“One brand you can learn a lesson or two (hundred) from about Instagram is Beardbrand” – Elias Jabbe, an ecommerce blogger. (See full article here.)
Although I can never grow a beard and typically do not even find beards attractive, the company Beardbrand is doing an incredible job using social media, particularly Instagram, to change society’s perception of beards. Beardbrand sells products in the form of soap, combs, and oils to help men care for their beards. The company’s founders were on Shark Tank, but left without a deal, leading to their need to find another means to grow their business. They decided to turn to social media, with very little previous social media marketing experience. Because this company targets such a niche market, Beardbrand faced a unique challenge in growing its customer base: Encouraging people beards are in style.
Beardbrand uses various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Reddit. They even have their own blog with a full-time editor called Urban Beardsman, which leaves them with newly refreshed content almost daily. Beardbrand has run various beard oil giveaways on all of these platforms, usually during no shave November. They conduct their giveaways through a third party in order to streamline the process, to save time, and to receive a full analysis of the traffic during the campaign. The company they use for this process is called Gleam. This campaign drastically increased the traffic to all of their social media platforms; however, it made clear the time and resources needed to manage all of these platforms. As a result, Beardbrand decided to narrow their focus to what they are best at: Instagram.
Why didn’t the other major platforms like Twitter and Facebook work?
Looking at their twitter handle @thebeardbrand, it has under 8,000 followers, almost as many as Bandholz’, the founder’s, personal account: @bandholz. They rarely follow people back and they take days to answer back their customers. The ability to create a community on Twitter can be difficult, especially with such little engagement. In addition, since the idea behind Beardbrand is style based, pictures are very important to spreading this lifestyle brand and Twitter is simply not the best platform for sharing photos.
In comparison, Facebook is slightly better than Twitter, but still not the best platform for Beardbrand. First of all, the Founder is simply not passionate about Facebook, resulting in decreased excitement and creativity on this platform. Their Facebook page has over 62,000 likes, but the company has recognized that most of their posts are only reaching about 2% of these users. They have tried to pay to boost posts on Facebook to turn more of these “likes” into actual paying customers, but said in a recent interview that putting this money towards Google AdWords could be more effective.
Instagram is #1
Beardbrand’s instagram has over 80,000 followers, with over 1,000 likes on each photo they post. They have a Picture of the Day challenge which builds community and encourages people to engage with the brand. They rarely post pictures of the products they sell because they recognize these photos contribute less to the community. To a lesser extent, their Instagram also advertises their website to lead users to their infographics and advertises their blog to lead users to their new content such as tutorials and articles. Instagram is also perfect for users who want to scroll through photos quickly to see the different types of styles available to them before they decide to grow out or style their beard. Ultimately, Instagram’s photo-focused platform is exactly what Beardbrand needs to change society’s perspectives on beards, and it is really helping their business! The community enables them to do less of their own marketing as they can rely on other users to respond to questions or supply content. Most importantly, the founders are passionate about this platform and love the community they have created surrounding their brand!
“We’re not at the start of a beard fad, we’re at the end of shaving fad” – Eric Bandholz, Founder of BeardBrand. (See full article here.)
So boys, if you are looking for some beard advice for No Shave November, check out Beardbrand on Instagram @beardbrand. You won’t be disappointed!