After the stratospheric rise of TikTok, and the viral success that early adopters enjoyed, brands have been readying themselves to flock to the next big social media platform. So it’s no surprise that the likes of Rare Beauty and Kiehl’s have made their debut on BeReal; an app that launched in 2020 but, just like TikTok, gained popularity two years after its arrival. Now, the platform has over 10 million active daily users – and counting. But what exactly is it, and how can beauty brands make it work for them? This is what you need to know…
The demand for more authentic content is high. In fact, that’s part of the reason why TikTok blew up; because, at first, creators were using it to post raw, unfiltered videos of their days. BeReal takes that authenticity one step further by sending users daily notifications to remind them when it’s time to post. They then have two minutes to take a speedy snapshot of whatever they’re doing (although they can post a late BeReal if they want to). Only then can they see what their friends and other users on the app have been sharing that day, and interact with their posts using RealMoji or (if they’re friends) by commenting. The post disappears within 24 hours, ready for the next one. Cue a cycle of ‘rough and ready’ content that, for brands, can sometimes be a challenge.
So, how are beauty brands using it?
It’s yet to be seen if BeReal will become a must-have social media platform. But as subscribers increase, a number of beauty’s digital disruptors are experimenting with new styles of content. Here’s how…
This super skincare brand knows how important it is to foster real connections with their customers, so they’ve taken to their TikTok to ask, ‘what content do you want to see on [our] BeReal?’. These two-way conversations are a great way of building brand trust, but they also help teams navigate new channels with confidence – something that Kiehl’s has already nailed on other platforms. In addition, the brand has made Mr Bones – the skeleton mascot from their stores – the star of their BeReal, as he takes followers behind the brand’s curtain. The posts are fun and engaging, but also helpful and informative, delivering unique ‘skintel’ on new and cult-classic products.
When Rare Beauty launched on BeReal, their account became so popular that users were told by the app, ‘Rare Beauty has too many friends, your friend request couldn’t be sent’. So what made them go viral? While brand founder Selena Gomez hasn’t yet featured on the account, their knack for humorous and conversational content has. Not only have they used the platform as a way of generating buzz around new products, but they’ve also teased those launches with googly eyes stuck on and tongue-in-cheek captions. The focus is on both humour and sneak peeks that make the brand feel even more personable. There are few things beauty fans love more than a first look, and Rare Beauty’s BeReal delivers.
Glow Recipe has long been at the forefront of authentic social media content, so it was only a matter of time before K Beauty-inspired skincare brand landed on BeReal. To date, they have largely been sharing behind-the-scenes posts, but they’ve also used their channel to entice new followers with exclusive checkout codes for their fruity skincare. For example, one post featured a code that gave the first 10 people who used it a free full-size product – a great way of driving brand loyalty and traffic to their store. This clever tactic has made them a must-follow for beauty lovers, resulting in an engaged audience that watches out for their regular posts.
The Inkey List
The Inkey List is leaning into the rawness of BeReal with a focus on behind-the-scenes content, from snapshots of the office, to sneak peeks from photo shots, to cute photos of the team’s pets. The skincare hero’s BeReal posts have served to develop their brand personality, and make them even more relatable to their customers. Meanwhile, their willingness to share what’s behind the curtain furthers their honest and transparent brand ethos.
5 quick tips for beauty brands starting out on BeReal
1. Have fun with the platform: Use BeReal as an opportunity to show off your brand personality, whether it’s playful and whimsical or witty and irreverent.
2. Go behind the scenes: Show consumers the inner workings of your brand. Whether you’re on a shoot or you’ve just received samples of your next product, take a quick photo and build excitement.
3. Don’t overthink content: This isn’t the platform for a lengthy sign-off timeline with numerous stakeholders. Allow your social media teams to keep the content raw and reactive with minimal (if any) approval processes.
4. Lean into entrepreneurs and ambassadors: If your brand has an inspiring founder or you're working with a celebrity ambassador, get them to take charge of the camera for sneak peek content when possible.
5. Keep it conversational: Captions should be short, sharp and punchy with a personable tone of voice. Write as if you’re texting a friend and avoid any ‘salesy’ product claims.
Up next: Looking for more social media inspiration from the industry? Discover how beauty brands are using TikTok.