April 22, 2011, 2:18 PM

Sierra Trading Post socializes more—days, nights and weekends

The retailer adds a new online forum to its 24/7 presence on Facebook and Twitter.

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Outdoor gear and apparel retailer Sierra Trading Post Inc. is stepping up its online conversations with consumers, with the launch this month of a beta version of its new community forum, Sierra SocialHub. The retailer in March also established a 24/7 presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Sierra SocialHub will enable members to host their own blogs, contact other bloggers, or participate in ongoing forums such as “Adventure Avenue” and “Coupon Clipping,” the retailer says. Sierra, No. 74 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, launched its first company blog in 2007.

“Through the years, we’ve watched interest in our company blog spike, so launching the ‘Hub’ just made sense to us,” says Juliette Rule, community development manager for Sierra Trading Post. “Having a place for our people—many of whom are our customers and employees—to share their perspectives and interests is exciting for us.”

Feedback from community members will drive future improvements to the sites as well as help refine the discussion threads, which currently explore the adventure lifestyle, coupons and deals, hot products, contests, and other topics, the company says.

The beta launch of Sierra SocialHub follows the retailer’s recent rollout of an around-the-clock presence on Facebook and Twitter. Sierra in March trained select members of its customer service team on a social media tool know as HootSuite, which allows multiple users to track and respond to threads outside of traditional business hours, such as nights and weekends.

“Offering day and night social availability is our commitment to being nimble in this space and as responsive as ever to our customers,” Rule says.

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