Gilt's Susan Lyne: Selling On Facebook 'Was Like Trying To Sell Something At A Bar'

susan lyne giltSusan Lyne, Gilt Groupe Chairman.

While speaking at Business Insider’s Social Media ROI Conference Thursday, Gilt Groupe chairman Susan Lyne broke down what social media works for the flash sale site … and what doesn’t.While Gilt dabbled in Facebook commerce in 2011, the company ended up closing its stores.

“One of my friends said that it was like trying to sell something at a bar,” Lyne said.

But the site, which is social in nature given that it was founded on the idea of friends inviting friends, has also found great social media successes.

“For every one of our businesses, there’s a social media platform that’s better for that business,” Lyne said.

Jetsetter, Gilt’s travel flash sale site, has a handle on Pinterest, Lyne’s own admitted obsession.

Jetsetter is huge on Pinterest,” she said. “I think they might have more followers than any other brand.”

The photo-sharing site is a natural fit for the travel platform. Jetsetter asked people to pin boards of their ideal vacations in various giveaways, and celebrity judges would pick winners and send them on incredible vacations. These initiatives inspired 700,000 pins and boosted Jetsetter’s traffic by 150 per cent.

On the other hand, Lyne said that “for Gilt City, we find Twitter is much more effective.”

If a consumer Tweets #GoldenTweet after making a purchase, then he or she has a good shot of getting reimbursed for that service. Every 100 golden tweets gets its money back.

Gilt City has also found great use for Instagram (and Facebook) for its “Love Your City More” contest, asking people to post pictures that show what makes their city great.

These social campaigns are primarily created in-house as opposed to being created by agencies.

“Social is a small amount of our marketing budget,” Lyne said, “But we’re increasing all the time.”

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