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OnePiece is one of the earliest, and trendiest, retail stores to use the ShopKeep point of sale system.

So we were super excited to learn that they were opening a pop-up store around the corner from ShopKeep HQ – and we were even more excited to learn how they’ve been building buzz on social.

Social media plays a core role in modern small business marketing strategy. It provides a fantastic opportunity for you to engage a receptive audience and spread the word about who you are and what you stand for. And OnePiece is really showing how to get it done – without breaking the bank.

As we’ve covered here on Counter Culture in the past, your organic reach on Facebook has been plummeting for some time. That cupcake promotional post you so lovingly put together is now viewed by an average of just 2% of your likes – possibly less, given Facebook’s latest update. Twitter and Instagram have also both introduced more advertising services recently, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only way to succeed on social was to pay up.

 #SocialCurrency

OnePiece, a Norwegian purveyor of jumpsuits that are part fashion-statement, part slacker-garb, have hit on a novel solution to this problem. As part of their promotions around their new opening in Manhattan, the company is offering customers the chance to turn their social following into cash. It works like this: You share a photo of your in-store purchase on social media, show the cashier, and get a $1 discount for every 500 followers you have across all social media platforms, i.e. Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. Essentially OnePiece is paying their customers for social advertising – not the Silicon Valley giants themselves.

This is an awesome idea for several reasons:

1) Go Where Your Audience Is

If you want to build a social following through advertising, one of your first jobs is to identify which platforms your customers are actually using, and then target your advertising accordingly. You do this because you don’t want to waste time and resources investing in the wrong area. That’s what makes this move by OnePiece so clever. Each customer will naturally share where their friends are – and friends of friends are statistically more likely to buy your product. Your customers are doing better targeting than you could ever do yourself.

2) The money goes further

Despite the preponderance of advertising online, social media is still designed primarily to surface the actions and opinions of our friends, family, and acquaintances. By handing their money to their customers and not to advertising spend, OnePiece is ensuring that each dollar sends their message further. As a pure dollar per eyeball play, OnePiece is the winner here.

3) Good Will and Offline word of mouth

Of course, this is not just a question of online messaging. By providing dollar discounts to customers based on social currency, OnePiece is building up goodwill and encouraging that holy grail of marketing – real-world word of mouth. It’s not hard to imagine that each and every customer who received a discount in this unique, novel way will have wanted to share that fact with their friends.

4) Email Collection

By providing a socially based discount, OnePiece are reminding customers of the very real financial benefits that can come from having a digital relationship with the company. As a result, it’s just that much easier to collect customer emails at the point of sale. This means they get the short term benefits of a boost to their social profiles and the long term benefits of building a mailing list. As a business that also runs a thriving online store, OnePiece really understand the value of being able to associate an individual email with each and every transaction. That’s also why they have really embraced ShopKeep’s custom email receipts. Every time someone buys something online, the OnePiece database – and their customer understanding – grows. And with ShopKeep, the same is true for their offline purchases too.

#SlackerWisdom

The SocialCurrency project isn’t the only thing OnePiece is getting right on social either. It’s clear that someone over there understands that to get the best out of this medium, you have to think about conversations and participation rather than simply publishing a one-way stream of content. That’s why I love their ‘meme-generator’. The company has built a tool that sits on their website that allows their customers to take part in the game of creating #slackerwisdom quotes and then sharing them on OnePiece social profiles such as Pinterest.

Again, OnePiece probably spent a bit of money getting that built, but they haven’t just blindly handed over dollars to the Facebook advertising team. They’ve invested in another way to get their customers doing the sharing. And that’s something more small businesses need to start thinking about as competition continues to heat up on social media.

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