It is impossible to overstate the value of social media as a marketing platform. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center of Journalism & Media revealed Facebook now reaches a remarkable 67 percent of U.S. adults. For marketers, this represents an outstanding opportunity. Recognizing this, the following three companies have enhanced their brands significantly with smart ecommerce social media campaigns.
Dollar Shave Club (DSC) came out of nowhere in 2012 to completely disrupt the $13 billion shaving industry. The company’s management team freely admits DSC would not exist today were it not for social media. Among other uses, it serves as an online customer service representative as well as a virtual “clubhouse”. DSC members are actively encouraged to post or Tweet any questions they may have. Responding in real time to each post, the company addresses every issue with its products through social media channels.
DSC has also demonstrated an uncanny ability to tell its story in ways specifically appropriate to the format of each social media outlet. In so doing, the organization has fostered an atmosphere in which its customers feel like members of a club rather than consumers of a product.
Farmgirl Flowers has used social to change the way people in the San Francisco Bay Area buy flowers. Operating solely as an ecommerce enterprise, Farmgirl posts daily arrangements, fun classes and pictures of its team to give a face to its business. They even hire seasonal help through their social media presences. Followers are also invited to review arrangements, vote for their favorites and make suggestions.
As of this writing, 20 percent of Farmgirl’s peak period web traffic comes from Facebook. Images of its flowers on its Instagram page have garnered responses from some 15,000 fans in the span of a week. Remarkably, the company has done all of this without the services of a formal marketing or PR department. This aptly demonstrates the value of a concerted effort to use social media to humanize a business to attract and maintain an extremely loyal customer base.
Back in 2014, online shoe retailer Zappos.com used social media to hijack attendees of New York Fashion Week. The company established the #ZapposRecharge experience lounge outside of Lincoln Center. It then unleashed a surprise and delight campaign over social media, encouraging consumer engagement with the hashtag.
Users were invited to come up with creative posts around the hashtag. As a reward, handbags, clothing and accessories were given away every 30 minutes to the authors of the most imaginative posts. This, of course, encouraged ever more inspired entries as word got out about the prizes. In the process, Zappos became known for more than just the shoes with which it had been previously associated. The lounge also created a lot of goodwill for the company by providing a place for attendees to rest their weary feet — while remaining part of the New York Fashion Week experience. The campaign garnered Zappos some 26.7 million impressions.
Each of these three examples of smart ecommerce social media campaigns demonstrate that while the choice of an enterprise ecommerce platform is a integral aspect of the success of an online business, engaging the appropriate social media platforms can deliver considerable success. In other words, if you’re not leveraging social, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.