How to throw an online birthday party like Burt’s Bees

The brand’s “beeday” celebration is an example of how to celebrate milestones with your social media community. Get ready to take notes.

To celebrate its 30th birthday, Burt’s Bees hosted a global “beeday” with its Facebook and Twitter communities.

The birthday celebration shows how to celebrate milestones with your social media community.

Burt’s Bees launched the beeday on Sept. 8 with a microsite and promoted Facebook posts and tweets that encouraged fans to submit “happy beeday” wishes. Burt, the company’s founder, read some of them live on Sept. 17.

Consumers’ passion for Burt’s Bees is evident in their “happy beeday” wishes:

The company also enlisted bloggers and other influencers to drive buzz (pun intended) by asking their communities to join the celebration. The inducements to join the festivities: special giveaways, recipes and more.

What can you take away from this buzzworthy beeday?

1. Involve your community in milestone celebrations.

Milestones are just as much about the people you celebrate with as about the occasion. By catering to the community and asking the company’s founder read fan beeday wishes, the company showed it knew it couldn’t celebrate 30 years without its passionate fans.

The key for other companies is to find the most appropriate way to bring their communities into the celebration. Mining conversational insights and understanding consumer passion points is important.

2. Enlist bloggers and influencers to spread the word.

The campaign’s hidden gem is how the blogger outreach and content told the Burt’s Bees story. From giveaways to birthday wishes and cake recipes, this content-from around the world-offered Burt’s Bees an opportunity to add layers to the celebration in a way that broadened its fan base.

3. Know a little “pun” goes a long way.

Using “beeday” instead of “birthday” was inspired. It set the tone for a fun and jovial celebration in a way that was unique to the brand.

When using puns or lighthearted language, less is more. Pick a pun that matches the brand’s values and voice. Use the pun consistently during the campaign to spice up copy and tone without going overboard.

The official Burt’s Beeday celebration was on Sept. 17, and a video of Burt reading fans’ beeday wishes “live and in the beard” will be on until the end of October.

Jessica Gioglio is a social media strategist and co-author of “The Power of Visual Storytelling.” A version of this article originally appeared on

Topics: PR

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