Most people know Sephora as an international retailer specializing in all things cosmetics, skin, hair, and fragrance, but I see them as an example of an excellent marketing strategy. Sephora is active on all major social media platforms and utilizes more traditional forms of marketing such as sending out e-mail and “snail mail” advertisements often.
When it comes to traditional marketing, Sephora sends out monthly postcards and other product booklets via “snail mail”. Sephora also sends out e-mail blasts every 1-3 days to promote new products and services, announce new locations, and to remind loyalty program members of perks and points. E-mails are sent out on a regular basis and manage to avoid being considered annoying, invasive, or dare I say, spam-y.
Sephora also offers a mobile app, Sephora To Go, and it is one to be reckoned with. It takes mobile marketing to a new level by offering cutting edge features, which entice customers to not only shop with them, but also experiment with different looks and learn more about brands. The app is free to download and is available in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play store. Those who have downloaded the app can shop all of Sephora’s products, find a store near them, book a reservation at the beauty studio, watch how-to videos, get inspiration, and more.
What sets this app apart is the state-of-the-art technology that allows users to “try on” different products (such as lipstick and false eyelashes) and even learn to apply contour and highlight through the Virtual Artist feature, which is linked to your phone’s front camera.
Of course, Sephora also had to one-up everyone else by upgrading their notification system. Instead of just using mass notifications, Sephora implemented Beacons when users are near and/or in a store. And while customers are in a store, they can open their app and scan the face of the person featured on the various posters and in-store ads. By hovering over the influencer’s picture, users are instantly provided with exclusive content, information about the brand, videos, interviews, and more.
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What Sephora really does a great job at is not only creating a social media presence, but maintaining it, as well. They post regularly and moderate any comments and @replies on a near-constant basis. Of course, Sephora also knows how to cross-promote. They always make sure to include links and hashtags whenever applicable, in order to create as much synergy possible.
Now let’s take a look at Sephora’s core social media presence*:
- Sephora’s most popular social media account
- 2 million+ Likes
- 15 million+ Followers
- Posts on daily basis
- Response time is quoted as: “typically replies instantly”
- Posts consist mostly of
- Promoting new products and services
- Advertising in-store events with industry experts
- Summaries of interviews and articles with industry experts
- Most followers use this platform to reach out to their customer service team for problem solving.
- Customers can now contact a customer service representative or even book an appointment for a makeover with just one click via a chat bot (aka “Sephora Reservation Assistant”) in Facebook Messenger.
- 14 million Followers
- 3,258 Likes
- 67,000+ Tweets
- Tweet on a daily basis & reply constantly
- Tweets mostly consist of:
- Promoting new products and services
- Tips and tricks
- Driving traffic to their Snapchat
- Sephora’s customer service team is extremely active, replying to tweets regularly
- 736,800+ Subscribers
- 2 million+ views
- Posts videos on a daily basis
- Video topics consist of:
- Makeup, Hair, and Nail tutorials
- Promoting their monthly subscription box: Play! By Sephora
- Promoting their new products and collaborations with brands and influencers
- All products listed in videos are linked and easy-to-find
- Sephora’s 2nd most-popular social media account
- 2 million Followers
- ~2,500 posts so far
- Posts on a daily basis
- Posts mostly consist of:
- Promoting new products
- Quick how-to videos
- “#regram”’s of fun makeup and hair looks
- 478,000+ Followers
- 11,400+ Pins
- 75 Boards, including daily-updated boards
- 108 Likes
- Posts consist of: quite literally anything and everything beauty, hair, skin, nails, etc.
follow Sephora at this Snapcode!
Sephora is leading the pack when it comes to using Snapchat for marketing and customer engagement. They have already implemented geo filters (location-based filters) and geo lenses (those awesome face-mapping “masks”) such as color-changing lipsticks and music. Sephora was also amongst the first to launch “shoppable” posts through the supplementary app Emoticode.
Sephora snapchats consist of:
- Contests and giveaways
- Sneak peaks at new products
- Influencer and brand “takeovers”
- Shoppable posts
- Geo filters and geo lenses
All of their hardwork is clearly paying off. When it comes to social media presence, Sephora is kicking their competitor’s butts. For example, one of Sephora’s largest direct competitors is Ulta Beauty. Ulta’s Facebook has a mere 2.3 million Likes compared to Sephora’s >15 million Likes. I’m sure their innovative and smart marketing strategy has played a huge part in their social media domination. Communications managers of companies both big and small can surely take a page out of their book.
*All information is up-to-date as of time of publication