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Sephora’s new sweepstakes boosts sales, Instagram audience for branded collection

Sephora is attempting to ramp up sales for its own line of cosmetics by inviting Instagram users to follow the newly created account for Sephora Collection and participate in a sweepstakes that asks them to tag a friend in a daily post, resulting in a significant uptick in followers and greater brand awareness.

The beauty giant kicked off its I Want It, I Win It sweepstakes, which lets cosmetics enthusiasts enter for a chance to win swag packages including lipsticks, eyeshadows and mascara from Sephora Collection, this week. As Sephora attempts to boost sales for its proprietary makeup line, it is also hoping to significantly raise the collection’s standalone Instagram account’s number of followers, a feat that has already made headway since the contest’s inception.

“In order for brands to stay relevant in front of millennials, they need to pay close attention as this demographic can move from one social media brand to another without too much heads-up,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. “Keeping a pulse on each social platform and working to gain likes across a mix of platforms is important as millennial consumers won’t be loyal when it comes to wanting to be on the latest, greatest platform.

“Brands need to keep in mind that just a few short years ago, there wasn’t a social media platform in existence.”

Coloring in cosmetics inspiration
Sephora took to its Instagram Stories account earlier this week to announce the start of the I Want It, I Win It sweepstakes. In a series of live posts, the beauty marketer advised Instagram users to follow its separate @SephoraCollection account and comment on the daily post by tagging a friend.

This makes individuals eligible for an entry into the contest, which gifts one daily winner with the products featured in the post.

The first contest swag bag offered consumers a kit including a pro airbrush, 10 eyeliners, five cream lip stains, five rouge cream lipsticks, mascara and five colorful shadows – all by Sephora Collection.

The following day’s gift basket included 30 lip products, one for each day of the month.

Entrants can simply tag a fellow cosmetics fan in the comment section of each post to be eligible for the prize. The ease of entering will likely prompt more individuals to do so, while the act of tagging a friend will result in Sephora Collection’s new Instagram account reaching more smartphone screens in an organic way.

Sephora Collection’s number of Instagram followers increased by several thousand overnight between the first and second days of the promotion.

Instagram users who follow the new account will also likely receive inspiration regarding the latest beauty looks and products, which could prompt them to click the link in the retailer’s bio and visit its mobile site to shop featured items.

The I Want It, I Win It sweepstakes runs through August 28.

Interest in Instagram users
Several brands have been leveraging their sizable Instagram audiences in a bid to drive product sales and convince consumers to follow separate social media accounts for different lines.

For instance, J. Crew recently attempted to direct more attention toward its menswear line by introducing the J. Crew Men’s Instagram account, which enables followers to browse new and classic apparel and accessories before clicking a link in the retailer’s bio to purchase must-have items (see story).

A growing number of retailers are establishing separate accounts for menswear and womenswear collections, likely in an attempt to bolster mobile conversions and showcase only relevant content to followers.

Meanwhile, several months ago, Sephora ramped up excitement for Estée Lauder’s new Instagram account and cosmetics line by bringing its Snapchat followers behind-the-scenes with brand ambassador Kendall Jenner as she prepared for an appearance and modeled beauty products (see story).

Seeing as many of Sephora’s target customers are active on Instagram, the beauty marketer is well-poised to reach its goals with this latest promotion.

“A brand like Sephora posting an Instagram Story informing followers of a sweepstakes, which can be entered by following the @SephoraCollection Instagram account and tagging a friend to win, is the perfect marketing move to gain likes and grow its brand on Instagram,” Ms. Troutman said.