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Beyond the Bale : December 2010
December 2010 BEYOND THE BALE 13 OFF-FARM AWI is using new, cost effective online methods of marketing wool to a new generation of consumers. AWI recently launched a Woolmark page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ woolmark), to help create a fan base for the Woolmark brand and showcase wool in general. It is a public-facing 'social media' page available around the world, helping to 'generate a conversation' about wool. AWI Marketing Project Officer Renee Trad says AWI is helping drive the agenda for wool on Facebook. "By posting interesting and positive content on the Woolmark page, we are creating a positive tone which is resonating with lovers of wool around the world. It also enables consumers to provide feedback and tell us what they like about wool. "As our customers interact more and more online, it makes sense for us to target them through social media, plus it is a very cost effective way of marketing." Facebook is a social media giant -- it has 8.8 million users in Australia alone, with users averaging nearly 8 hours per month on the site. Seventy per cent of Australian businesses intend to conduct some form of social media activity this year. In August, AWI launched a two-month competition in which 'friends' of the Woolmark page on Facebook were eligible to win $500 worth of wool apparel from EMU Australia -- simply by explaining why they love wool. The competition was complemented by the distribution of 140,000 Woolmark postcards to 1200 venues around Australia including cafes and bars, arts and cultural venues, retail sites, tourism venues, universities and regional hot spots. Renee says the postcards were designed to encourage consumers to become part of Woolmark's social network and engage with the brand and its message. "Using free postcards was a creative way to get people chatting about our product, which very much complements what we want the Woolmark page on Facebook to do: to create a conversation about wool. The target markets for both the postcard and the Woolmark page on Facebook are very similar: the youth market and those out spending money." Other social media marketing initiatives that AWI has under way include the Woolmark channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/woolmarkonline) and Woolmark Fashion on Twitter (http://twitter.com/woolmarkfashion). FAST FACTS l AWI is using social media such as Facebook to help generate a conversation about wool among consumers. l Social media is a cost effective method of marketing. l A distribution of Woolmark branded postcards to hot spot venues around Australia complemented AWI's social media initiatives. Woolmark marketing gets social COMPETITION RESULTS COMPETITION ENTRANTS WERE ASKED "WHY DO YOU LOVE WOOL?" Many entries emphasised the natural aspects of wool, that it is warm and cosy, versatile, and brings back memories of childhood. THE WINNING ENTRY WAS: Wool is the only chameleon I can trust. It looks after me no matter what the weather. It is an old friend. NADINE MAIOLLA, VIC THE RUNNERS-UP WERE: Wool is the only fabric for all seasons of life, from baby blankets, to uggs, undies, blankets and suits; it's with us through every stage of our lives. KIM ANDREWS, NSW The distinctive feel of wool embraces, reassures and strengthens me as it's worn. It carries my history to the future. WILLIAM ROTGANS, ACT SOME OF THE MORE OFF-BEAT ENTRIES WERE: My doctor just said I have OWD (Obsessive Wool Disorder) and the only cure is a 500 dollar Woolmark voucher. Cure me! STEPHEN THOMAS, SA [I love wool] because it's like being wrapped up in a sheep's cuddle. Though, to be honest, if a sheep tried to cuddle me, I'd probably run. NIKI RENGANATHAN, VIC Warm in winter, cool in summer - what's not to love? And I have a serious penchant for all things sheepy (but not creepy). KATHY FOO, VIC One of the Woolmark postcards advertising the competition. www.facebook.com/woolmark