million views, Dove’s “Love Your Curls” video on YouTube was the company’s third most-watched. Fans more interested in reading could download a free eBook of poetry personalized based on their own hair and personality.
However, while social media campaigns improve brand awareness, brand experience is inconsistent in the e-commerce realm. For example, while all the Index brands are available on Amazon, few are sold directly by the producer, making the customer experience less consistent. Nearly 20% of Index brands are sold by third-party sellers, leaving brands little control of consumer experiences and perceptions further down the purchase funnel.