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Macy?s ramps up charity-themed social campaign ahead of Mother?s Day

In anticipation of Mother's Day, Macy?s is asking consumers to upload their favorite motherly moments onto Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, with the brand donating money to a charity for each post, showing how social continues to gain steam for promoting cause-marketing efforts. 

Macy?s will donate $3 per each mom-themed memory or picture uploaded onto social media accounts using the #MacysLovesMoms hashtag to one of five pre-approved charities. The brand hopes the campaign will remind consumers of its many gift-appropriate products ahead of the national holiday, a strategy that could offer that extra push for individuals who have waited until last minute to purchase presents for their mothers.

?We wanted to launch a fun program for Mother's Day that would engage consumers and offer them an opportunity to give back,? said Holly Thomas, group vice president, media relations and cause marketing at Macy's, New York. ?We know that our customer loves posting ?throwback? photos on social channels, and thought #MacysLovesMoms would be a great way to get everyone involved in the cause this year.?

Spotlight on moms
By asking consumers to place a spotlight on their mothers this week, Macy?s is ensuring that all individuals will remember to purchase a gift before Mother?s Day on Sunday, May 10. This serves as an excellent branding opportunity, as well as one to remind consumers of the brand?s commitment to upholding corporate social responsibility.

?One of the key contributing factors to taking a campaign viral is that the social voice is aggregated and visible,? said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York. ?When consumers click on a hashtag and see an endless stream of new posts it encourages them to join in on the conversation.

?A fragmented hashtag divides the social voice?diminishing the momentum of the campaign,? she said. ?Macy?s is taking the time interact with consumers who are participating in the campaign on Twitter?commenting on their photos and replying to their tweets.

?Interacting with consumers on social media not only ads a personal touch to the Macy?s campaign but it also encourages further social sharing for the brand.?

The Thank-A-Mom campaign, which is now in its fifth year, encourages social media users to post their favorite motherly memories or throwback photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook via the designated #MacysLovesMoms hashtag.

Macy?s plans to donate $3 per each moment shared to several mom-oriented charities, including  Futures Without Violence, Go Red For Women, Reading Is Fundamental, National Park Foundation and Make-A-Wish.

Up to $400,000 will be donated.

Driving brand awareness
For consumers who may be feeling clueless as to the perfect gift for their mothers, Macy?s is hoping to drive awareness of its Macy?s By Appointment service, which is a customized personal shopping experience.

Consumers who partake in the service are not required to purchase anything, and will enjoy the expertise of Macy?s associates as they work together with the customer to locate the perfect items. Booking an appointment for a mother who deserves the experience may be an excellent pampering option.

Booking options are currently not available via mobile.

?Virtually every retailer capitalizes on holidays to promote their goods,? Ms. Lowy said. ?Consumers are already thinking about what gifts they should get for Mother?s Day, making it an auspicious time to promote to them.

?Furthermore, the campaign communicates to the Mothers who shop at Macy?s that the brand values their hard work.?

Individuals who prefer to have concrete gifts waiting at their Mother?s Day celebrations can also peruse for bullets of inspiration.

Gift-givers who prefer to shop in-store may leverage Macy?s mobile application to find additional deals and locate items quickly.

A Macy?s executive at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2015 discussed how the retailer?s marketing and technology departments work closely together, enabling it to bring innovations such as visual search to market while making the organization more comfortable with testing new solutions that may not be perfect yet (see story).

Ultimately, tapping social media as the driving marketing force behind Mother?s Day is a smart tactic, as many users will be feeling sentimental and will likely already be posting throwback photos and trading gift ideas.

?Our mobile strategy is a core component of our business,? Macy?s Ms. Thomas said. ?As much as customers are browsing products and buying in store - they are also using their phones to research and purchase everything from clothes to home goods.

?As we continue with our omnichannel approach at Macy's, engaging consumers on mobile through various experiences will continue to be a priority.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York