The choice between global or local social media accounts remains a key strategic decision for beauty brands. However, the decision is far from straightforward.
Thanks to its image-first nature, Instagram is the social platform that best lends itself to a global approach. Only a quarter of beauty brands use a local handle in France, as the difficulties of scaling a local account and the risk of duplicating efforts can outweigh the benefits of localised content. This may have led L’Oréal Paris to transition in February 2016 from 28 local Instagram accounts to three global category accounts: Makeup, Hair, and Skin Care.
Following the opposite path, MAC Cosmetics created a local handle for the UK in 2016. While the global account has secured more than 16 million followers, only 153,000 followers have joined the local UK handle to date.
In contrast, when it comes to Facebook, a majority of beauty brands opt for a localised approach as text remains an important component of posts. In France, 69% of beauty brands have a localised Facebook handle. In the UK, despite sharing a common language with the US, 56% of brands maintain local accounts to communicate promotional activities, offer customer support, and drive followers to nearby stores. When managing local accounts, content can still be developed at the global level to avoid duplication of effort, from campaign hero photos and videos to product swatches.
Considering the high costs of producing (and promoting) high-quality video content, the localisation of YouTube content should be carefully considered. With 42% of Index beauty brands publishing content on a local account in France and 55% in the UK, the industry appears to be split down the middle on whether to localize.
While make-up tutorials that involve local influencers can build a case for local accounts, some high-budget content such as fragrance videos can more easily cross borders. For example, Guerlain globalises its video approach while keeping a local flavor by creating content featuring influencers from multiple nationalities.