#SnapChart: Beauty is a big deal on social media in Italy

In 2015, the beauty and personal care market in Italy experienced a significant growth in production, sales and exports. We decided to have a look at the social side of this industrious passion for pampering using Pulsar – and found that Italians love talking about beauty and personal care online, too.

The first thing we found was that discussion around personal care in Italy mostly happens during ‘me time’: those hours in the day that appear to allow for more personal focus.

Work breaks like lunch time, and evenings after work are the most popular times of the day for posting pictures online and talking about beauty and personal care.

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Looking at the demographic breakdown of Italian beauty and personal care aficionados, we can see that 67% are women, and the key age groups are 25-34 and and 35-44 years old (Feb 2016, source: Pulsar).

So what topics are people actually talking about? The research shows that conversation primarily focuses on faces, followed by hair and nails. This is most likely due to the fact that these areas require specialist treatment, with an indomitable mountain of products, advice and treatments available to be tested, loved and loathed.

In such a competitive market, people increasingly look to beauty bloggers and vloggers to gain advice and insight from product reviews, videos and tutorials. It’s the digital word of mouth that allows you to ‘try before you buy’, which is useful especially as many covetable products come with a hefty price tag.

Although we see in general that Italian men talk about personal care less than women, beards (still our favourite hipster trend of the decade) have opened up a gateway for men to share pictures and exchange tips on how to get their mane just so.

Furthermore, it appears beards are very visual: men are reluctant to talk about them, but are more than likely to post pictures. As such it’s not a surprise that Instagram, home of the selfie, is the most popular social media platform compared to more text-dominated platforms.Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 17.26.53

One of the findings informs us that, in Italy, showing off brands in posts about personal care helps to add kudos. As in: associating yourself with a brand seems to be a great way to present your premium taste in the sense of ‘showing off’ your lifestyle quality.

So what does this mean for personal care and make up brands to build a bigger audience in Italy? For one, they should up their Instagram game.

The image analysis graph from Pulsar (data gathered in Feb 2016), below in pink, shows the types of images around beauty and personal care that are being posted online from Italy. If your Italian is as bad as mine, it’s helpful to know that trucco means make up and barba means beard.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 17.24.38Make up takes the lead, but Italian men are clearly very proud of their facial hair as this is closely followed up of pictures being posted of beards.

The inserted heat map, above, shows that conversation is happening all over Italy, with higher proportions of people talking about personal care in Italy’s big cities; Rome, Milan and Naples.

A plausible cause would be an increased pressure to look good, more disposable income and opportunities for purchase, and the heightened exposure to advertising found in urban areas.

This information is particularly useful for marketers looking to promote beauty and personal care products in Italy, seeing the thriving market and engagement online. Instagram appears to be a key hub both for brand-loving urban women and for men putting their beards in the spotlight.

If you would like to find out more about image analysis and how using audience intelligence can benefit your marketing, send us an email on Info@Pulsarplatform.com.