Hey Gap, Mind Your Gap in Social Marketing

It’s time for the Gap to take a good, hard look at their social media marketing efforts. First, the debacle over an “insensitive tweet” during Hurricane Sandy, now a Facebook promotion that stirs up more questions and confusion than goodwill.

Gap Friends promotion on Facebook

Looks good, right? More than 4,300 liked and 202 shared. But click on the link and the problems begin.

Gap Friends promotion page

Notice anything yet? Here’s a sample of the comments left on the Gap Friends Event page.

Facebook posts on Gap Friends Event showing confusion about promotion

Here’s where I think the problem is: Instead of simply posting a promotional offer on their Facebook page, Gap decided to create an event around the promotion–the Gap Friends Event.

Not a bad idea, just not well executed at all. What good is an offer that people don’t know how to redeem?

Now, I’m assuming because it’s an event no coupon is needed, but the problem is I’m ASSUMING. Never leave your customers to assume–that’s where problems happen.

Promotions should be clear, easy to understand and simple to redeem. Lucky for the Gap, one of their customers tracked down some answers:

Customer answer on Gap Facebook page

Your customers shouldn’t have to do work to track down answers, and they certainly shouldn’t be the ones coming to the rescue of your other confused customers.

Plus, if you’re going to set up your sale as a Facebook event, draw more excitement around it. Add special deals or prizes for certain actions customers can take on your page, like posting photos of Gap outfits perhaps.

If you don’t want to make this special effort, then don’t create it as an event. Just call it a sale and post your coupon on your Facebook page. Simple.

Remember, if you’re in charge of creating these promotions, just because it’s clear to you doesn’t mean it’s clear to your customers. Look at it from their perspective, let someone else besides you see it before it posts, and when in doubt, spell it out.

P.S. If you are in charge of social media for Gap, you might want to keep an eye out for a new job. Two strikes in two weeks–not good.