By  on May 24, 2012

Cosmetic Executive Women continues to find new avenues to leverage awareness for its annual Insiders’ Choice Awards.

After the 18th annual ceremonies, held May 18 at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW, noted that a new strategy this year was to embrace social media, targeting bloggers and online influencers. The goal: to raise visibility for the winning products [see sidebar] and drive consumers to purchase them.

“Every year, we look for new ways to reach the consumer with the story of the awards,” said Jacobson, who invited a dozen beauty bloggers — including Rachel Hayes of Dailymakeover.com, Megan McIntyre of Refinery29.com and Liesa Goins of Dailyglow.com — to present trophies to the winning companies. “Bloggers and online influencers are today’s super consumers. They lead users with great knowledge of beauty products and a stronger relationship with the brand. They are viewed by consumers as credible experts and authorities on beauty, are in constant contact with their followers and their readers value their opinions.”

Jacobson noted that the awards, voted on by CEW’s 4,600 members, are intended to cut through the clutter at retail — a point it is underlining with the social media component of its plan.

“Our social media initiatives will allow us to interact directly with consumers for the first time,” said Jacobson, adding that CEW has a consumer-focused Facebook presence for the first time this year: a custom Beauty Award tab on the organization’s Facebook page with curated content. “The CEW Facebook page brings consumers by providing an insiders’ view of the most creative and innovative products of the year,” said Jacobson. “Now, everyday, consumers have access to exclusive insider information, helping them make informed decisions at the beauty counter and beyond.” The CEW Facebook page will also direct consumers to retailer locations where they can purchase the winning products.

Jacobson sees CEW’s Twitter page as “an opportunity to strengthen relationships outside of industry functions, showcasing the organization as a valued resource.” Attendees at the ceremonies were strongly encouraged to tweet during the awards, using the hashtag #CEWevents to generate buzz.

CEW is tracking growth in numbers of its Facebook and Twitter communities — the organization has more than 4,100 Facebook fans and more than 3,500 Twitter followers — and examining growth in engagement, analyzing how these fans and followers are responding to posts and how they pass the content on, said Jacobson. “We’re analyzing trends so we can better curate content to resonate with consumers,” she said.

Ongoing retail partnerships showcasing the awards continue with CVS, which will highlight the winning products at retail, and QVC, which will air a show featuring the winners on July 23. “We also expect to have the support from other major retailers in-store and online, including Lord & Taylor,” said Jacobson. New retail outlets participating this year, she said, include Beautybar.com, which will produce a co-branded, discounted Insiders’ Choice Beauty Box with the finalist and winning products; HauteLook, which will run a sale event with the winning brands, and Pretty in My Pocket, which will feature coupons offering savings on the winning brands.

This year’s competition garnered more than 625 entries in 29 categories.

 

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