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All About Twitter

Move over Oprah… beauty companies flocking to twitter are finding very receptive followers.

Move over Oprah… beauty companies flocking to twitter are finding very receptive followers.

 

If you can type, chances are you’re on Twitter. The Internet phenomenon, which allows for conversation via 140 character–long Tweets (Twitter-talk for posts), has attracted huge numbers of consumers, celebrities and companies alike. Beauty marketers have taken to tweeting with gusto. Always cutting edge, MAC Cosmetics began using Twitter in September, before the medium was mainstream. Capitalizing on its position as an artistry brand, senior artists chronicled their experiences backstage at New York Fashion Week and have continued to do so in subsequent seasons.

 

Tweets range from the mundane—chugging cappuccino—to the informative—noting that lip gloss was used on eyes at fall 2009 shows. Between mid-February and mid-March, more than 2 million users in 12 countries viewed an aggregate feed of the MAC artists’ Tweets on Facebook. “We’re not measuring success on Twitter by its effect on our sales—I’m not even sure that’s possible,” says Laura Elkins, vice president of consumer marketing. “If we look at engaging fans as a top priority, Twitter can be phenomenally successful, and it has a global reach.” Engaging consumers on Twitter, which is a free service, is also being used as an effective advertising tool in a time when ad budgets are stretched thin.

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More than 2,700 users follow Benefit’s Twitter page, which is updated at least once a day. In June, the brand will promote its new trio of Crescent Row fragrances on the site. “We’re creating three unique Twitter profi les, one for each of the fragrances,” explains co-founder Jean Ford. Consumers are also Tweeting, and a two-way dialogue on Twitter can be used as an inexpensive marketing tool. “People divulge information about themselves on Twitter in ways that they might not through other media,” says ceo and founder of Deep Focus consulting agency Ian Schafer. “Brands can use that to their advantage.” For example, Kiehl’s Since 1851’s president, Chris Salgardo, uses conversations about products and ingredients on the brand’s three-month-old Twitter page as tools for speedy market research. “As opposed to doing market surveys that take months to track results, with Twitter, there is a sense of immediacy,” he says.

 

Given the number of in-store events and sales that retailers are hosting as of late, Twitter has also proven to be an effective means of alerting shoppers to promotions. Sephora keeps its large following, which numbers more than 9,000, current on events, and also offers beauty tips with daily updates. Los Angeles eco boutique Vert’s Twitter page has a smaller following of about 200, but has proven equally as important to touting promotions. “When we make a Tweet we always get feedback, like when we made our most recent post about a Josie Maran event,” says owner Renata Helfman. “What could be more exciting than knowing your customers are looking forward to the next time they visit your shop?”