L’Oreal’s Web site represented the bulk of its online strategy, and, until the latter half of 2009, the brand was not on Twitter or Facebook and had only a small presence on MySpace stemming from a 2008 campaign.

This story first appeared in the June 9, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The company’s strategy is now to reach out to beauty aficionados and customers on a variety of online communities and connect the scattered conversations.

“We’re really trying to mesh our social activity with our Web site activity and see how these things can work together to everyone’s benefit — and to give the consumer a more holistic experience,” said Rachael Johnson, assistant vice president Web, CRM and e-commerce, L’Oréal Paris.




“It became clear that [social media] was something needed to expand to a priority if we wanted to reach younger audiences who we had problems bringing to our Web site,” she said.

Now the company values interaction beyond the traditional registered site member with a password or e-mail opt-in.

Mindful that beauty videos are a popular search category on YouTube, L’Oréal has focused on creating a brand experience on the site.

“Since doing that, the number of our videos viewed has increased exponentially,” Johnson said. “We’re getting hundreds of thousands of more views per month, and we link [that] to Facebook.”

The company has about 4,000 followers on Twitter and built that community by reaching out to key beauty influentials, such as bloggers. Twitter presents an opportunity to create a more personalized experience online, she said.

The company’s Facebook page has become a core component of its online strategy, and is one of the most popular in the beauty category. Facebook advertising was key to growing the community, Johnson said.

L’Oréal shares a variety of types of content on its Facebook page, including reviews, question-and-answer sessions, glimpses of beauty backstage, beauty diagnostics and special offers. Polls get the highest responses.

Johnson said consumers want to be heard.

Visitors to the company’s Facebook page are two times more likely than others to sign up for an e-mail newsletter or buy something.

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