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In the skincare industry, customers aren’t just looking for products; they’re looking for a lifestyle, a shared connection, a sense of belonging. They want to be part of a community that shares their values and their love for skincare. That’s where the power of a building brand community comes into play. It’s not just about selling products; it’s about creating an experience and a sense of belonging.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through a step-by-step journey to building a thriving skincare brand community. We’ll explore strategies to define your brand voice, identify the right platform, incentivize user-generated content, offer membership perks, and much more. You’ll learn how to activate advocates far and wide, all while staying true to your brand DNA. Let’s dive in!

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Step-by-Step Guide

define-your-brand-personality

. Define Your Brand Personality: The Foundation of Your Community

Building a brand community starts with defining your brand’s personality. This is the first step in creating an environment where customers don’t just consume, they participate and interact. Many successful skincare brands have mastered this, cultivating communities where customers feel like insiders, actively engaging with the brand and each other. Let’s dive into how you can do this too.

  • Begin by clearly defining your brand’s personality and values. This includes understanding your brand’s mission, vision, and core values. This understanding forms the foundation of your community engagement strategies.
  • Translate these values into your community engagement strategies. For instance, if your brand values transparency, this could translate into hosting regular Q&A sessions where you openly discuss your business operations, challenges, and future plans. If your brand values innovation, you could hold brainstorming sessions with your community members to generate new product ideas or improvements.
  • Consistency is key. Make sure that your brand’s personality is reflected consistently across all your community engagement strategies. This includes the tone and style of your communication, the type of content you share, and how you interact with your community members.
building-brand-community-pick-your-platform

. Pick Your Platform

Different social media platforms offer unique advantages and disadvantages for skincare brands. It’s essential to understand these nuances to effectively reach your target audience and build a thriving skincare brand community.

Instagram

Instagram is a visually-driven platform that’s perfect for showcasing products, how-to tutorials, and user-generated content.

Advantages: Instagram’s visual focus is ideal for skincare brands to showcase their products and demonstrate their use. Features like Stories and IGTV allow for more in-depth content, such as tutorials or behind-the-scenes looks at product development.

Disadvantages: Instagram’s algorithm can make it challenging for your content to be seen unless you have a high engagement rate. It also lacks the community aspect that other platforms like Facebook groups offer.

Example: Since bursting onto the scene in 2014, skincare and makeup brand Glossier has leveraged its wildly engaged online community to power its rapid growth. Glossier dons its devoted followers with the nickname “The Glossies” to make them feel like an exclusive collective.

The Glossier blog, Into the Gloss, serves as a hub for this community featuring crowdsourced skincare routines from “normal” people along with product recommendations. This authentic peer-to-peer advice helps forge intimate community connections.

Glossier also incorporates user-generated content seamlessly into its overall branding. The brand’s Instagram feed features a steady stream of customer photos showing Glossier products in action. To incentivize more community photo contributions, Glossier regrams user photos on its secondary Instagram profile, Glossier IRL.

Facebook

Facebook is a versatile platform where skincare brands can share a variety of content and create dedicated groups for their community.

Advantages: Facebook allows you to create brand-specific groups where your community can engage in discussions, share their skincare journeys, and provide peer-to-peer support. The platform also supports different types of content, including text, photos, videos, and live streams.

Disadvantages: Organic reach on Facebook can be limited, often requiring paid advertising to reach a larger audience. The platform’s demographic also skews older, which may not align with every skincare brand’s target audience.

YouTube

YouTube is a platform where skincare brands can share in-depth video content, such as tutorials, product reviews, and educational content about skincare.

Advantages: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, making it a great platform for visibility. It also allows for longer, more in-depth content compared to other social platforms.

Disadvantages: Creating high-quality video content can be time-consuming and costly. The platform is also highly competitive, with many skincare brands and influencers vying for views.

Example: Glossier uses YouTube to share product launches, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes looks at their brand. This has helped them to build an engaged community and strengthen their brand identity.

Your Blog

Your blog is an excellent platform for building a community around your skincare brand. It allows you to share detailed information, tips, and advice that can help your customers get the most out of your products.

Advantages: A blog allows you to control the narrative and delve deep into topics that your audience cares about. It’s also great for SEO, helping to drive organic traffic to your website.

Disadvantages: Maintaining a blog requires a significant time investment.

Expert Tip
Harpal Singh

As one of the fastest growing skincare brands, The Ordinary owes much of its success to the engaged community built around the brand. The Ordinary’s website acts as a central hub welcoming both new and returning visitors into the brand community seamlessly.

