Spring is in the air, which means Spring Break is right around the corner. Continuing our interviews with companies that are leaders, especially on Pinterest, we had a great talk with Sunglass Warehouse.
As you can probably guess by their name, Sunglass Warehouse sells a wide variety of affordable, stylish sunglasses. Recently, they ran a Spring Break Style Pinterest Contest. They asked their followers to create a board filled with all of the things you need for a great Spring Break. One lucky pinner was chosen and received 2 pairs of sunglasses and a $50 Target gift card! We talked to them about how they look to Pinterest and their followers for inspiration, and how they feel about the results from their contest.
Get Pinterested: How valuable do you feel social media is to a business like Sunglass Warehouse?
Beth Smedinghoff: Social media is very important to us at Sunglass Warehouse because it allows us unique opportunities to interact with our customers that we don’t normally have as an e-commerce company. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest all provide us with the chance to learn more about who our customers are, what they’re looking for and how we can provide them with the best shopping experience possible.
Sunglass Warehouse has an impressive group of followers on nearly every social network. Can you tell us a little bit about your overall social media strategy and how you keep your social media fresh, exciting, and engaging?
BS: We schedule tweets and Facebook posts to be sent out at select times during the day. We use Tweriod to find our best reach times – times when our messages are seen and clicked by the most people. We also send out messages from sites other than our own — everything from fun DIY projects to delicious recipes. This keeps our customers engaged in fresh content, but without overpowering them with our presence.
What kind of maintenance/time do you devote to it? Meaning, do you have a person or team devoted to maintaining your social media presence?
BS: We have a team of two people who manage social media for four brands, including Sunglass Warehouse, and each person is responsible for select days of the week. We use Hootsuite for our social scheduling, which cuts down on time. From Hootsuite, we can see our interactions, schedule our messages, and reply to any mentions we get. Social media isn’t a full-time job for either of us, but we incorporate it into our daily routine.
What drove you to Pinterest?
BS: We were first drawn to Pinterest over this past summer on a personal level as a great source of inspiration for everything from fashion and crafts to healthy recipes and beauty tips. As we began to use the site more we found that we weren’t the only ones addicted to the site. Our own customers were creating boards and pinning their favorite things, which has helped us greatly in tailoring our social media efforts to provide resources that our followers are looking for.
Has your experience with Pinterest, or any social media for that matter, changed the way that you look at your business or how you market your products?
BS: Definitely. If we’re creating images or graphics, we try to make them “pinnable.” We’ve started backing away from longer, detail oriented images in favor if fun, brightly colored, Pinterest-friendly graphics. We still photograph our products in the same way, but we keep Pinterest in mind when creating blog content.
Since Pinterest is the new kid on the block, is there anything you’ve done or anyone you’ve looked to for help getting started?
BS: Each member of our team has their own personal Pinterest’s, and that helped as far as getting to know the site and how it works. We know the demographic well, and we know fairly well what will pin well and what won’t. In creating boards for our brands, we’ve drawn inspiration from our own personal Pinterst boards, as well as ones from stores like ModCloth, BirchBox, Etsy, and The Glitter Guide.
Pinterest is a place full of great inspiration. Does Sunglass Warehouse use Pinterest for inspiration for products and styles? Do you look to your followers for inspiration?
BS: We have always looked to a variety of sources for our style inspiration from Fashion Week to fashion bloggers and now that we’ve started using Pinterest, checking out the pins of our followers as well as our favorite fashionistas and brands has become a part of our daily routine.
We see Pinterest as a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their culture and lifestyle. We love what you did with your Spring Break Style Pinterest Contest; can you tell us your strategy and thought process behind this contest?
BS: When we launched the Sunglass Warehouse Pinterest account we knew that we wanted a better understanding of what our followers were interested in before we started pinning all willy-nilly. We launched the Spring Break Style Contest along with the new account to allow our followers the opportunity to express their creativity and to give us a better insight into their personal style and interests. Each contest entry that we received has since been incorporated into our vision of the Sunglass Warehouse lifestyle.
Now that the contest is over, what results did you see? Was this contest a success, and if so, how do you define success when it comes to social media and contests? And how do you define success in general when it comes to Pinterest?
BS: The Spring Break Style Contest was launched just a week after we debuted our Pinterest account and during the course of the contest we saw our number of Pinterest followers nearly triple. We also saw increases in the amount of time Pinterest users were spending on our website and interaction with our Pinterest boards went up dramatically. In addition to the numbers, we were able to interact with our followers on a more personal level by learning about their individual tastes in fashion, fitness and pop culture. We were extremely pleased with the results of the contest and we hope to hold another Pinterest contest in the near future.
You mentioned that you were inspired by ModCloth’s spring wedding contest, what specifically was it about their contest that inspired you? Did their contest help shape the guidelines for your Spring Break Style Contest?
BS: We were drawn to the ModCloth Spring Wedding Contest because of the creativity and personality involved in the process. We loved the idea of allowing customers to craft their own vision of the brand. We adopted their outline of providing broad pin categories hoping to see unique interpretations in each of our contest entries and we were absolutely thrilled with the results.
We would like to thank Beth for taking the time to talk to us. If you’re in need of the perfect pair of shades for your Spring Break trip, head on over to Sunglass Warehouse.