Monthly archives: August 2012

Exclusive Interview With ModCloth’s Social Media Team

Social media has turned into an extension of our lives. It’s the place where people connect with their friends, family and now different brands. Users share their likes, interests and thoughts. People don’t necessarily come to social media to buy products. However, they may connect with brands that either relate to their interests or products they like. So for brands looking to learn how to use this channel, what better way than to meet people who are successfully leading a company’s social media efforts.

Today I introduce you to Natasha Khan and Alicia Barnes. They both represent the PR and Social media faces of ModCloth, a vintage-inspired clothing, accessories and décor retailer. In our interview they share their experience with social media and offer some advice for businesses looking to build a social media marketing strategy. 

Being a strictly ecommerce business, how do you get people to discover your content?

Answered by: Alicia Barnes, PR Manager

We have a variety of methods for reaching new customers and audiences, from fun contests like our Name it and Win it, which invites customers to creatively name one of our items, to a comprehensive and targeted social media presence, to partnerships with brands that we think have audiences similar to our customer base. But among all of our efforts, the consistent objective is creating a fun and engaging experience for new customers that invest them in our products and brand.

ModCloth has a great focus on blogger outreach. How do you measure the success of the program?

Answered by: Alicia Barnes, PR Manager

Working with bloggers has been important to us from the beginning. We want to be a part of empowering all women to feel that they have a voice in the fashion industry. We want to build a site experience that does that, but we also feel that collaborating with bloggers is a big part of that – they’re real women with unique senses of style, and we love seeing how they interpret ModCloth pieces. In this context, revenue and traffic generated from these relationships is something we look at, but it has less of a focus than in more traditional avenues of marketing; what we’re most interested in is reinforcing our brand mission and involving bloggers in sharing ModCloth with their communities. That said, we definitely look at the engagement and buzz that our relationships with bloggers generate; we want to make sure that blog readers are engaged and participating in a conversation via comments on the blog and social networks.

Measuring the ROI of social media is a primary challenge for marketers in 2012. What is the goal of ModCloth’s social media efforts? How do you measure the success of these efforts?

Answered by: Natasha Khan, Social Media Manager

Our social media objectives are three-fold, the first being brand awareness, second brand loyalty, and the third increasing traffic to ModCloth.com. All three are essential to our success on social channels. We measure brand awareness with virality and reach metrics; we measure brand loyalty with engagement and customer care metrics; and we measure traffic to ModCloth.com through tagging and tracking of links using Google Analytics. Our ultimate goal is to assist in making ModCloth a household name, nurture brand advocates, and encourage our girls to visit our site on a daily basis.

Can you provide any examples of a successful social media campaign for ModCloth?

Answered by: Natasha Khan, Social Media Manager

Something Modcloth contest Exclusive Interview With ModCloths Social Media Team

ModCloth’s ‘Something ModCloth, Something You’ Contest: http://blog.modcloth.com/2012/01/23/something-mc-pinterest-contest. We asked customers to build their dream wedding board. We chose one board to inspire our wedding stylebook, and that customer received a GC. The quantifiable results from the contest were participation, new followers, increased traffic from Pinterest, and customer sentiment. Through the contest, we gained thousands of new followers. We had a total of 600 entries.

Every month we do a Twitter topic mashup! For example, one month, we asked our followers to mash up fashion terms and famous books using hashtag #literaryfashion. The contest gained us not only fans, but attention from acclaimed poet Margaret Atwood.

Mobile has been growing tremendously this year. Does Mobile play a role in your social media strategy? How so?

Answered by: Alicia Barnes, PR Manager

We just launched the first iteration of our mobile site a few months ago and we’re seeing a steady rise in traffic, but we’re still in the process of building the best mobile experience possible for our customer. Right now, mobile’s not playing a huge role in our social media strategy, but we’re going to continue listening to our customer as we improve our mobile site, so we’re building to what she wants. Ultimately, we see mobile as another way for our customer to engage with us beyond purchasing. We want her to be able to browse and shop of course, but also leave product reviews, participate in Be the Buyer, and connect to the larger ModCloth community.

What other online strategies has ModCloth found success in? Do you have a diverse online marketing mix?

Answered by: Alicia Barnes, PR Manager

One less obvious way we engage our customer is through our merchandising on the site. We launch many items a day but in small lots, and we allow our customer to let us know what she wants to see come back in stock. This allows us to gauge demand and notify our customers directly when the item returns to the site. We also listen to how she “loves” and reviews items.

