Photo: Business Insider / Matthew Lynley
It’s hard to predict how your company will grow when social channels are involved.That’s what a bunch of the hottest entrepreneurs in social commerce learned while running their companies. They all used social channels — like social media and blogs — to grow their companies.
Three top entrepreneurs — and one executive from Walmart — joined Business Insider at the Social Commerce Summit in New York.
Here’s what they had to say:
Katia Beachamp, co-founder of Birchbox:
- We had a list of bloggers we intended to reach out to, that’s really what kicked things off. When we sent out the first few boxes, it just went crazy. It was totally organic growth.
- Facebook has been incredibly powerful, but YouTube was eye-opening. Birchbox creates its own content — people were creating videos and showing what a Birchbox was. It’s an authentic conversation about product.
- Pinterest, my goodness, shocks us. I wouldn’t say it’s taking over, but it’s getting more and more traction. It’s a beautiful, the audience is really responsive. They’re seeking a beautiful experience, but they’re in the mindset of shopping.
Chris Bolte, VP of Demand Generation:
- We could see where products where spiking — in regions and states, whether there was negative or positive sentiment. Then we can tweak supply to those stores, relay that to managers and it closes the curve with supply and demand.
- We’re searching for the next great product with the Get Off The Shelf product. We allow anyone to submit a product and a video of the product, and the users vote on that. We engage small businesses to get products into our pipeline and give our consumers a vote in what we should be carrying. It’s really been on fire lately.
Brian Lee, co-founder of ShoeDazzle:
- We wanted to focus on getting Kim Kardashian, specifically. When we first started with her, her tweets would have a lot of traction, but after a few dozen tweets, we already acquired almost all her fans.
- Every month or two we have a new celebrity come in and design our shoe for us. We get a new celebrity to design a shoe and get all her fans to come join.
- For us it was absolutely Facebook, no question. We were hovering around 250,000 fans until we really integrated Facebook. Once we allowed women to connect with us, we gave them access to their own online showrooms but any other customers.
Jason Ross, co-founder of Jackthreads:
- Any time Thrillist wrote about our brand, their readers were signing up for our site. They created a trusted editorial voice for their audience. We joined forces with them in 2010.
- Facebook and Twitter have been the key ways we engage with users. Pinterest is something we’re really taking interest in due to the traction in web traction. We use it to have an open dialogue with our customers.