Social Media is Key Component of Back-to-School Marketing Supply List

More retailers are turning to social media as part of their back-to-school marketing campaigns, according to Jupiter Research. From Facebook to widgets, from virtual worlds to online video, retailers are targeting youth, who may not share the same feelings as their parents about a tough economy.

“The back-to-school season has grown in importance for retailers and leads into the all important fourth quarter sales period,” explained Patti Freeman Evans, Research Director and Online Retail Analyst at JupiterResearch. “With the shaky economy expected to impact the amount of money consumers spend on back-to-school shopping, retailers are using social media to capture the attention of younger consumers.”

Examples of social media back-to-school implementation are JC Penny and Sears. Both retailers used integrated marketing campaigns, using tv ads to drive youth online where they can view tips on getting the same looks seen in the campaigns.

To promote its two new clothing lines, department store J.C.Penney created an online game called "DorkDodge" in which a girl has to navigate through a number of undesirable boyfriends to find her dream date. The retailer also launched an integrated marketing campaign showing teens how they can “get that look” with an array of clothing brands sold at J.C.Penney stores, featuring the theme of “The Breakfast Club.”

According to David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch, “Retailers experimenting with Web 2.0 experiences will largely find benefit from them in the form of branding and awareness building rather than direct sales as social media has shown little direct impact on actual online retail sales.”

What do you think of using social media in your seasonal campaigns? Let us know in the comments.

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About the author

Nathania was a Search Engine Watch news correspondent from 2008 to 2010. Before that, she held positions as Senior Editor at Bold Interactive and Search Marketing Copywriter at Fortune Interactive.