Originating as message boards for online communities, BBS sites are influencers of public opinion in China. They are also powerful marketing tools for brands. Fans post about Beauty brands on category-specific BBSs such as PC Lady, Kimiss, Yoka, and OnlyLady, and brands can leverage their participation to start discussions, launch sampling programs, and lead them to purchase. For example, SK-II links to its Tmall storefront next to its most-reviewed product on Yoka.
Several brands have created their own BBS sites to further control the conversation. Lancôme’s Rose Beauty BBS uses gamification and awards participation badges redeemable for samples. Estée Lauder’s Elegance Lady BBS invites Beauty influencers to share product reviews and submit user-generated content.
Being major online activity hubs has given BBS sites influence over search results. Beauty-focused BBSs control 25% of first-page organic brand term search results on Baidu and nearly a third on So.com. That’s far more than brand sites, and another reason investing in a BBS presence is a must for brands in China.
For more on how Beauty brands use BBS sites to drive engagement and sales, read an excerpt of our Digital IQ Index: Beauty | China.