silver shoes featuredIn our 2013 Digital IQ Index: Fashion report we talk about how fashion brands have continued to invest in their social media presence despite a study that suggests social media drives only 1.55% of traffic to brand websites. 90% of Fashion brands studied in our report are active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and 61% are active on Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.


Cole Haan, featured in our report as one of the companies exhibiting a Flash of Genius in digital strategy, increased its Facebook presence with an engaging social media campaign #SilverGrandSweeps. For its 50th anniversary this October, Cole Haan launched the “Born in 1928” print and digital campaign with portraits of well-known and accomplished people born in the year of its founding: poet and author Maya Angelou, model and fashion editor China Machado, legendary photographer Elliot Erwitt, and commander of the Apollo 13 Captain Jim Lovell. In one of the ads, Lovell wore LunarGrands, the silver shoes #SilverGrandSweeps promised to customize and give away to 13 winners.


Each Facebook fan received one entry to the sweepstakes by signing up with a Like, but could earn an additional 190 entries by engaging with the brand on social media. Enrolling in Cole Haan’s email list would give the fan an additional 100 entries, a status update about where they would wear the shoes fifteen, following Cole Haan on Twitter and Instagram twenty-five each, and pinning an image from the contest on Pinterest twenty-five.


Our graph shows that Cole Haan’s Facebook and Twitter communities grew 21% and 19% respectively in October.

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In addition to running the campaign, digital media company Smartify gave Cole Haan insight about its consumers, which could make for even better future campaigns.


Some Fashion brands have seen more success in social media than others. Michael Kors, for example, quadrupled the size of its Facebook community to 10.1 million this year. The science of how to get to such levels is unclear, but as the Cole Haan campaign and its results demonstrate, a digital media strategy centered on an engaging character or concept can bolster social media presence of a brand, especially if fans have something to win as well.

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