Magazine article CRM Magazine

Arts and Crafts Retailer Learns the New Language of Social Media: Curalate Helps Michaels Launch Image-Centric Promotion

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Arts and Crafts Retailer Learns the New Language of Social Media: Curalate Helps Michaels Launch Image-Centric Promotion

Article excerpt

Social media is becoming increasingly image-oriented. Every day, consumers are sharing between 400 million and 500 million images on social networks such as Pinterest, forcing companies to rethink the way they promote their brand. "Consumer behavior is changing dramatically," says Apu Gupta, CEO and cofounder of Curalate, a marketing and analytics company that focuses on Pinterest and Instagram. "It's becoming increasingly clear that images constitute a new language, and for brands, it's becoming really important to communicate and engage their audience[s] visually."

What resonates well on Pinterest, Gupta explains, is unique in comparison to other social networking Web sites. While traditional retail approaches do well on Pinterest, inspirational and idea-oriented pins are the ones that typically perform best. So when Michaels, one of the country's largest specialty retailers of arts, crafts, framing, floral, and wall decor, wanted to design a campaign featuring its new line of frames, it decided to run the promotion on Pinterest, and chose Curalate to help find the simplest and most effective way to do it.

"Michaels was looking for a way to generate excitement about their new product. They were interested in a traditional 'pin it to win it' approach, meaning fans pin or repin something for a chance to win a prize. In this case, the prize was one of two $500 gift cards from Michaels to help customers build their own frame display wall," Gupta explains.

The problem with most "pin it to win it" campaigns, though, is that they're often too burdensome for users, according to Gupta. Many of these campaigns ask fans to perform four to eight steps to actually enter the contest, including using certain hashtags, registering on the brand's Web site, emailing the brand, and creating an individual Pinterest board as an entry.

"It's just rude to expect customers to do all that," Gupta says. "When you look at Pinterest users' boards, you can see that they're typically meticulously organized and arranged so, for example, when a brand comes in and says 'Create a whole new board just to participate in our promotion,' a customer is going to be turned off."

Instead of putting customers through a tedious entry process, Curalate helped Michaels simplify the task. …

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