Along with an extensive regimen guide and regimen builder, The Ordinary’s website equips customers with the skincare know-how that clearly positions the brand as a trusted expert and advisor. This makes purchasing Deciem products a logical way for customers to extend their connection with the knowledgeable skincare community.

building-brand-community-create-branded-hashtag

. Create a Branded Hashtag

A unique branded hashtag can be a powerful tool to connect and engage with your skincare brand community. It serves as a digital signature for your brand, creating a unified thread for all conversations and content related to your skincare line. Let’s delve into how you can create a catchy and effective branded hashtag for your skincare brand.

  • The goal is to create a hashtag that is unique to your brand, easy for customers to remember, and encapsulates the essence of your skincare line. Think outside the box when brainstorming for a unique branded hashtag related to your skincare line. Here are a few innovative strategies to consider:
  • Word Association: Begin with a word that represents your brand and jot down all the terms that come to mind. For example, if your skincare line is all about hydration, you might think of words like “moisture”, “dew”, “aqua”, etc. Combine these terms creatively to form potential hashtags.
  • Alliteration and Rhyme: Hashtags that use alliteration or rhyme are catchy and memorable. For instance, if your brand name starts with ‘S’, you might consider hashtags like #SkinSoSoft or #SereneSkin.
  • Use a Thesaurus: Using synonyms for common words can help create a unique hashtag. If your skincare line is organic, instead of using the common #OrganicBeauty, you might opt for #UntouchedBeauty or #PurePampering.
  • Incorporate Your Brand Story: If there’s a unique story behind your skincare line, use it. For example, if the idea came from ancient beauty secrets, you might use a hashtag like #TimelessTreasures.
  • Leverage Trending Topics: Keep an eye on trending topics or popular phrases and see if you can give them a skincare twist for your hashtag.
  • Encourage your followers to use the unique branded hashtag when they share posts related to your products or their skincare journey. This helps to unify posts under a common theme, making it easier for other community members to find and engage with related content. You can promote the use of the hashtag through various means such as including it in your social media bios, using it consistently in your own posts, and highlighting user-generated content that uses the hashtag.
building-brand-community-offer-value-through-content

. Offer Value Through Content

Create a mix of content that educates, entertains, and engages your community. Here are a few types of content and how they can be effectively used:

  • Blog Posts: Publish informative and interesting blog posts on your website. Topics can range from skincare tips, ingredient spotlights, to the latest skincare trends. This not only educates your audience but also helps with SEO and drives traffic to your website.
  • Live Videos: Host live videos or Q&A sessions on your social media platforms. This gives your audience an opportunity to interact with you in real-time, ask questions, and learn more about your products.
  • Tutorials: Create video tutorials demonstrating how to use your products. This helps your audience understand the benefits of your products and how to use them effectively.
  • User-Generated Content: Encourage your community to share their own content using your products. This can be in the form of reviews, testimonials, or before-and-after photos. User-generated content builds trust and promotes authenticity.
  • Newsletters: Send out regular newsletters to your email subscribers with exclusive content, product updates, and special offers. This keeps your community engaged and makes them feel valued.
  • Infographics: Share infographics on your social media platforms or blog. Infographics are visually appealing and make complex information easy to understand.
  • Webinars: Host webinars on topics that your audience is interested in. This positions your brand as an expert in the field and provides value to your community.
building-brand-community-encourage-user-generated-content

. Encourage User Generated Content

UGC is any form of content, like images, videos, text, and audio, that has been posted by users on online platforms. It’s a fantastic way to build engagement, trust, and authenticity within your community. Let’s dive into how to encourage and leverage UGC for your skincare brand.

  • Encourage your users to create content and in return, offer them rewards. For example, Starbucks’ #WhiteCupContest asked users to design their version of a Starbucks cup. The winners received their artwork featured on a reusable cup sold in stores. The reward could be exclusive products, discounts, vouchers, or points for loyalty programs.
  • A time-tested way to encourage UGC is through contests or sweepstakes. GoPro’s #MillionDollarChallenge encourages users to submit their best GoPro videos for a chance to share a $1 million prize. This not only motivates users to submit their content but also to buy a GoPro to participate.
  • Recognizing community members can drive positive results. For instance, Sephora’s #SephoraSquad influencer program involves user-generated content. It allows fans to share posts about Sephora’s products on their own social media channels, and then Sephora features the best ones on its website.
Expert Tip
Harpal Singh

Gamify the process by running monthly contests awarding the best original user content with exciting branded prizes. CeraVe ran a “Show Your Shelfie” contest awarding skincare fridges to users with the most aesthetic product photos.

building-brand-community-go-live-with-q&a

. Go Live With Q&As

Engaging with your audience in real-time can be an effective way to build a strong relationship with your skincare brand community. One of the most interactive ways to do this is by hosting live Q&A sessions. These sessions provide a platform for you to directly answer your followers’ skincare questions, offer expert advice, and discuss the latest trends in the skincare industry.

