Why Dell Beats the Hell Out of Threadless
Heather Schuck is a passionate entrepreneur who lives up to her "Lil' Firecracker" nickname. While she may joke about her "fun sized" 5'1″ petite frame or her nationally celebrated 4th of July birthday, she's serious about bootstrapping, inspiring mom entrepreneurs, and the power of content marketing.
She is well known for using innovative and cost-effective strategies to secure high profile media placements including mentions on Oprah, The Today Show, Early Show, USA Today, and an appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She is an expert in utilizing celebrity product placements as a tool for catapulting sales. Celebrity fans include Demi Moore, Oprah, Britney Spears, Kate Hudson, Angela Bassett, Holly Robinson Peete, Tia Carerre, Lisa Rinna, and Brooke Burke to name a few.
Heather Schuck‘s journey into entrepreneurship is a classic rags to riches tale of overcoming all odds. Despite her lack of fashion or business experience, Heather was able to turn her failed eBay hobby into a multi-million dollar company with distribution in national retailers such as Target, JCPenney, and Sears. As an early adopter and believer in the power of community, Heather Schuck has immersed herself in online outreach such as blogging, social media, and video broadcasts since 2003. Her strong identification with the mom audience and sincere appreciation for supporters led to the launch glamaLIFE.com in 2010. She is also the Host of the web series Fit and FearLESS Files that inspires women to overcome mom guilt and embrace their dreams.
Recognized as a strong advocate for small business, Heather welcomes the opportunity to help fellow entrepreneurs replicate her successes. She has spent the last seven years as a bootstrap entrepreneur and has developed numerous best practices for working smarter-not harder. As a business coach, Heather can train you to utilize her tactics and strategies while providing heartfelt encouragement and support. Areas covered include business strategy, company branding, leveraging celebrity marketing, social media integration, influencer outreach, achieving marketing ROI, media outreach/PR, creating work/life balance, and optimizing your operations for maximum efficiency. If you are losing hope in your small business and need a seasoned expert with credibility and a proven track record of success, click here to hire her. Heather Schuck can be contacted at email@example.com.
Latest posts by Heather Schuck (see all)
- Top 3 Apps for Entrepreneurs - July 12, 2012
- Survival Tips for Attending A Celebrity Gifting Suite - September 1, 2010
- Inspiration to StartUp: Should YOU Follow Your Passions? - August 25, 2010
I apologize for the outlandish headline, but I don’t really think it’s any more outlandish than crowning Threadless as the sales guru of Twitter. I’m sure you’ve read some recent press in the media bragging about Threadless being the company to emulate when it comes to monetizing on Twitter. (Read one article from Inc here) I simply can’t disagree more. I have nothing against Threadless and admire the company for many reasons. For example, they are the King of crowd sourcing- why not give them a crown for that? But monetizing Twitter? No. They made money on Twitter by creating an entire product line exclusively FOR Twitter, not by utilizing it as a sales vehicle for promoting their own existing product. Of course the product sold well, it was made specifically for Twitter!
So how do you monetize social media without creating a product line specifically for it? Dell figured it out. They are a great example of a company who actually engaged on Twitter and sold millions of dollars worth of computers as a direct result of those efforts. (Dell article from Entrepreneur here) I think their success was two-fold and actually quite basic. First, they correctly targeted their customer and simply provided them with useful information. Next, they implemented systems to monitor, measure, and manage customer service interactions.
(Great tips for handling customer service here.) These are great starting points and should serve as the foundation for any small business looking to incorporate social media in their marketing efforts.
While those are great steps for getting started in social media, it’s important that companies don’t stop there. The real key to your success lies in your ability to actively engage that target demographic. I urge you to roll up your sleeves a little and try some new strategies this year to finally get some ROI from social media. To get you started, I’ve brainstormed a couple ideas below.
- Include a playful and creative flyer in outgoing packages encouraging participation and possibly offering a reward… “Be a sweetie! (attach some candy to the card) Post a pic of you wearing this t-shirt on our Fan Page and we’ll send you a $5 gift card.”
- Create a survey on Facebook or poll on Twitter (twtpoll) asking “friends” to vote on which new products to sell/create…the winning product will be offered to survey participants first, and at a discount. (See how Modcloth does this here)
- Track down recent customers on Facebook and “friend” them with your companies Facebook page (who doesn’t want more “friends”?)
- Spend money to make money…hire a Community Manager that will actually have the time to effectively target and engage new customers and strengthen your online branding. (Not sure what a Community Manager does? Read this by Chris Brogan.)
I truly believe social media is the future for small business marketing and I hope you can find at least one of these ideas helpful in your efforts to engage online. Always be on the lookout for innovative new ideas to reach your customers and don’t be shy. A sincere, heartfelt, and playful “hello” to your customers will be appreciated more times than not. Just make sure you have the infrastructure in place to monitor, measure, and manage all those new customer interactions.
Need help with your social media campaign? Contact me directly here!