Although site traffic from social media averages just 4 percent across the 85 Beauty brands in our 2013 Digital IQ Index: Beauty study, traffic to well-known vlogger Michelle Phan’s brand site, emcosmetics.com, is a very different story. Phan, who will reportedly rake in $5 million in earnings this year, owes 42 percent of her newly-launched brand’s site traffic to various social platforms. What Phan has managed to do in just a few months that virtually no other brand has in years–i.e., successfully leveraging social media to drive traffic to her site–is critical to Em’s success given its almost exclusive reliance on online sales. Though she has a dedicated YouTube audience that has watched her mostly makeup tutorials more than 800 million times, Phan hasn’t rested on her laurels. Almost as soon as Instagram video launched this summer, she began to make her mark. Today, Em Cosmetic’s average interaction rate on the video platform is already three times higher than the Index average.

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