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Building successful online communities – beyond Facebook

As I continually get asked about what it takes to create and execute a successful social media marketing strategy, I have to blog once again about the Lululemon Warehouse Sale example as I have literally watched it build from a substantially large Facebook community (over 700 when I first posted) to a huge community with well over 7,000 RSVP’d attendees of the sale starting tomorrow in Niagara Falls.

I have been getting updates from Carolyn Coles, Social Media Community Manager for Lululemon Athletica, and I wanted to share with you some of her insights. I asked Carolyn about how she is measuring the results across the multiple social media channels she is using to build communities around the event (which include: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr), and which have proven to be the most successful.

Carolyn said the following about the campaign as a whole. “So far we’ve had a tremendous response from the video. Char Loro – a Culture Rep / Key Leader at our Eaton Center store created the video. We’ve also just created a photoset on flickr: www.bit.ly/thefalls.  Many more photos will be posted there throughout the sale. Flickr has been a really amazing community for us to participate in. It’s a fabulous space for us to tell stories. So far we’ve had over 100,000 views on our lululemon feed.”

Twitter was a great place for us to leak the event in the first place. We had guests guess where they thought the sale would take place and send us suggestions for where they’d like to see the next sale. It really gave us a lot of insight into where our followers were from and how we can surprise and delight them in the future. Over the course of a few hours on twitter we released the location of the event, a few tweets to people that I thought would be interested, and I leveraged the relationship we had with some great deal sites online.

Within the first week of us creating a minisite on our website we saw Facebook referrals to our site increase 1,093%! In addition to this FB event – we let fans of other lululemon related groups / pages know of the sale. And posted messages on the walls of lululemon store FB pages in the surrounding areas.

When I asked Carolyn specifically about how she measured the ROI of this campaign (which I know you are all dying to know!) she brought it back to the transaction place, the lulu Website of course!

Yep, we use Google Analytics. it’s an extremely powerful tool. We’ve also been using a tool called BrightKit to monitor the effectiveness of the links we post on Twitter. On Flickr we use the statistics that are a part of having a pro account. They are also extremely telling. Hurray to social media!

Note to all those who are planning a Social Media Marketing campaign.  This marketing channel, like every other does not manage itself.  Note that Carolyn Coles is a full-time Online Community manager, and she is a busy chick! Here it is for all of you who wanted a brilliant execution of Social Media Marketing! Thanks Carolyn and I will be sure to mobile upload pics from the sale tomorrow!

[tags]social media marketing, twitter marketing, facebook marketing, social media strategy, lululemon, flickr marketing, community marketing, online community manager, brightkit.com [/tags]

Comments ( 1 )
  • Tom Wilson says:

    Thanks for great blog post and letting us in the social media marketing strategy- Lululemon Athletica. I enjoyed hearing your commenmts and Caolyn Coles…Might be a nice speaker for Online revealed.

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