September 6th, 2011

Brands Push Social Media In Back-To-School Campaigns

Online Media Daily

It’s back-to-school season, which means class is in session for all the related marketing efforts. More than ever before, brands seem to be leading with social media.

Take Famous Footwear, which worked with Buddy Media to build a “Back to School” tab on its official Facebook Page. So far, more than 50,000 people have joined the Famous Footwear Facebook community.

On the surface, the campaigns target kids with a chance to win $100,000 “for you and your high school.” Parents, however, have not been left out of the equation, according to Terence Reilly, Famous Footwear vice president of marketing. He says social media outlets can speak to mothers “in a new way.”

Famous Footwear’s Facebook page also features a wish list builder, where students can compile those products they would most like for the new school year.

Another marketer ready for the school year is Solstice Sunglass Boutique. It created a program in which Facebook fans can enter to win iPads.

In addition, Solstice’s Facebook Page includes a “What’s Your Style” personality quiz, including the ability to vote for their favorite new sunglasses styles and an event calendar.

Social or otherwise, it’s clear that brands are pulling out all the stops to reach back-to-school shoppers. Consumers are expected to spend $68.8 billion outfitting students for school this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Meanwhile, 70% of consumers plan to spend more or about the same for back-to-school this year, according to recent findings from Yahoo. Consumers said they will increase their budgets by 7% compared to last year, while Yahoo saw the biggest opportunities by category in basic school supplies, clothing and media purchases.

Yahoo also found that shopping starts much earlier than purchases. In fact, researchers found a five-point increase from 2010 for those shopping earlier.

Approximately 60% of consumers told Yahoo they are shopping at least three weeks before the start of the new school year, while searches on Yahoo for “back to school” as early as July confirm that school shopping was in people’s minds midsummer.

Read more:  http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=157909

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