Shorty AwardsBenefit and Bazaarvoice were recently awarded a Shorty Industry Award for the Best use of Twitter or Facebook for e-commerce. Here’s a peek into Benefit’s strategy and results.

Benefit Cosmetics was created by two identical twins on a mission: “Who says makeup has to be serious to be good?” They’ve built an intensely loyal fan base, and have over 2,000 makeup counters in 30 countries.

Their problem? People who know the brand love the brand, but how should they encourage those fans to share that love with those less familiar with Benefit products?

The Benefit team knows that fans trust other fans and rely on each other’s advice. They sought to build relationships with those loyal fans through a variety of social channels, including a Facebook page, a Twitter presence, and a branded YouTube channel.  Benefit has more than 184,000 Likes on Facebook and 32,000 followers on Twitter. They needed a place to showcase those conversations.

Benefit worked with us to capture and display user-generated content on their Facebook page. Fans can rate and review products, and share those reviews with Facebook friends and fellow Benefit Cosmetics fans. The reviews are then directly placed on the product page on their website.

Reviews on Benefit's Facebook page

Anyone who reads Benefit reviews on Facebook can click on the product’s “buy now” button, which goes directly to the product page on Benefit’s site.

As we know from Tara’s recent post, fostering customer loyalty post-purchase helps to turn that initial purchase into a lasting relationship creates brand awareness and impact for the pre-purchase customer.

Post-Purchase: Building the consumer relationship

Benefit has collected 1,734 reviews submitted via Facebook, and an additional 1,862 reviews submitted through the company’s website.  This didn’t happen magically- they know that the key is to ask for them, and reward contributors.

One way Benefit regularly requests product reviews is via posts on their wall.

Requesting reviews through Facebook

Leveraging gamification and participation chain principles, Benefit calls out their top contributor of the week, each week.

Recognizing top contributors

Pre-Purchase: Your fans are your best marketers

Those that review within the Benefit app are four times more likely to share their review with their Facebook friends than the industry average for our clients. This increases brand exposure, resulting in an additional 13,000 impressions on Facebook. What’s especially important is that this is not brand-to-fan, or even fan-to-fan sharing. This is friend to friend sharing.

Benefit Cosmetics sees a 10x higher click-through rate for the “buy now” button on Facebook than the average online ad. So, not only are they increasing brand exposure, they are seeing real business results from their efforts.

The big lesson here is that Benefit leveraged social channels as a distinct set of tools, and aligned them with their brand strategy. They understood that consumers needed to hear from other consumers about the brand, fostered a venue for that, and received measurable results.



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