How to Brand and Instagram According to Sock Club

    January 24 2017

    Take one look at Sock Club's Instagram, and you'll see that they know what they're doing! Whether they're running a contest, engaging with their followers, or posting quality content, Sock Club is a brand that you should be following on social media. We sat down with Melissa Huisman, Sock Club's Creative Brand Manager, to learn more about their branding process and how they continue to grow every day.

    Hi, Melissa! We love Sock Club's Instagram. You do a fabulous job making socks look really cool, fun, and desirable. How do you decide on what content to create and post?

    Thank you! That means so much coming from the PLANOLY team because you absolutely slay the IG game! I must admit, making something as simple as socks look interesting and fresh day-in and day-out is no easy task. Some days, it does get boring and I think to myself "what more could I possibly say about socks today that anyone would care about?". Early on, I had to look at the brand, the product, and our content challenge and had to think beyond the obvious. There are only so many ways that you can show the same types of socks over and over before people tune out. I realized that I needed to rely heavily on clever copywriting and stunning imagery to make the content truly compelling. Because we have a new product that releases every single month, there are some natural content cycles that are consistent. Thankfully, featuring a new sock design each month keeps the content looking fresh. I also look at the world around me and try to bridge the gap between socks and current events by combining words + pictures creatively. Unlike any other social media work I've done in the past, creating content for Sock Club has required me to get really smart with my art direction and copywriting in an effort to make a product as basic as socks seem interesting.

    "I needed to rely heavily on clever copywriting
    & stunning imagery to make content truly compelling."

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    How to Brand and Instagram According to Sock Club - PLANOLY Blog 2

    How does social media play a part in growing and marketing Sock Club? What kind of social media strategies do you use for popularizing your brand?

    Social media has been instrumental in Sock Club's growth! At our core, we're an E-commerce, direct-to-consumer business, and without the internet, we couldn't exist. Social media is a huge piece of the puzzle, and it's the way we connect with our consumers directly. We also get to display our brand's personality through social media, humanizing the brand. There are a few core values that shape our social media strategy: 1. Visual + message continuity: A great brand practice is a promise to our consumers that they know what they're going to get from us at every turn. We aim to follow-through on the promise of our brand with every bit of content we create, only publishing imagery and messaging that are true to our brand. 2. Transparency in brand voice: We're all humans here, just trying to connect with other humans. At the end of the day, nobody will care about your content if it feels sterile and robotic. We aim to transparently and authentically represent the ins and outs of running our business. 3. Commitment to community-building: Social Media was created to connect people to other people. We believe that social media should remain social, however, beyond publishing content and expecting people to engage, we should also be in a community with our followers, engaging with them as they engage with us. It's a two-way street, and even though we're representing a brand, there's room for us to connect on a human level.

    "Social media is a huge piece of the puzzle & it's the way we connect with our consumers directly."
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    How to Brand and Instagram According to Sock Club - PLANOLY Blog 3

    Describe your Sock Club customer. Who are you primarily speaking to when telling your brand story and how do you connect with your customers to build authentic relationships and keep them coming back?

    You know, it's funny --everyone loves socks! We have found that so many people get jazzed about a pair of socks, and can relate to our brand. That being said, we have zeroed in on gift-givers. In our market research, we've found that more often than not, people are purchasing Sock Club subscriptions as gifts for loved ones. So in a sense, we speak to the purchasers of gifts. We also speak to the recipients who will prompt their loved ones, tagging them on social media as a gentle "this is what I want for my birthday" hint. We primarily connect with our customers within our social media community and through our customer support channels. By regularly and consistently engaging with our followers on social media, we build real relationships and set the expectation that we're an engaged brand. We also work very hard to provide excellent customer service at every turn. There have been many instances where we have turned a frustrated customer into a raving brand evangelist simply by the way we treated them in providing excellent customer service.

    What advice do you have for others who are pioneering a brand?

    Hang in there. Starting something new is never easy, but it takes serious courage. If you stick with it, show up, and do your part day-in and day-out while staying true to your values, you'll see the fruit of your labor. Building a brand is not an overnight process, and there are really no shortcuts. There are absolutely helpful tools and strategies that can be employed to spread growth (Heyyyy PLANOLY!), but at the end of the day, pioneering is hard work that happens over time. Building trust with real living, breathing, emotional human beings take time, no matter how sharp or appealing the brand.

    "By consistently engaging with our followers on social media, we build real relationships & set the expectation that we're an engaged brand."
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