Who is the Social Success?


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An in depth analysis and comparison of which brand is using social correctly; LOFT or J. Crew?

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Who is the Social Success?

  1. 1. Sarah Hickman October 15, 2013
  2. 2. executive Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………......3 The Companies……………………………………………………………………………………..4 Social Analytics……………………………………………………………………………………..5 Facebook Analysis………………………………………………………………………………….6 LOFT Facebook Page 7 J. Crew Facebook Page 8 Recommendations 9 Twitter Analysis…………………………………………………………………………………...10 LOFT Twitter Page 11 J. Crew Twitter Page 12 Recommendations 13 Pinterest Analysis………………………………………………………………………………….14 LOFT Pinterest Account 15 J. Crew Pinterest Account 16 Recommendations 17 Instagram Analysis………………………………………………………………………………...18 LOFT Facebook Page 19 J. Crew Facebook Page 20 Recommendations 21 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………….22 2
  3. 3. As competitors in women’s specialty retail, J. Crew and LOFT both aim to create classic styles for the everyday fashionista. Although J. Crew offers products for multiple target markets, it can be compared with LOFT especially when discussing their emphasis on women’s clothing. The purpose of this presentation is to delve past the base of the company and analyze how each is using social media. J. Crew and LOFT both maintain multiple accounts on various platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Even though both companies are active on multiple social media sites, by the end of this in depth analysis we will have an answer to the question: Who is the social success? 3
  4. 4. LOFT As one of their two specialty retail fashion brands for women, LOFT is the second major half of ANN, Inc. Viewed as the more casual of the two brands, LOFT prides itself on being a genuine clothing option that women can trust. Providing clients with fashion inspiration, style advice, and a comfortably chic line of clothing, the brand is a go to for women in need of a stylish and affordable retailer who shows their love for their LOFT girls. Offering an assortment of women’s, men’s, and most recently children’s apparel and accessories, J. Crew continues to capture the attention of young shoppers looking for fashion forward, classic pieces. Even with items reaching prices considered high for average shoppers, J. Crew attracts its clients with edgy, stylish, and fun pieces that can be mixed and matched to create fashionable, yet comfortable outfits that are tangible to most shoppers. LIVE. LOVE. LOFT. 4
  5. 5. LOFT Before analyzing each platform, it is important to look at Social Analytics to gain a better idea of each company’s presence in social. Comparing the numbers provided by Social Mention side by side, the companies both excel in different areas. LOFT tends to have a better ratio of sentiment than J. Crew, but at the same time J. Crew has greater strength throughout social media than does LOFT. They both have very similar levels of reach in terms of unique prints, but LOFT currently has a greater amount of passion. This analytical measure fluctuates fairly regularly for both companies though. Overall, both have good numbers in terms of social analytics, but an area of concern for LOFT is its level of strength. 5
  6. 6. LOFT After joining Facebook in August of 2008, LOFT has made users aware of its presence on this social media platform. It has a strong following with 1,355,127 likes on the brand’s Facebook page and growing. Other numbers indicating its strength are the 3,851 “people talking about this” and the 5,977 unique indications of people visiting LOFT locations. With such a strong presence, it is evident that Facebook is the main focus for the company when it comes to social media. The page invites fans to “like” the page as an incentive to be the first to learn of new deals, sales, events, and more. LOFT also utilizes the views and apps section of the page to allow followers to enter contests, sign up to be a “LOFT Insider”, as well as providing views of their Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. The posts on the LOFT page are not all uniform in look. Some use the large photo format with text in the photo or describing it while others are only text and the posts appear to be more conversational. The main uses of the Facebook page are to promote new collections and highlight certain items, update followers on current sales, and for insight into what LOFT is currently working on or involved with. With a much different approach to the company Facebook page than LOFT, J. Crew has a following that is also strong, but is not what would be expected for a company with multiple target markets spanning men, women, and children. Since joining Facebook in July of 2009, J. Crew has 1,067420 likes with 5,929 unique people “talking about this”. In the area for views and apps, the company only has a section for events and a link to their J. Crew on Film site. Almost every post utilizes the larger photo format, highlighting one specific topic of interest or clothing item with barely any text. J. Crew also uses the large photo format to bring attention to albums that present a few photos of new collections or articles and posts about people in the J. Crew workplace. Each post contains at least one photo, few words, and is finished off with links to more complete content. 6
