How e.l.f. Became a Social Media Giant

Headshot of Todd Wasserman

Few brands have had as singular a focus on social media as e.l.f., a cosmetics line that does zero in the way of traditional advertising yet has strong working relationships with about 500 bloggers. As the CMO for e.l.f. (the acronym stands for Eyes Lips Face), Ted Rubin is known for his active use of Twitter (where he has 20,000 followers) and his responsiveness. Rubin, a former protege of Seth Godin, says he responds to every tweet he gets. The social media outreach, along with distribution at Target, a recession-friendly price of $1 per item and a positive review in O: The Oprah Magazine two years ago have helped e.l.f. build a strong brand on the cheap. Brandweek spoke with Rubin about his thoughts on traditional advertising, social media and why larger brands like Coca-Cola can benefit from e.l.f’.’s strategy. Excerpts from the interview appear below:

Todd Wasserman is a freelance writer who was formerly the business editor of Mashable and the editor-in-chief of Adweek’s Brandweek.
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