Sephora: 'Digital is in Our DNA'

Rachel Ramsey : Social Spotlight
Rachel Ramsey
Graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Media Arts and Design and a minor in Communication Studies
| Welcome to Social Spotlight! When I'm not covering a variety of technology and communications industries - everything from the cloud and VoIP to customer relationship management and data centers - you will find me on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr... you name it, I'm there

Sephora: 'Digital is in Our DNA'

The month of November is like the preseason to holiday shopping. Companies are prepping for the first game of the season, Black Friday. Sephora has embraced social media this holiday with Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook campaigns to pump customers up for this shopping season.

Pinterest: Users can create their ultimate holiday beauty wishlist and enter to win a Sephora by OPI GelShine At-Home Gel Colour System. Follow Sephora at and pin any product from with #SephoraSweeps in the description of the pin. Then just go to and enter your Pinterest username and e-mail for a chance to win. Users can enter daily from Nov. 12 to Dec. 21.

The company also partnered with Dobango for the Eye Heart Sephora contest. From Nov. 14 – 22, Dobango and Sephora will be giving out $20 Sephora gift cards daily and on Nov. 23 (Black Friday), they will give out the grand prize of more than $500 worth of eye makeup from Sephora. How do you win? All you need to do is use their site to upload up to three images of your favorite ways to do your eye makeup, then get friends to vote for entries by “liking” your entries on Pinterest. There are still four days left, so you can still enter to win either the daily gift cards or the grand prize!

Twitter: Sephora’s 12 Days of Wishful Tweeting sweepstakes allows users to tweet @Sephora any product from under $100 and include #SephoraWish for a chance to win your wish, plus one gift to a friend. These 12 days to tweet are Dec. 3 -14.

Facebook: Sephora Framework App on Sephora’s Facebook page allows user to take photos and create beautiful profile pictures and timeline cover images using Sephora’s selection of holiday and beauty-themed templates like eye line borders, fun nail polish and jewel-inspired finishes. Once the “Sephorized-cover story” is completed, users receive a special code for a deluxe sample of your choice to use on The catch: The Facebook offer is available with a purchase of $25 or more.


In addition, users who like Sephora on Facebook will know what deals the store will have before Black Friday before others, who have to wait until the day of. The company is showing that being a Facebook fan is valuable, and it also creates buzz for customers to start talking about their Black Friday strategy.

Inside Social Commerce recently sat down with Bridget Dolan, vice president of interactive media at Sephora, about Sephora’s faith in social media, howi t gets virtual users to buy real products and why its social media efforts have paid off.


ISC: Sephora has been around for nearly a half century and does about a billion in sales annually. How do you get an already-established company to embrace social media?

Dolan: “It’s a little easier for us because Sephora’s only been in the U.S. for 14 years, so we launched a website 13 years ago around the same time we were launching physical stores. They are of equal importance, with the website as a digital billboard for our Sephora stores. Digital is in our DNA.

We have 325 stores in the U.S., but digital stores are one of our biggest focuses. We are committed to seeing how customers interact with each other, just as they would in a physical store.

In terms of focus, we see social media as the new way to market to our clients, to see emerging trends and to determine what works and what hits. Our clients have always found interesting ways to communicate to us, whether it is through reviews, BeautyTalk or Facebook. When we see new folks posting pictures on Instagram or pinning on Pinterest, we realize that they are using new, innovative ways to express themselves.”


Just like Laura Olin, who managed social media for the Obama election campaign, the key to successfully taking advantage of social media is to adapt to the different platforms. Dolan said Instagram is how it engages people, while Google+ is more about the growth of followers. “For each venue, we look at the mindset the client is in when they come to the platform,” she explained.
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