How I Got @JCrew to Start Tweeting Again

By Barry Hott

It’s extremely rare to catch me not wearing something from J. Crew. Pants. Socks. Shirt. Underwear. Hat. Man-bag. Jacket. Tie. Shoes. J. Crew everything. Anytime. Anywhere. I love it. In fact, my obsession with J. Crew might even surpass my unreasonable addiction to Instagram. As a big fan and huge proponent of social media, I was perplexed that such a wonderful, lovable brand could completely neglect a major social media platform like Twitter for a full year.
Here is J. Crew’s final tweet before going dark in late 2011:

For months, I would fruitlessly check J. Crew’s Twitter for signs of life, while they continued to post on Facebook, Tumblr, and even began posting on Instagram. I eventually noticed that one full year had passed since J. Crew had last tweeted. As with whenever I’m sick of something, I took to Twitter to complain.

And then it happened, as if it were scripted.

My sarcasm-laden congratulations, and desperate plea for @JCrew’s return, was seen by the brand itself:

And J. Crew’s first tweet in over a year was a RT of mine:


J. Crew’s clever second tweet of the year:

J. Crew’s Next Steps in Social:

I was thrilled that the brand magically relaunched its Twitter and that the first tweet engaged a fan, figuring that this was the beginning of a new social revolution for J. Crew. Unfortunately, its engagement has been poor across all  social channels.

J. Crew still needs to make some big changes and upgrades to its social strategy.

The company does an excellent job of showcasing its brand on its social channels and occasionally chooses to engage with designers, magazines, and some influencers, but doesn’t often respond to or engage with average users. Refraining from responding to or engaging with customers may be a useful tactic to establish prestige, but its ultimately hurts the brand by being unresponsive. A lack of brand responsiveness discourages users from mentioning and engaging with the brand, causing it to lose what would have been free word-of-mouth marketing from consumers.

By engaging with users more and using social media less as a digital megaphone, J. Crew could develop a more personable and likeable brand that users would be excited to engage with and promote.

J. Crew is an outstanding company that isn’t afraid of innovation, which makes it surprising that they fall short on social media.

If you were managing J. Crew’s social media, how would you engage your fans more? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Mohelhageen Mohamed El Hageen

    I think they perceive themselves as they don’t need social media because of their clothing superior quality. ie they are already sold…

  • dlv

    I’d do an Instagram theme challenge with a clever hashtag and share the best outfit combinations on Twitter.

  • disqus_mn614IqZ6W

    I’d pick a fight with Trump on twitter to engage and reinvigorate their social media.

  • http://twitter.com/SignalKatherine Katherine @ Signal

    Who is running their social media department? You’d think a brand that big could get it together: designate people who are responsible for maintaining the social streams, come up with a social media policy and a brand “voice”… Though I think their time is much better used focusing on visual marketing like email and Pinterest.

  • http://twitter.com/MissMarthaMae Martha McCarthy

    I’d develop an appropriate Social Media Strategy to respond to both threats + opportunities alike, and surprise and delight my biggest fans and followers with personalized content. I’d also utilize Vine to give fans/followers a glimpse behind-the-scenes, and encourage the same superfans to submit #JCrew #OOTD posts, picking the best to put on a daily ‘showcase wall’ landing page.

    ….And I have about 3 dozen additional ideas I’m willing to share with J. Crew’s social media/communications team! Tweet me @MissMarthaMae!

  • Liane Pamuspusan

    I love this challenge! Here’s what I’ll do:

    a. Telling the story behind the brand and its products. I remember watching a video of how they sourced fabrics from the mills of Italy, they can showcase these kind of videos to promote transparency of how their products comes to life.

    b. Speaking of transparency, integrating the pictures from their Tumblr posts can make their tweets about their blog posts tell more of a story.

    c. Consistency is also key, whatever they post on their Facebook page, they should also highlight on their Twitter page.

    d. I’d set up twitter chats featuring the brands that they partner with or perhaps a twitter chat with Jenna or Gayle.

    e. I would integrate the visuals that they use on their blog on Pinterest. It would help to promote their products and their blog site as well.

    @lianepamuspusan

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