Retailers get social

07 September 2011

NEW YORK: Retailers such as Macy's, Best Buy and Bergdorf Goodman are using a diverse range of social media strategies to engage consumers.

Macy's, the department store chain, runs Facebook pages for specific branches like Herald Street in New York, and Twitter feeds covering areas including events and customer recommendations, and has recently seen how powerful these channels can be.

"When we launched Someday by Justin Bieber earlier this summer, one tweet from Justin had kids sleeping on the street for two nights so that they could buy his fragrance," Jennifer Kasper, Macy's group VP, digital media and multicultural marketing, told Women's Wear Daily.

"When Rihanna came to Herald Square this spring, she tweeted an hour before she arrived at the store, and 1,000 fans came to see her."

Gilt, the online fashion specialist, also now has a fully-functioning store on Facebook, allowing members of to make purchases without leaving the social network, and to easily share content.

"Our goal is to create a unique and viral experience that can take advantage of the Facebook platform and build in a lot of social shopping tools," said Jason John, Gilt Groupe's director of marketing.

Best Buy, the electronics retailer, has been a pioneer in the digital space, such as with the Twelpforce, its customer service team on Twitter, and draws valuable insights from sites like Facebook.

"The feedback we're getting through Facebook is improving the shopping experience. We're hearing all the comments, both positive and negative," said Barry Judge, Best Buy's chief marketing officer.

"There are lots of opportunities in terms of buying, but we haven't figured out what they are yet. Using the power of Facebook's platform to enable group buying is a big opportunity."

Elsewhere, Bergdorf Goodman, the high-end apparel store, boasts over 125,000 "likes" on Facebook and 68,000 Twitter followers, and also runs The Swipe blog on Tumblr, supplementing its official 5th/58th blog.

"Our blog, 5th/58th, is more editorial, providing detailed insight about what's happening in the store, the fashion world and New York," Cannon Hodge, Bergdorf Goodman's social media manager, said.

"The Swipe gives a very private glimpse into the most imaginative and creative minds of Bergdorf Goodman."

Data sourced from Women's Wear Daily, The Hub Magazine, Mashable; additional content by Warc staff