Facebook is quickly becoming one of the best ways for businesses in the optical industry to market themselves.
Boasting over 500 million users and having recently attained the status of the second most-trafficked Web site (after Google), Facebook has long surpassed its beginnings as a college-based social networking tool. It’s no wonder that so many businesses are reducing or altogether abandoning traditional forms of marketing in favor of social media.
Given that people are spending more time on Facebook (the average user spends a total of seven hours a month on the site—more than Google, Yahoo, and YouTube combined!) the corporate response has been a rapid shift in commercial marketing strategy.
Here are seven retailers in the optical industry that demonstrate innovative and effective strategies with their Facebook pages, making them stand out from the crowd.
Nearing 3,000 “Likes” at press time, the Transitions® lenses Facebook page provides fans with a virtual playground of information, entertainment, and charitable opportunities, creating a truly social atmosphere where fans can go to learn and interact. In fact, a significant portion of the company’s posts come from other service providers who tag Transitions Optical in a comment, or consumers who are sharing rave reviews, asking questions, or responding to a post. True to best practices for customer service, Transitions Optical responds to all of them.
With a focus on social interaction between company representatives and the public, Maui Jim’s Facebook profile had obtained nearly 20,000 “Likes” as of press time. The sunwear company’s wall is active with both employees and customers posting comments and photos of themselves wearing their favorite Maui Jim sunglasses. Maui Jim effectively utilizes its page as a place to stay connected with consumers and to update them about their products and company advancements. The page is also a quick way for customers to post questions regarding repairs and customer service.
In addition to utilizing Facebook as a way to encourage fans to enter contests, Maui Jim employs the “Invite Friends” tool, which undoubtedly keeps the “Likes” coming in droves.
Right off the bat, CooperVision greets its Facebook fans with a crisp welcome page that includes a short introduction about the company and a “What’s New” box for the up-to-the-minute scoop. Holding the interest of nearly 1,000 fans (at press time) with multimedia features and engaging posts, the page supports the company’s branding as a leading manufacturer of contact lenses by promoting its products, providing useful information, and presenting fans with plenty of opportunities to receive discounts and even win products. CooperVision has deftly created a contest encouraging goodwill by linking fan participation in its charitable cause to contest entry.
CooperVision also has a Facebook page that’s geared to the professional optical audience: facebook.com/coopervisionecp.
Primarily utilized for maintaining close relationships with other industry professionals and clients, Santinelli International extends the “family” feel of its business by posting relevant news, product information, and specials on its Facebook page. By including pictures of executives and staff at work and at special events, Santinelli International gives fans a true inside look at the company and its players.
The company’s Web site includes a “Find us on Facebook” button, which is a great way for any business to help build its fan base. It may be simple in nature, but Santinelli’s Facebook page shows a high level of fan interaction—a true sign of personal and social experience for fans.
Garner a reaction from your target audience which is something Ray-Ban® knows how to do. Having announced in July that its Facebook page had reached the benchmark of a million likes, Luxottica’s Ray-Ban continues to draw fans to its page (well over 1.5 million at press time). Edgy video and musical entertainment helps the company use Facebook for publicizing its holistic advertising campaign, including its unique Web film and video campaign, “Never Hide.” The page has become an international forum for feedback, nearly all positive, about the brand. The vast majority of posts reap almost 100 comments and several hundred likes.
With more than 335,000 fans at press time, Oakley’s Facebook wall is plastered with comments and pictures from loyal fans. In addition to a number of its own photo albums, fans have posted thousands of shots of themselves modeling and displaying Oakley products. The page offers plenty of media to entertain its active, sporty fan base. In addition to a tab featuring videos, the Legion of Oakley tab enables users to write their own comics about a favorite athlete. The Oakley Rebels tab highlights a video from the company’s “Oakley Rebel” campaign. The content on Oakley’s Facebook page is largely kept in motion by engaged and loyal customers the world over.
Presenting a unique Facebook page that appeals to both teens and their parents, ACUVUE, by VISTAKON, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., succeeds in keeping its more than 60,000 fans engaged by writing frequent posts, often opening up dialogue. The content includes catchy questions, special offers, and contests, as well as product-related information. ACUVUE’s page also features tabs including Just for Teens and For Parents, offering age-appropriate games and interactive features about contacts and parent-child relationships. The company also has a Dealmaker application that provides children with tools to make presentations to their parents to convince them that it’s time to talk with their eyecare professional about a switch to contacts.
With more than 500 million users, Facebook (and other social media) will continue to become a crucial part of the way people communicate and become informed. As they do, smart manufacturers and retail optical offices who want to grow their businesses will need to join the trend.
|APPS, TABS, AND CAUSES While the programming potential for a Facebook page is limitless (see facebook.com/cocacola or facebook.com/redbull for impressive examples), even simple pages can effectively use the basic Facebook structure to provide useful and interesting tools for their fans. Businesses that take advantage of the functionality of the pages add tabs that enhance the user experience including events, coupons, photos, videos, or useful links. Special apps, such as games or interactive tools, provide a practical reason to visit the page, increasing its worth and inviting a larger fan base.
People like to help others, particularly when it is easy for them. An especially effective trend on Facebook is for businesses to support causes or charities, allowing fans to feel like they are contributing to the greater good by “liking” a page.
Daniel Rostenne is an optometric expert on Web marketing and serves as the CEO of Eyecarepro.net.
WHERE TO FIND IT
800-341-2020 • coopervision.com
800-422-2020 • luxottica.com
Maui Jim, Inc.
888-MAUI JIM • mauijim.com
800-733-6255 • oakley.com
Santinelli International, Inc.
800-644-3343 • santinelli.com
Transitions Optical, Inc.
800-848-1506 • transitions.com
Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
800-843-2020 • jnjvisioncare.com