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Duane Reade Uses Social Media And Content To Drive Product Awareness

  • Written by Alicia Fiorletta
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Social media, videos, contests and blogs are effective ways for retailers to generate buzz around sales, promotions and new product releases.

Duane Reade, a pharmacy chain with more than 250 stores throughout the metropolitan New York region, is spreading the word on its new branded hosiery line with a “Show Us Some Leg” campaign. The promotion is driven by social sharing, user-generated content and an in-house blogging team created solely to focus on the brand’s social content strategy. Components include social photo contests, video blog posts, Twitter “parties” and other activities across Facebook, Foursquare and Pinterest.

Together these elements “drive awareness of the Duane Reade brand of hosiery products by allowing New Yorkers to engage in an entertaining way with Duane Reade on digital, social and in-store platforms,” according to Calvin Peters, Online/Public Relations Manager of Duane Reade.

Contest participants must upload, to the Duane Reade Facebook page, original photos of themselves wearing the Duane Reade Hosiery. Photos are cross-published internally on Pinterest, Foursqure, Twitter and other social sites, and winners are selected by public vote on the company Facebook page. Using these word-of-mouth strategies, Duane Reade is increasing conversations organically around the hosiery line.

Making Content King

“Show Us Some Leg” is part of the retailer’s continued focus on developing cross-channel marketing strategies driven by user-generated content. In fact, within the last year, digital and social media campaigns for Duane Reade have relied heavily on “strategically highlighting, procuring and disseminating user-generated content,” Peters said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “This content is the core for expanding our online social presence and overall share-of-voice.”

The Duane Reade “VIP Blogger Team” was developed exclusively to develop and strengthen the brand content strategy. Team members monitor, control and leverage relevant shopper feedback and incorporate insights into future campaigns. The group is comprised of “true brand ambassadors identified and vetted for their passion of Duane Reade, their community engagement and social reach here within the New York metropolitan area,” Peters explained. “The team has been hugely successful in various amplification campaigns throughout 2012.”

For example, the bloggers held a Twitter Party on December 5 to drive extra interest around the “Show Us Some Leg” campaign. Approximately 100 women joined the hour-long digital soirée to learn more about the hosiery line and receive fashion advice from bloggers. Overall, the event drove nearly 2 million impressions for the #DRLegwear hash tag.

New revenue streams for Duane Reade also have been established by the blogging team, which offers vendor partners with “exceptional options and opportunities to generate buzz for their brands and products sold in our stores,” Peters said. In 2013, Duane Reade plans to enhance the VIP Blogger Team initiative to better align products with targeted groups of social influencers.

Videos blogs featuring Duane Reade team members and celebrity blogger Jess Zaino, style producer for the ABC Daytime show, The Chew, also are being leveraged to promote the branded hosiery line. Zaino also will serve as a contest judge to create an added level of thought leadership and expertise to the “Show Us Some Leg” promotion.

“We wanted to expose our customers to the inherent quality of our hosiery, as well as the stylish options that exist within the entire Duane Reade Hosiery line,” Peters said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Another key goal is to boost customer acquisition, Peters added, by “not only exposing customers to this ‘best kept fashion secret’ available within our stores, but educating them in a fun and engaging manner that is perfect for the holiday and winter seasons.”