Fenty Beauty: The Best Social Media Product Launch in History

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[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

Spoiler alert: the world essentially lost control of all of its faculties.

There’s something for everyone, Bad Gal Riri made sure of it.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is one of the most famous women in the world. Her talent and star power have helped her climb to the top of the music charts while also rising as a major fashion icon. But these days, she’s making waves in a whole other capacity by lending her face to a new cosmetic line. You may have heard of it? Fenty Beauty. To say that this was an anticipated drop would be a grave understatement.

This could have been a risky endeavor for the star, as the beauty industry isn’t exactly hurting for competition. Au contraire. It’s a pretty saturated sector that doesn’t particularly need new players. Or does it? In an era where YouTubers dictate what’s trending with makeup enthusiasts and where the Kardashian-Jenners are beauty icons, the ground was fertile for a line like Fenty Beauty by Rihanna.

Her mandate, however, feels a little more personal. What she’s looking to convey with her products is a message of diversity and inclusivity, specifically recognizing that not all skin colors have the same pigmentation or undertones. A seemingly no-brainer, yet quite an untapped market if you look at the current state of the business.

This isn’t a value-add that most brands are concerned with, but we have a hunch that she’s likely uncovered a huge niche with tremendous mainstream potential. In fact, we might be on the verge of brand copycat central, where we’ll be witnessing a new wave of beauty companies trying to emulate the Rihanna makeup statement.

Fenty Beauty has all the components to guarantee its success: beautiful (aka instagrammable) packaging, killer hyper-pigmented products, a universal message of inclusivity, top notch marketing, and an über-famous face to front it all. But what we’re here to dig into is not its branding formula, but rather what those calculated messages delivered in terms of hype around the official launch. Two words: cowabunga dude.

Simply put, it was meteoric and astronomical. We knew Riri had some serious brand power chops, as her Puma line, Fenty x Puma, is one of the most successful on Instagram already. But this exceeded any product launch we’ve ever seen. Our instinct tells us that the beauty sector on the channel is a ubiquitous force, and its influencers arguably make more of an impact than in any other niche.

We previously learned about the three important metrics brands should use to gauge their Instagram performance, and now it’s time to break things down for Fenty Beauty by taking a look at its mind-blowing very impressive numbers.

First things first, let’s examine the brand’s engagement rate. Most brands clock in at around 1% average engagement. Fenty Beauty is at an astounding 10.41%. In short, that’s completely bananas. The brand has obviously gotten people very excited, and fans are engaging with its content in a massive way. The hype is real and Riri is feeling (and fueling) its effects.

Onto followers and growth rate! The Fenty Beauty Instagram account began its regular activity on September 1st, just a little over a month ago. And it already boasts 1.6 million followers. In just the last week alone, it added over 111K followers, averaging at over 13k per day. Needless to say, this is crazy good.

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The brand’s follower count was holding pretty steady in the 100K region until that September 1st activity, and then completely exploded on launch day, September 8th. In a single day, the account added over 600K followers. Promotions directly from the Riri Instagram certainly have their perks.

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Another contributing factor to the account’s meteoric rise? The heaps of organic reach the brand has received from excited fans and beauty influencers posting reviews. In fact, there were almost 80k influential posts created about the brand in just one month, yielding over 1.6 BILLION organic impressions. Talk about exposure.

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A launch like this is nothing short of a unicorn. While most brands take to Instagram and other social channels to generate hype around new drops, we have never seen anything of this buzzy caliber. That’s what you get when you take one of the biggest stars on the planet and a genius innovative idea, and use world’s top visual marketing channel as an accelerator.

Pedal to the metal.

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