Industry: Online Retail
Description of how social media is used for business performance:
When Mabel’s Labels was started in 2002, in Hamilton, Ontario, the founders needed a way of connecting with their target audience – themselves. As mothers, they knew that their product, “labels for the stuff kids lose!” was a winner, they just needed a way to market their product to other mothers. They turned to social media as their primary marketing tool.
The first challenge the company had to face was marketing a solely online product to an offline audience. To help spread the word, they contacted several well-know “mommy bloggers,” asking them to run promotional contests on their sites to raise awareness for the products.
At the same time, the company also began using Facebook, Twitter, and their own blog, Mabelhood, to reach out to the online mom market. Additionally, they began a volunteer brand ambassador program, Buzzmamas, “a specially selected group…who spread the word about Mabel’s Labels…with friends, family, acquaintances and other mamas.”
The second challenge for the company was in engaging with customers in ways that would keep them interested and coming back for more. As an example, in an effort to help parents learn more about summer camp for their children, Mabel’s Labels organized and invited parents to a Facebook chat with a camp director, who was able to provide advice and answer questions. This type of endeavor reinforces the company’s reputation of listening to and caring for their customers, and reflects their core values.
Mabel’s Labels is passionate about staying connected with their customers and continues to embrace social media venues as a means of doing so. You can reach them via Facebook and Twitter, sign up for their newsletter, read and comment on their blog, chat live with a customer service rep on their website if you have questions, and pin, tweet, like, or +1 any of their products.
Lessons for others:
• Know and engage with your target market.
• Reach out to and collaborate with bloggers and other social media entities to promote your product.
• Think outside the box – look at non-standard ways of marketing as a means of engaging with your target market.
• Be accessible and available for customer engagement.
“So much of everything we do is based on feedback, focus groups, talking to people, listening to blog and Facebook fan comments, and just being really active and having those lines open. You have to be authentic. Have a consistent voice. Don’t push out your products – engage in conversation…You have to genuinely be interested.” Julie Cole, co-founder, Mabel’s Labels
Submitted by: Stephenie Koerne
To contact the author of this entry, please email at: skoerne @ uwaterloo.ca
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.