How L’Oreal Wins at Being a Social Media Leader

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In thinking about companies that use social media effectively I could not help of think of L’Oreal, the largest beauty company in the world and one of my favorite beauty brands. The L’Oreal Group has a presence in 130 countries, 27 global brands, 68,900, and 19 Research and Innovation centers. Their brand portfolio includes names such as L’Oreal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline New York and the Body Shop, just to name a few. L’Oreal is one of the most effective marketing machines in the world and has implemented innovative social media strategies throughout their operations. Two areas where I feel they have really succeeded in the social media space are in creating engaging integrated marketing campaigns and effective recruitment tools.

Using SM to Create a “Total Experience”

This week in class we discussed the difference between effective and ineffective social media marketing. I found the HBS article, “The Ultimate Marketing Machine” to be especially insightful in the way it highlighted the characteristics of successful marketers. The article explains that some companies deepen their relationships by using what they know about customers to create more personalized offerings. Others increase the depth of their relationships by adding touch points across the customer experience. However as the article states, “Our research shows that high-performing brands do both—providing what we call “total experience.” In fact, we believe that the most important marketing metric will soon change from “share of wallet” or “share of voice” to “share of experience.” This analysis caused me to think of L’Oreal’s latest social media initiative, the #POWERON campaign.

This March, L’Oreal Paris rolled out the #POWERON campaign to promote their new AdvancedHaircare line. The campaign utilizes several social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Fans are encouraged to share their most powerful hair moments using the hashtags #POWERON and #POWERONCONTEST, as well as the @LOrealParisUSA handle for a chance to meet supermodel Karlie Kloss. The campaign is effective in establishing purposeful positioning by creating a cohesive brand message that speaks to L’Oreal’s target market. L’Oreal understands that a bad hair day can make women feel less confident, and is leveraging social media to further the conversation on women empowerment. While many brands have implemented similar initiatives, L’Oreal differentiates itself by using Karlie as their voice. Karlie Kloss is a huge social media influencer. She won the “Best Model Social Media Award, and is known for being very active on her social media accounts. She has built up a huge following of 2.1 million Instagram followers, 617,000 Twitter followers, and over 846,000 likes on her Facebook page. As a result, L’Oreal gains a lot of visibility from Karlie’s massive database of followers. In addition, the contest element of the campaign increases consumer engagement. The contest began on March 20th and submissions will be taken until April 17th. A group of L’Oreal judges will make final selections notify the winner on April 24th.

The campaign also excels at the total experience by increasing the number of touch points at which they interact with the customer. L’Oreal has enlisted several well-known social media influencers, L’Oreal Paris spokes models and celebrity brand hair experts to share on social how they feel when their hair is “on”. In addition, L’Oreal offers an in-person experience. Fans can receive complimentary washed and blowouts using L’Oreal Advance Haircare products at The Salon at Ulta Beauty in 25 locations nationwide.

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Using SM as an Effective Talent Recruitment Tool

We have also discussed in class that truly effective social media managers use social not only for marketing, but implement it in their business operations. L’Oreal exemplifies this by utilizing social media tools in their recruitment process. The company has a very complex social media recruitment strategy, which they use throughout their worldwide operations. In the US, the L’Oreal US jobs website links all social media recruitment platforms including their Facebook page (facebook.lorealusa.jobs), Twitter feed (@LOrealUSACorp), LinkedIn page (linkedin.lorealusa.jobs) and YouTube channel (youtube.lorealusa.jobs). The company ensures uniform branding across all its websites and platforms creating a professional and cohesive brand image. By linking all platforms to the career website, potential applicants can easily find what they are looking for. Countless brands have a social media recruitment strategy similar to this, so what is L’Oreal doing differently? One notable strategy is L’Oreal’s collaboration with Work4Labs on their L’Oreal Talent Recruitment Facebook page. When recruiting for a summer internship, L’Oreal utilized Work4Labs “Work for Us” app, an effective Facebook recruiting solution. They also encouraged their own fans and employees to share the job posting with their personal networks via “Work for Us”.