  • Host weekly or bi-weekly live streams on Instagram to answer skincare questions directly from your audience. Consider theme-based Q&As.
  • Engage your audience by asking them to submit questions before the Q&A. This gives the audience something to anticipate during the session. Also, continue to encourage them to ask questions during the live session.
  • Begin by giving an overview of the session and introduce the speaker(s). Then, step into the Q&A section where the speaker responds to pre-collected questions. Next, open the forum for live questions. And finally, summarize or wrap up with key points or takeaways.
  • Bring in industry experts or well-known figures for your Q&As. They can attract more audience members and provide unique insights.
  • Live polls are another great way to maintain engagement. You can ask attendees to vote on topics or questions they most want to hear about.
  • If you plan to run these sessions regularly, keep them consistent. Having a consistent schedule helps your audience know when to tune in.

Promoting Your Sessions:

  • Share updates and reminders about the upcoming Q&A on your social channels. Additionally, share snippets or highlights from previous sessions as teasers.
  • Use your email list to send out reminders and updates about the Q&A. Consider adding a special sign-up option for these sessions in your email subscriptions.
  • Create a unique hashtag for your Q&A sessions. These can be used for promotion before, during, and after the event. This can also help your audience engage with you and others attending the session.
Expert Tip
Harpal Singh

The Ordinary asks followers to submit their questions in advance of each weekly #AskTO live stream to drive more meaningful conversations.

. Spotlight Your Biggest Fans

Every community has its stars, the members who are always active, engaged, and enthusiastic. They are the ones who are always there, contributing to discussions, sharing their experiences, and spreading the word about your brand.

  • Shout-outs, leaderboards, or badges for top members can go a long way in making them feel recognized. Public recognition on social media platforms, newsletters, or special mention in forums can significantly contribute to member satisfaction.
  • Top members can be given exclusive access to content, VIP sections, beta products, or early bird deals. This exclusivity not only rewards them for their loyalty but also encourages others to engage more.
  • Positions like moderators, ambassadors or top contributors, etc., can be given to top members to give them a sense of ownership and responsibility. This can enhance their engagement levels, and they can advocate for the community.
  • Top members are likely to have constructive feedback. Open feedback channels where they can voice their opinions can make them feel heard and appreciated.

Expert Q&A

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Tips

  • Respond to comments and questions. Bing responsive shows you care and are paying attention.
  • Encourage user generated content. Spotlighting fan photos and reviews makes members feel valued.
  • Get specific with engagement. Customize responses and try using fan names whenever possible.
  • Listen to feedback. Community insights can unlock ideas for new products or improvements.
  • Reward your superfans. Surprise your most vocal advocates with free products or shoutouts.
  • Don’t overpromote products. Find a 90/10 balance between valuable education vs. direct sales content.
  • Don’t go dark for too long. Consistency is key, so post new updates a few times each week minimum.
  • Don’t ignore small influencers. Micro-influencers with an engaged niche audience still offer reach.
  • Don’t play favorites publicly. Show appreciation for all member contributions to avoid cliques.
  • Don’t lose sight of brand identity. As you scale community efforts, reassess that messaging aligns.

Case Study

As the breakout skincare brand under parent company DECIEM, The Ordinary demonstrated the formidable power of community to drive stratospheric success mainly through word-of-mouth marketing. Launched just 5 years ago as an affordable, no-frills option to reveal healthy, glowing skin, The Ordinary’s community-first approach rockets them towards 9-figure revenues.

Challenge

Competing with luxurious, aspirational skincare brands boasting cutting edge ingredients, how could The Ordinary convince consumers their simple formulas and modest packaging offered equally transformative results worth raving about?

Approach

They focused intensely on content and engagement to foster an authentic community, not just shifting products. Education, transparency and staffers’ accessible tone humanized DECIEM. Reviewers and micro-influencers sampled an expanding roster of straightforward serums and shared results. A #deciemdiary hashtagspotlighted shelfies from real fans. No inflated claims or pseudo-science, just integrity around how well formulated actives perform for all budgets.

Impact

Today, The Ordinary counts over 1 million #deciemdiary posts with 500K+ daily engagements and minimal ad spend. Their most viral product launch saw a waitlist swelling to 100K. 80% of sales result through word-of-mouth as brand evangelists drive further community connections. Converting skincare skeptics into brand zealots starts with content and community.

Key Takeaway

Rally those who already believe in your brand vision to create an ever-expanding ripple effect. As The Ordinary demonstrates, a community mindset can transcend a modest budget.

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