Social Media Strategy Review: Personal Care Brands

When it comes to products in the personal care brands, a lot is dependent on the visuals. With a target audience that is predominantly female, how do these brands work around social media?

Here is an analysis (December 1st – 31st, 2013) of the personal care sector comprising of the following 10 brands:

  1. Pantene India
  2. Dove India
  3. Garnier Fructis India
  4. Olay India
  5. Oriflame India
  6. I Love Lakme

Community Building

The personal brand sector makes great use of Facebook and Twitter for social media, with brands such as L’Oreal also extending to domains such as Instagram and Pinterest. There are brands that are taking social media seriously but many could do with paying a little extra attention to their strategies.

All ten brands are active on Facebook with Dove having the largest community at 2,200,000 and Lakme having the highest growth rate at 8.95%. While Dove creates original content that works towards portraying a strong image for women, for Lakme the high growth rate can be coupled with high engagement. Dove’s high fan numbers are followed by L’Oreal Paris India with a close 2,160,000 and Head and Shoulder India at 1,932,000.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

While a leading figure on Facebook, Dove India loses ground on Twitter with an extremely low follower base. The biggest disappointment is Head and Shoulders India that has an extremely small community coupled with no activity. The maximum community size is credited to L’Oreal Paris India at around 15,000, which still leaves room for improvement. Most of the other brands in this analysis fall in the bracket of 2,500 – 5,000 followers.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy twitter
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

The majority of the audience on Facebook is young and female (aged below 30) which given the kind of brands we’re looking at here, is hardly a surprise. One exception is Head and Shoulder’s India which has a 67% male audience on Facebook,  well above all other brands’ share that goes up to 20% at the most.

Content Strategy

With such an overwhelmingly female audience, most brands post female centric content ranging from make-up tips, hair styles and fashion along with several contests to engage with the audience.

Most brands, barring Pantene, post content in between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m which seems to be the sweet spot. Perhaps the content creation and approvals is done in the morning and then posted in the afternoon.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Twitter
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

The Product

Having a product to sell, the product itself was a recurring theme in the content that was posted by all these brands. However, Lakme and L’Oreal Paris lay greater emphasis on their brands when compared to the rest. Not only do they talk more about the product with entire conversations revolving around a newly launched product, but they also post links to where users can actually buy them. #Win

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy L'Oreal Paris

Who is not talking about their product? Fiama Di Wills. Be it Facebook or Twitter, they are talking about food, fashion, hair (a lot of it) and shoes. This means everything but their product. With a lack of branding and excessive pictures that have been grabbed from Pinterest, they need to rethink their strategy. Talking about your industry is fine, but as with most things it needs to be balanced with some on-brand updates and information for fans.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Fiama Di wills Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Fiama

The Female Face

For all the brands, the female face is used in both positioning and branding. 8/10 brands had a female face in their Twitter cover or background. The same brands had a female figure in their Facebook cover photo as well. This resonates in their statistics too.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy loreal Paris Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy oriflame Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy lakme Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy sunsilk

 Brand Positioning

While in terms of recall, the personal care sector includes logos and images of the product in the majority of the photos that are posted. Interesting content can be observed only from a few brands.

Pantene, for instance, launched a #WhipIt campaign that acted as an extension of their recently released television advert that went viral due to the way women in society are perceived negatively compared to their male counterparts. With an 86% female fan base on Facebook, continuing this conversation on social media was a good idea for the brand.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy pantene

Contests and use of hashtags

Contests are a very popular tool in the personal care sector. The recurring #contest hashtag is a testimony to this. Most brands create contests with hashtags in sync with their branding which is appreciable.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Twitter
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Brand Ambassadors

Be it offline or online promotion, the personal care sector has been rife with brand ambassadors. The social media activity of most brands hence revolves a lot around their brand ambassadors as well. When you are on Lakme channels expect a lot a Kareena and when browsing through L’Oreal Paris you shall see a lot of Aishwarya, with even their hashtag saying ‘#lorealpariscelebratesash’. The same is observed for Olay India, Oriflame and Pantene. Remember ‘The female face’ segment we talked about earlier? It’s in play across social media channels thanks to the brand amabassadors.

TV Commercials/Video Content

While most brands have YouTube channels where they post video content, it is limited to their TV commercials. However, Garnier Fructis and Lakme are seen creating exclusive online content such as DIY videos and Google Hangouts. The brands need more of such engaging activities, rather than simply posting content that is originally created for broadcast.

While L’Oreal has done interesting stuff on YouTube in the past, lately it has been mostly advertising content based. In the past, the brand has called for Nail Art fan videos which have been fairly hit and miss in terms of views.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy loreal Paris Youtube

Garnier Fructis has launched the DIY quick hairstyle videos almost like a campaign – exactly the way it should be. Not only did all Facebook covers and Twitter backgrounds talk about this, the posts made about these videos also received a high engagement. As a result of this, Garnier got a  decent number of views for the videos – especially when compared to other brands in the sector.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy garnier youtube

Previously, Garnier had also conducted Google Hangouts to discuss hair problems. The surprising part? Not all participants were women. Whoa!

