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Jack Rogers slings summer excitement to Instagram for countdown-themed giveaway

Women?s shoe designer Jack Rogers ramped up excitement for summer, a big sales season for the brand known for its classic sandals, by leveraging a countdown-themed giveaway on Instagram that offered users a chance to win one pair of its most popular styles each day, proving that social media-enabled contests are still potent with consumers.

The brand took advantage of the retail hype surrounding Memorial Day weekend by giving away a pair of sandals each day on the week leading up to May 25, tapping the holiday as the unofficial start of summer and getting consumers excited about breaking out their warm weather footwear. Jack Rogers has recently been ramping up its customer outreach on social media, with a slew of flash sales and designated hashtags for users to share their branded style moments.

?According to research from Forrester, 87 percent of Instagram users are under the age of 35 and 55 percent are female,? said Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners, Boston, MA. ?Jack Rogers? lines of sandals specifically for college and sorority colors are a perfect fit for the younger female demographics of Instagram.

?Leveraging Instagram for the countdown to summer giveaway will create excitement among Jack Rogers? customers and should inspire social shopping,? he said. ?Jack Rogers is also promoting this campaign on Facebook, however, extending the promotion to its Web site and other the social media platforms may help create greater participation from its customer base, especially anyone that is not an active Instagram user.

?Another added benefit for Jack Rogers would be to direct customers where to buy their product, as this is not simply an ecommerce play but also a bricks-and-mortar play."

Summer-themed giveaway
The brand, which has over 100,000 followers on Instagram, engaged in a social media blitz last week to promote the giveaway, as well as its Memorial Day sales taking place in-store and online. Beginning last Monday, it posted a daily photo of one of its classic-style sandals that consumers had the opportunity to win, with instructions to visit its profile for a link to enter.

After customers clicked the link, they were taken to a microsite where they needed to input their email to enter the giveaway and subscribe to the newsletter, if they wished. Quick links to Jack Rogers? other social media pages were also available, displaying the brand?s desire to place a higher focus on social channels.

After users entered with their email, they also received additional entries for referring a friend to the contest.

Consumers are also asked to upload photos of themselves wearing their Jack Rogers shoes onto Instagram using the #lovemyjacks hashtag. The brand occasionally selects random users? photos to repost on its own account, which offers a personal touch to its marketing efforts and also provides exposure for the lucky customer.

However, some experts believe the brand would be better off showcasing original imagery on Instagram to catch users? interest.

?A classic example of great Instagram use by a brand is Mercedes-Benz,? said James McNally, director of business development, Fuzz Productions, Brooklyn, NY. ?Looking through their feed shows posts that are well-composed and have true artistic merit. 

?Producing content like that is quite difficult - however, it looks like Jack Rogers has repurposed basic catalog imagery for this campaign. Seeing catalog content on Instagram is a major turnoff for most people - a certain degree of artistic value is the price of relevancy on that platform - which is difficult for brands to understand and achieve.?

Jack Rogers also offers monogram and custom sandals in addition to its other items, and may be found in department stores such as Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor, as well as a flagship store in New York City.

Flash sales on social
The brand has also been leveraging Instagram and its mobile-optimized Web site for a slew of flash sales this year (see story). Typical posts showcase a pair of shoes with the hashtags #FlashSale and #lovemyjacks, alongside the promotion.

Those who are interested in purchasing the sale items may also visit the link in its Instagram profile to shop, proving that the social media application continues to become an avenue for driving sales. 

With the popularity of mobile-equipped solutions such as Like2Buy, an increasing amount of brands are making their Instagram posts shoppable to ensure that users receive easy access to the products and do not have to waste time searching or sorting through items on the Web site.

It is a smart tactic for shoe brands, among other retail-oriented marketers, to tap upcoming holidays or seasons to drive awareness on social media and forge personal connections with customers.

?Social media is a great vehicle to promote contests,? Boston Retail Partners? Mr. Morris said. ?Instagram is the most popular network for sharing images and is a great forum to promote products that are visually appealing like Jack Rogers sandals.

 ?Industry research indicates that Instagram posts generate 100 times more engagement per follower than Twitter and 50 times more than Facebook,? he said. ?In addition to promotions on Instagram, Jack Rogers should consider other image related social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr and Snapchat.

?They should also consider linking to the Web sites of their wholesale vendors."

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