Social Studies: Harry & David

Feb 22, 2011 10:47 PM  By

Food gifts merchant Harry & David may be in the news right now for the wrong reasons – a change in creative from its usual award-winning work and financial difficulties that may force it into bankruptcy or worse.

But as it adapts to the new world of multichannel, it seems Harry & David is not struggling all that badly with social media. Sure, it could do better, but there are a lot of things merchants need to do to get on top of their social media games.

A look at the bottom of HarryandDavid.com shows icons for its Facebook and Twitter pages. But when you go to Twitter.com/HarryandDavid, you learn Harry and David also has a presence on LinkedIn (though it has a broken link—not good) and YouTube, as well as the location-based social platform Foursquare.

Harry & David’s YouTube channel, minus the corporate video of executives dressed as pears and singing on stage, is pretty impressive and underserved. (Note: Rallying the troops with something hokey at a corporate meeting is bad enough, but putting it on display for the general public does not give off that aura of “Happiness Delivered.”)

Harry & David’s video approach seems to have switched from long-form how-to videos starring different personalities and discussing things like recipes and wine tastings to 30-second product videos using still art. The merchant must have seen something in its analytics that indicated a drop-off in viewing after a certain amount of time. But these videos are still entertaining and educational and should be embedded at Harry&David.com.

For instance, videos embedded on product pages can help consumers make a decision. The narrative is different from the product page copy, and seems to do a better job at selling a newbie on the benefits of the merchandise.

Harry and David stays in touch with its fans on the weekend: On Facebook this past Sunday afternoon, a customer complained about the condition of pears he received. A Harry & David rep was there to help less than an hour later.

The “shop” tab on Facebook is nothing to write home about, but it’s simple and trackable. Clcking on the hero image brings the user to the Harry & David home page, and the coding involved lets the marketing team know the path to purchase started at Facebook.

The people who tweet for Harry & David have some canned answers regarding customer service issues and store closings. So you see a lot of repeat tweets—and this could get tedious when you’re on the Harry & David twitter page.

But the merchant does not really use it to sell and push product. And if it does, it’s subtle – like this tweet on Feb. 9:

“Our LA team is on campus in Medford, OR today at the company headquarters. Weather is brisk, but clear skies and tons of Moose Munch avail.”

But the Tweets don’t link back to product pages or landing pages. Why make the user take the extra step of opening a new window or tab and typing HarryandDavid.com into the nav bar when you can lead a horse to Moose Munch and make him eat?