There’s no doubt about it – Urban Outfitters has its own style, and they market to their quirky Millennial marketplace in all types of ways. Social media plays a big role in their marketing, and Dmitri Siegel, their Executive Director of Marketing, shares a few rules for social marketing.

Rule #1: Hang out with the cool kids. Hanging out with the cool kids usually landed me in detention, but it tops the list of 12 rules for Urban Outfitters’ approach to social marketing. Dmitri says that marketing through social media revolves around building relationships and making friends with your customers. The way to begin that friendship is to identify who you want to socialize with and ask for their participation.

One way Urban Outfitters “hangs out with the cool kids” involves identifying and seeding street bloggers. The bloggers use Urban Outfitters’ products, then their networks hear about their experiences. But Urban Outfitters doesn’t stop at a one-way conversation. They invite these influencers to participate in their marketing, giving them an opportunity to speak for the brand through photo submissions used in email campaigns, featuring them on the Urban Outfitters blog, and even asking them in some cases to moderate forums.

Urban Outiftters features Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, two influencers, on their blog.

Rule #2: Don’t be a snob. While hanging out with the cool kids is key, Siegel says, don’t ignore your real customers. This is where user-generated content becomes a key strategy in social marketing.

Customer photo submission from the “Way You Wore It” Campaign.

While they were initially nervous about sharing customer feedback and featuring actual customers in their marketing, UO now works to engage with all types of customers in many ways. A great example is their The Way You Wore It campaign, where customers submitted photos of themselves wearing Urban Outfitters clothing styled in their own ways. Dmitri and his team quickly saw that the customer photos were as artful as those their own marketing team created, and they also saw how their products are used in a very natural, participatory way.

Urban Outfitters has seen great success by focusing their social media strategy on engaging the actual customer instead of running up the numbers. How close are you to feeling a connection to people you are experiencing in social media?

How to speak your customers’ language.

Hear Dmitri speak about all 12 rules to Urban Outfitters’ social marketing in a live webinar on Monday, June 21, 1:00 – 2:00 pm CST.

7 Responses to “Urban Outfitters’ rules to social marketing”

  1. Lisa Tu

    Hi @nkohl, thanks for your comment! It's great to see Dmitri and Urban Outfitters' leadership in the social marketing inspire other brands.

  2. @nkohl

    @LIsa, it's great to see you highlighting Dimitri's ideas from SCS10. His was one of my favorite presentations with deep, real insights about Urban Outfitters customers. Thank you for making more Dimitri available through the Webinar.

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