Sears Crafts Social Media for Social Good


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A lot of companies jump on the social media train because it’s there, it’s new and everybody’s talking about it. In other words, they’re afraid they might miss something if they don’t get on board.

But what happens when their on-boarding is boring? Or if the resources aren’t there to monitor social dialogues that could be damaging to the brand? What if the messages just don’t resonate with consumers, and actually diminish a loyal customer’s opinion of the brand?

Sears, one of the oldest retail brands in the U.S., has actually found a way to use social media that benefits itself and others, by identifying a cause that few Americans can argue with, and then putting an interactive component around it.

The initiative, with the non-profit Rebuilding Together, is called “Operation Rebuild for Heroes at Home.” It is a Facebook-based contest that gives people the opportunity to vote on $250,000 in grants that will help to renovate the homes of servicemen and women who are facing hardships.

Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable home ownership, will award the grants. Facebook users vote, through Sept. 23, on the affiliate program they believe is most deserving. Based on the tallies, Sears and Rebuilding Together will award 25 grants totaling $250,000.

Sears Facebook fans can cast a new vote daily and those who “like” the Sears Heroes at Home Facebook page, will get updates. They’ll also have the option to post an “Operation Rebuild for Heroes at Home” widget on their website to build word of mouth.

This endeavor clearly benefits the Sears brand. But the biggest winners should and hopefully will be the servicemen and women who come home to financial uncertainty, health problems or lifelong physical injuries.

Sears apparently has a history of supporting troops here at home. The Heroes at Home program has raised more than $23 million over the past four years, helping more than 62,000 families, according to a press release. Now it has found a deft way to build on this cause that is resonating with hundreds of thousands of people – as of Aug. 24, more than 771,000 people “liked” the Heroes at Home page.

Sears got on the train with a great social media engine. Let’s salute its efforts.

Lisa Biank Fasig
Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually.


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