Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Many Happily Promote Brands on Social Media

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Many Happily Promote Brands on Social Media

Article excerpt

A few months ago, I joined a wine club.

Every month, I choose three bottles I want to try on ClubW.com. Most of the time, I choose from a few bottles that the club recommends, based on how I rated the bottles I tried over the months before.

The service is great. Once a month, I choose what wine I want, and once a month those bottles are delivered to my house.

In my most recent shipment, Club W encouraged me to post photos of my wine, or of my friends and I enjoying the wine on social media with specific Club W hashtags. Each month, the company will pick a winner and I can save on my next shipment. It took just a few seconds for me to snap a photo, apply a filter and post on Instagram. I even picked up a half dozen likes and a few followers, thanks to the Club W hashtags.

Engaging with a brand on social media has become a sort of status symbol for consumers. Because I snapped and shared a photo of wine bottles sitting on my kitchen counter, I've become a brand ambassador for Club W. I'm sharing my experience with my friends on social media.

Admittedly, it's a win-win (and free advertising) for Club W.

More companies, especially retailers, are catching on as they try to cultivate loyalty among millennial shoppers.

Macy's has collaborated with artists and celebrities to inspire social media campaigns with its in-house brands for years now.

Earlier this month, Saks Fifth Avenue announced it will unveil a new "content hub" sharing platform on which shoppers can share their own photos of Saks merchandise.

The department store chain partnered with Curalate, a social- media-driven contest company, to launch at Fashion Week in New York.

The idea is for #SaksStyle, as its called, to become a go-to guide for fashion inspiration, which is created by Saks customers themselves. Sounds sort of like Pinterest to me.

But the model is the same as my monthly wine club: Saks wants consumers to contribute and share their merchandise with friends and others across social media.

Some of us happily do it. …

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