For brands in the Hair Care & Color vertical, Instagram is the emerging platform of choice. Because the hair care industry is reliant on vivid and creative visuals to showcase and sell their products, Instagram, the photography app that makes everyone’s pictures look good — while also allowing for real-time user-generated content integration — is a natural fit. Though just 41 percent of the 53 brands included in our recently-released Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color study currently have active Instagram accounts (just ahead of Pinterest with 40 percent active brand accounts), the platform is growing at a quick clip. On average, the brands we tracked increased followers by 10 percent, month over month, between December 2012 and January 2013.
On the consumer side, Revlon and AXE have the largest presences, while Aveda and Bumble and bumble earned the top spots in the professional category. To emphasize just how much momentum these brands have on Instagram, compare Revlon and Bumble’s community sizes in January (see chart above) to where they are today: Revlon is now at 15,683 and Bumble at 10,210–increases of more than 50 percent in less than two months. The growth is likely due to recent, frequent behind-the-scenes postings from AW 2013 Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and now, Paris. But even so, by any measure, growth of that magnitude in such a short period demonstrates an extraordinarily effective strategy. Particularly for Bumble and bumble, whose engagement far exceeds expectations given its niche salon size.