How Could Sephora Improve its Content Strategy on Instagram? Segmentation.

How Could Sephora Improve its Content Strategy on Instagram? Segmentation. Tripti Shrivastava Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

In our earlier posts about how brands perform on Instagram, we looked at the tactics that leading brands like Starbucks and BMW are using to engage with their followers and grow their communities on the platform. While having an intimate knowledge of these strategies is indispensable, how can we determine which content should be used to maximize impact?

Future of Social

The answer is segmentation. We have talked about it before. Its importance cannot be stressed enough.

Let’s take a look at Sephora: how the brand is performing on Instagram now and how it could benefit from segmentation. Sephora is doing a great job of generating engagement among its followers and growing its Instagram community.Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.23.20 PMIn this data period, Sephora received over 50K in engagement on average for each of its posts, and posted a mix of both photos and videos (15% of content posted by Sephora was videos, which generated 9% of engagement).

Sephora also added 500K new followers, a growth of 5.7% from the initial data period.Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 2.20.01 PMWhile Sephora is using many of the established strategies on Instagram to engage with their followers, their engagement as a % of followers is 60.6%, which means that there is room to engage the audience more. For Starbucks and BMW, this number is over 100% (180% and 157%, respectively), which proves that they have a very engaged user base.

How Can Segmentation Help?

Let’s take a look at how segmenting the social data could help Sephora understand what drives engagement for them.

By looking at Sephora’s posts for the data period, I bucketed them into the following nine types, based on the post’s content.Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 5.13.47 PMFrom the breakdown in the chart above, we can see that makeup tips, product information, and product arrival-related posts generated close to 80% of the total engagement for Sephora during this time period. Makeup tips generated the most engagement for Sephora of any content type, and were the main post type for the brand.

However, if we look at the average engagement by post types, contests have generated maximum engagement. Posting more contest-related content could help drive engagement higher.

Win a new fall look, courtesy of @SephoraCollection! 🍂 Take our short quiz on @Kik and you’ll be entered in our sweepstakes for a chance to win over $400 worth of beauty products. How’s that for beauty uncomplicated? 😏 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Odds depend on number of entries received. US residents ONLY, age 13 or older. Enter by 10/11. 1 entry per person. 1 winner selected; approx. prize value $407. Click #LinkInBio or see here: for official rules.

A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

Contests are followed by new product arrival announcements. The most engaging post for the data period was a new product arrival post.

Calling this palette basic is so not an insult. @UrbanDecayCosmetics answered our 🙏 with its new all-matte Ultimate Basics eyeshadow palette. #LinkInBio

A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

Although Sephora has published only one post related to corporate social responsibility (CSR), the post is third on the list for generating highest average engagement per post. It is not surprising to see that, as many studies have shown that CSR helps boosts a brand’s image. In this case, it also helps drive engagement.

What’s better than getting rid of build up in your hair? Doing your part to make breast cancer ✌️ out from the world. With every purchase of this limited-edition pink @TheDrybar Detox Dry Shampoo, a $1 donation is given to @CityOfHope. #LinkInBio

A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

Sephora has utilized user-generated content for its Instagram posts, too, regramming/reposting content from their followers as well as influencers. Their regrams of makeup tips and related content generated 20% of the total engagement for the brand in the data period.

#Repost @beccacosmetics ・・・ Nontouring is #trendingatsephora! Create a natural #BECCAbeauty look with these simple steps: Start with our Backlight Priming Filter for a luminous shimmer beneath Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation for hydrated, flawless skin. Add Luminous Blush in Dahlia to the hollows of the cheeks for colourful dimension & apply Luminous Blush in Snapdragon to the apples of the cheeks for a radiant coral flush! Then #DefineYourLight by using any of our 3 Shimmering Skin Perfector formulas in Moonstone for that covetable #BECCAGlow! #nontouring @sephora

A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

Images drive higher engagement than videos on posts related to product information. However, there were very few video posts related to this segment in this data period. It might be worth exploring different ways to showcase a product via videos and measure if there is any change in engagement.

If your favorite shade of shimmer is All of the Above, @BobbiBrown has the highlighter palette for you. The Shimmer Brick Palette features three shades that combine gold, bronze, and rosy pink hues. #LinkInBio

A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

The same applies to posts related to live event information and behind-the-scenes posts. A few variations could be tried to understand what the audience likes the best.

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While I based these segments broadly on each post’s content, we could also segment them further by product type. Segmenting posts can help identify which content is working, and also help craft future content strategy accordingly.

Sephora currently has over 9.3M Instagram followers, and growing. With numbers like these, it’s clear the brand is succeeding on the platform. Segmenting posts to understand what resonates most with the audience can be instrumental in increasing this success, reaching new audiences, and re-engaging existing ones, ultimately building two-way conversations that drive sales, engagement, and brand awareness.

How do you segment your posts on Instagram? Share with us in the comments.

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Tripti Shrivastava

Tripti Shrivastava

I'm a Social Media Analyst at Simply Measured. I love food, music, movies, and long walks. Let's talk about social media data!