Procter & Gamble: Social Media for Beauty Brands — Live from BlogWell

1:25 – Andy Sernovitz introduces Anitra Marsh, Global External Relations manager.

1:25 – Her role is to look at the beauty brands and their opportunities with social media.

1:26 – All of the brands have different equity and target markets.

1:26 – There are 4 common approaches that have worked well for them, and she is going to share them with us today.

1:26 – Anitra confessed that she is not on twitter, however we have to keep in mind that many of our consumers are not on twitter or similar sites when we build our digital strategies.

1:26 – The first step is to know your consumer and what they are doing online.  For example with Olay, consumers have more choices than ever and they need help selecting online.  Olay started a new website last year called which takes customization to a new level.  It provides a custom diagnosis for consumers based on behavior as well as skin type.

1:28 – Another Olay program that highlights the deep consumer insights is Olay Pro-X.  They had a core insight that consumers are very in to health and wellness and spend a lot of time online researching.  Olay Pro-X partnered with WebMD to provide content on SkinCare, since WebMD didn’t have a skin care site.  The result is that WebMD skin care includes editorial content from the Doctors at Olay including blogs and videos.

1:30 – Olay is evolving from a holistic communications model to an interdependent model.  In holistic communications the message is often an advertising message that is shared across different touch-points.  In the interdependent model the content is created specifically for different  channels, and in some cases the web content is driving the traditional content.

1:32 – On Herbal Essences this has been used to take consumer testimonials from the web and use them in traditional media.

– Hugo Boss presented a unique challenge since the consumer is fickle and there is a lot of clutter.  Hugo launched a contest for consumers to design  bottles for their “Army Flask” campaign – there were over 13,000 entrants and many of the designs have been featured in print magazines and on billboards.  In the new world with an interdependent model the content moves from online to traditional media.

1:34 – Continue listening and choiceful participation is the next core idea.  We can’t participate in every conversation about our brand.  One internal tool allows us to monitor 90% of the conversations going on online.

1:35 – Pantene is one of the first brands to launch a community manager (the Pantene Beauty Maven).  Her role is to go out, listen and engage with consumers.  We learned that it is extremely important to align on the key topics that we want to really engage in.

1:35 – This helps us to manage the logistics on getting internal approval since the content is aligned to in advance.

1:36 – The other thing we learned is that tone and authenticity are really key – we make sure that Community Managers are speaking in a human tone.

1:37 –The community manager is just one tool but everyone should be listening online.  By listening online we can find opportunities to improve our products.

1:38 – Last year they launched CoverGirl with Olay, and they noticed by comments on blogs that consumers were having trouble opening the containers.  Within 48 hours they worked with Research & Development to create instructions on how to open the containers.  The directions were shared back with the bloggers and there was positive feedback as bloggers were surprised that Olay cared and responded.

1:40 – The last idea is building in a refreshed message into the program up-front vs. being reactive after the fact.

1:41 – A recent example on Cover Girl was a program involving Cover Girl supporting Clean Water.  There were opportunities to refresh the message and the brand stayed nimble enough to incorporate live-time events.  Shortly after the launch the earthquake in Haiti hit, which brought more awareness to clean drinking water.  The brand was able to participate with spokespeople in the relief effort in Haiti.


Q: How do you manage the approval process and speed it up to get new messages out timely?

A: This is still something we are working on.  We have a conversation calendar and we know what we will want to talk about so we can pre-work those with legal.  For emerging discussions we have a multi-functional team with PR and Legal that can respond more quickly.  Having the team already in place helps speed this up.  They don’t have a set time that they plan to respond, however for a big issue they aim for 48 hours – if they can take more time they usually will.

Q: Where did the community manager come from?  How did you find her?

We found someone who reflects our target audience and has a lot of passion for the brand and knowledge.  The function that she worked for wasn’t important.  It was important that she was passionate about the brand.  Community managers have come from different functions but the current community manager is from Consumer Care.

Q: What tool do you use to track?

A: It is a tool proprietary to P&G however it is similar to other external tools.

Q: How important are community managers and how many brands have them?

A: 30 – 40% of beauty brands have community managers, however we are trying to expand this as we have seen success.  It isn’t a mandate but it is something that we are trying to encourage because we know it is effective.

Q: How to you monitor and manage the tone of voice and authenticity of Community Managers.

A: We are still learning.  Everyone on the team has the opportunity to monitor and contribute.  There is also a group of community managers internally that are sharing best practices and

Q: You said that you are listening to the conversation.  Are you also looking at sentiment

A: We look at sentiment as well as tone and source.

A: This is still a challenge and we have a team that trusts our group so that we have confidence from upper management.  Trust comes with time, and because Anitra comes from External Relations such that when they entered the digital space they had already built the trust and a positive track record with responding to the media.

Q: How do you connect with retail partners?

A: For most brands we encourage consumers to purchase at retail brands.  We want to make sure that our bloggers provide information on where consumers can purchase the product.

Q: Do you license the technology that you use for monitoring?

A: Anitra isn’t sure.

Q: In refreshing the messages do you change or target the messages for different demographics?

A: We do certainly take into account our consumer segments (maybe not demographics) and we take that into account when we are participating in a conversation or creating a program.  This changes the tone and message.

Q: What are some of the Key Perfomance Indicators used to measure these programs?

A: We look at click-through and reach.  We try to build in metrics to assess the effectiveness – links to retail sites or P&G brand retail sites.  We is an area that we are all still growing in and trying to figure this out.

Q: Do you create online only campaigns?

A: Routinely on our brands we work closely with bloggers to provide content.  We do a number of programs that are intended specifically to our online market.

Q: Who manages the Facebook pages and Twitter?

A: We have a team of individuals (although it depends on the brand).  They are internal and are a part of consumer relations.

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