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Garnier

Lakme by far comes across as the most rigorous in terms of created online video content. While the wedding season saw content giving make-up suggestions, the brand leveraged their Nail art collection through DIY Nail Art videos.
Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Lakme Youtube Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Lakme youtube

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Customer Engagement

From the brands analysed, Personal Care does not come out to be a sector of high engagement. While Lakme followed by H&S and LOreal grab the attention when it comes to engagement on Facebook, Twitter sees L’Oreal, Oriflame and Fiama Di Wills leading the scenario.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Despite being a popular international brand, Dove disappoints the most with a lack of conversation with its audience. They need to take inspiration from how Social Media is handled by their international counterparts. They fail to converse even when the conversation is from their side of the table. Hey Dove, you are being mentioned in the tweet @DoveIndia, it is not that hard to retweet or reply!

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy dove In terms of likes, comments and shares, L’Oreal and Lakme are way ahead in the game. One reason is the frequency of the posts coming from their end.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Facebook Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

While Head and Shoulders has not been active on Twitter since November 2013, activity from other brands varies in terms of quantity. Oriflame India tweets the most and Pantene the least (once H&S is off the list of course).

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Customer Feedback

Be it positive or negative, feedback needs to be acknowledged by any brand. While Dove India has no acknowledgement of feedback from it’s customers and does not give them the ability to post on their Facebook page, other brands attempt to work towards responsiveness.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

While Garnier Fructis tops the charts by responding to around 72% of fan posts as far Facebook is concerned, it is followed by Lakme, Fiama Di Wills and H&S India at around 35%. The only issue here is that Lakme receives a greater amount of spam. Hence, effectively, Lakme and Garnier can both be considered to be addressing fan posts on the platform rather well.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Facebook Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Lakme oriflame India Facebook garnier-fb-products-2 fiama-fb-1

There is also an attempt to promote the brand explicitly. Question is – is it required?

garnier India Facebook

On Twitter, as mentioned earlier, Dove India and Head and Shoulders India are not replying at all. Fiama Di Wills and L’Oreal Paris lead the numbers here in terms of speed, with Oriflame and Olay following them. Pantene and Sunsilk’s Average response times on Twitter are huge and an indication that following up on @mentions isn’t a big part of their strategy..

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Sentiment

A sentiment analysis of the community reveals most of it to be neutral. However, on Facebook, Lakme has the most (net) positive sentiment. Dove fails to gather any sentiment at all (remember no wall posts from consumers?) while Head and Shoulders India gathers mostly a neutral sentiment.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

From what activity there is observed on Twitter, Olay India has the maximum (net) positive sentiment. Maybe #SwaptoOlay worked a bit?

However, if we look at the tweets for Olay, we are stating that 6 out of 10 tweets were positive. Similar analysis for L’Oreal shows that 99 out of 197 tweets were positive. Also, out of the 87 tweets addressed to Oriflame, 31 were positive. Pantene strikes a balance even with merely three tweets – one positive, one negative and one neutral.

Note: Unmetric’s Sentiment analysizer examines all tweets that are directly addressed to a brand and distills the overall sentiment of those.

Indian Personal care brands on Social Media strategy Unmetric
Source: Unmetric – A Social Media Analytics Tool

Scope for Improvement

The personal care sector is full of potential, however it is not living up to this. While certain brands are creating conversations that people want to be a part of, many are ignoring the need for the same altogether. Having drooling photos of strawberries has nothing to do with your brand or your consumer, please do not post it!. Yes, your consumer likes DIY videos, create more of them and weave engagement around these creatives.

One segment that all brands need to focus on is Twitter. While Facebook still sees some activity and engagement, Twitter needs a boost in the community size and growth. When Sunsilk and Pantene gain 10 and 36 new followers over a period of 1 month, it is a cause of worry.

Some brands such as Garnier and Fiama Di WIlls have exclusive pages for products for men. Considering that they have been stripped by the competition on Facebook, they could also consider merging the two. If not merge, at least post alternating content with elements of cross sharing involved.

Moreover, these brands also need to create more content. Tweeting once a day is not a strategy, neither is one Facebook post. Most of the time they are going to be the same. Also, realise that the two platforms are different. Having one tweet is day is lazy social media (read Pantene, Sunsilk and Dove) and is inexcusable.

Conclusion

The personal brand sector lacks severely in high engagement with its customers. Most brands need to create greater amount of content about their product and more content in general as well. Whether it is the lack of promoted posts or a variety of content, engagement is missing. DIY content is seen to engage best when compared to the various categories. However, the frequency of posts/tweets is in the dip and needs to be worked on by most brands.

The audience is mostly female and young – something that the content posted is reflective of. The brands also try to tap into this by using female brand ambassadors in their strategy.

Analytics Support: Unmetric

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