Social Media & Integrated Marketing: Warby Parker, West Elm and J BRAND

Social media is a necessary component of multimedia communications. Below are three brands that take an integrated marketing approach in three different ways.



FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+LinkedIn • Pinerest • Tumblr • Blog 

Warby Parker is a primarily an online retailer of affordable prescription glasses. Their business model is similar to TOMS: for every pair of Warby Parker glasses sold a pair is given to someone in need. They are different, though, in that they have a Home Try-On program. Consumers can order up to five frames to try on at no cost. They can then order the pair they like best with their prescription. Most pairs cost $95. Since their site launch in 2010, they have opened three stores, eight showrooms and have hosted many popup stores but most of their business is online.

On social media, the glasses company posts clean images with little text on all platforms used. Most of their imagery consists of glasses or models, dogs and children wearing Warby Parker glasses against white backgrounds with black, blues, and grays as accent colors. They also feature their employees, post new collections, share recent press, and make company announcements. They post frequently on most of their platforms, but they only post about twice a month on Google+.Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.59.38 PM

Warby Parker updates their blog often and links to it on their other social media platforms to gain new blog followers. They also use Pinterest and post about their new pins and boards on their other social media accounts. Their Pinterest boards include colors, libraries, customers wearing their products, their collections as well as a few others.

A few of Warby Parker's Pinterest boards.

A few of Warby Parker’s Pinterest boards.

Warby Parker rarely use hashtags on any of their social media accounts. When they do, however, they use “Warby” in the beginning of the hashtag, for example, #warbygoodomens and #warbyhometryons. They increase engagement by sharing some of their customers’ posts that include #warbyhometryons.

Customer @aliklunick originally posted this image to her Instagram with hashtag #warbyhometryons and Warby Parker shared the image.

Customer @aliklunick originally posted this image to her Instagram with hashtag #warbyhometryons and Warby Parker shared the image.

As far as integrating their online marketing efforts to their offline ones, Warby Parker doesn’t do much advertising offline. While they do use some traditional marketing, such as creative billboards, their offline efforts are focused on events, such as popup shops. Late last year, Warby Parker embarked on a roadshow, driving their Warby Parker-branded bus to various cities in the US. Inside the bus was a shop where consumers could try on glasses and then order them (with the help on a staff member) online. The company posted images of the trip and created Facebook events for each city.

Warby Parker announced their arrival to Austin, TX on Facebook and also created a Facebook event.


West ELm logo

FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+Pinterest • YouTube • Front + Main blog

West Elm is a well-known upscale furniture and home decor store that sells their products online and in-store. They, too, use an integrated marketing approach.

Online, West Elm is active on social media. They post often and share timely posts across the social media platforms they use. For example, yesterday, they shared a post on Facebook about hosting an Oscars watching party that linked to their “Gifts for Fancypants Mixologists” Pinterest board. The Pinterest board was created far before their post, but West Elm cleverly repurposed it. Much of West Elm’s Facebook feed consists of links to their blog

Facebook and Pinterest

Continuing with the Oscars example, West Elm also posted about the Oscars on their Twitter page. One of their Oscars-related tweets linked to their blog, Front + Main. The content was different from their Facebook yet it still kept with the same theme.

West Elm tweet

Though much of their posts across platforms share consistent messaging and imagery, they do not use the same profile picture on all of the platforms used. The brand, name and logo font are highly recognizable, though, so I think West Elm is able to stray away from this norm. They use the same white lettering as their profile pictures but the background are different textures.

Logo used on Google+ and, consequently, YouTube

Google+ and, consequently, YouTube profile picture

Logo used on Facebook and Twitter profiles

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest profile picture

Logo used on Instagram profile

Instagram profile picture

To increase engagement, West Elm hosts Instagram takeovers, where they invite bloggers and tastemakers to post images of themselves using various West Elm products. They promote these takeovers on Twitter, Instagram, and their blog.

Jihan Zencirli (@geronimoballoons) , an entrepreneur and tastemaker took over West Elm's Instagram over this past weekend.

Jihan Zencirli (@geronimoballoons), an entrepreneur and tastemaker took over West Elm’s Instagram over this past weekend.

In addition to their online efforts, West Elm hosts in-store events, which they promote via their store-specific Facebook pages and in-store.Dadeland event

They also mail monthly catalogs that direct consumers to view more colors or textiles of certain products. Each product has a share button and also show customer-submitted images of the product. For example, the below is a screenshot of the “Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams.”

Customer-generated content allows for customers to upload pictures of their purchases. The above is the West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams.

Customer-generated content allows for customers to upload pictures of their purchases. The above is the West Elm Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams.


Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 11.13.20 PM

FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+PinterestTumblr • YouTube

J BRAND Jeans is a designer jean brand striving to combine comfort and style. They sell products on their site as well as on large retailers both online and off, such as Shopbop and Nordstrom.

J BRAND’s marketing approach is largely online. They do advertise in fashion magazines, too, though. Their print ads are in black and white so much of their social media posts and website follow suit. They use the same logo and the same cover photo across all social media platforms, which are also in black and white. I find J BRAND’s Tumblr particularly stunning as it is completely in black and white.

J Brand's cover photo used across all platforms (Facebook pictured above).

J Brand’s cover photo used across all platforms (Facebook pictured above).

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 11.10.06 PM

J Brand Jeans print ad

J BRAND is very active on social media and posts often on all platforms, except YouTube (their last video was posted over a year ago). They also encourage consumer engagement. Currently, they are prompting users to engage via a contest for a chance to win their Spring 2015 collection. Participants are asked to post a picture of themselves in a pair of J BRAND Jeans with the hashtag #InMyJBRAND on Instagram. Though the contest includes Instagram entries only, they are promoting this contest on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+. On Pinterest, for example, they are featuring a few of the submissions they’ve received thus far on a board they created specifically for this contest. Taking it a step further, they then shared the creation of this new board on their other social media platforms. This promotes their Pinterest page as well as the Instagram contest.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 11.25.09 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-22 at 11.31.22 PM

Like Warby Parker, J BRAND uses hashtags but mainly sticks to J BRAND-branded hashtags, such as #InMyJBRAND and #JBRANDxSimoneRocha (a collaboration).


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