The app allows recruiters to post jobs directly on the company’s Facebook Page, distribute jobs through social broadcasting, and create targeted Facebook job ads. The results of this initiative were very telling. The internship’s ad campaign generated 5.88 million impressions with 4,167 clicks. This indicates click through rate of 0.071%, which is much higher than the average click through rate of Facebook ads, which is roughly 0.02%. L’Oreal received 153 applicants, most of which were pre-qualified due to the specific targeting options that L’Oreal chose for the ads. These specific targeting options include criteria such as education and experience. Most applicants who viewed the job submitted their resume minutes after the ad went live. L’Oreal received a total of 17 qualified resumes within the first 12 hours of the campaign, which is a major success rate as compared to traditional recruiting methods.

#POWERON and “Work for Us” are only two of the countless initiatives that L’Oreal has developed for social media, and I look forward to see what they will come up with in the years ahead!

7 comments

  1. This is so cool! It is so awesome that beauty companies seem to have the best social media presences. Between Loreal and Dove, they seem to be making huge leaps for social media marketing in general. They’re employing totally different strategies, but are both making big impacts on their brand image and social media presence.

  2. Great post Julia! I am also a big fan of L’Oreal and all their products, but I hadn’t heard of their new #POWERON campaign. Especially important for a beauty brand, companies have to creatively connect with consumers. It’s clear that L’Oreal is effectively creating relationships through their campaigns by empowering women to feel beautiful through social media. They encourage women to post and share products that make them confident and feel good about themselves, further creating awareness for L’Oreal as a brand.

  3. Awesome post Julia! Like @maevebracken I am a big fan of L’Oreal products, but do not follow them on any social media platforms and had not heard of the #POWERON campaign. As all women can relate to having a bad hair day, along with the confidence that comes with having a good one, this campaign definitely hit its mark. Further, using a celebrity as the brand’s voice definitely humanizes L’Oreal, and therefore makes users more willing to engage with the brand. L’Oreal has also clearly been able to effectively leverage social media for recruiting purposes. I cannot believe the engagement rate the internship job post received, and that the company received 153 job applications! I am interested to see if other companies copy L’Oreal’s strategy and begin reaching out to college-aged students looking for internships using social instead of more traditional recruiting methods in the future.

  4. The beauty industry’s use of social media has been really interesting lately, especially in the wake of many critics saying that this industry hurts people’s self-esteem and promotes a certain beauty standard. Dove and Pantene have had successful campaigns in trying to promote empowerment and shed preconceived notions of beauty, and its great to see L’Oreal step into this space as well. Personally, I’ve never heard of the #POWERON campaign but its very clever. When most people have a good hair day they feel good, but don’t always express how great they feel to others so its great that these feelings are being spread.
    However, I wonder what people thought of L’Oreal using a model as the face of this campaign. There are definitely benefits in that it increases the exposure of the campaign and gives the brand a voice, but it seems as though companies have purposely left models out of their campaigns to try to make the “average” person’s voice heard more. Lane Bryant came out with a #ImnoAngel campaign last week to show that all different body shapes are beaufitul, so I was wondering if L’Oreal received any negative attention by using a model in a campaign that is meant to empower everyone.

  5. Great post! I had no idea about L’Oreal’s social media presence or the #PowerOn campaign, but love it and definitely can relate to the feelings that come with a bad or good hair day. However, @michellekeilich makes a great point–it’s hard to have a campaign that is centered around embracing everyone’s beauty with a model as the face of the campaign; it would have been neat if they had used ordinary women in the campaign.

  6. Great post. Love how companies are moving beyond simple social media engagement to create a whole customer experience and community. I think this is definitely where the next stage of social is going.

  7. I hadn’t heard of the #POWERON campaign and really enjoyed learning about it! What interested me the most was L’Oreal’s recruiting. Two summers ago I interned for Free Peoples finance team after seeing a tweet from their recruiting twitter handle. The job was posted well after most of their internship deadlines and was only put on their twitter, not their website. It was an internship that perfectly blended my love for the brand with my BC education and I never would have found it without twitter! Its great to see L’Oreal successfully using SM for recruiting and I hope to see more companies doing the same in the future!

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