How Sea Bags Leverages UGC to Build Engagement with the help of ZoomphJuly 30, 2015
Keeping a tab on what your customers are saying about you is extremely crucial for building a lasting customer relationship. When customers see that you as a brand care for them – there is an instant connection. And this, most likely converts into brand loyalty in the future.
This is the kind of connection Sea Bags, a company that handcrafts handbags and accessories from recycled sails, strives to have with its customers.
Having made a quiet entry into the world of social media in 2009, the company today boasts of a social media following only few companies their size can boast of. The secret – User-Generated Content (UGC) – keeping a close ear to the ground and listening to what customers are talking about.
Let’s hear it from Laura Hnatow, Director of Marketing and Ecommerce at Sea Bags to learn about how Zoomph’s sound social listening tools guide the company to engage its users in a personalized brand story.
Q: We hear that all Sea Bags are hand made from recycled sails. Tell us a little more about the Sea Bags story. When did it all start and how?
Laura – Originally founded by Hannah Kubiak on Custom House Wharf in Portland, Maine, Sea Bags is built around three cornerstones: keeping production local, green in product and practice, and being involved in the community. Every bag is handcrafted from recycled sails on the working waterfront in Portland, Maine, USA. Since Sea Bags started in 1999, we estimate that we’ve saved over 500 tons of sails from the landfill. In doing this, we’ve given these sails that have soaked up the sun, salt, smiles and adventure a second life as useful accessories.
Q: How relevant do you think social media is for an organization like yours? How has it helped you enhance visibility for the Sea Bags brand?
Laura – Our presence on social media is largely attributed to our loyal customers and fans. Our fans post a photo of their Sea Bag in an exotic location, carrying a baby or puppy, climbing a mountain or visiting the Eiffel Tower. We called them Sea Bag Sightings and started a hashtag campaign, #SeaBagSighting. One of our customers even created an Instagram account dedicated to sharing photos of their Sea Bags on various adventures and travel they do.
Q: What role do you think user-generated content has played in your social media strategy? How are you using it?
Laura – Because our social media engagement is so high, user-generated content is a key component of our social media strategy. We know fans love seeing which Sea Bags are popular, how other customers are using and wearing our bags, therefore, we love having the ability to feature them on our website using Zoomph. One of the ways this has been evidenced is in our custom line of products. When a customer orders a custom Sea Bag, it’s the only one of its kind and you’re not likely to find it on our website otherwise. Using our hashtag #customseabag, customers can share images of their custom creation and it becomes a way for our audience to see unique custom Sea Bag design ideas.
Q. What motivated you to start using Zoomph?
Laura – We needed a social curation tool and Zoomph was recommended to me at the same time I was evaluating a competitor. Zoomph’s pricing was favorable and the features matched our needs. I was also impressed with the story of how the company got started.
Q. What are your favorite features from the platform?
Laura – Our favorite Zoomph feature is the curation of user-generated content on our website. The layout is perfect and it gives all of our customers a chance to see the conversation that’s happening on our other channels.
Q. How has it benefitted your social engagement? (Increase in following, influencer engagement / better engagement with influencers?)
Laura – We know it is important to reinforce our relationship with loyal Sea Bags fans, and so through Zoomph we’ve been able to reach out to them and say, “Hey, you are being featured on our website!” They love it and we do, too.
Q. Besides Marketing, which other department/s within your organization benefit from social media insights? How?
Laura – From customer service representatives to our senior management team, having the ability to look at Seabags.com and see what our customers are talking about has expanded the two-way conversation with our customers. We are able to monitor the authentic responses to designs and how customers are using our products and incorporate this feedback into our future product. We are really very happy with Zoomph.
As you can see, successful marketing campaigns are not just about fleshing out creative marketing materials they require careful listening and smart analysis of the data that your followers are generating.
At Zoomph, we believe that you should not have to break the bank to make your customers feel loved. That’s why we have the most competitive prices for our plans to help you keep a tab on your audiences’ interests and steer your marketing strategy in the right direction.
Sign up for a Zoomph demo to get a head start into some useful insights and analytics for your brand. You will be surprised to learn about the opportunities that are out there for you to take your customer experience to the next level!