Best-in-class retailers are utilizing social media marketing to make their brands more authentic and relatable among target consumers. Moreover, they are tapping sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as their company blogs, to drive engagement and awareness around new products.
Manduka, a yoga gear manufacturer and eTailer, is using an online competition to harness social media and successfully increase buzz for the spring 2013 collection: NOW=WOW. The five-week contest integrates social sharing, user-generated content and charitable giving. Overall, 600 people have participated in the campaign so far, according to Sky Meltzer, CEO of Manduka.
“We’re inviting our consumers to share their ‘wow moments’ and reveal, through pictures, how yoga plays a pivotal role in their lives,” Meltzer said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The very core of yoga is about bringing breath and consciousness to the forefront to clear your mind and live in the present. The outcome is the pure appreciation of being in the moment and that sense of clarity and happiness.”
Each week of the campaign, which began on Feb. 7, 2013, Manduka spotlights a variety of yoga products in specific color themes featured in the NOW=WOW line: Glow (yellow); Pop (orange); Pulse (red); Breeze (green); Shade (blue); and Black Flash (yellow and gray).
As each color theme is unveiled, consumers are encouraged to take photos featuring the color, and tag them on Instagram and Twitter using the #NOWisWOW hash tag, as well as upload them to Facebook. Consumers immediately are entered to win a Manduka product if they publish images touting the hash tag. More than 530 participants used the #NOWisWOW hash tag as of Feb. 22, 2013.
Connecting Contests To Social Responsibility
Social good and responsibility also is contributing to the success of the NOW=WOW campaign. For every image shared, Manduka promises to make a $1 donation to Off The Mat, Into The World, with a maximum donation of $1,500.
Off The Mat is a charitable organization developed to help bridge the gap between yoga and activism, and “inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change,” according to the company web site.
“Off The Mat, Into The World is an organization that is very relevant to our brand, as well as our consumers,” Meltzer said. “We support the organization’s goal of providing support to yoga teachers and empowering them to make a difference in their respective communities.”
The charity also has a direct correlation with the core mission of Manduka: to provide innovative yet eco-responsible products to the yoga community. “Our brand carries soul and meaning to our consumers,” Meltzer said. “We provide the products and insights to help our consumers improve their yoga and inspire them to practice, which has a profound impact on their lives.”
While Manduka team members won’t be tallying money raised until the campaign’s completion on March 13, 2013, they are confident they will reach the $1,500 goal,according to a company spokesperson.