How Spiegel Brands Has Explored Social Media
Like many marketers, the Spiegel Brands catalogs — Newport News, Shape FX, Carabella, A.B. Lambdin, as well as its namesake title — slowly are feeling their way around the emerging social media space. During a roundtable session at the April 15 Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association event in Greenwich, Conn., Spiegel's marketing manager, Amy Heir, explained how she took a modest $100-a-day budget to invest in social media marketing and ran with it.
“As a retailer,” she said, “we have to find a way to make these services work for us. We first created a page, but didn’t know what to do with it. We didn’t want to become invasive to our customer base via e-mail.”
Heir shared with attendees some stats on social media, as well as myriad uses marketers like Spiegel may want to get active with. First, she shared the following stats:
- 52 million new participants began social networking during the first quarter of 2009;
- more than 57 percent of online users have joined social networks;
- the fastest-growing social networking demographic is women 55 and older;
- Facebook has more than 200 million members, MySpace has 72 million unique users and Twitter has 55 million unique monthly visitors;
- 34 percent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands on their blogs; and
- 36 percent of consumers think more positively about companies that have blogs.
For starters, Spiegel has focused primarily on Facebook and Twitter users to survey its customers on a regular basis to find out what they're looking for online. The company e-mailed a survey to 50,000 of its best customers and found that the majority of them are on Facebook. On average, she said, each of them has 20 friends on Facebook.
She also discovered that “they don’t want to buy things there. It’s a place they go to relax. I don’t think it’s a place to sell. So I was looking for a way to collect e-mail addresses and gain catalog requests,” she noted.
Heir recommended asking the following questions (add your own multiple choice responses) when surveying customers via this medium:
- Do you participate in online social networks?
- Check off which social networks you're a member of.
- On which social network(s) do you spend the most time?
- How often do you log in to your favorite social network(s)?
- How many friends/contacts do you have on social networks?
- Why do you participate in social networks?
- How does a brand’s presence on a social network influence your opinion of that brand?
- Are you “friends” with or connected with any of these brands? (List your competitors.)
- What benefits do you want from the brands in your social network?
- Are you more likely to purchase an item if it's reviewed on a social network?