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Sephora and Coachella camp out on social media

Beauty retailer Sephora is sponsoring the upcoming Coachella music festival in California, leveraging social media as a driving force to engage music and beauty fans at the event as well as those unable to attend. 

Followers of the music festival and beauty retailer on social media will receive access to a slew of insider information and live coverage of the event. Sephora is marketing its Sephora Collection line by catering to festivalgoers with tips and tricks available on its Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, mobile-optimized blog and Snapchat. 

"Festivals in general provide an experience-rich environment," said Elizabeth Hayes, vice president of merchandising, Sephora Collection, San Francisco. "Ticket holders are coming to them with the mindset that they are in a rule-free realm and they are going to have fun. 

"Coachella in particular has emerged as a beauty playground, where attendees dare to play and express themselves in a new way through festival-style beauty that's perfect for Instagram," she said. "Our dedicated #SephoraCoachella hashtag allows clients to interact with us @Sephora on that specific topic, and allows us to filter content easily so we can manage and respond to the conversation, all in real time."

Coachella takes place over two weekends in April, with the first starting today at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California and running through April 12. The second weekend takes places from April 17 to April 19. 

Refreshing beauty tactics 
Hype surrounding the festival has been ongoing for the past month, with numerous posts on social media discussing the event not only from brands, but largely attending and non-attending fans as well. Celebrities often attend this festival, so this type of event naturally receives a lot of attention. 

At Coachella, Sephora is running a beauty oasis filled with Sephora Collection-only products for attendees to refresh their makeup, hair and skincare. Face painting and free facials are some of the services offered at the tent, but its main purpose is for attendees to use the products provided. 

A photo booth located at the Sephora Collection tent allows event goers to share pictures of themselves on Instagram and other social media, tagging Sephora and the hashtag #SephoraCoachella. Participants can win a surprise reward from Sephora?s vending machine and also have a chance to see their images shared on Sephora?s own Instagram page. 

Sephora is taking an amateur reporter approach to the festival and is offering live coverage of the event on its Instagram, also sharing images and videos of things happening at the event through Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. 

The retailer has also created a mobile-optimized beauty board page of its Web site and app, compiling an array of social media-shareable photos featuring various products from the Sephora Collection marketed as festival wear. These images can also be seen by exploring the #SephoraCoachella hashtag on all social media.

Networking through mobile
Urban Outfitters Inc.?s bohemian apparel brand Free People took a similar approach to music festival season and effectively timed push-notifications to drive sales for current collections available on its application. The brand promoted its new line, Go Your Own Way, marketed specifically for festival wear (see more). 

Music festivals are one of the many conversations that brands are getting involved in on social media. Sephora is highly involved in social networks and recently made headway in this area with running its first sweepstakes on Snapchat build its database of social media followers (see more).

"An integrated strategy that incorporates our social platforms is important for us because that is where our clients are every day," Ms. Hayes said. "It is an important way to stay connected with them, but we are always mindful to leverage each platforms' strengths in a way that makes sense. 

"For example, face charts and how-to's from New York Fashion Week are ideal for Pinterest where content can be pinned for future reference, while backstage images that do not need a lot of explanation are perfect for Instagram," she said.

Final Take
Brielle Jaekel is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York