Social media platforms have been integral to the growth of beauty brands. Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat are especially important as they can help brands deliver droves of visual content that are both aspirational (ads) and useful (tutorials). But how should brands approach social media in a country where users are not especially active on social platforms? L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty Germany gives recommendations for beauty brands in Germany, where social media use lags behind the U.K., U.S., and France. Just 36% of Germans use social media vs. 50% of the French and 59% of U.K. and U.S. residents. Overall, brands should be active on YouTube and Instagram while scaling back on Twitter to match Germans’ lack of enthusiasm for the platform.

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YouTube: The relative success of brands like Nivea and Bobbi Brown in obtaining a high percentage of their YouTube views organically suggests the platform does provide opportunities for organic reach. However, to benefit from that brands must consolidate localized and global content into one global channel as local channels remain hidden behind channels with more views and subscribers. Smart brands are adopting a local and global strategy simultaneously: Giorgio Armani, for example, adds German captions to many of its videos. Furthermore, YouTube content accounts for 1% of the top 100 organic search results for beauty keywords across all four subcategories (skin care, color cosmetics, fragrance and nails), multiplying the ROI of localization investments.

beauty-germany-share-of-first-page-ownership-by-domain-typeInstagram: Though Instagram usage in Germany is half of that in the U.K. or U.S., it is still an essential platform for Beauty brands to embrace. It is visual, which means it can showcase the artistry of beauty brands. Also, Instagram communities are far more engaged than other platforms. In Q4 2015, Instagram accounted for only one percent of social posts but received 88% of the total interactions. Like YouTube, global outdoes local on this platform. Color cosmetics, which dominate on Instagram, reach a wider audience by focusing on global handles. On average, global Instagram pages receive 10.5x the interactions of local accounts.

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Facebook: As L2 has previously stated, Facebook is a pay-to-play platform. And it does not discriminate between local and global pages among Beauty brands in Germany. However, regional Facebook pages present an opportunity to promote events and promotions at local brick-and-mortar stores. Brands in the Index exhibit split strategies on Facebook; half of German Index brands use distinct pages to localize content and half utilize a linked structure that connects the regional pages to the global page. Dove perfectly illustrates Facebook’s pay-to-play strategy; interactions jumped from 400 to 2000 per post in early March despite Dove having one of the most infrequent post rates in the Index.

Twitter: Twitter usage has stagnated year-over-year in Germany, which means brands should consider redirecting resources to more rapidly growing platforms

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