A statement that both rattled and united the beauty industry is, “Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and violence.”
As of July 2020, 500 brands have pledged their support to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, responsible for the infamous statement. This has severely altered the strategies on social media marketing for beauty brands.
The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign is against Facebook’s negligence in regard to the civil rights infrastructure. The multibillion-dollar company has been requested on multiple occasions to implement and empower these rights in its C-suite with a concentration in removing targeted advertisements in the vicinity of any form of hate speech, bigotry, and violence.
But this humble request of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign to Facebook for respecting and upholding the terms and services of the brands it places an advertisement for has been brushed-off, if not blatantly ignored.
The importance of paid social media advertising for beauty brands
To understand the gravity of this boycott, we need to consider the importance of paid social media advertising for beauty brands. Social media platforms have become billion-dollar companies, and one of their major earnings lies in the revenue they collect from placing advertisements on their platform.
Beauty and personal care have been an imperative aspect of the FMCG industry, especially in recent years. The quite significant role of social media is enhancing the targeting, amplifying the brand reach, and gathering marketing insights.
Brands are often looking for ways on how to promote beauty products on social media, which is the most worthwhile in terms of brand recognition and profit. Then why are these beauty brands pledging to support the campaign? Even more so, when their support to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign means to boycott social media advertisements and to be responsible for the absence of targeted ads of their company.
Social media marketing for beauty brands has been one of the most lucrative forms of marketing their products since the rise of the internet, and Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram, have been the most used platform for such marketing.
However, some of the biggest brands such as Unilever and Birchbox have publicly announced to hold off on all forms of advertisements from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, with many beauty brands following suit.
Unilever announced that the personal care brand would remove all ads from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter throughout the year in support of the campaign. Unilever spent over $8 billion on social media marketing last year, $42.3 million on Facebook ads.
Similarly, Birchbox took to Instagram to post, “We want Facebook to acknowledge this demand for change and to commit to making the necessary changes on StopHateforProfit.org.”
How did the “Stop Hate for Profit” Campaign begin?
The harrowing killing of George Floyd opened a Pandora’s Box of racism, injustices, and bigotry that had been prevalent but uncared globally. This was when humanity won over paid social media advertising.
While we recognize the value that Facebook provides in connecting people of color with one another, we call into question a platform that profits from the suppression of Black votes or Black voices.Derrick Johnson, CEO of NAACP
By boycotting one of the most central boulevards for adverts, the brands supporting the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign are choosing to put humanity above their billions. When these brands deny Facebook and its contemporaries business of large parts of their revenue, these corporations are forced to consider the civil rights infrastructure they have been ignoring.
Following the campaign, Facebook stocks have plummeted by over $60 billion. Since then, the company has pledged to bring changes in its advertisement policies.
Facebook will take extra precautions to help everyone stay safe, stay informed, and ultimately use their voice where it matters most — voting.Mark Zuckerberg, CEO – Facebook
This isn’t the first instance of brand boycotts for advertising on Facebook. Back in 2013 and 2017, several brands boycotted Facebook over commercials placed on pages with insensitive and offensive material.
Alternative strategies to boost your online brand visibility
An initiative like this to support the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign is undoubtedly going to cost the brands. This doesn’t, in any way, mean that the brands in favor of the campaign are destined for loss. Many avenues to market beauty products successfully are waiting to be explored until social media corporations consider and comply with the campaign’s requests, which may be soon enough.
Social media marketing is not the only way for beauty brands to continue to market themselves among their audience. Here are some alternatives that can take the traffic away from such paid ads.
1. In-house content marketing
While your brand might be against unregulated Facebook/ Instagram advertisements, they need not be against the social media platforms themselves. If done correctly, beauty content marketing can be just as profitable, in terms of reach, as the targeted ads. The desired audience for your brand is always there; you need to tap into them, which can be done by continuously making quality content about your brand and products.
Posting such content on social media as inbound marketing can help drive traffic and leads. While social media ads might boost your brand awareness, the absence of it doesn’t mean the boost isn’t possible.
Content such as videos and online competitions have been proven to have excellent audience engagement. Creating such interactive content can help promote your brand without you having to spend a bulk on advertisements.
2. Exploring Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If your beauty brand can invest in publishing quality content consistently, the search engine will reward this effort by ranking your content to the top during any relevant searches. Compared to other industries, SEO for the beauty and cosmetics industry is the most promising as these happen to be two of the major sectors that are likely to not run out of content.
From 50 different ways to put on eyeliner to just as many skincare methods, the art of putting out consistent, quality content for the optimal use of SEO for the beauty and cosmetics industry isn’t an arduous task. This might not be as adept in bringing in business as paid social media advertisement, but it certainly helps create a constant presence among your possible customers.
3. Influencer Partnership
Many beauty brands partner up with beauty influencers to increase their brand awareness. Now, more than ever is the time to tap into the limitless potential of partnering up with an influencer who shares your brand values and can introduce your brand to a wide range of audience.
While influencer marketing is about creating maximum exposure, it doesn’t always mean partnering up with a celebrity or an influential person with many followers. Brands may choose to give their products to their selected influencer(s) for a mention on their page or provide a percentage of their generated sales.
Want more tips for the survival of your startup beauty brand? Keep an eye out for more such articles in our blog.
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How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “Why Beauty Brands Are Joining Social Media Ad Boycott”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for beauty content marketing blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