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Harvesting Loyalty Via Facebook: Give Customers Their ‘15 Minutes of Fame’

  • Written by  Mike Santos

Tapping the community vibe on Facebook, some retailers are taking a page from Hollywood’s playbook, giving their “fans” 15 minutes of fame while simultaneously leveraging key CRM strategy.

Let’s talk about being where your customers are. There are more than 350 million actives users on Facebook. Nearly 80% of female shoppers “became a fan” of a retailer on Facebook last year, according to the “She Speaks, 2nd Annual Social Media Study.” Various modules enable retailers to customize their pages, offering room for a storefront, contests, promotions and discussion boards to encourage brand evangelism. But the greatest element of Facebook is its community. Some retailers are getting crafty, integrating merchandise with contests to foster Web site and store traffic.

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Charlotte Russe: Cleverly integrating its merchandise into a contest, the young apparel retailer asked customers to submit photos of themselves dressed in Charlotte Russe clothing. The retailer then “shouts out” their pick for “Fan of the Month” with a photo on the Facebook wall. The post encourages the winner to use the photo as her profile picture, complete with the Charlotte Russe logo. Knowing the CR consumer, she won’t simply pick out items she owns to enter the contest. She’s likely to purchase some new items and/or accessories to tie her look together in hopes of becoming a “Fan of the Month.”

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Sears: Bringing brand advocacy to life full force, Sears encourages Facebook fans to submit pictures of themselves in Sears brick and mortar stores with their purchased items, a sign that says “I just saved 15%” and, most importantly, a big smile! Sears posts these images in their “Happy Customers Hall of Fame” Facebook album.

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Mandee: Not only does Mandee offer its Facebook fans the chance to win merchandise, but also the young apparel retailer is aimed at driving Web site traffic from Facebook, asking fans to find a “mystery item” from a small image clue. The winner is then posted in another status update along with the item and a link to purchase. This daily contest is a great way to drive customers to the Facebook page to find out what’s happening on the community end, but it’s also a great way to get customers perusing the entire site for the sake of “winning.”

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Bath & Body Works: Life is just ducky for B&B Works Facebook fans. To promote its “Hello Yellow!” product line, the retailer asked fans to take a picture with its signature Hello, Yellow! rubber duck and post it on the photos tab on the Bath & Body Works Facebook fan page. Customers got creative with the offer, in store and at home. It’s a great way to drive sales of that particular product, but it also encourages brick and mortar traffic, as customers are likely to take photos with a duck in the store.

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