Is Instagram Still Important for Beauty Brands?

In August, cosmeceutical and skincare brand Elf Beauty became the first beauty brand to launch on the so-called “anti-Instagram” app BeReal. Users can follow their account @elfyeah for behind-the-scenes content and previews. There are no edit buttons or filters, and BeReal randomly informs users once a day of the “is real” time and takes pictures with the front and rear cameras. In 2022, the app will be installed 41 million times. Frank Body has begun testing BeReal, and Johnson says, “Earlier is better than perfect.”

Jones Road has been particularly successful on TikTok. Videos include founder Bobbi Brown candidly speaking to the camera about her own beauty journey or giving tips on using products. “For many beauty companies, Instagram has always been very refined and naturally more ‘branded,'” says Plofker. “TikTok is more real.”

School House’s Skinner noted that copying content or trying to imitate someone else’s style doesn’t work: “We’re all scrolling on TikTok because we want to see the next thing, and we want it to be different than what we’ve seen before.”

Siri Fomsgaard, president of digital marketing agency Taylor & Pond, believes that TikTok’s unfiltered nature can be a real asset, not a hindrance, if brands can rise to the challenge. “On TikTok, there are a lot of users who are very willing to comment and recommend products. Brands should go out and find these people, provide them with products and learn from them. See what they’re saying, see what they’re saying on these posts. How about engagement,” she said. “The idea of ​​’TikTok made me buy it’ is still a big trend,” confirms Tribe Dynamic’s Begley.

Fomsgaard believes that TikTok is essentially a creator-led platform. This means that brands are better advised to rely on influencers to create TikTok content for them, rather than creating it themselves. “The type of video that people want to watch is usually very raw and authentic, and it’s more of a commentary type,” she said.

Benefits beyond participation

Instagram is still very much alive. Skinner points out that its power goes beyond transformation. “A brand’s grid view can still function as a micro-brand site, so photography and other types of visual cues and tone are still important,” he said. He added that Instagram is also an important customer service tool for many companies.

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