Saturday, May 1, 2010

Levi Strauss Exec: Why We Created the Friends Store with Facebook


Perfect timing!  We're discussing Facebook and other social networks this Wednesday


When Facebook announced its new social plug-ins, Levi Strauss & Co. was one of the more unusual launch partners. The company has remade its Website to let people shop the traditional way or in a new “Friends Store” where they can choose products that they like and share the information with their Facebook friends.
I wanted to learn more, so I got in touch with Megan O’Connor, director of digital and social marketing for the apparel company. She and I also spoke on a panel at ad:tech San Francisco, where she detailed how Levi Strauss integrated Facebook into its annual sponsorship of the Levi’s Fader Fort at the SXSW music conference.
eMarketer: Why did Levi Strauss team up with Facebook for this?
Megan O’Connor: We were so excited be the only apparel company to launch the social plug-in with Facebook. We feel that this experience will truly revolutionize the way our consumer shops for jeans online.
eMarketer: What do you hope to get out of it in terms of traffic, new users, likes, etc.?
Ms. O’Connor: We’re hoping to empower the people who love our jeans to find and share their experiences with friends.
eMarketer: What does the Open Graph mean for marketers? What is the biggest value of having a socially open Web?
Ms. O’Connor: The open graph puts even more control in the hands of the consumer. By allowing our shoppers to publicly “like” their products, they are influencing the current product and future product assortment. Additionally, it makes shopping more fun. Imagine shopping for your back to school jeans with your best friend who lives 2,000 miles away. [Note: The privacy aspects of this feature are still being debated.]
eMarketer: How might your Facebook integration evolve?
Ms. O’Connor: The great thing about social media is that everything changes quickly. We’re excited to constantly innovate and apply our learnings to the next project.  I think this is only the beginning of exciting innovations you’re going to see on Levi.com.
eMarketer: Tell me about the advertising you’ll be doing on Facebook.
Ms. O’Connor: Of course as part of our social media strategies, we advertise on Facebook. In fact, we had a very successful program last month promoting the Levi’s Fader Fort, which brought an offline concert to thousands of people online, matching their interests where they are.  We’re going to continue to be innovative in our digital marketing so we can have authentic conversations with our consumers.
Posted: April 28, 2010. Filed under: Advertising, Brands, Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Word of Mouth