Sharpie: Social Media Sharp!

Jaya Jayaraman    November 11, 2012

Social media is much more than just establishing mere presence. It is a revenue generating platform for many. The famous jargon “f-Commerce” is a great proof. By 2016, most of the businesses will be using social media as a way of generating revenue and bookings.

Sharpie, the permanent marker company, has taken an ordinary commodity and turned it into a common noun all thanks to their social media marketing efforts.               

Created in 1964, Sharpie is a long-wearing ink marker. Despite holding 50 percent of the market share on permanent markers, Sharpie undertook a drastic overhaul in advertising, digital content and social media engagement in order to be proactive and interactive with its consumer base that has become accustomed to sophisticated digital content.

Sharpie’s website delivers a full experience of the company’s revamp aesthetics.  A personalized wall paper featured a Sharpie design, modern graphics and the requisite social media features position Sharpie as a current brand that wants to provide its consumers with a holistic online social and digital experience.  The following is a breakdown of how Sharpie has strengthened its social media positioning.

Facebook: With an impressive 2,848,204 page likes, Sharpie’s Facebook presence is robust. User generated content mingles seamlessly with brand-promoted pieces such as blog highlights and product announcements. Creating a reciprocal relationship through ‘Likes’ of stakeholder pages brings in new potential users and sends a message to business partners that they are recognized and appreciated, fostering further goodwill.

Twitter: Sharpie’s Twitter boasts 236,204 followers, with frequent tweets. Relevant hash tags, an Instagram image gallery and current profile picture promotion of the intertwined   TED and Sharpie brands positions Sharpie as social media savvy, on-trend and interactive.

Youtube: Sharpie’s Youtube channel is incredibly impressive. A wide variety of human interest pieces, celebrity spotlights and official commercials integrates brand promotion with creative original content. An intricate and interactive mosaic features user images and stands as a unique feature in comparison to other Youtube brand channels lead to generation of eighty-seven uploads, 1,008,350 upload views, and 1,374 subscribers.

Blog: The Sharpie blog does a fantastic job of providing interesting content as well as

promoting the brand in and of itself. Blog posts featuring creative uses of Sharpie’s products for designs on paper cups and handicrafts create interesting visuals and digitally tangible examples of the brand’s product in action. Guest bloggers ranging from fashion experts and artists, funny posts and video content such as a Valentine’s Day short film on love make the Sharpie blog the strongest component to its website.

An invitation to be creative is all it takes for some people to invest hours with your brand.

Secondary personalized site: An offshoot of the main site, is the personalized site to all things Sharpie. This space provides the ability to design your own pen based on your specific needs, a guide to Sharpie best practices and a social media-enabled login area with the ability to upload original content and interact with fellow Sharpie appreciators. Users can present “doodle challenges” to one another and provide tutorials on design methods. With invocations such as “Start Something!” and “Show Your Stuff!” Sharpie’s online tone is inviting, conversational and proactive. The secondary personalized site is creative, engaging and comprehensive.

Lesson for others

Highlighting the service beyond the product ensures a company’s longevity and injection into popular culture and discourse — capitalizing on that through social media amplifies the brand and ensures long-term sustainability. Marketing your customer’s work, thoughts, opinions not only creates long lasting loyalty but also creates brand ambassadors.

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Submitted by : Jayarani Jayaraman, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
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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.