From Burberry's customised trench to John Lewis' Perfect Gift app, companies are finding new ways to talk to their customers this Christmas.
Burberry, for example, is targeting its 9.5m Facebook fans this Christmas by encouraging them to share items from its Festive Collection. Features include the ability to create their own customised, monogrammed trench to share and then buy in the store.
Meanwhile, Argos’ fans are voting for their favourite Christmas Must Haves, to be in with the chance of winning them, and John Lewis’ Perfect Gift Facebook app allows fans to create a wish list, as well as share items and buy gifts for Facebook friends.
Other retailers taking the plunge include ASOS with its Savvy Sunday timed sales, which give its Facebook fans priority access to deals, and Starbucks, through its 12 Days of Sharing campaign, which looks to tempt its fans into the store through a daily offer. Such a Facebook strategy is one that can reward handsomely since, according to comScore, Starbucks fans and their friends spend 8% more in their stores and do so 11% more frequently than the average Starbucks customer.
Stephen Haines, UK commercial director, Facebook, said: “Retailers are seeing more and more value from joining conversations on Facebook as a great way to hear directly from fans about what they want and what’s interesting.
“This Christmas, we’re seeing a lot of brands taking advantage of those conversations to reach not only fans but also their friends in fun, creative ways – including wish lists, gifting apps, exclusive deals and special Facebook offers. We know the best recommendations are those that come from your friends, so it’s about driving holiday sales through word-of-mouth at scale on Facebook.”
One indication of how successful they may hope to be came in BA’s recent launch of its ‘To Fly. To Serve’ advertising campaign through Facebook. Abigail Comber, its head of brand engagement, said the social networking site helped it communicate a campaign that was “enormously important” to it. “We were restating what we stood for as a brand with our customers and our staff,” said Comber. “It was imperative that we got it right and created a real buzz about it. Social media and the use of Facebook in particular was crucial to deliver that.” Teaser campaigns were run to build interest in the campaign and then within 48 hours of its launch on Facebook, the advert had been viewed more than 100,000 times.
“Facebook gave us the forum to interact directly with our customers and for a real conversation to take place about the brand,” said Comber. “This wouldn't have been possible had we ignored the power of social media and only followed the traditional approach to advertising."