Fenty Beauty: How One Makeup Brand’s Social Media Game Revolutionised a Whole Industry
2017 was a year full of innovations, we had the Nintendo Switch, iPhone X, Mars Insight and… Fenty Beauty? Amongst a range of ground-breaking technologies, a makeup line was picked for TIMES’ illustrious ‘25 Best Inventions of 2017’ list and it has everything to do with its social media strategy.
The makeup industry has been around for hundreds of years so you would think it had nailed inclusivity by now — right? Wrong. Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Foundation was the first to offer a shade range that catered to all skin tones. If we look at its Instagram page, we’re exposed to images of people from a range of races and backgrounds showcasing their #FentyFace. Ask anyone a few years ago about Instagram inclusivity and they’d probably laugh. Known as the platform for “promoting perfect lifestyles” before Fenty, brands would only include the stereotypical Caucasian girl-next-door on their Instagram accounts. Fenty Beauty’s stark contrast from Instagram marketing is very effective. Inclusivity matters and it’s clearly paying off. Research shows that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have high financial returns and using a visual app like Instagram to showcase diversity makes a big difference.
We’ve reached a new age. An age where people with hundreds of thousands of followers are paid by brands to use their products — an age we call the Influencer Era. Fenty has used its YouTube collaborations with popular influencers as the ultimate marketing tool. By collaborating with larger than life Youtubers Bretman Rock and @Jen_ny69 to create product-filled videos, we have seen Fenty’s engagement skyrocket. People no longer trust ads, but they do trust people who know their stuff. Including YouTubers definitely generates interest but do videos where influencers get paid to say good things about brands really generate sales? The answer is no, they don’t. We have reached a stage in the influencer era where people can tell the difference between authenticity and paid ads and brands like Fenty Beauty need to understand that.
Fenty Beauty’s tweets go viral a lot. By using meme culture to its advantage, it has managed to create engagement like never before. Fenty has turned trends into promotional content and along the way created an environment where customers feel like they’re just having a conversation with a friend.
Terms of endearment like ‘sis’ ‘ayee’ and ‘serving’ are constantly used when communicating with customers and they encapsulate RiRi in every sense. Fenty Beauty’s approach to Twitter is very different but is this the best way to use the platform? Yes and No. Fenty Beauty has nailed the game when it comes to responding to fans but if you look at their replies to customer complaints you’ll see that there aren’t actually any responses. Twitter is great for companies with reports stating that brands that use Twitter for customer service see a 19% increase in customer satisfaction. Fenty should start listening to the stats to really up its Twitter game.
No brand is perfect but Fenty Beauty’s revolutionary take on social media has placed it miles ahead of the rest.