eBench Halloween special: Can data be scary? Contrasting the old and new worlds of beauty with numbers

Looking across social data, website traffic, Google Trends (a robust proxy for brand equity) and even stock price (where available) for major beauty companies, the below story forces an uncomfortable question for social laggards: are these converging signals just a set of scary coincidences, or do they suggest that social media probably deserves more attention than many senior execs in “traditional” marketing companies have given it to date?

You be the judge. Happy Halloween!

October 2015, beauty brands only

  • In this competitive set, Instagram is on course for 122% annualised growth, YouTube 69%, Twitter and Facebook 30%
  • Instagram is already earning 3x more (organic) engagement than Facebook is scoring (mostly paid) engagement
  • Thanks to best in class “social media” (media with others and through others) strategy, single brand company AB Hills (which lists 51-200 employees on LinkedIn) scores more engagement on these 4 platforms combined than all Unilever beauty and P&G beauty brands put together

  • ABHills.com also reached its all-time high website traffic last week

  • Bath & Body Works and Lush are two of the socially savviest non-makeup focused beauty brands, and both share similar long-term progression on website. Translating social strength into e-commerce clout is the newest art form worth mastering.

Bath & Body Works peaked around Black Friday last year – this year’s fall traffic is 50% higher than last year’s

Same is true for Lush: peak around new year’s boxing day, but this year’s fall traffic to date is 50% higher than last year

These social leaders have very robust content strategies and pipelines – what has been working (or not) for them? Use the eBench platform to get Instagram content mosaics in a single click.

Top Instagram content for Lush in Oct 2015? Be colourful, include your products, your stores

Bottom performing content? Black is new new Bottom.

For NA-centric Bath & Body Works, October is the new Orange

Bottom performers for Bath & Body Works: too early for Christmas?

Google Trends for the past 30 months: coincidences?

From unknown unknowns to known unknowns

Finally, the L Brands stock price adds even more weight to the argument that social performance matters more than many decision-makers realise. Data like the above is meant to help marketers turn unknown unknowns into known unknowns. Only once these unknowns have been identified can they be mastered.


L brands is primarily Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, with Victoria’s Secret equally savvy on social media: price growth accelerated in the last 20 months just as these brands conquered visual platforms and moved away from ‘paid social’

From Yahoo Finance

Anastasia Beverly Hills may have under 200 employees on LinkedIn, but probably not for long.

Nov 5 update: Since Our October 30 posting, L Brands further upped guidance and gained another 7%