Social Media Marketing Example #7: Graco Baby

As Lisa pointed out in her previous post, tackling these 26 Social Media Marketing Examples thoroughly is a bit time consuming. To most efficiently provide you with all the details (and maintain her sanity), I decided to expedite this process and provide you with example #7: Graco Baby.

Let’s take a look at how this 60+ year-old baby products manufacturer has begun to make its mark within the world of social media:

  •  Blogging
    • Written by multiple Graco employees who have children of their own, the Heart to Heart Blog provides mothers, fathers and parents-to-be with consistently updated content that is both informative, relevant and personal. The posts cover topics that are serious, heartfelt, funny, personal, and informative, while maintaining relevance to the target audience. When you’re trusting a company to provide quality products for your little ones, it’s reassuring to know there are other parents just like you who are behind the process.
  • Interactive Tools
    • In addition to the blog, Graco also provides its consumers with multiple interactive features to its sites. One of my favorites is the Graco sweetpeace “Brag Book.” Here, you can create your own virtual scrapbook for your child. For purposes of experimentation, I decided to create one for my 16-month-old niece (little does she know she’s already a bit of a social media star), and took a screenshot of it as seen in the above slideshow. You can choose your basic design, add photos, captions, and choose various background and framing options for each page. Once you’re done, just click “Send to a Friend,” and you’ll be sharing memories with friends and family in no time.
    • Another tool Graco offers, which isn’t totally unique since competitor Dorel Juvenile Group (parent company to Cosco Juvenile) offers one, is the Car Seat Selector. As a component of the Ready for the Road Ahead campaign, aimed at providing parents with safety how-to’s for proper car seat usage, just answer a few simple questions and you’re provided with several options for the safest and smoothest ride for mini-you.
  • Social Networking
    • Currently, the Graco site offers US residents the ability to create a My Graco account. Even though I’m about as far from a parent-to-be, I figured it can’t hurt to join. With an account, you can manage your favorite products and monitor your order status. However, I was hoping for something more interactive, such as a niche community for parents to interact with other parents about products and exchange advice. Maybe I’ll offer this suggestion since the recently revamped site is still in beta.
    • After digging around in Facebook and MySpace, I was unable to find any sort of Graco presence in either. I was relatively surprised, given Graco’s target audience of first-time expectant parents and the prominence of young adults within these major networks. I then searched for competitor DJG/Cosco and found a meager presence on Facebook. The Safety 1st Facebook Fan Page currently has 56 fans with essentially no interaction on the page.
  • Twitter
    • Where Graco lacks within social networking, it seems to more than compensate with GracoRoadAhead. As another segment of Ready for the Road Ahead, the Graco Twitter account provides followers with daily car seat safety tips. Members of the Graco team, including the PR and Social Media guru Lindsay Lebresco, don’t just push Graco-centric messages. They seem to do a good job of actually interacting with other users a.k.a. engaging and building relationships – and isn’t that the ultimate goal of social media?
  • Video
    • Since we’re on the topic of video, I thought I’d point out that I found an interesting video by the aforementioned Lindsay Lebresco providing a detailed case study of Graco’s social media goals and efforts given at last October’s BlogWell conference. She makes a valid point that you shouldn’t use social media just because you can, but you should use it to achieve goals to further your brand. Amen.
    • Graco provides videos in a multitude of places for its consumers. On its Ready for the Road Ahead site, you can view instructional product videos and testimonials from parents via video blogs.
    • Maintaining continuity, Graco’s YouTube channel also sticks to the Ready for the Road Ahead campaign. I noticed that DJG also has its own Safety 1st YouTube channel. It only took a brief moment for me to give my props to Graco over DJG. The Graco channel has 26 videos with hundreds of views compared to Safety 1st and its lonesome video and last log-in of over a year ago.

What do you think of Graco’s efforts? Do you think their ventures are successful? What would you like to see them do in addition to current efforts? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

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