If ever you wanted proof that Facebook works as a marketing and advertising channel (big difference) in the Northern Territory for RETAIL, then look no further.
Humidity Gifts and Homewares is a small gift boutique in Darwin but has become a powerhouse on Facebook.
However, before you get tempted to racing headlong to copy what Mel has done with her store, there are some important considerations.
Although Humidity carries a range of stock for a range of gift buying ‘types’, through Facebook there seems to have been a definite focus on women and in particular, women with children.
This marries two powerful forces:
- The urge all parents have to look out for interesting gifts for their children, children’s friends, or relatives (we are new into this phase and gift buying seems to be a never ending quest)
- Of all Humidity’s market segments, mums tend to be most active on Facebook – they share more, comment more and commit to buy more.
All too often, the race to social networks or even websites involves an all-or-nothing mentality even though it is fine, even superior, to select one or two segments, product ranges, or service offerings, at least to begin with.
Who doesn’t love getting a sneak preview at somethings others have not seen?
My guess is that this curiosity runs through most human DNA.
So, what are you doing to reward this side of your audience’s psychology?
Mel from Humidity does this very well. In fact, last weekend she was on a buying trip in Melbourne and from her hotel room uploaded photos and teasers about stock that will be in Darwin over the next few months.
A quick glance through comments and we can see she already has customers desiring some of these items.
This also gives those customers a chance to show the sneak peeks to their friends, making themselves look like the trendsetters.
From a sales perspective, it would be fair to say that Mel gets good, bad or indifferent feedback on potential items, most likely in time to modify orders. Not that there has been any negative or indifferent feedback that I can see. In many ways, Mel’s audience is very similar to an Oprah audience – confident, loud, desirous of nice and quirky things, etc.
A clever move on Mel’s part is the giveaway.
For just about every new item she brings back to her store, she gives one away to her Facebook fans.
Up goes the listing, in come the likes and comments, Mel uses a third party tool to conduct a random entry selection, and out goes the winning gift.
I saw this element of her marketing in action last week. He Fan numbers (or Likes) climbed from high 3,000-mark to 5,000.
This is most likely going to be an area Mel will need to revise over the coming months.
Facebook has modified its promotion guidelines which, in short, mean that you must use third party applications to handle all aspects of promotions on Facebook.
We will post more in depth coverage of these guidelines and what they mean for Top End businesses later in the RITE Series.
This elements is crucial for any success in marketing, let alone the use of Social Networks.
You might go so far as to say Social Marketing requires more energy because to develop success and maintain it, you need to treat ‘online’ prospects like real people.
I know that in this world of business systems it is a shock to have to treat a virtual prospective client like they are flesh and blood, but that is what Social Networks demand.
To this end, Mel devotes herself to buying and Facebook promotions, while relying on her team to handle face-to-face customer sales and service.
That’s not to say she never serves in the store but rather that if you are tempted to emulate her model, be prepared. You will need to invest in time and effort behind the scenes and this might well mean having to delegate some tasks to others (if you have ‘others’) or to give up some tasks altogether. Or just work longer.
To get a good sense of what Humidity is doing, simply click Like on the Humidity Facebook page and observe first hand.
If you know of other examples of Top End businesses doing interesting and successful things using Social Networks and Social Media, please share your insights in the comments or via the Nomination form.
I’d also love to hear your comments on this profile. Use the form below and remember that some comments might make their way into the eBook being produced as part of The RITE Series in October Business Month.