Beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics will add user-generated content to its website next month to encourage viral marketing among consumers. In the meantime, the brand is allowing user-generated reviews on its Facebook page through a ratings tab from Bazaarvoice, which debuted June 21.
The Bazaarvoice suite, called SocialConnect, lets marketers publish user reviews from their websites to their social networking site and create reviews on the brand’s social page. Marketers can also use the tool to add a “like” button for product pages on their e-commerce sites. Levi’s has a similar functionality on its e-commerce site through a partnership with Facebook.
Benefit added the Bazaarvoice tool to its social networking page about a month ago, but has yet to announce it to customers. The brand plans to conduct a formal push to fans and existing customers when the reviews go live the first week of July. In the meantime, customers who have found the tool are publishing reviews.
Benefit doesn’t do traditional advertising efforts, so friend referrals are very important to sales, said Valerie Hoecke, VP of digital experience and commerce at Benefit Cosmetics.
“We reach people through word of mouth, it is inherently a very social brand,” she said.
Hoecke said the brand gets word of mouth referrals on its social sites but the company is sometimes challenged with turning those into e-commerce sales.
“The weakness of Facebook for all of us marketers is that people aren’t there to shop,” she said. “It is like a great village square, but there is no cash register there.”
Benefit does not have a “shop” tab on Facebook, though it may test one if the reviews go well. Instead it will try to merge the brand advocacy of Facebook with the transitional nature of an e-commerce site by offering fans the opportunity to write reviews and publish them to Facebook.
“It is about giving consumers the ability to interact and share their favorite brands with friends,” said Gerardo Dada, senior director of product marketing at Bazaarvoice.
The tool includes a moderation feature so brands can weed out inappropriate content before it is published. Asked about bad reviews, Hoecke said that conversation will occur somewhere, and she’d rather have it take place in a controlled environment where the brand can respond and take note for product development meetings.