Zappos uses Facebook as its culture cultivator: using discussion posts, wall updates, a Fan of the Week contest, and other tactics to whip their fans into a frenzy.
Company culture rules at Zappos. So how does that translate onto its Facebook page? "It serves as a small, tight-knit community for our very loyal, rabid fans, numbering well over 100,000 on Facebook," says Aaron Magness, senior director of brand marketing for the powerhouse online shoeseller. That means Zappos won't sell on Facebook or use slick marketing campaigns to win fans. "It's just a place to have a conversation," adds Magness, even if it has nothing to do with shoes. (A recent question posted by Zappos read: "From Arachnophobia to Pteromerhanophobia, some things give people the jitters! What's your funky phobia?" Nearly 100 people replied.) The firm does, however, ask for customer feedback, which played a role in its decision to use models instead of mannequins as it gains a foothold in the clothing market. "It was a big decision, and we wanted to know if customers were comfortable with it," says Magness. "Through Facebook, we learned our fan base wasn't comfortable with super-stick-thin runway models."