As Facebook defines the future of consumerism in America, chief marketing officers are scrambling to find unique ways to leverage the social network to drive sales. It's important to hook a customer, but to keep them engaged is another story — one that ultimately depends on how much business you can create on the most popular networking site in the world.
Social media shouldn't replace all forms of your web presence. There's a good reason why many businesses are using more than one tool to communicate and engage with consumers. A recent survey from Kirkland's, a home decor retailer, revealed that its online community can coexist with a Facebook counterpart without stepping on boundaries or using repetitive tactics.
Members of the online community, mykirklands.com, are interested in discussions and forums around the retail brand. Members go to the online community mainly for decorating ideas and advice. On the other hand, the retailer's Facebook fans are more interested in discounts and deals. Surprisingly, there's very little crossover between the two communities — about 60 percent of mykirklands.com members don't participate on Kirkland's Facebook page.
The survey also revealed that Kirkland's Facebook customer was 25-years-old to 55-years-old, debunking the theory that a Facebook brand must be young and hip to be successful. In fact, Kirkland's Facebook community is primarily comprised of 36-year-olds to 55-year-olds. Content is tailored for each online platform and its specific audience. Rather than catering to the needs of one consumer, Kirkland's enjoys a bigger share of the e-commerce pie.
The survey helped Kirkland's identify who its exact audience was and what they wanted. Instead of jumping into f-commerce initiatives, Kirkland's Facebook page became a place where fans could participate in online games, win prizes and interact with others. A promotion dubbed Cha-Ching! helped the retailer's Facebook fan count grow from 73,000 to over 200,000 in a very short span of time.