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  9. 9. LOFT When it comes to J. Crew’s company page, compared to its other social media platforms, the Facebook platform seems to be given the least amount of attention in terms of thought and strategy. The posts are very random and do not follow any direction. They range from employee “meet and greets” to store opening events to clothing highlights to posts including only a picture and one sentence about something that may or may not have to do with the clothing line. The company would benefit from providing at least a weekly post that followed the same format each week. This would give Facebook followers something to look forward to and a post that they easily recognized on a regular basis. J. Crew targets a young, hip, stylish crowd and they are missing an opportunity to really engage them through Facebook. Lacking any views and apps, J. Crew is also missing out on providing another place for their loyal fans and newcomers to quickly interact with their other social media sites. J. Crew is also missing out on the ability to run contests through Facebook. The company has a more solid foundation on other platforms, and they could use that to their advantage by creating a photo or style contest on those sites while using Facebook to organize and promote it. After looking through the posts and content on the LOFT Facebook page, it is clear that women who follow the company on here want to share their opinions and engage. What is missing from the posts is a prompt or an invitation/reason for them to engage in conversation with both the brand and each other. The conversations on the current posts are not sparked by buzz created strategically by LOFT and this is definitely an area that can be capitalized on. LOFT has many other great ways to get women involved with the company such as the email sign up section offered and the multiple views that allow followers to check out their other social media sites. Another area that could be changed is the constant sales updates. Even though women want to know about them, Facebook is not the best place to throw sales at their trusted clients. LOFT prides itself on being the personal stylist and confidante to women, but that is not the image portrayed with the constant sales talk. Instead, LOFT needs to use the large photo format and highlight key pieces for the season, how bloggers are wearing it, and invite their Facebook followers to share their own style tips and advice and make them feel a part of the conversation and brand. 9
  10. 10. LOFT Although the company is very active on Twitter with 5,892 tweets, LOFT only has 35,890 followers. The content found on the LOFT Twitter account follows a different direction than that found on the company Facebook page. There are two main categories of content that is continually used: daily #LOFTGirl quotes and fun advice, as well as sales updates and the newest deals of the day. Mixed throughout these two main areas of content are tweets that mention current campaigns and causes that LOFT supports and is involved with. As Twitter only allows 140 characters, the tweets fit in to this format and many of the tweets are accompanied by a shortened link. Hashtags are used in most of the tweets such as the previously mentioned #LOFTGirl, #LiveInPink, and #LoveMondays. Some other random hashtags are used depending on the content for each individual tweet. LOFT does not tweet pictures or videos very often at all and most of the pictures are advertisement type photos with sales codes. Although J. Crew is not as active in terms of tweeting from their company Twitter account with only 547 tweets, the company has 194,268 followers. This number is growing quickly considering as of two days ago, their number of followers has increased by over 500. Tweeting twice a day on average, the content on the J. Crew Twitter page does not contain mentions of current sales or offers anywhere. It focuses more on providing interesting information on different behind the scenes elements of the brand, style advice and tips, and content that is more utilitarian and useful to the J. Crew Twitter followers. Every tweet is accompanied by a link to their blog, articles, videos, photos, or pictures posted to Instagram. In doing this, J. Crew employs a more visual element to their strategy. The brand image is also strengthened via the company Twitter account as J. Crew tweets about more than just their products and deals. The company has a persona on Twitter with tweets such as, “Happy First Day of Summer. We’re dreaming of the beach (naturally). #summer #surf” A link to a Pinterest board with surf inspired fashions brings the consumer back to the products without shoving it onto the newsfeeds of followers. 10
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  13. 13. LOFT Even though LOFT properly follows the Twitter format and keeps their content within the 140 character limit, they need to reevaluate their Twitter strategy. It is evident from analyzing the retweets and favorites from the two main areas of content which direction LOFT needs to focus on. The tweets containing sales information and offers receive fewer retweets, mentions, and create less conversation versus the tweets with relatable quotes, fun statements, and updates on the current campaigns such as the current one “Live in Pink”. Twitter is a forum where people update their followers on what they are doing or feeling at the present moment and is more personal than platforms such as Facebook. LOFT needs to put more focus on tweeting material that women can relate to, such as their #LOFTGirl tweets, and that speaks directly to them as a woman and not as a consumer. In doing so, women will want to retweet and share the fun tweets with their followers which will create more buzz and LOVE for LOFT as a brand. Using Twitter to update sales is not a good use of the platform and does not build brand image. Also, LOFT could