Posts Tagged ‘retail’

Testing Multiple Twitter Feeds

December 15th, 2009 No comments

One great thing about social media networks is they’re cost-free. Sure, they can be time consuming. You might even need to hire a manager. But you won’t have to write checks to Facebook, MySpace or Twitter to be there.

Also, social networks are showing some marketers big returns. We ran a great article this week on how Threadless, an online community-based tee-shirt retailer, used Twitter to give more life to a promotion. Check out how they micro-blogged their way to a record sales day.

We spoke with Cam Balzer, VP, Marketing,, for the piece. Balzer mentioned that, apart from their main feed, they also experiment with different Twitter feeds. Hey, why not? Feeds are free to create. Here are two alternatives they’ve tried:

- Customer service

In November, they launched a Threadhelp feed to handle customer service inquiries through Twitter. The thread is managed by members of Threadless’ customer service team. Other companies have tried this strategy as well.

Separating customer service and community-oriented feeds helps keep the fun and useful messages apart from the frustrated customer messages. It also helps customers get the attention they need more directly.

- Single promotion feeds

For Halloween, the team set up an account alleging to be maintained by a zombie. The joke feed put some spin on a holiday promotion. Although it did not capture many followers, the feed was an inexpensive experiment that helped the team learn more about the channel.

Has your team experimented with multiple Twitter feeds? Or different Facebook groups perhaps? Let us know in the comments…

Reaching Local Searchers

May 12th, 2009 No comments

I had an interesting conversation with Scott Dunlap, CEO, NearbyNow, last week. NearbyNow helps consumers find products in local stores through its website, mobile apps, and the major search engines.

A consumer looking for a particular product in his or her area will typically be alerted via an email or a text message on the product’s availability. This service has several interesting applications for marketers–such its OnTheWay ads. These ads allow marketers to advertise in the alert messages to consumers who’ve indicated that they’re planning to visit a store near their own.

Some marketers, Dunlap says, have leveraged these ads to emphasize the core motivations that consumers have for searching for local products. The top three motivations that Dunlap’s team has uncovered,:
1. Consumers want the products immediately
2. They want to see, hold, and test the products (particularly relevant for apparel, shoes and gadgets, Dunlap says)
3. They do not like the hassles or costs of shipping

How have these motivations been applied to the ads? Some marketers are pushing immediacy to the extreme. They will give 20% off products in their stores for the next two hours. That can force some consumers to consider visiting the advertiser’s store before visiting their intended destination.

Local search and sales for products–with real time inventory updates–looks like it holds a lot of potential for retailers and brands alike. I expect the major search engines to start rolling out more ways for marketers to connect with consumers looking for products locally.

Holiday Retailers Getting into Christmas Spirit Already?

September 24th, 2008 No comments

Monday was the first day of fall. The weather has turned noticeably colder in Rhode Island. Yup, it’s time to wave good bye to summer and say hello to…Santa?

Read more…