Brands too often use social media as a broadcasting channel but it is listening that pays dividends when building a community according to Threadless’ head marketer, Todd Lido.
Lido, who will be in Melbourne next month for the ecommerce Conference and Expo, is the chief marketing officer of the US-based Threadless.
With more than 800,000 fans on Facebook and 2.2 million Twitter followers, Threadless is a retailer with a twist.
From a humble beginning, it was launched in 2000 by two friends and $500, it is now a robust community which positions itself as an online hub for up-and-coming artists and a place where consumers can show their support of independent art.
Lido, who is in charge of leading the platform’s strategy for community building and engagement, said a common mistake is not paying enough attention to the conversations that happen organically in a brand’s community.
“About half of the people who mention Threadless on Twitter, don’t even follow @threadless. So we try and to go out and find those users since they aren’t speaking directly to us,” Lido told B&T.
“If you want to be part of the conversations that are happening organically, authenticity is critical.
“Your communications should feel natural and like they are coming from a real person. If your ‘brand voice’ doesn’t allow for that I think it’s a real problem.”
Lido described Threadless’ ‘brand tone’ as “relatable and authentic”.
“We want to reflect who we are and who the community is. So for us, we try to keep it informal and fun-loving but convey a sense of awe about the great art around us all the time.”
Understanding a brand’s community is integral for success, according to Lido who believes “brands are more a reflection of the community’s values than anything else”.
When he is searching for inspiration he turns to the community to find something that “lives up to the expectations for our brand that our audience is already projecting”.
Threadless’ community management strategy aims to inspire creativity and individuality while keeping Threadless fun.
Lido said the strategy is part managing a community of artists by engaging them through competitions and encouraging feedback while making connections between the artists and the half of the community that supports them.
“We really want to keep a focus on the idea that when you buy from Threadless, you are supporting independent artists.”
Lido will be in Australia next month for Melbourne’s ecommerce Conference and Expo.
He will discuss how community participation informs business decisions, go into detail about the Threadless content marketing strategy and talk about balancing marketing strategy with community and ecommerce goals.