Social Media Strategy Review: Neutrogena India

Jayshree Punjabi
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Strategy Review Neutogena India - Copy


This review is a part of our ‘Social Media Strategy Review’ series where we do a 360 degree analysis of a brand’s social media activity. You can read the reviews of more brands here.

“In today's world of fashion, elegant and natural beauty has taken a backseat. It is time to revive the natural and bring back the glow that lights up rooms...” This is how Flipkart introduces its section of beauty products & cosmetics & I go.... Hmmm! Every beauty seller/brand uses clichéd advertising yet the category has created such a deep sense of need amongst the target audience that almost every woman has a long roster of beauty products featuring in the monthly shopping list.

For eg:

Olay India: Start young, Stay young

Lakme: The source of radiant beauty

Neutrogena: Dermatologist recommended

Garnier: Take Care

L’oreal: Because you’re worth it

Women, of course, have marked a mental tick for each brand they have purchased so far.

Today’s review is a test to see how “social” can a beauty brand get beyond advertising the hole in one’s self-esteem to make the audience believe one cannot (and should not) do without these beauty care products.

Overall Strategy:

Neutrogena India, in the last quarter, has been focusing on “FBB Femina Miss India 2014 powered by Neutrogena” and interspersing those updates with beauty care, fashion, life style indulgences, and product updates. Neutrogena has to live up to the “Dermatologist Recommended” tagline and it’s interesting to see how they have been executing that.

On Facebook:

As a woman I can connect with broad topics they cover as a cosmetic brand, the updates don’t seem to have been streamlined into a calendar. I wonder how much of the fashion & lifestyle updates (Read: Trendy Tuesday/Throwback Thursday) really do for the brand or the brand promise. The brand publishes mostly one to two updates a day, some days are skipped erratically.

The updates although visual aren’t hard-hitting enough. Prachi Desai features in a few updates, but a simple Google search gives me more pics of the celebrity endorsing Neutrogena than the brand page does.

Sample product update:

Sample Product Neutrogena

Sample fashion update:

Sample Fashion Product

They have been sharing updates from the Facebook page of Femina Miss India, which would have been a good idea for a cross-leveraging of the partnership, but neither does Femina share Neutrogena India’s updates, nor does Neutrogena create its own pageant updates. Neutrogena seems to have not thought about the digital amplification of the partnership through.

They run an interesting Dermatologist Panel on the Facebook page and it weaves in the brand promise very well.

Neutrogena India FB

The brand runs a queries-session for users to raise their skin related concerns to a Dermatologist Panel and has them answered in a specified time.

How does it work?

The brand has created a profile called the Neutrogena Dermatologist Panel which responds to all the queries without including a product-connect which I thought was a sweet thing to do. The brand tops it up with another reply which is a product-based response and limits the product updates to the brand and not the dermatologist panel.

While the idea is great, some queries were left unanswered which by numbers weren’t many, & hence this questions the dedicated efforts to the activity.

Neutrogena Queries Unanswered

The profile of the Neutrogena Dermatologist Panel is a great idea which they haven’t been able to fly with yet. The profile has 8 friends; it creates an event for the live chat; and responds to skin queries on the FB page. While it has the propensity to track conversations related to skin on FB and answer them, the brand seems to have seen only a lopsided benefit of this profile. I would want to befriend this profile and have the panel answer my queries, and THAT would be the best social-branding Neutrogena could have!

Engagement Comparison

The engagement score is good but with 568k fans, a partnership with Femina Miss India, brand ambassador like Prachi Desai, and a dermatologist panel, the brand has all the artillery to drive the engagement much higher than this.

 FB Page Engagement Over Time

The brand hasn’t been able to pull the engagement to a high note for a sustained period of time.

The audience has a more neutral voice toward the brand. The brand needs to push more conversations, more responses, and move away from the general what I call a ‘Like-accumulation’ tendency. Generic fashion & lifestyle updates without a call-to-action are more likely to do just that, whereas pushing more domain-centric updates or interlacing lifestyle updates with skin-care will drive more responses and gather more genuine sentiment.

 Neutrogena Sentiment

Neutrogena is running a contest for users to experience the crowning of Miss India 2014, shares the link to the tab, but forgets to update the description to the tab.

Neutrogena Miss India

They have a note on skin care for Holi and it has enormous long-form content scope without having to make the audience leave the social network. They definitely should add more content there.

On Twitter:

I wonder what brands are doing on twitter with one tweet a day! Neutrogena is one such brand. With the barrage of tweets one sees on an average timeline, one tweet from a brand can escape most eyes. The brand is mostly running posts similar to those on Facebook. They executed a #SkinSOS chat with dermatologist Dr. Gitanjali without-a-last-name. I would definitely want to see full credentials of a specialist I’m consulting for my skin. The voice of the brand changes from “our” to “me” in some tweets. In my opinion, it’s mostly activities that can propel but lack execution capabiities.

They should monitor their mentions and track conversations about skin/dermatology more closely to have meaningful interactions.

On YouTube:

The Neutrogena India channel has 33 videos from over 2 and a half years. The content varies from commercials to short skin-care videos. The content is shareable, but not being capitalized on. These videos may be old, but not everybody has seen them and in the last quarter there musn’t have been a single video update on Facebook or Twitter account which is making this content just stagnate on the YouTube channel.

G+ is linked to the YouTube profile, but no update on the Google+ account.

Reviewing the competitor:

(I am trying to not trudge upon Saif Ali Khan’s first memorable hit song here, but I can’t stop you from doing so.)

Olay runs a global brand page and Olay India is a huge contributor to it’s well-synchronised social media strategy. Being candid, I expected this page to be flooded with celebrity pictures, but I’m happy to see strong visuals branded with hashtags et al, stressing on health care and shows that the brand cares. With the focus on being healthy and beautiful, I seem to grow comfortable with ‘Start young, Stay young’. Celebrities could have definitely been leveraged, but by no standard am I disappointed here.

Relative Share of Fans

Olay Facebook page has more fans with it being a global page.

Engagement Trend Comparison

And with that the engagement in numbers is higher too. The engagement per fan of Olay is lesser than Neutrogena, but that is also a feature that Facebook so proudly provides to pages with higher than 5M fans.

 Share of Engagement

Average response per post

Olay India on Twitter is as good or bad in terms of the usage of platform. The content is a copy of Facebook, the scope of which needs to be expanded for both brands.


Neutrogena is trying to be more effective on social and is capable of taking it through too. Some minor changes in the strategy like getting more relevant to the equity proposition, branded visuals, and leveraging celebrities and other partnerships, this brand can come through. At this moment, the brief seems to have been “wake up & pick a chit to decide what you will do today”. Whimsical, but it lacks the spunk and quirkiness to carry that off.

So the current social media strategy is falling short of being strategist recommended.

Expert View

It is surprising to see that Neutrogena does not employ the tools of a video channel to push engaging video content, consistently.

On Twitter the brand leaves for much to be wanted. A one off twitter chat is not enough to make a mark. They should further leverage their ‘Dermatologist Recommended’ tag and take it to the next level by roping in as many dermatologist recommended activities as they can.

While Olay is leveraging celebrities, Neutrogena can also take to popularity by leveraging social media platforms for offline activations and launching loyalty programs for enthusiastic fans and followers.

On Facebook the brand is resorting to selective listening and that can never be seen in a good light. If they would like to maintain a crisp CRM then it becomes imperative for them they reply to each of the query posted on their page, regardless of the sentiment it carries.

Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Digital & Social Media Agency.

Analytics Support: Simplify360

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