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Beauty-Focused Latina Consumers Use Social Media to Explore Products, Trends: Study

First Posted: Sep 08, 2015 04:01 PM EDT
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Photo : Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

"Siempre Beauty III: Latinas and Social Media: the 2015 Siempre Mujer Hispanic Beauty Study" found that Latina women and millennial Latinas are deeply engaged in the beauty category, spending billions on products and services. Latina consumers are digitally savvy shoppers who find beauty everywhere, and they're at the forefront of technology.

The total beauty market is estimated at $4.3 billion, and Latinos account for 13 percent of overall cosmetic spending. While beauty sales dipped 1.2 percent for the general market in 2014, Latina beauty purchases jumped 7.4 percent during the same time frame, proving that Latinas outspend non-Hispanics across all categories.

The Siempre Mujer study revealed Latinas and the general market use smartphones at the same rate, but Latinas use tablets more often (14 percent compared to 9 percent). Also, not only do they use their smartphones and tablets to access social media, they're early adopters for digital purchasing on their phones, which is encouraging for online and in-store retailers.

When it comes to purchasing beauty content, Latinas will explore any and every method to learn more about brands and products, including use of internet, social media, email, counter displays in-store and mailers, because the Latina beauty shopper is hyper-social and enthusiastic.

They outpace other populations when it comes to watching YouTube videos. Additionally, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn are frequent playgrounds for relevant beauty content, and Latinas are aware of this. For Latinas, beauty begins with social media and research, where they gain access to valuable peer-to-peer content and "how-to" tutorials. Eighty-four percent of Latina millennials and 83 percent of their non-Hispanic counterparts consider social media their top choice when educating themselves about the latest beauty trends.

Millennial Latinas employ social media to study quality and products, and they use it to comparison-shop and search for coupons. Latinas also engage socially to understand color variations, usually in-store. More than 70 percent of Hispanic women and Latina millennials conduct online research before going in-store to buy. Additionally, 44 percent recommend or share products on various social media platforms.

Whether content is in English, Spanish or Spanglish, there is no one-size fits all approach for attracting Latina consumers. Language is an important factor when seeking communication, requiring different marketing needs based on differences in acculturation and language. Nearly half (48 percent) of Latina millennials indicated they prefer a mix of Spanish and English, but they crave Spanish-language content availability amid general content. More than half (55 percent) of Latinas prefer to follow U.S.-based influencers and bloggers who provide access to bilingual content.

Beyond language, familiarity with ethnicity and skin tone also play a role in recruiting Latinas. A beauty influencer's ethnicity and skin tone often suggest who her followers will be. Women looking for hair tips follow women with similar hair textures. For Latinas, social media is a tool for education, while general market women often use social media for discounts and coupons.

Brands and bloggers who are U.S.-based are more likely than foreign-based competitors to gain Latinas as followers, but foreign-based influencers do attract the interests of millennial Latinas, demonstrating a connection to U.S. and Latin roots. Latinas follow more brands than the general market (7.4 brands compared to 3.3 brands), and they're more likely to share and comment on social media. Meanwhile, non-Latinas are more likely to simply review products related to cosmetics, fragrance, skin care and hair care. Approximately 70 percent of Latinas and Latina millennials "like" sponsored beauty posts, compared to less than half in the non-Hispanic market. Based on information found on social media, Latinas are more likely to have made a purchase in the last six months.

More than 800 women between ages 18 and 49 were questioned. The research confirmed that Latinas are "savvy consumers" and "beauty junkies at heart," who incorporate more products into their daily beauty regimen. They're also a proven trendsetter demographic, and they seek out innovative brands and new products. Social media has a functional role in the purchasing cycle for Latinos, who incorporate more products into their beauty regimen, and experiment with new products and innovative brands.

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