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Department store Macy’s first embraced social media back in 2010 and has since attracted huge followings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Social is now central to the brand’s marketing efforts and as a result it has come up with some incredibly innovative campaigns in the past few years.
We’ve already taken a look at how Macy’s stacks up against the competition in a post comparing how the top US retailers use social, and to follow on from that post here’s a roundup of seven of Macy’s most interesting social campaigns.
In spring 2012 Macy’s created a Facebook app that allowed users to send a personalised Mother’s Day card for free and in aid of a good cause.
For each digital card sent through Facebook the retailer donated $3 to one of five charities, up to a maximum of £400,000.
The charities involved were the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, Futures Without Violence, Make-a-Wish Foundation, the National Park Foundation, and Reading Is Fundamental.
Overall it’s a simple campaign that used social to shout about Macy’s commitment to charitable causes while bringing in some extra 'likes'.
For brick-and-mortar retailers to be successful in the digital age they need to be willing to innovate and move towards a multichannel sales and marketing model.
Macy’s Backstage Pass initiative incorporates QR codes in-store to give shoppers access to YouTube clips that reveal fashion tips from some of the brand’s celebrity partners.
The videos are constantly updated with new trend and fit advice, and shoppers are incentivised to scan the codes with the chance to win a $500 gift card.
It’s an excellent way of using mobile technology to incorporate social content in-store, and there are now more than 100 videos on Macy’s Backstage Pass YouTube page.
Another charitable campaign from Macy’s, this time commemorating the 10th anniversary of American Heart Month in February this year.
Alongside its annual ‘Wear Red Sale’ the retailer ran a ‘Colour Your World Red’ social campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
All people had to do was share an image that included something red in order to get Macy’s to donate $2 to the American Heart Association.
It’s a simple campaign that both raises money for a good cause and improves people’s perception of the retailer.
I can’t find any details of how much Macy’s ended up donating, but the campaign ran for around a month and the limit was set at $250,000.
Pinterest competitions are fairly common among major brands, and Macy’s is currently experimenting with a Martha Stewart ‘Pin it to win it’ contest where entrants could win a $500 gift card.
To take part Pinterest users have to create a board called #MarthaMacys then pin an image featuring a product from the retailer’s new Martha Stewart collection.
The final step is to enter a few personal details and submit the board’s URL to Macy’s, so as well as gaining some extra exposure on Pinterest the retailer will also collect some useful customer data.
A quick Pinterest search shows that there have been hundreds of entries, which is pretty good going for what was probably a relatively low investment.
Million Dollar Makeover
Back in 2011 Macy’s ran a Facebook competition that gave people the chance to win a makeover from stylist Clinton Kelly.
In order to enter fans had to "like" the Macy's Facebook page and then fill out a lengthy online form that asked for personal, Facebook and YouTube URLs, as well as information about how they would describe their style, their wardrobe, their dream job and more. Entrants also had to supply a photo or video.
Eight initial winners were given a makeover in New York and their videos were posted on Facebook. After a public vote the ultimate winner was given a makeover that included makeover $1 million worth of "products, services, cash and experiences to transform the winner's life."
Macy’s apparently doubled its number of fans to more than 1.6 million during the competition and obviously deemed it to be a success as it’s gone on to become an annual campaign.
This is a great example of how Macy’s integrates all its social channels into a single campaign. It again involves stylist Clinton Kelly, but this time he and his team are on-hand to give fashion advice through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
It revolves around the hashtag #HelpMeClinton which allows users to ask Clinton style and fashion questions, though each network is used slightly differently.
On Twitter a team is available to deal with queries throughout the day, while on Facebook Clinton has scheduled one hour each month to answer questions.
To get involved on Instagram users have to take a picture of themselves and pose a question in the comments, and finally on Pinterest Clinton has been creating ‘inspiration boards’ to give ideas for the home, fashion and their life in general.
Macy’s has also posted number of related to its YouTube channel, including a tutorial on how to sign up for Twitter in order to ask Clinton a question.
#HelpMeClinton is a brilliant campaign that takes a huge amount of coordination to involve all of Macy’s social platforms. It’s a soft sell approach that will help to improve the brand image and customer loyalty, as well as nudging people towards buying products from Macy’s.
One of the best parts is the dedicated Facebook tab, which hosts video clips of Clinton answering questions and also has related product suggestions that link directly to the Macy’s ecommerce page.
The questions relate to a variety of topics such as fashion, cooking, baby food, booze and even tips on how to hold a wine glass, so Macy’s is able to promote a huge amount of different products.
That said, I am a bit dubious as to how many people actually visit Facebook tabs so I’d be very interested to see the results for this page.
Brazil: A Magical Journey
In an effort to drum up interest in its special range of Brazil-themed products Macy’s created a mobile app that allowed users to create and share photos of themselves at famous Brazilian locations.
After downloading the mobile app users could immediately use one experience, a Brazilian rainforest, with which they can snap and post photos on Facebook.
They could also unlock additional image backgrounds using an augmented reality feature in-store, with the idea being that these photos could then be shared on Facebook.
The idea was obviously that Facebook would help promote the app which would in turn encourage people to visit a Macy’s store, however in truth the amount of effort involved and the lack of any real incentive makes it a bit weak compared to the other campaigns on this list.