Makeup Product Reviews

Multi-Location Brands Use Social Gifting to Nurture Customer Relationships

Share this:

More than a decade after social gifting was deemed the hottest buzzword in retail, the practice of offering rewards and swag to incentivize online fan engagement is finally taking off among multi-location brands.

Startups like YouGiver and Prsnt have made it easier for brand marketers to send gifts instantly to their most influential social media followers, and now a brand engagement platform called Fooji is throwing its hat in the ring with a self-service social gifting platform designed especially for large brands.

Fooji’s new social gifting platform sends notifications to brands when fans engage on social media. This gives brands the opportunity to respond, and it incentivizes fans to opt-in to providing their contact information, social handles, and mailing addresses to receive gifts in return. The platform also allows for brands to send surveys to their fans as a way to learn more about their preferences, intent to purchase, and brand perceptions. 

The platform was designed to complement Fooji’s other campaign-driven offerings by giving brands a more effective way to nurture relationships with top online fans and build their social media followings authentically. 

“The target market we see for our social gifting platform are brands with sizable followings who are looking to build meaningful engagements with their fans in a scaleable, manageable way,”  says Fooji Founder and CEO Gregg Morton. “Brands with significant followings often don’t have the time or resources available to build personalized relationships with fans. Implementing social gifting alleviates the time investment and logistical inconvenience of storing swag, shipping and managing a gift catalog, obtaining and maintaining user information — on top of developing a creative engagement strategy.” 

Fooji works with brands like Disney, Maybelline, and TUMS. The company specializes in developing online promotions and sweepstakes for brands, like a project for MINI that directed fans who tweeted “#MINIonDemand + 🚗 to @MINIUSA” to a co-branded microsite where they could sign up to receive a test drive delivered to their front door.

Like competitors in the social gifting space, Fooji’s platform has some versatile applications, and it integrates into most popular social networks. Morton says the approach works best for CPG brands, as well as restaurant groups and brands in the entertainment and media space. 

Companies can collect information about their online fans, source and select prizes, and get real-time product inventory tracking for the swag they’re sending out from Fooji’s warehouse. 

“The technology makes it simple for social teams to surprise fans, VIPs, media, influencers, mass mailing lists and more with unexpected rewards, swag and extra personalized attention seamlessly right from their social media accounts,” Morton says.

‘Meaningful Engagement’

Fooji’s platform is setup to enable “meaningful engagements” between large brands and their fans on social media, leading to what brand marketers hope will become long-lasting relationships and top-of-funnel leads. Morton says the authenticity component is critical for brands that hope to develop the types of genuine and strong connections with fans that ultimately lead to long-term loyalty.

“Zooming out, the competitive landscape is growing in just about every line of business,” Morton says. “With all the noise in the market, it makes it difficult for brands to acquire new fans and customers, which in turn makes nurturing relationships with existing fans all the more important.”

Fooji’s platform is solely focused on B2C. It also relies almost entirely on social media for engagement, rather than reverting to email or text-based messages. Fooji partners directly with brands, and Morton says the company has made consumer safety and privacy a top line priority. Any data that brands collect is shared voluntarily by fans on an opt-in basis, and it’s generally used to fuel broader digital marketing efforts by understanding where fans are coming from, what their interests are, and to ensure their voices are heard.

“This is all extremely sensitive information, which is why it’s so critical for the platform to be as secure as possible,” Morton says. “Fooji understands that [in] any engagement that requires management of brand data and personal information, safety, security and protection are the utmost priority.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.