For those who aren’t aware, Twitter is one of the biggest social media websites in the world. Boasting over 500 million registered users, Twitter currently ranks as the fifth largest virtual community on the planet. What sets Twitter apart from its digital peers is its format: instead of writing blog posts or even half-paragraph “status updates,” Twitter users communicate with the world via bite-sized “Tweets” that are capped at 140 characters. (This paragraph is already three times too long for Twitter.) The popularity of Twitter is hardly news, but recently, fashion designer Marc Jacobs experimented with using the website as a substitute for payment.
Pop-Up Shop Powered By… Tweets?
Since the late eighties, Marc Jacobs has been a household name to countless fashion enthusiasts. Offering bags, jewelry, suits, pants, shoes, shirts, dresses, perfumes, colognes, and sunglasses to men, women, and children in retail locations spanning from L.A. to Dubai to Tokyo, the Marc Jacobs brand name is all but inescapable. But after more than 20 years outfitting fashionistas around the globe in exchange for good old-fashioned money, Jacobs launched a two-day experiment with an ultra-modern bartering system: accepting Tweets as payment.
During the weekend of February 7-9, Jacobs opened a temporary “pop-up shop,” located at 462 West Broadway in Manhattan’s exclusive SoHo neighborhood. The shop was open daily from 11 AM-7 PM, and offered items like perfume and necklaces to customers — for free.
Well, almost for free. Patrons of the store were pardoned from traditional payment on one condition: that they “pay” by posting to Twitter, Instagram, or other major social media venues. In honor of Jacob’s “Daisy” fragrance, shoppers were invited to hop on the “daisy chain” by tagging their Tweets with the hashtag #mjdaisychain. A flurry of Tweets bombared the Twittersphere as elated shoppers described their experiences, making comments like:
thx @marcjacobsintl for having us spin the #mjdaisychain pop up last night! excited to play @finalenyc tonight }:)
At the Marc Jacobs pop-up tweet shop on Broadway! Such a great idea! #MJDaisyChain #NYC #marcjacobs
Shopping meets social media currency. Brilliant. #mjdaisychain
How Much is Social Media Worth to Businesses?
The qualitative value of Jacobs’ novel marketing ploy is obvious: it generates buzz and publicity for the company, while simultaneously reinforcing brand loyalty and positive association by rewarding customers with free goodies. But what about the quantitative value? How much is social media really worth to businesses?
The simple answer is that no one is exactly sure. Because social media is inherently linked to constantly changing technology, and because web communities like Twitter and Instagram are part of a brand new industry — there wasn’t exactly a Facebook page for the shoe-cobbler working in the sixteenth century — there aren’t centuries or even decades of knowledge and analysis to draw upon.
That’s not to say a hard analysis of social media’s dollar value hasn’t been attempted. Over the past several years, various analysts and financial management bodies have been working to crunch elusively slippery numbers. In their 2012 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, Common Knowledge, Blackbaud, and NTEN discovered that the value of a “like” on Facebook amounted to an impressive $214 gain for the average non-profit. By comparison, Ecwid, the “second largest store-building application on Facebook,” calculated that the average “like” generated a measly 21 cents.
However much — or how little — monetary worth the #mjdaisychain experiment really had, one thing is certain: people everywhere started talking about Marc Jacobs, and as the adage goes, “No publicity is bad publicity.”
If you would like to discuss your company’s finances, the qualified team of Pennsylvania business attorneys at Berkowitz Klein represents companies and individuals in matters of business debt collection, commercial litigation, and more. Contact us online, or call us today at (610) 889-3200 (ext. 1).