Everyone knows what the reports say when it comes to social media advertising. Posts don’t lead to sales. As much as beauty gurus love to flood Instagram and Snapchat with the latest in beauty products and makeup tutorials, few companies have deemed it worth the time to invest in coaxing extra conversions. Well, they haven’t until a few movers and shakers suggested it was worth a shot. In 2017, marketers are beginning to seize some social media opportunities and squeeze money from the millions of fashionistas and gurus who frequent those platforms every day. What let to shift in social commerce philosophy? A few bright innovators at millennial publisher Bustle and the brains behind video campaign distributor MikMak. Work separately but under the same flag, these two companies are out to prove that social media may well be the next great storefront of the beauty and fashion world.
A LEGACY OF CHANGE
The power of social media on both the fashion and beauty industries is undeniable. If you’re a Richard Magazine regular, you’ve likely read a paragraph or two on the transformative affect platforms like Snapchat and Vine had on fashion shows and beauty releases. These apps also made it much simpler to share makeup and hair tutorials and review new products of all kinds.
This last element of the tech influence on beauty and fashion is what prompted the select few at Bustle and MikMak to brave social media advertising with a new vigor. Really, they’re just masking a tried-and-true trend behind a market-focused guise. Their new measures prove the simplicity of their ideas. MikMak is launching a product known as MikMak Attach which will connect retailers’ Instagram Stories and Snap Ads with links to their online shops. Bustle is taking a similar approach, launching an Instagram Stories series with Sephora to drive up makeup sales.
CREATING SHOPPABLE SOCIAL MEDIA
As you probably guessed, the new social media advertising uses the addicting swipe and select features on your phone to maximize your shopping experience. On Snapchat, these adverts instruct you to swipe up if you want to see more content. When you do, the following screen will give you more information about the product and a link so you can add it to your cart. This cart is jointly linked to Snapchat and whatever online store you’ll eventually be purchasing from. Check out, keep shopping, or come back later after you’ve had your fill of other Snapchat pleasures.
Integrating company websites into a social media platform is the true genius behind this new version of social media advertising. Before 2017, few companies spent the time or money to insert direct links. With this new element, brands can record customer data as soon as someone swipes up. They don’t have to wait for people to actually visit their site. These new programs are prepped to extend far beyond Snapchat and Instagram too. MikMak is currently working with Facebook to make Facebook Live videos shoppable too.
MikMak and Bustle only started their social media campaigns a few weeks ago, but both they and their clients are already seeing encouraging success. It seems putting shoppable videos in front of swipe-happy users is an excellent way to encourage browsers to become shoppers. If you think about it, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise. When you see a product you like and you have the chance to simply click a few times and purchase, it’s hard to resist the temptation. Like virtual reality, the goal with social media advertising is to create more active shoppers by making shopping easier for the average consumer. Critics have been saying we’re headed for a smartphone-driven shift in e-commerce for months now. These shoppable app ads mark the first real gain in that area for fashion beauty retail.
Despite what old reports say, social media advertising is alive and well in the hands of energetic, young marketers. Next time you’re scrolling through Snapchat, give one of these campaigns a look. Who knows? You may find your next favorite beauty product in the process.— Nathan Young