MAC Cosmetics runaway leader in cosmetics social engagement report

MAC Cosmetics is the most prominent colour cosmetics brand on social media, dominating a sector that is largely struggling to effectively engage consumers, according to Stickyeyes research.

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MAC Cosmetics leads ahead of Chanel and Dior in our social scorecard index, which ranks various social engagement factors to assess a brand’s effectiveness online. However, whilst there is little to separate the strategies of the leading brands, there is a notable difference between the third and fourth most effective brands, highlighting a significant disparity in the strategies of colour cosmetics brands.


The Colour Cosmetics Social Engagement Report, created by international digital marketing agency Stickyeyes, analyses the social media strategies of 20 of the UK’s most recognisable cosmetic brands including MAC, Clinique, L’Oreal, Chanel, Benefit, Estee Lauder, Clarins, Dior, Maybelline and Lancome. Uniquely, the report doesn’t just rank the brands that produce the greatest volume of content or have the largest following but looks at how brands engage with their customers, where they engage with them and how brands are benefiting from this engagement.

MAC Cosmetics’ prominence is due to a highly targeted content strategy that is fulfilling the needs of consumers, earning shares and interactions on the key social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Rimmel and Bourjois engaging audiences despite low volume

Whilst brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Dior and Chanel score highly overall, the report highlights the importance of engaging, highly targeted content. Brands such as Rimmel and Bourjois prove that’s it’s possible to have highly engaging social strategies despite low audience volumes. However, their inability to grow their audiences undermines their activity, with their content going largely unnoticed amongst consumers. This allows the main social powerhouses to dominate the conversation on social media.

Dior and Chanel taking centre stage on YouTube

With almost 40% of content consumed in this sector being video and image based, Dior and Chanel are stealing the spotlight at the expense of L’Oreal, Givency and Clarins who, despite being in the top five, had weak levels of social shares. This suggests that whilst they are creating a significant volume of content, it isn’t being shared across its audience. Again, MAC Cosmetics rank highly here by providing informative and entertaining content to its core contingent of followers.

Changing audience demographics and insatiable demand for product information pose new challenges for cosmetics brands

The report highlights significant differences in the social media habits between key age groups within the target cosmetics demographic and, with different audience groups having very different expectations on how they expect to communicate and interact with brands, this is set to pose a real challenge to brands in the coming years.


The important of product releases and updates are also identified as a key focus for brands wanting to capitalise on consumer demand, although brands face competition from bloggers and vloggers, a selection of whom are quoted in this report, for a share of the audience.

Phil McGuin, Head of Insight at Stickyeyes said:

Social media is transforming the way in which brands communicate with audiences. As a medium, social has matured dramatically in the last few years into a channel that is hugely influential to a brand communication strategy.

“What we are seeing in this sector is a number of brands that are really harnessing the true power of social media, and it is those brands that are earning the attention of their audiences. These are the brands that are targeting their audiences with personalised messages, delivered in a manner that those audiences demand.

“But creating and deploying content is only part of the challenge and as our report demonstrates, it is how brands respond to their audiences that really makes the difference in such a competitive sector. Consumers expect brands to be approachable, amenable and human. They want brands to be willing to listen to their ideas, their needs and their complaints. It is no coincidence that the brands that do this effectively are the ones that lead the way in social media.” 

Heather Healy, Creative Communications Director at Stickyeyes, said:

“The cosmetics sector has a long way to go to rival the most compelling brands in the social media space, particularly if you compare the sector as a whole to the fashion retail space.

“With the exception of MAC Cosmetics, all of the brands profiled in this report could improve their approach, drive meaningful engagement, track results and be braver with the activity they are deploying across social media. 

“The most interesting challenge that presents itself to the industry right now is the age of its primary consumer. With a significant volume of existing consumers living longer, the challenge for brands is to keep these users continuously engaged as their tastes, needs and digital habits evolve.

“Those that manage to keep apace with this change and reflect the desires of a 21st century consumer will be the ones that dominate the online conversation.”

Get your copy of the Stickyeyes Cosmetics Social Engagement Report.

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