Facebook has been in the news a lot recently, connected to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but not until now has it been revealed how greeting card and gift companies are putting the social media channel to good use to promote their respective businesses.
Facebook is currently the industry’s most popular social media channel – used by 71% of companies in the card and gift trade. However, Charlotte Biggs, founder of the Card & Gift Network (an online hub for the greeting card and giftware trade),who undertook the survey has come to the conclusion that there is more to be gained. “There’s still lots of potential on the Facebook platform. Many greetings and giftware companies can reach more people and can promote themselves and their products more often.”
This focused study of how greetings and giftware businesses are using Facebook is one in a series of focused studies that follow on from Charlotte’s previously published research on How Card & Gift Companies Promote Online
Analysing data from 500 companies Charlotte discovered that a very high number of companies had created informative Facebook pages for their business.
* 99% used cover photos and descriptions.
* 98% had branded their page with a username.
* 99% had linked to their website.
There was also good signs that card and gift companies were being sociable on the platform, with 68% liking 10+ other Facebook pages.
Similarly, the statistics were impressively high when Charlotte looked at how queries were dealt with 89% having responded frequently to fans and 95% were responding quickly.
In calculating all of the findings one particular statistic stood out for Charlotte – 65% were posting video content.
“I was delighted to see that almost two-thirds of the card and gift brands I reviewed were using videos in their Facebook marketing. Video is still a fairly new marketing tactic (compared to channels like email), but it’s becoming increasingly important in online marketing,” commented Charlotte, adding that it is “great to see such a high number of our industry embracing the technology and shows just how innovative our designers, makers and retailers can be.”
However, it would appear that there is room for improvement in sustaining interest through more regular postings and looking to expand followers.
* 52% of companies had less that 1,000 likes, which suggests that their reach on Facebook is limited.
* 55% of businesses are averaging less than one post per day, and another 45% are posting just under once a week.
The research also showed that 41% of card and gift companies needed to engage more with existing and potential followers.
Summing up the findings Charlotte said, “I think the research shows some positive signs; indicating that a large group of our industry have got the basics of Facebook covered; they’re informative and generally delivering good customer service. The stats also show that there’s still lots of potential in the Facebook platform. Many greetings and giftware companies can reach more people and can promote themselves and their products more often.”
Following on from this Facebook research Charlotte now has plans to look at how the industry is using other social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram. She will also be delving into additional marketing channels, including email marketing and paid advertising.
Card & Gift Network is an online platform supporting and showcasing the greeting card and giftware industry. The site was founded by Charlotte Biggs in 2009, having previously worked for a greeting card and giftware publisher for six years. For the last eight years she has been helping card and gift businesses to promote themselves and sell more online.