Tag Archives: engagement

VS Pink’s Social Media Marketing: A Review

Along the same lines of Tostitos using college spirit as a vehicle for engaging their consumers, Victoria’s Secret Pink is using social media to tap into their target market. VS Pink is an entire line of clothing with a collegiate look and feel, geared toward the university crowd with blocky lettering on sweats (“University of Pink!”) and youthful design for underwear and  jeans.

The facebook group, Pink Nation, seems to exist primarily to direct fans to the Pink website. The fan page immediately provides a link to VSPink.com and saying only, “Become a PINK Nation member at https://secure.vspink.com/pink_nation.jsp and receive TONS of exclusive offers, coupons and other awesome deals courtesy of PINK by Victoria’s Secret.” That’s all. No further info on these exclusive offers, deals, etc. However, the recent news section does tell fans about the Pink Back To School party, and directs fans to their website to vote on the host city/college. Neato. Although the group does have over 2,000 members, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of interaction on the site with only one discussion group, no photos, and only 8 comments on the wall.

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I’ve clicked on the provided link, and am back at the Pink Nation website. Here I’m encouraged to vote for a school to become part of the VS Pink Class of 2009. Once my school of choice has garnered enough votes, VS Pink will begin producing sweats and other gear with that school’s colors, mascot, etc, to be sold at stores in the region around the college or university. This seems like a solid campaign, something I can imagine the target market would actually want, since I’m sure Victorias Secret makes more comfortable sweats than the selection available at a college bookstore. However, none of this information is available on the Pink Nation Facebook page. You’d think VS Pink would want to get buzz going on the space frequented by their target consumers…! Where are the updates? Discussion topics? Newsfeeds? In the spirit of the college grading system, I give this site a B.  It’s nice that you have a presence, but the Facebook page itself is not providing fans with anything exclusive or new.

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On the Pink Nation page on Twitter, TeamVSPink has over 5,000 followers, 200+ tweets, and updates their feed fairly regularly. Their tweets range from trivia about VS models, updates on Pink promotions, college events news, etc. Twitter is primarily a place to update followers on activities, so I think VSPink is doing a good job of staying on top of their followers newsfeed. I don’t know how they reach out to generate new followers, but this site seems to be pretty active in keeping followers informed. I give TeamVSPink an A for utilizing this social medium to its fullest potential.

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My overall thoughts on VS Pink’s success in stirring up buzz via social media are that they have an interesting campaign and concept. By allowing fans to participate in the company, voting on cities where parties are hosted, what college should have Pink gear produced with their colors, they are engaging their target. Generating buzz about these promotions seems to be more successful on Twitter than on Facebook.  I give the whole thing an B+… I think the concept is better than the promotions, which is what we’re really looking at. If VS Pink beefs up their Facebook presence and activity,  maybe I’ll consider upping this grade to an A-.

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Platform for Individuality: How Can Brands Tap In?

Social media (facebook, twitter, etc) has found success because it has provided another space for users to proclaim their individuality. It’s a place where participants can assert their identities, a place to chose what and who they align themselves with, to chose what they pay attention to. At the same time it is a platform to engage in a dialogue with others. What does the network know about that is unique and cool? What are they dismissing as a fad?

An important part of self expression is brand alignment. What brands the consumer buys, uses, displays, and wears is a form self expression, both internal and external.  Brands should therefore be looking to social media as another opportunity to allow consumers to express themselves via the brand. They can do this in two ways: by creating another platform for discussion, e.g. Kellogg’s Special K and their forum for weight loss discussion on their facebook page (for more info: http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/esearch/e3i2a5df3fecd0d178335b5a67c873c849c), or by providing updates about contests, news, new collections, products, services, etc through a newsfeed. Simply allowing consumers/social media users to become “brand fans” isn’t enough – brands need to give their consumers something to talk about, to engage them in conversation, or better yet, provide them with a place to have those conversations.

Simply slapping an advertisement on the right hand side of a facebook page isn’t necessarily enough for a consumer – they see through it like they see through fads. Being relevant, and constantly keeping the consumer aware of the brand’s status, is what keeps them talking, forming opinions, asserting their values. Because social media allows users a place to express what they believe to be cool by engaging in a dialogue, brands can capitalize on this by doing the same: coming up with new ways to express their core values, and telling their consumer about it, and allowing them to answer back.

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