February 17, 2011
Cost Plus World Market: A Study in Zen and the Art of Conversation Management
Cost Plus World Market, a retail and online marketplace for international gifts, home accents and foods launched its Facebook presence in November and already boasts more than 258,000 fans.
In an environment where 9 out of 10 companies feel that they are doing a poor job using social media, what has World Market tapped into that others may be missing?
Here’s my analysis:
World Market goes beyond delivering on brand value, by doing something that gets its fans talking again and again … it makes its Likers feel “valued.” Feeling valued, in fact, was found to be the #1 attribute for building brand engagement in a recent report released by digital ad agency Razorfish. World Market demonstrates a virtual “how to” for making Likers feel valued.
- Deliver on the brand experience – first and foremost, customers love the selection, prices and customer service both in-store and online. The celebration of unique, affordable and authentic world goods continues on Facebook.
- Listen – World Market does more listening than talking, letting its delighted Likers drive the conversation
- Tap into the zen – Building on its listening skills, World Market understands its target audience and gets that its Likers are about lifestyle. World Market gains user-generated content by asking Likers to talk about what’s important to them – their favorite memory, pictures of their pet, the name of their favorite football player, etc., smartly facilitating conversation by relating a World Market sales post to an “ask” about personal experience
- Reward – World Market rewards its Likers in several ways, by including a link to entry in a rewards program with special perks; frequent contests that the Likers love and have them coming back for more; links to tips on decorating, etc. – a recent charity promotion even rewarded Likers for participating
- Respond – While World Market does not respond to all comments, it has a great track record for responding quickly to any complaints or questions on running social promotions, occasionally earning kudos on Facebook for its response.
World Market surely feels the love of its Likers on Facebook. Without a heavy hand, World Market deftly works its positive mojo to earn customer remarketing of its posts on sales and links to its e-site. Optimizing use of Facebook as an owned media channel, World Market also has an “ad tab” featuring its events and ads on current sales, that also including link to online shopping.
While there is no single path to success in marketing for a social world, World Market has certainly found one that works for them.