Skin Proud launches Twitter bot to support mental health awareness

Among the many social media platforms available, UK-based skincare brand Skin Proud wades into the world of Twitter.

As part of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Skin Proud has teamed up with mental health advocate Elyse Fox, founder of the charity Sad Girls Club, and multidisciplinary artist Bunny Michael to create a skin positivity Twitter chatbot to promote positivity, self-care and happiness. Generally, Twitter is not considered a popular platform for the beauty industry. For example, the major brand L’Oréal Paris USA has just over 500,000 followers on Twitter compared to 9.6 million followers on Instagram. There is “high potential” for the bot to remain active after May 31, said Nora Zukauskaite, global marketing director for Skin Proud.

The bot, which was created in-house, will target any Twitter posts that use negative keywords related to skin care and skin stress. In turn, he will provide tips and advice from the two mental health advocates centered around the ideas of detox, sleep, and recharge. There is also a crisis helpline number provided for additional support from the Sad Girls Club. The bot itself is linked to the Skin Proud account @IAmSkinProud. Two-year-old Skin Proud is a sister brand to Ciaté London and Lottie London – all owned by umbrella company Brand Agency London and founder Charlotte Knight. The mass brand is sold by retailers like Asos, Walmart and Urban Outfitters. Product prices range from $11 to $16.

“The only thing that can set you apart [as an indie brand] in this industry is your creativity. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of thinking and doing,” Zukauskaite said. Zukauskaite, who also leads marketing for Ciaté London and Lottie London, cited such brands’ entries into the metaverse, NFTs and virtual trials via QR codes as examples. “Beauty is a saturated category, and there are big conglomerates with celebrity endorsements. But it’s not about that. [The Twitter bot] it’s about disrupting the status quo, owning the conversation, being in the same business as the big brands [and saying]’We are on the same level,’ [in terms of] creativity.”

Zukauskaite said Skin Proud was looking to use Twitter for its initiative because conversations on Twitter happen in real time and the original concept of Twitter was to act as a public square where brands can be part of existing conversations led by the community. And while Twitter doesn’t appear to be Skin Proud’s Gen-Z audience’s preferred platform of choice, compared to TikTok or YouTube, Twitter touted in 2021 that nearly half of all tweets sent in the previous 12 months in the United States were from users between the ages of 18 and 24.

“At Sad Girls Club, we work to create supportive digital communities for millennial and Gen Z women and girls around the world. Working with Skin Proud gives us another opportunity to change the conversation and further de-stigmatize mental wellness online,” Fox said.

Twitter remains, in some ways, a bold choice. Besides the recent drama surrounding a possible takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, Twitter has seen issues, whistleblowers and complaints about its impact on anxiety, as well as the presence of doxxing and harassment on the platform. Celebrities and brands have avoided the platform for the past few years. Some beauty brands like CeraVe are active in part due to the platform’s popularity with academics and healthcare professionals, according to Adam Kornblum, global digital manager for CeraVe at L’Oréal Group, in a previous interview. by Glossy.

“We see this bot as a positive [contribution]Zukauskaite said. “We are not trying to interfere [on] the conversation, but rather [we’re trying to] share tips that people might find useful. It’s about being part of a larger conversation and a timely conversation, and [supporting] a better cause.

Promoting mental health awareness can also be a difficult space for brands to navigate, given competing interests to be authentic while promoting products. To that end, Zukauskaite said there were no specific key performance indicators tied to the initiative outside of spreading positivity and awareness. However, she noted that Skin Proud does not attribute itself to a single cause and also has LGBTQ+ activations in June and is cruelty-free. Skin Proud rewarded Fox and Michael for their participation and built the bot in-house. According to Zukauskaite, “[It’s] not the size of the budget but the creativity that will drive you forward.

In addition to the Twitter bot, Skin Proud will repost its mental health advice on its Instagram, TikTok and Discord pages where it has nearly 200,000 collective followers. According to previous reports from Glossy, Lottie London, Ciaté London and SkinProud saw a 20% drop in year-on-year sales in 2020, due to Covid-19, but remained profitable. At the time, Knight expected 30% year-over-year sales growth for the entire company in 2021.

“If it makes many people feel better and gets their attention and [encourages] that they spend a few extra minutes to be with themselves and find calm, that’s all that matters,” Zukauskaite said.

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