At MAC Cosmetics, the social media strategy is all about balance.
Back in 2008, the makeup brand joined its first social platform, senior vice president of global marketing for The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. for MAC Laura Elkins told attendees at the WWD Digital Forum in New York. “MAC is a brand based on community…I knew we had to be there,” she said. “The monumental decision believe it or not at the time…was MySpace or Facebook. Luckily, we chose Facebook. At the time, no other Estée Lauder brand was present on any of these social media platforms and the lawyers were freaking out, the corporate people were freaking out. I said to them, ‘Don’t worry, we can take it down, let’s just get started.’ And they believed me.”
Since then, MAC has rapidly adopted new social platforms, many of which seem to have driven sales, Elkins said. But running social is all about choices, she cautioned.
“For every choice we make, there’s something we’re giving up,” she said, channeling applicable advice from her mother.
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As it has rolled out its strategy, MAC has taken both a global and a local approach to social, announcing new store openings on Snapchat and also partnering with more local platforms to deliver other content. Snapping the store openings in particular, has yielded positive results, she said.
“Based on feedback from people in the market and from the stores…putting this type of local content does drive new consumers and drive awareness of a new door opening,” Elkins said.
On a more local level, MAC has used KakaoTalk in Korea to launch a gifting program with few stockkeeping units that shoppers can purchase, have gift wrapped and delivered to friends via mobile device. In Japan, the beauty company has used Line for MAC-customized stickers, which generated more than 3 million fans in a few weeks, according to Elkins.
“[It was] a very strong driver of m-commerce because we saw double-digit sales gains immediately following the campaign,” she said.
But not all social efforts have gone off without a hitch. Take for example, MAC joining Mixi, a Japanese social platform. “We realized those resources were not the best allocation of our time and energy, and we took ourselves off the platform,” Elkins said.
Moving forward, the brand continues to work to integrate user-generated content on its social platforms. One initiative highlights the work on MAC makeup artists with the hashtag #MACartistchallenge. MAC is also experimenting with artists taking over its social channels.
“We’re not making it a free-for-all,” Elkins said. “We are very careful to make sure people have the right training and the right guidelines.”