Hidden Gems for Social Marketing on a Shoestring from Stella & Dot
By Diane Harrigan, PR Newswire
If you’re going to hold a Facebook sweepstakes, give away the sort of prize that will generate true fans to your brand. The common iPad giveaway was not the right choice for online jewelry innovators Stella & Dot. Social Media Director Amy Gilmer says instead they offer up the sort of sparkle their followers savor – a chic necklace or gold cuff.
Donning her own Stella & Dot estate necklace, Gilmer shared her secrets to leveraging key channels at the Social Media Strategies Summit in San Francisco.
“Our Facebook page has grown by 90% in the last year,” [with a zero advertising budget],” Gilmer told the audience. One of the biggest drivers is sweepstakes.
To celebrate reaching 200,000 Facebook fans in June, Stella & Dot gave away a weekly $250 shopping spree. Fans who could round up at least three friends to enter, received an additional prize — tripling the number of entries.
Gilmer says every social channel needs an objective and her company’s goals are clearly defined. Her brand’s concept for Facebook is to, “Create an interactive experience; encouraging fans to engage with the brand daily and share with their network.”
Her tips include:
▪ 1-2 posts a day
▪ Maximum 250 characters
▪ Always include a photo
▪ Ask for engagement
▪ Reward loyalty
One way Stella & Dot rewards loyalty is a monthly ‘fan favorites’ sale. Offering up three products in a photo, Facebook fans choose what they like the most. The mostlikes delivers the biggest discount. For example, 1,000 likes could put an item at a 50-60% savings. She recommends experimenting with the Facebook Offers feature that recently opened up to include ecommerce brands last week. The feature allows for coupon-style promotions that when claimed, display as an activity on the customer’s timeline.
Stella & Dot’s business is jewelry and accessories sold by over 12,000 women through Trunk Shows – each with their own website. All that bling is promoted as eye candy over Instagram where Stella & Dot’s objective is to, “Expose brand culture, develop a human-like personality and share products in a visually stimulating way”. One campaign is called “Monday Muse” — where clients photograph a creative display of their Stella & Dot jewels, post to Instagram with a custom hashtag, and become eligible to win a prize — or to be featured in Stella & Dot’s popular blog.
Over Twitter, Gilmer told the audience the objective is to, “Build relationships and engage with their community in a meaningful way.”
“Twitter is a place to let your brands personality shine,” she says. Promptly responding to messages is key, as is re-tweeting positive messages. @stelladot also offers up strong exposure and encouragement for sellers of their products. As the company has strived to strategize around social, Stella & Dot has seen 125% growth in Twitter followers over the last year.
Building brand advocates means giving customers a voice and Stella & Dot is a big proponent of crowdsourcing to make fans feel valued. Gilmer told the audience they build engagement through everything from photo caption contests to product naming — to soliciting opinions before launching a new piece. For example, they will display four gold necklaces and ask viewers to pick A), B), C) or D). A “controlled setting” (offering up defined choices) is best for managing crowdsourcing according to Gilmer.
Amy Gilmer’s social media department may not have a big budget, but her generous amount of social savvy is helping the Stella & Dot brand reach new audiences and target new entrepreneurs to fulfill the company’s core vision outlined on their Facebook page, “[To] give every woman the means to style her own life.”