July 26, 2013, 11:14 AM

Luxury shoe brand Stuart Weitzman uses Facebook ads to step into new markets

Ad targeting has helped the brand get a 5.9% average click-through rate on its posts.

Lead Photo

Luxury shoe manufacturer and retailer Stuart Weitzman is using Facebook to gain exposure as it moves into new international markets like the United Arab Emirates and South Korea. Specifically, it is using the social network’s promoted post ad unit that enables a brand to pay to ensure a post receives a predetermined number of impressions from its fans and from consumers likely to be interested in its brand. 

Stuart Weitzman is working with social marketing vendor Socialflow to target specific customer segments. Socialflow’s Crescendo tool scans the content in consumers’ posts across Facebook and generates keywords to target them based on what they’re talking about. For instance, if a lot of Mexican shoppers interested in fashion post about what Eva Longoria wore on the red carpet at a fashion show, the tool might suggest targeting consumers based on the keyword “Eva Longoria” along with a specific location, such as Mexico City, where Stuart Weitzman recently opened a bricks-and-mortar store.

Crescendo then promotes posts likely to garner attention, such as a four-part video entitled “Walking After Midnight” directed by actor James Franco and starring model Petra Nemcova. The video, shot specifically for social media, features Nemcova walking through chic spots like clubs and art galleries in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. One part of the video went up on Facebook each week for a month.

“We want to own the word ‘walk’ because our shoes are not only stylish and sexy but also very wearable,” says Susan Duffy, Stuart Weitzman’s chief marketing officer. “We want to be in the social conversation in a way that isn’t utilitarian but shows that these are the first shoes you put on in the morning and the last ones you take off at night. And we wanted to convey that in an arresting way.”

The retailer aims for the campaign to build brand awareness and generate sales. “We’re not getting social just for the sake of being social,” says Duffy. “We want to increase store traffic and drive people to our e-commerce site.”

So far the campaign has been successful at driving consumers to the retailer online. In Taiwan, for example, a single promoted post generated more than 10,000 Likes and a 5.9% click-through rate. In Mexico, Stuart Weitzman’s promoted posts reached nearly 860,000 Facebook users and produced a 5.5% click-through rate. And, because of Crescendo’s ability to find inexpensive keywords, most of clicks were acquired for 5 cents a click or less, says Frank Speiser, Socialflow co-founder and president.

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