For the month of June, Tribe Dynamics found that the following 10 brands were the most socially influential, generating the most valuable earned media. This metric was based on the number of posts received (blog posts; YouTube videos; Tweets; Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest posts) and engagement rate (blog and video views; Instagram and Facebook likes; Twitter actions; shares; comments.)

1. MAC $11,439,345

2. NYX $6,160,661

3. NARS $6,097,690

4. MAYBELLINE $5,788,937
5. OPI $5,020,742

6. L’OREAL $5,003,317

7. TOO FACED $4,202,876

8. URBAN DECAY $4,188,141

9. REVLON $3,299,101
10. RIMMEL $2,794,458

Within the beauty industry, MAC and NYX Cosmetics share incredibly loyal communities as a result of their ef­forts to create content that engages followers beyond the sales-driven B to C ethos. Instead, these brands use each interaction with a customer as an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with fans and foster loyalty, said Tribe Dynamics in their June report. MAC has built its extensive base of loyal followers with consistent messaging maintained in the diverse content the brand shares across all platforms. NYX, comparatively smaller, has focused its efforts towards strengthening the loyalty of its fans on Instagram. In June, the brand led in overall EVM for the channel, an impressive feat considering the size of its more established counterparts.

Looking at the commonalities between these brands, Tribe has drawn up the following conclusions about the characteristics that foster loyalty.

1. The brand has a clear personality, beyond aesthetics and themes, that followers relate to on a more intimate level.
2. Followers want to be associated with the brand and their identity (how they see them­selves and how they want to be seen by others) is closely aligned with the brand’s.

3. Followers have an emotional attachment to the brand beyond a product level.

4. The brand somehow plays an active role in the consumer’s life.
5. The consumer in many ways owns the brand, and is implicitly involved in a large por­tion of branded content creation.

According to Tribe, when followers visit the social profiles of MAC or NYX, they are greeted by a much different experience than some of the other top beauty brands. This contrast is perhaps best captured when we compare the Facebook pages of the top brands. As opposed to alternating posts of product photos, advertisements, or promotions, MAC and NYX publish content much in the same way that an individual would. Each brand’s stream of posts includes culturally relevant topics, recent experiences, in addition to user-generated content that reinforces brand messages. The reciprocal relationship that these brands have developed with their followers has allowed them to create some of the largest loyal and active communities. The next frontier of digital innovation will be understanding the consumer on a deeper, more intimate level and anticipating what consumers want next. MAC and NYX are well positioned for continued success.

Too Faced: June’s Breakout Brand

This month, Too Faced broke into Tribe Dymanic’s Top 10, leading in overall Instagram likes. The brand benefited from the activ­ity of one brand ambassador in particular, Dulce Candy, the official beauty blogger of Cosmo for Latinas. Over the course of the month, the blogger was responsible for Too Faced’s top six most valuable Instagram endorsements, ranging from 31k to 23k likes per post. These posts included a photo of a large collection of products Too Faced had sent the blogger, closeups of the blogger herself wearing Too Faced products, as well as photos from the blogger’s trip to a Too Faced sponsored event in Newport Beach, CA.

By working with an ambassador, not only did Too Faced profit from endorsements coming from a “beauty expert”, they are also able to extend their reach beyond their current fan base to a target community of potential cus­tomers. At minimal cost to the brand, extra products sent to the blogger and perhaps some additional perks, Too Faced was able to dramatically increase the scale of earned media being created about its brand.

The virality of these Instagram posts was also due to the apparent authenticity of Dulce Candy’s endorsement. Too Faced would arguably not have achieved the same level of influence had they partnered with a blogger not as well-aligned with their brand identity. Dulce Candy’s style, aesthetic and personality as a blogger parallel Too Faced’s brand. Her connection to the brand is believable and her youthful fans are appropriate target customers for Too Faced. Her endorsement therefore adds to the authenticity of the brand and its appeal to consumers seeking mean­ingful engagement.

Similar to brand loyalty, the benefit of working with a brand ambassador is less related to immediate boosts in sales versus meaningful long term engagement. It may be true that consumers viewing an Instagram endorsement from Dulce Candy may not be immediately inclined to purchase Too Faced’s makeup. However, the next time one of these consumers is browsing Sephora, the post may trigger a level of comfort and familiarity that will persuade them to try and purchase.

To see the full June Tribe Dynamics report, please click here.