Shoe retailer Onlineshoes.com recently launched promotion called Shoestakes designed to entice bloggers to participate through Twitter and their blogs. The prizes are certain to hook a good number of entries. A lucky blogger will win a new pair of shoes every month for a year and Twitter entrants are eligible for weekly $50 gift cards.
Onlineshoes.com is one of many retailers who are engaging fans via social channels to communicate brand messages, get fans talking about their products and produce strong social signals for search. Onlineshoes.com Sr. Manager of Social Media & Ecommerce Jimmy Healey describes their social goals as multi-faceted.
“Our goal with social media in general and the Shoestakes in particular is to engage our fans by getting them to talk about what interests and inspires them. We see social media as a great way to excite, motivate and inspire consumers about the categories of product we sell and are genuinely passionate about. Connecting with our fans on topics like hiking, running, and travel is a much exciting to us than pushing coupons or just driving sweepstakes,” said Healey.
In the Shoestakes promotion, the retailer’s goals go beyond the typical collection of email addresses or addition of Facebook fans. This promotion invites bloggers to write a post about how products available at Onlineshoes.com could help the blogger achieve their goals or resolutions this year. The heart of the contest is getting bloggers to connect the retailer’s products with their real life stories.
To capture broader interest, Onlineshoes.com is using Twitter as the means of entry. Users can tweet a message including the contest hashtag (#Shoestakes) to be eligible for the weekly gift card drawings. Bloggers who enter a blog post are eligible for the grand prize of a year of free shoes. Bloggers can earn additional entries by installing the contest widget or by getting their followers or subscribers to retweet their entry. Find complete details and rules on the Shoestakes contest blog entry. The sweepstakes ends on 2/14/2011.
Beyond their branded social profiles on Twitter and Facebook, the retailer has promoted the contest in blogger forums and communities as well as coupon and sweepstakes sites. The Twitter platform makes it easy to track entries and the brand can easily add the influential bloggers and Twitter users they have discovered to a Twitter list.
As a marketer, it’s exciting to see brands trying to connect deeper with their online fans and customers. E-commerce sites often lack the content and community to really connect with customers. Social media enables that connection. Short term, this is a fun sweeps that will net someone a closet full of new shoes. Long term though, this is the type of promotion which can have legs. Onlineshoes.com stands to gain brand recognition within the blogging community as well as build relationships with individual bloggers.