MasseyMedia, Inc

Social media makes beauty a breeze

It‘s no surprise that the beauty industry is big business. There are currently 750 plus unique beauty brands.

If that‘s not astonishing, how about the fact that there are 250,000 plus beauty salons in the United States?

And people are buying into it, literally.

In the U.S. alone, $59 billion is spent annually on beauty products and services. That number multiplies by more than five times when you account for worldwide sales, which come out to an incredible $250 billion per year.

These companies, along with independent beauty professionals, are realizing the importance of social media in relation to the beauty industry. Social tools like YouTube, blogs, and Pinterest are certainly keeping us connected, but can they also make us more beautiful?

Hair- and makeup-related videos have exploded on YouTube. In the top five searches on YouTube, as well as Google, women are looking for beauty tutorials, advice and information. Beauty gurus record videos such as "How to create the perfect smoky eye," "How to curl your hair with a flat iron," and "How to duplicate celebrity looks," and upload them to the popular video-sharing website.

Once uploaded, these videos have the potential to receive hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of views. A beauty video can go viral in a matter of days or even hours, racking up views due to people spreading the link through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others. YouTube users can watch, comment and post video responses.

This environment provides an interactive virtual experience for what was once confined to makeup counter consultations and "playing beauty parlor" at sleepovers. Instead of lamenting that you wish you knew how to apply the perfect red lip, you can now visit YouTube and find a slew of step-by-step video instructions.

The beauty community Makeup Alley is also becoming an increasingly dominant source of beauty product information.

Makeup Alley users can create accounts, post photos, rate products, comment, interact with one another through message boards, and more. Products are rated on a scale of one to five "lipsticks," so that users can learn about products before buying, and rate and comment after making purchases.

Pinterest is another social media tool creating beauty frenzy. Users can create boards for different makeup and hairstyle inspirations.

Because Pinterest is a community that encourages sharing and "re-pinning," photos have the potential to be spread across a large audience over a short period of time.

If the photos are properly linked, that means traffic back to the sites and blogs to which the photos originated.

Blogs are the most powerful source of beauty information, and are two times more likely to drive buyers to making a purchase than magazine ads. Writers of these blogs, or beauty bloggers, post about products, tutorials, recent trends, techniques, and more. Links to posts are spread via Twitter and Facebook, and photos from these blogs are "pinned."

Businesses that promote via their own blogs have the capability to provide information about their products and services to a willing and interested audience.

Another route a company can take is to enlist the assistance of beauty bloggers. By giving these bloggers a product or service and asking them to write about it, companies will receive publicity and attention from the blogger‘s audience, who may be intrigued enough to visit the company‘s website and possibly make a purchase.

What does this mean for boutiques and beauty business owners?

Great things.

There are many opportunities available through these online resources if you are willing to jump on board. Get involved with the appropriate social media outlets available to you and your business. This will strengthen your brand and online presence, creating fans and followers.

In addition to developing interest and reputation for your products and services, it will also convert to sales.

As the popularity of social media networks continues to rise, let your business lead the pack by joining forces with social media as soon as possible. Through doing so, your company will stand out above the rest "” and look more beautiful than ever.