It’s no secret beauty brands are using Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to strengthen their marketing clout. But who’s doing it best? CEW Beauty Insider asked several tech gurus to point out beauty’s leading digital innovators and explain why they think these brands are leading the way.  

* “I think Lancome, Aveda, Sephora, Maybelline and CoverGirl are among the beauty brands seeing strong value in smart sampling (i.e. Burberry Body, Oscar de la Renta) where the brands make continued connections with the prospect post-fulfillment. We’re also starting to see some brands engage in mobile payments.  I’m excited that Sephora is one of the few beauty-focused retailers that’s made a push to make mobile integral to the consumer’s shopping experience. The fact that I can view, research and buy through my mobile device is exciting.” — Felicia Sullivan, partner/vice president, Attention PR&SMM

* “I love when Mally Roncal hosts live UStream chats for Mally Beauty, answering both product questions from viewers, but also offering those who participated in an exclusive deal. MAC is fortunate to have such a passionate and engaged community that they’ve been able to execute some really innovative campaigns, like the Viva Glam campaign that resulted in the largest global fashion collaboration in history. It’s not only important to communicate the brand’s message and point of view, but also really listen to what your fans have to say. You never know – a brand’s next social campaign could be inspired by a Twitter reply or a Facebook comment. — Sarah Conley, social media manager,

* “Exclusive ‘like-gated’ incentives for fans, such as L’Occitane’s recent sampling campaign, that drove users in-store for redemption; highly interactive applications that allow users to virtually ‘try-on’ products (i.e. Lancome’s Magic Mirror); and creative blogger engagement campaigns that include some level of exclusivity for participating influencers (i.e. MAC’s Blogger Collection) are some of the leading tactics.” — Dina Fierro, managing director, Social Media at HL Group

* Of course with social media comes several pitfalls to avoid. Fierro cautions that brands keep in mind that each channel within social media aligns distinctly to different business objectives and requires a stand alone strategy, as well as a commitment of time, energy and budget. She also warns brands to keep in mind Facebook’s Terms & Conditions when hosing sweeps, avoid mass blasts of PDF press releases and unsolicited high-res images to bloggers.

Three No-No’s in Social Media Marketing

Indeed, social media expands a marketer’s horizons, it also can presents pitfalls. HL Group’s Dina stresses that brands stay true to Facebook’s Terms & Conditions when hosting sweepstakes, i.e. make sure they are housed on an externally-hosted application. Also, she says while mass blasts of PDF press releases and unsolicited high-res images to bloggers are tempting, but big no-no’s.