engage and excite people on Twitter by adding more related pictures of fun products to their fun tweets. Right off the bat, you notice the lack of hashtags. They are not mandatory per say on Twitter, but it certainly is a very active element unique to the platform. Hashtags help to tie events together and create buzz over one specific topic. J. Crew has a great presence and strategy for the most part on Twitter, but there is not common element among any of the tweets. Give followers a hashtag that they can attribute to the J. Crew brand. This will allow them to tweet at J. Crew and mentions can be compiled based on this certain hashtag. It just makes sense when using the Twitter platform and attempting to create conversation. Also, despite the fact that J. Crew has useful but also personal content that helps to strengthen the brand image, there is no rhyme or reason to the posts. They are too random and there needs to be at least one or two areas of content that occur on a more regular basis. Give followers something to look forward to such as a weekly style idea from J. Crew that also encourages followers to tweet pictures of their own takes on the style of the week by using the hashtag #jcrewyou. 13
  14. 14. LOFT J. Crew has a more uniform approach to their Pinterest account. With only 24 boards, the company has an impressive 85,491 followers and 1,165 pins. Each of the 24 boards has a unique theme that carries throughout each picture. As a viewer, you can tell that each picture was chosen carefully and for a specific reason for each board. The boards also have very simple, easy names with most of them consisting of only one word. One of the coolest boards is called “My Shoe Story” and it literally follows the style inspirations in photo form for each shoe in the collection. J. Crew not only has a large following, but the Pinterest boards are very active when it comes to repins and favorites. Many photos have at least 200 to 500 repins! What is interesting is that there are boards devoted to showcasing collections and pieces through a monthly Style Guide, while other boards bring the inspirations and collections to life through related photographs and artistic pieces in separate boards. It is almost as if each collection tells a complete story through other boards and then is revealed in the Style Guide. The Pinterest account is very well thought out and clearly shows that the Pinterest target group, women, enjoys J. Crew on the platform. LOFT also has a presence on Pinterest, which is a pinboard style photo-sharing website. They currently have 15,914 followers, 82 boards, and 1,301 pins. Each board has a common theme such as the board called “One Piece Wonder” which features one item favorites from the Summer 2013 collection. From some of LOFT’s favorite pieces of their newest collections to some of their Style Icons, the array of boards on the company Pinterest account is pretty diverse. Although there are many random boards that do not follow similar patterns and formats, each board does have its own “story”. The boards that continue to have the most repins and favorites are those that tell the “story” of the latest collection and show LOFT’s favorite items. Another popular set of boards are those that highlight pieces and people involved with the “Live In Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. The random boards showing favorite foods, style icons, or even best places in New York City (where LOFT headquarters is located) do not receive nearly as many repins. 14
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  17. 17. LOFT J. Crew has done a great job with its Pinterest account. It is neatly organized, looks as clean and classic as the clothes do, and appeals to the younger female demographic that they are tarketing. The inspirational boards and photos that flank the clothing photos look great and are correctly used in terms of strategy. J. Crew utilizes the Pinterest platform as it is intended, and it is clear that Pinners enjoy the J. Crew Pinterest page as well. One recommendation that is similar to LOFT is to limit the random boards, such as the one labeled NYC. The quirky photos may be fun and interesting, but the amount of repins is significantly less than those albums showing inspirational photos side by side with clothing items that are styled to play off of the inspirational photo choices. Also, the description under the J. Crew name states, “Sometimes things that don’t seem to go together, do.” This is a really cool and interesting main theme if followed throughout, but it is not. The description should be changed to something about inspiration being all around, which would tie in all of the boards much better. LOFT also has a presence on Pinterest, which is a pin-board style photo-sharing website. They currently have 15,914 followers, 82 boards, and 1,301 pins. Each board has a common theme such as the board called “One Piece Wonder” which features one item favorites from the Summer 2013 collection. From some of LOFT’s favorite pieces of their newest collections to some of their Style Icons, the array of boards on the company Pinterest account is pretty diverse. Although there are many random boards that do not follow similar patterns and formats, each board does have its own “story”. The boards that continue to have the most repins and favorites are those that tell the “story” of the latest collection and show LOFT’s favorite items. Another popular set of boards are those that highlight pieces and people involved with the “Live In Pink” Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. The random boards showing favorite foods, style icons, or even best places in New York City (where LOFT headquarters is located) do not receive nearly as many repins. 17
