You can find Benefit Cosmetics at more than 2,000 stores in over 30 countries.

That means you can find the brand’s fans – or Benebabes – around the globe.

But how does one of the fastest-growing cosmetics companies in the world create real connection with its far-flung customers?

By supporting, entertaining, educating and inspiring them where they live: on social media.

Sprout Social’s powerful analytics and engagement tools empower Benefit to consistently optimize its social strategy, helping the brand deliver the honesty, authenticity and personalization its customers crave.

We lean heavily on Sprout for its social analytics tools.
Irene Xu
Assistant Manager of Social Media, Benefit Cosmetics

Alluring analytics

Benefit’s social squad aligns closely with the brand’s wider marketing department to ensure its messaging stays consistent, according to Assistant Manager of Social Media Irene Xu. The team divvies up strategy ideation, content creation, community management and more between its six members.

“Our social channels are the first place that many of our customers can learn about our new products and campaigns,” Xu said. “With the way the social landscape is always changing, we’re constantly adapting with the types of content we produce for our channels. We’re hoping to build a community where we can connect to our fans.”

And while Benefit caters to its customers across social channels, its priority is Instagram.

As Xu said: “That’s where our Benefit girl is, and how she spends her time.”

This makes Instagram data essential to performance measurement. However, the platform didn’t provide Benefit with all the analytics options it required.

“While there are some stats available in the Instagram app, there really isn’t that in-depth analysis we need and rely on that we get from Sprout Social,” Xu said. “It’s really essential to have a tool that can collect all that for you because natively, we’re pretty limited in what we’re able to access.”

The competitor brand tracking gives us insight into what’s trending in the beauty industry.
Irene Xu
Assistant Manager of Social Media, Benefit Cosmetics

Sprout is designed to help businesses such as Benefit analyze and report across all connected social channels and profiles simultaneously, providing standardized data not available on native platforms. Additionally, Sprout enables Benefit to build custom, presentation-ready reports specific to its business needs that can be easily exported and shared with key stakeholders.

“We lean heavily on Sprout for its social analytics tools,” Xu said. “The reporting informs us about crucial KPIs, such as which posts are receiving the most engagement or which days see the most acquisition. This data helps shape our social strategy and the content we post on our channels.”

Benefit also relies on Sprout for competitive intelligence. Using Sprout, the company can explore industry averages and directly compare competitors’ social data to its own.

“The competitor brand tracking gives us insight into what’s trending in the beauty industry,” Xu said. “Having all this data, both ours and our competitors, in one platform makes our jobs as social marketers so much easier.”

Having these tools from Sprout has helped us better understand what our audience is looking for and enjoys seeing.
Irene Xu
Assistant Manager of Social Media, Benefit Cosmetics

Exquisite engagement

Sprout doesn’t just help Benefit evaluate brand strategy—it simplifies it. Take the Benefit Brow Search, for example, a popular fan contest the company runs each year.

“This year was our third annual Benefit Brow Search,” Xu said. “The first part of the competition takes place on Instagram, where anyone can enter by posting their brow looks. After we narrow down the entries and select our top 20 finalists, we bring them together to compete in our Brow Bootcamp, where one grand prize winner wins $50,000 and a social media contract with Benefit. The judging criteria takes social voting into account.”

Votes are based on Instagram comments, which quickly flooded in. In order to meet a strict time limit for announcing the winner, Benefit needed a way to quickly calculate who received the most votes.

Enter Sprout’s Smart Inbox, which allows users to unify their social channels into a single stream to monitor incoming messages. Businesses can use it to monitor brand-relevant keywords, hashtags and locations to discover unique engagement opportunities, as well as access built-in customer relationship and conversation history management features.

More relevant to Benefit’s contest, the Smart Inbox also enables users to quickly sort incoming messages based on specific tags or filters. Sprout’s Automated Rules can help users create systems for categorizing and measuring inbound messages automatically. With the help of Sprout Social and its Smart Inbox, Benefit was able to quickly tally more than 700,000 comments in order to meet its contest deadline.

Radiant ROI

Benefit measures social return on investment in terms of engagement, reach and new customer acquisition—all metrics that ladder up to its goals of increasing brand awareness and connecting with customers.

However, customer insight is its own form of ROI. The data Benefit uncovers using Sprout influences more than just social strategy.

“Our social team has definitely impacted other parts of our business,” Xu said. “Having these tools from Sprout has helped us better understand what our audience is looking for and enjoys seeing.”

With in-depth data in tow, Benefit is primed to continue connecting with Benebabes around the world.

In a fiercely competitive digital landscape, connection is one look that never goes out of style.

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