Brands

Birchbox Explores the Beauty of ‘Twitter Parties’

This post is part of the Twitter for Brands Series, which features winning strategies from the top brand pages on Twitter and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

The three facets of NYC startup Birchbox’s model — editorial, subscription and online shop — are so infused that it is difficult to tell which one is the core business.

The editorial offerings draw readers to the subscription box, the boxes of sample-sized premium beauty products drives product sales in the online shop, and revenue from both subscriptions and the shop fund the wealth of original editorial content. It all works together to make a warm community for like-minded Birchboxers.

The latest addition to Birchbox’s arsenal is a partnership with the CW television show “Gossip Girl.” Posts on how to steal looks from the show are already making a splash on the Birchbox blog and the special edition May box for subscribers sports a Gossip Girl theme.

But most notably, Birchbox followers on Twitter might be surprised each Monday night to find @birchbox live-tweeting the show.

Mollie Chen, director of content for Birchbox, shared some preliminary results from the new campaign with The Content Strategist. The “Twitter parties,” as she calls them, which have garnered Birchbox a strong following, bring context to Birchbox products. But with the new campaign, it’s more than “How To” beauty posts – its aim is engaging with the audience in a wider conversation about love of fashion, New York City and personal style.

The voice behind the @birchbox account is community manager Rachel Silver, who embodies the brand as if Birchbox itself were watching a show, Chen said. She emphasized that a commitment to be authentic and keeping the Twitter in one person’s hands is the way to best build a strong social media presence.

Like other brands that embody a persona on social media, this allows for a more engaging, friendly and two-way conversation on social media, but Birchbox crosses into new territory.

Birchbox on Twitter is no longer distinguishable as either a brand or a human. Since the time marketing first entered the social media realm, brands have felt the pull to be more hospitable, relatable and authentic.

The image of a company sitting behind the television and commenting on a show may seem odd, but on Twitter, it feels natural. It is true that Birchbox and “Gossip Girl” are a notably good combo, with Birchbox’s offers of top beauty brands and gossip girl’s celebration of fashion brands.

Each week, more people tune into “Gossip Girl” with Birchbox. The Twitter parties are set up with OfferPop so participants can win prizes when they include both @birchbox and #gossipgirl in a tweet. Chen notes the conversations tend to transcend the usual transactional nature between brands and audience.

“While participants could have just sent empty tweets with the mandatory mention and hashtag, we saw engaging, fun, and witty responses,” Chen reports.

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