K-Beauty: How Was The Phenomenon Really Spread?

The K-Beauty trend isn’t news: it’s taken the beauty world by storm, and very quickly at that. But how exactly does such a phenomenon happen? How does it spread, and who spreads it?

This is what we set out to find out.

To better understand the K-Beauty global trend, the Preen.Me Business Intelligence team joined forces with our South Korean team to gather and analyze more than 15 million social stories posted about Korean beauty visible on Instagram. We extracted 5,220,488 unique user generated stories as our sample set, created by 697,944 different users, that are associated with K-Beauty and Korean beauty brands between the years 2014 – 2016.

Key Takeaways

  • The K-Beauty phenomenon has been fueled by everyday consumers
  • Skincare is dominant among K-Beauty categories
  • Sephora and Memebox lead the pack among US retailers associated with K-Beauty socially
  • Etude House is by far the leader in social clout among K-Beauty brands
  • Social stories around K-Beauty significantly accelerated in Q2 2015
  • K-Beauty enthusiasts are passionate, posting on average 7 times around the category

For a PDF version of this article, please contact us at: talktous@preen.me

Geography: How the phenomenon spread, year by year

A location-based analysis of these same social posts clearly maps the international growth of the K-Beauty trend across the world during this period.

Social Stories: 2015 Acceleration

The creation of K-Beauty Instagram stories accelerated in Q2 2015, more than quadrupling in 18 months.

Consumer Storytellers: Consistent growth

The number of consumers posting about K-Beauty on Instagram more than doubled between Q4 2015 and Q4 2016.

K-Beauty By Category: Skincare leading the number of stories

K-Beauty & US Retailers: Sephora + Memebox lead

While Sephora leads in the number of K-Beauty social posts mentioning the retailer, Memebox leads in the number of users posting about them in connection to K-Beauty.

*Size of the circle is determined by a number of likes and comments.

K-Beauty By Brand: Etude House leads the pack

No. of social actions on the horizontal axis, No. of users creating stories on the vertical axis.

*Size of the circle is determined by the number of likes and comments.

Breaking It Down: Passionate consumers are vocal advocates

Consumers that posted about K-Beauty on Instagram posted an average of 7 posts, resulting in an average of 770 likes and comments.

Benchmarking: Engagement on K-Beauty posts vs. Sephora posts

Even when comparing to a digitally and socially powerful brand like Sephora, K-Beauty holds its own, with 1.4x more social actions for each user who posts (for more about Sephora’s social presence see Sephora vs Ulta: Who Is The Most Socially Talked About Beauty Retailer? ).

Authenticity: Everyday consumers and micro influencers spread the story

The 103 average and the low median of 16 of likes and comments per post are strong indicators that the posts are created by the long tail of small Instagram accounts, meaning actual consumers who are passionate about K-Beauty brands and products.

Location, Location, Location: How the phenomenon spread geographically

While the majority of K-Beauty social posts is understandably focused in Korea, there is very clear and consistent global growth.

K-Beauty social stories as they spread around the US 2014-2016

K-Beauty social stories as they spread around Europe 2014-2016

K-Beauty social stories as they spread around Asia, the Middle East + Africa 2014-2016

We would love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments below. Learn more about how Preen.Me helps brands tell their stories on social here.

About Preen.Me

Preen.Me is an influencer marketing platform that delivers large scale social campaigns for LVMH, Coty, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal and KAO brands by leveraging our army of 70,000 influencers.

We focus on effectively reaching and activating women of every age, around the world. Our difference is scale. We work with a minimum of 50 micro-influencers at once – amplifying key initiatives with hundreds of user stories to create a social tipping point.

The difference is in the results that we guarantee – millions of impressions, videos views and social actions, as well as measurable traffic to brand sites. Our campaigns instantly and powerfully flood social with high quality branded content + conversation. This is how we help brands create storytellers.

Because the best people to tell your brand’s story are the people who love it.

Written by PREEN.ME