Additionally, we use our blog and social media to create a personal dialogue with the customer. We have huge followings on Twitter and Facebook and are building significant followings on niche networks like Instagram and Pinterest–we believe in meeting the customer and talking with her wherever she is! Customer engagement has been integral to our success so far and is going to really drive what we offer our customers in the future.

What advice can you provide to small businesses who are looking to build a social media marketing strategy? What are some points that justify social media spend for executives who are resistant?

Answered by: Natasha Khan, Social Media Manager

Social media has elements of PR, Crisis Management, Outreach, and Customer Service, so when building your strategy all of the above should be considered. How they are prioritized definitely depends on your company’s objectives. Some companies, heavily invest in their social channels as customer service outlets, without doing a big push around merchandising or promotions.

One seductive element of social media is how frequently a new site or app is launched. The smart social media manager knows that not every platform is a fit for their organization. For example, if you don’t have a visually appealing brand, you should probably not be on Pinterest. Also, if your demographic is mostly women, Google Plus might not be a great traffic source for you, currently, as it skews predominantly male.

Whether you represent a brand or yourself, breaking through the noise online requires having an unique perspective and being consistent. Finding your voice is essential, as much as finding a schedule that keeps you top of mind with your audience.

 Exclusive Interview With ModCloths Social Media Team
Posted in Engagement, Online Marketing, Social Media | 2 Comments

The Science of Social Timing [Infographic]

When should you post to social media?

I have been asked this question many times. While it’s always good to test and learn from your own experiences, it’s also helpful to look at research and what other companies are doing. As a business it’s important to try to focus on peak times you know your audience is most engaged on social media to receive the best feedback and/or responses.

Luckily, Kissmetrics has put together a great infographic that illustrates the top time zones, peak and low times to post. Some key takeaways are:

  • The Eastern and Central time zones combined represent almost 80% of the population
  • About 6% of all retweets (highest percentage) occur around 5PM
  • CTR’s are higher around Noon and 6PM
  • Best day to share on Facebook is Saturday
  • Best time to share on Facebook is Noon

science of social timing part 1 The Science of Social Timing [Infographic]

Infographic courtesy of Kissmetrics.

 The Science of Social Timing [Infographic]
Posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

Social Media Marketing Checklist for Businesses [Infographic]

Once a business has established its social media presence, the biggest mistake it can make is not posting consistently or enough. Considering the incredible growth of this marketing channel, it’s just as easy to loose followers as it is to gain followers. Consumers have embraced social media because it allows them to directly connect with brands and if brands fail to meet their expectations then they will certainly hit unfollow, unlike or unsubscribe.

Luckily, The Whole Brain Group has created a social media checklist for businesses who are looking for more direction on how to proceed with various social media activities, ranging from blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest updates. Learn more below:

 Social Media Marketing Checklist for Businesses [Infographic]

Infographic courtesy of The Whole Brain Group.

 Social Media Marketing Checklist for Businesses [Infographic]
Posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | 3 Comments

Portrait of a Tablet Shopper [Infographic]

Did you know that the number of Americans forecasted to own a tablet by the end 2012 is up to 60 Million? Considering the growth of tablet adoption, this number is not surprising. For businesses looking to understand this customer segment, Miva Merchant has put together a great infographic that highlights recent trends in table ecommerce.

The infographic shows that tablet web use has increased over 300% from last year, and is actually growing 10 times faster than smartphones. It’s also expected to account for 10% of total website traffic by 2014. Some other key customer behavior findings are:

  • The age group with greatest tablet ownership: 18-34; Predominantly male
  • 77% used their devices for shopping during the 2011 holiday season
  • Tablet users on average spend 20% more than computer users
  • 30% agree that tablet mobility leads to purchasing more often

The key lesson here is for businesses to examine how consumers are using mobile technology during their purchase decisions. It’s also important for businesses to review whether they’re offering the mobile shopping experience that their customers are looking for. The customer landscape is changing and if you don’t embrace new technology – you might get left behind.

ecommerce tablet shopping Portrait of a Tablet Shopper [Infographic]
Infographic by Miva Merchant

 Portrait of a Tablet Shopper [Infographic]
Posted in Mobile Marketing | Leave a comment

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