How beauty brands are advancing social commerce strategies in 2022 

Kayla Quock, director of marketing, Traackr

The past two years have permanently shifted consumer behavior. Now, people discover, evaluate and purchase products in the blink of an eye — all while browsing their social feeds. 

Social commerce has become a solution for turning this new process into a complete and seamless shopping experience. Influencers are also helping shed light on what platforms and tactics work best for social commerce today, and have become involved with the consumer experience at every part of the marketing funnel.

While there have been many new developments, social commerce is still so new that brands, particularly those in the beauty industry, have yet to solidify their playbooks. Yet, some beauty brands are approaching certain video and influencer marketing tactics now to ensure they achieve success with social commerce in 2022 and beyond.

Social commerce is still platform agnostic, but video is becoming key

Traackr’s State of Influence: Beauty Q1 2022 report found that influencer posts tied to social commerce increased by 28% from Q3 to Q4 in 2021. In anticipation of this holiday spike, platforms focused on creating or expanding social commerce capabilities over the past 12 months. 

While no platform has won out yet, the report shows that Instagram still has the most sponsored content from beauty influencers, with a 28% growth in posts from Q3 to Q4. Even more illuminating is the inverse trend between engagements and video views. While engagements declined, video mostly increased across all platforms. 

Is this proof that video has an important role to play in social commerce? Based on how social platforms are investing resources, the answer is yes. 

Virtually every platform is working on adding or expanding video features: Snapchat is working on a feature that allows influencers to put ads into their stories; Pinterest tested live stream video events; and YouTube is planning to roll out new video effects and editing capabilities. Even newer social commerce platforms like Flip are built with a heavy emphasis on video content.

Influencer marketing strategies are driving social commerce

Social proof is crucial for social selling — this is why influencers have an important part to play in driving the shift toward social commerce. Marketers know this and are integrating influencers into every part of their marketing funnels. 

“Considering 63% of consumers have more faith in the brand content shared by influencers than direct advertising, we now need to develop targeted, long-term and recurring influencer marketing strategies,” said Anne-Sophie Bourjac, influencer relationship manager at Pierre Fabre Group. 

Brands have been experimenting with multiple influencer marketing strategies to drive social commerce performance. Traackr’s report found that influencer posts mentioning discount or affiliate codes increased by 14%; live shopping increased by 111%; and tap to shop features increased by 521% from Q3 to Q4 in 2021. 

These features are burgeoning, not just because influencers are mentioning them more — brands are actively proving that these strategies work.

Skincare brand Beekman 1802 recently sold out two product lines in Ulta stores by partnering with TikTok influencers. As part of this campaign, the brand partnered with beauty influencer Laura Lee Watts to promote its Milk Drops serum with a one-day only discount code. After Watts posted about the sale and discount code on her profile, the product sold out within a few hours. The brand’s success is evidence that a well timed, appropriately messaged and high value offer, delivered through the right influencer partner, can make a significant impact on sales. 

Building an effective foundation for successful social commerce

Beauty brands are taking steps to ensure they drive social commerce performance in the future. The approaches powering measurable results include the following. 

  • Use data to find experienced social commerce influencers that love the brand. Not all influencers are good at selling. It’s important to have a proper vetting system in place because the right partners may not be the most obvious ones. Integrating the right influencer marketing tool will allow brands to search through content so they can make decisions based on past performance. Running searches using keywords tied to bottom funnel call-to-actions such as “tap to shop,” “link in bio,” “use my code” and “shop link” helps brands identify influencers who are good at social selling. Teams can also pair these searches with other keywords related to the brand, product category or even competition to see who the influencer is working with.
  • Relinquish creative control. Chira Schaad, vice president of content and services at L’Oréal, said that it’s important to “really allow [creators] to sell for you in their own way because when it becomes forced that’s when things fall apart.” Once brands find the right influencer partner, they need to take time to get to know them and listen to their creative ideas — the best social commerce campaigns happen when a creator is authentic and true to their own voice.
  • Track key performance indicators across the funnel. While the sale is the ultimate goal, social media still leans heavily toward awareness. Brands should set themselves up to measure the impact of social commerce and influencer campaigns throughout the full funnel. Monitoring top-of-funnel metrics like engagement rates and video views can help brands understand how content is performing. There may not be an immediate sales spike, but there could be an increase of product consideration and discovery. Pairing that with the ability to track affiliate link clicks, discount code submissions or foot traffic and sales at in-person stores can paint a fuller picture of what’s working for each part of the funnel. 

Social commerce and the creator economy are already major players in brand strategies. In fact, 69% of marketers surveyed by Traackr and Glossy said they are, or plan to, work with influencers on social commerce initiatives. Beauty brands that are looking to skillfully tap into this rising trend should prioritize fresh approaches to video and influencer tactics, and build infrastructure with tech partners and platforms in order to effectively measure and improve performance.

Sponsored By: Traackr

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