  18. 18. LOFT J. Crew has embraced Instagram and continues to grow in numbers every day. Boasting 272,685 followers, this number has rapidly increased by almost 10,000 followers in a mere three days!! The average number of likes per photo hangs around 5,000 showing that J. Crew has captured the attention of its target market on Instagram. The photos posted to the account do not just point out clothes from the J. Crew line. Instead, they are more organic in nature in that the photos chosen to post have stories behind them, just as the photos on personal accounts do. J. Crew does post photos that show styled outfits which is only fitting considering they are a specialty retail company, but the outfits are placed on people that are more relatable than just looking at a body with the brand’s clothes on. Another fun element found throughout the posts is one of J. Crew’s newest ideas that is indicated by #Discovered. The main purpose of this hashtag and movement are to show the brand community what J. Crew as a fashion icon has discovered itself over the years and even in the present. Different foods, stores, designers, other fashion icons, etc. can all appear and be seen as having been #Discovered. On the Instagram platform, it is evident that LOFT has very recently, as in the past two months, changed it strategy. Beginning in August, posts are more frequent and occur around once a day instead of randomly throughout each month. One common element that has also become a major part of the strategy is LOFT’s #5secondstylist photos. A well photographed image of a styled outfit is explained in the short text blurb. This new format and hashtag is giving the LOFT instagram more engagement and action than ever before with photos receiving upwards of 1,000+ likes. The LOFT Instagram page has 19,497 followers, which has grown by over 100 people in the past two days, as well as 240 posts. LOFT does attempt to use the platform to create engagement and buzz through contests and giveaways by posting a picture with the text box explaining the contest and redirecting followers to the contest rules page. Last Spring, LOFT attempted to engage followers by inviting them to share a photo of them with their mom using #LOFTlovesmoms and LOFT would then feature their faves, but only two photos were put on to Instagram. 18
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  21. 21. LOFT J. Crew is doing very well on Instagram. They understand the platform and utilize what it has to offer to add to their brand image. The #Discovered campaign gives a cool insight into what the company has learned and found over the years, and using Instagram to share this with followers is a great way to show how authentic the brand is. Using real people from the company, such as their own stylists and designers, to wear the clothing item being photographed is a great idea. This also feeds into the authenticity of the company and shows that if they can wear it, so can I. J. Crew does not use Instagram to continually post photos of their clothing or fashion, but they have tailored their strategy to reveal their brand identity to their consumers. As their target market is the younger crowd, Instagram is the perfect place to do just that and reach them. One recommendation for the J. Crew Instagram account is that the company needs to engage their followers in more ways than just expecting them to like the newest photos. J. Crew could add to the #Discovered campaign by encouraging and exciting J. Crew followers to share their own #Discovered things. Although LOFT has recently changed its strategy on Instagram, there is still room for improvement. It seems that they are still unclear on the exact purpose of Intagram and how to properly use it to enhance their brand image and engage their followers at the same time. The #5SecondStylist is a great addition, especially because it can be used throughout any campaign LOFT has throughout the year. Women love style tips! And it feeds into the image LOFT wants women to have of the company as being their personal stylist. Even with this great addition to the newsfeed, one area LOFT needs to revisit is their strategy for engagement. Instagram is not the place to post advertisement s for contests or to put words in the place of the artistic and creative photos. Instagram is very visually stimulating, and text completely takes away from the brand image. LOFT is hurting their image by throwing their contests at their followers. That is for Facebook. Instead, use Instagram for its hashtags such as exciting followers by saying “post a photo of your #5SecondStylist moment”. Get them involved. Do not annoy them! 21
  22. 22. Throughout the analysis of both LOFT and J. Crew, it is evident that they each have their own strong areas when it comes to social media. LOFT focuses on Facebook and has gained a large following because of it. J. Crew focuses more on the visual platforms and excels on Instagram. Although they both have their strong points, it is safe to say that J. Crew has a more mature presence in social. The company effectively and properly uses each platform, but they still have room to grow. With some minor tweaks and more strategic ways to engage their followers and fans, J. Crew will only continue to grow. LOFT needs to make sure they pay attention to guidelines and “rules” of each platform. Not everyone wants to see a sales pitch or offer on every social media site, and they need to be aware of which platforms to use for each purpose. Overall, both companies are very active on multiple social media sites and have created large fan bases, but J. Crew is the Social Success. 22