As new trends in social media emerge, it seems that every company has its own way of embracing the Internet as a way to advertise and connect with customers. While many companies have found great strategies, some do stand out, including American Eagle. AE, a popular clothing brand, uses various sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage customers.
Starting with the basics, AE established a large following on both Twitter and Facebook using incentives such as coupons and sale announcements. While many retailers have gone this far, AE has taken social media a step further with increased interactivity. Through Twitter, @american_eagle is quite active, responding to various tweets regarding AE stores, as well as asking questions of customers, commenting on suggestions and complaints, and encouraging customers to return to shop more often. This added effort to make shopping more personal makes a huge difference in the eyes of consumers who repeatedly tweet @american_eagle about the great deals they found and other positive experiences.
In order to keep up with the newest trends, AE has also found great use in photo-sharing service Instagram. For a clothing retailer, sharing photos is a fantastic way to keep customers up to date on the latest fashions. Browsing through AE’s Instagram feed right now, for example, you will find previews of next season’s clothes, including future store displays and behind-the-scenes pictures from photo shoots showing models wearing the newest lines. AE also took advantage of live photo sharing on New Year’s Eve, posting numerous pictures taken from their Times Square location of the crowds and performers. The retailer even posted fans’ tweets on its large electronic billboard overlooking Times Square.
Outside advertising their clothes, AE also connects to customers with its blog. The “Tweets of the Week” post is great for showing appreciation for customers, as well as “Where Has Your AE Been,” a collection of customer-submitted photos showing fans dressed in AE fashion around the world. Additionally, AE connects to customers through music, suggesting various artists and new songs with some back-story on the song’s meaning.
Ultimately, American Eagle manages to embrace social media by offering specials and commentary and appreciating its customers. AE is certainly not the only one, as many other retailers and various brands slowly establish their own strategies in the ever-growing social media industry. AE has certainly set an example, however, showing that simplicity and user engagement are key.