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Telling Instead of Selling: How Smart Brands are Using Social for the Holiday Season

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With all of the banner ads out there promoting holiday shopping, how do businesses stand out online? How do they get their products under the tree? Smart businesses are finding new ways to reach consumers without distracting them from content they enjoy. They’re becoming a seamless part of the online conversation and, as a result, stay top of mind for consumers as they shop for their holiday gifts. Smart brands tell stories that create a connection to their brand.

So how are companies connecting with their consumers using storytelling in social media?

Here are a few examples of companies that are getting their story out there this holiday season.

jcpenney

jcpenney gets it right with creating stories about their products that are relatable and interesting to readers. They even do it in Spanish. One example is their social campaign to showcase a new clothing line from Liz Claiborne. They worked with bloggers like hablasfashion to create three different outfits from their fall clothing line. The readers then voted on their favorite outfit and commented on the line. This is a perfect example of social done well. By working with an influential blogger, jcpenny was able to create a personal story around their products that was authentic and engaging to readers.

Udi’s Gluten Free

Udi’s makes products that are gluten free for people with celiac disease or who just want to live a gluten free lifestyle. Their community page is a perfect example of how they are staying top of mind for consumers. This season, Udi’s is telling stories that relate to the holidays. They highlight stories about gluten-free living and how to survive the holidays.  The content creates an emotional connection with the brand because they talk about a personal experience, living gluten-free. It makes shoppers feel like Udi’s cares about them and their lifestyle.

Operation Christmas Child

This charity organization packs boxes full of toys and personal items for children in need that are delivered around the holiday season. They worked with bloggers like 2wired2tired to create narratives about packing boxes for their programs. The stories were first hand accounts of bloggers teaching their own children about social good and the needs of others around the world by packaging boxes for social good. The stories are personal and heartfelt blog posts that drive readers back to the Operation Christmas Child website where they can also begin the process of packing a box for charity.

Storytelling works because it is the natural way that people communicate. When you hear a heartfelt story about a personal experience shopping for the holidays, read about a recipe that someone created, or learn how someone taught their child to care for others, you feel an emotional connection with the writer. Brands that join the conversation and tell stories that mean something to the reader become more relatable. When consumers connect with a brand, they buy their products. Nothing connects consumers to a brand like a good story.

Editor’s Note:  Want to hear more from Jennifer Beaupre? Be sure to come hear her speak at BusinessNext Social, collocated with NMX, this coming January! She’ll be interviewed along with Sam Fiorella of Sesei Marketing in a session titled, “A Look Into The Future Of Influence Marketing.” Register today!

Jennifer Beaupre is the head of marketing at BlogFrog and is responsible for directing strategy and execution of marketing campaigns, social media, public relations, content and lead generation, and branding. She is a yoga enthusiast, snowboarder and loves to travel. Beaupre is a blogger, content contributor, and speaker at industry events and conferences.


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