June 22, 2012, 4:09 PM

How BH Cosmetics has attracted nearly 5 million YouTube views

The online-only beauty retailer analyzes what shoppers respond to.

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The reason that BH Cosmetics has attracted more than 518,000 Facebook followers and nearly 5.0 million views of videos  on its YouTube channel as of June is because it gives the retailer’s fan base, generally women 15 to 30, what they want—information about new products, beauty tips and a forum to chat about makeup, says Irene Shin, the retailer’s marketing and social media director.

“It comes down to knowing what they want to hear about and pushing different content along those lines,” she says. Shin, who is the only employee at BH Cosmetics who works full time on social media (one other staff member devotes about half her time to social), says she regularly analyzes which posts and videos get the most engagement, which helps her home in on what shoppers want to hear about.

For instance, early on she realized that shoppers want tips on how to apply makeup to achieve a certain look. So Shin began working with professional makeup artists to produce videos offering tutorials on how to use makeup to attain green smoky eyes, for example, or to mimic the dramatic look of singer and actress Katy Perry’s eyes. 

Those efforts help explain why around 6.5% of total traffic to BH Cosmetic’s site comes from social networks.

In addition to helping BH Cosmetics build brand recognition, social media also generates sales,  Shin says. Those sales are partially from a storefront on Facebook that it worked with a vendor to build, but also from the traffic, and ultimately the conversions, that it drives to its site. She analyzes the return on investment of BH Cosmetics’ social efforts via a system that the retailer built in-house.

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