As some of you may know, I’m taking a social media marketing course this semester, which is why this blog was started in the first place. Most recently, as mentioned on Twitter, our class assignment was to analyze a company’s use of social media and present in groups. My group created a presentation on Dove. While I would love to share the entire presentation, it’s extremely long and was more of a visual aid. So I wanted to summarize our findings here!
A lot of what we presented was a general summary of Dove’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Here’s what we found!
Dove – Why Social Media Is Important
Ever since Dove began the Real Beauty campaign more than a decade ago (you may remember the Beauty Evolution video which was viral before viral was even a thing) they’ve been using their social media not just to sell and advertise product, but to change the way our society talks about beauty, thus aligning themselves as a self-confidence and body positive boosting brand. After many viral videos and buzz-worthy campaigns, today they continue to succeed by engaging in two-way conversation on social media and continuing their positive mission. They do a great job of incorporating their products into their social media when appropriate, but without appearing like ads.
Their success even landed them the top spot on Hootsuite’s Love List in 2014, which measures a brand’s sentiment score, social media mentions, and percentage of conversations with the word “love.” Any of you who have interacted with Dove online have probably already felt the love!
So how does Dove differentiate themselves from their competitors? We noticed they did a great job of researching trends related to beauty in social media and society. Using this data, they create campaigns that are relevant and important to women. This gives their campaigns credibility to their content, not to mention gets people talking.
If I wanted to cover everything Dove has done in social media, I would end up writing a book. In our presentation we divided and conquered, so although some campaigns aren’t talked about under specific channels doesn’t mean they weren’t mentioned. Dove uses their hashtags and campaigns across their social media, but we wanted to focus on where those campaigns did the best (in our opinion). Additionally, Dove has several different social media accounts in different countries, so we only focused on ones in the US.
With that said, let’s get to it!
Dove has an impressive 24.8 million likes on Facebook, which they use to influence desire for new products and establish their brand. Many campaigns focus on a specific product, like their #BeautyStory campaign which celebrated the Dove Beauty Bar. In this campaign Dove wanted to use the power of storytelling to create a conversation with customers and their families. Fans of Dove were invited to share their #BeautyStory, which could be a beauty secret or lesson learned from important people in their lives. Dove responded to fan’s comments and used some to create content to share those stories.
This campaign did a great job of creating conversations with women who are already active on Facebook (think moms). However, we noticed that since that campaign wrapped up in May, there really hasn’t been much activity on Dove’s Facebook. Dove may just be taking time to focus on their other channels, but we think it’s definitely time to get something posted.
I did a lot of research on how Dove uses Twitter. Luckily their Twitter is much more active, unlike their Facebook. They have 179 thousand Twitter followers. Dove keeps a very consistent timeline in regards to their tweet content. Every tweet is related to a campaign (currently the two biggest are #speakbeautiful and #LoveYourCurls). They also create product-specific campaigns, like #TryDry for their new antiperspirant line. They’re typically very timely in responding to tweets, which is always great for encouraging conversation with followers.
The #speakbeautiful campaign was a partnership with Twitter launched earlier this year which used technology to identify negative tweets about body image. Dove would flag those tweets and send a non-automated response with advice or a positive message from experts. The campaign also encourages followers with advice and positivity in an effort to reduce the number of negative body conversations happening online. This campaign is a key example of Dove succeeding on social media without even using their product.
Another ongoing campaign is #LoveYourCurls, which was sparked from research which showed very few women with curly hair were proud of it. Dove promoted their curly hair products while inspiring women to love their curls. They even developed a curly haired emoji which automatically pops up when you use #LoveYourCurls. From there, they created an entire keyboard of curly hair emojis (which are absolutely adorable). Through conversation and encouragement, they’re building self confidence for women with curly hair while boosting their own brand.
I think my whole group had really high hopes for Dove’s Instagram, and were somewhat surprised as to how it was (or wasn’t) being used. Don’t get me wrong, their page looks gorgeous and is incredibly inspiring, but doesn’t have the momentum that their other channels do. They have many more followers than their competitors, currently sitting at 72.1 thousand, however they don’t post very consistently. Almost all of their posts are an inspirational quote in the brand’s navy and gold color scheme. They do throw in their ongoing campaign hashtags, but other than that don’t have much to do with what else is going on.
This may be working extraordinarily for them, but we were a little surprised there wasn’t more going on (user-generated content, videos, photos, anything).
Dove has 5.1 thousand followers on Pinterest. It’s hard to tell how active they are on Pinterest- there aren’t too many ties into the campaigns ongoing on Twitter and Facebook. They pin both their own content and others’, ranging from inspirational quotes to advice. There’s some good content in there, and it’s divided nicely onto different boards. They’re definitely using Pinterest to establish their body-image-positive brand, not sell product.
They also have a Pinterest profile for their Self-Esteem project, focused on helping women and young girls develop higher self-esteem. The boards are full of good advice and positive quotes. It looks like this is more of a resource than an active profile, but it fits with their brand mission well.
I could talk a lot about Dove’s YouTube presence, but I think a lot of us have already seen some of the viral videos. You’ve probably even talked to friends about them. They have 70 thousand subscribers and post somewhat irregularly- they posted way fewer videos this year than in the past. You can find a bunch of how-to videos, product reviews and commercials, making this channel the most focused on selling product.
However, what really makes them successful on YouTube is their campaign-focused videos. Their most popular video, which has a 3 minute and 6 minute version, is Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, where a forensic artist draws a woman based on her own description of herself and then by another’s description of her. The results are emotional, as women realized others see them as far more beautiful as they see themselves.
Some other favorites include Dove Choose Beautiful, where women choose to enter the door labeled “Beautiful” or “Average”, and Dove Selfie, where women take selfies and other people write compliments about them. Dove uses YouTube best when they create these conversational, viral videos- otherwise, not much happening.
Since nearly everyone has seen or heard of Dove’s videos or social media presence, it’s safe to say they’re doing something right. For a brand that makes soap, they sure are making an impact on the lives of many. We really enjoyed digging into their social media and definitely ended the project feeling inspired. Some recommendations we had included increasing interactions on Instagram, starting a new campaign soon on Facebook, and maybe focusing on fewer campaigns at once. There are plenty of opportunities with society’s increased willingness to talk about body image, plus Dove has a men’s line of products that may do well with their own campaign.
There’s so much more we could look at with Dove’s social media. How do you feel about Dove and their online presence? Anything else we should have talked about in our presentation?