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Lisa Frank’s Social Strategy WORKS. Why?

After going silent in 2013, Lisa Frank, the neon-drenched, nostalgia-heavy, visually unique maker of stationery, activity sets, toys, and apparel, is experiencing a resurgence — and it’s all starting on social. Side note: I probably share one of Lisa Frank’s Facebook memes at least twice a week.

And it’s not just me: over 796K people Like Lisa Frank’s Facebook page, and recent posts range anywhere from 900 to 14,000 reactions and 2,000 to 17,000 shares.

Instagram is also fertile ground for Lisa Frank, where the brand has held a 73.1% engagement as percentage of followers rate (the portion of Lisa Frank’s followers that has interacted with Lisa Frank’s posts in 2016 so far).

Instagram Account Lisa Frank

So how is this working? How is a classically ’90s brand thriving on social media in 2016? It’s through a multi-pronged approach, which hits the hearts of Millennials, today’s pre-teens, and middle-aged folks alike. Lessons for your brand are included!

Entirely Visual

Lisa Frank’s social team does not waste its time with wordy posts, which is why their strategy is focused mostly on Facebook (purpose: spreading the news about Lisa Frank to newbies and reminding us ’90s babies) and Instagram (purpose: brand awareness as well, but also showcasing product and eventually driving sales). Why use words when you can use unforgettable memes and vintage product pics?

This strategy works for Lisa Frank because it is a retail brand and also because its brand is, by nature, so visually appealing. Here are the four types of visual techniques Lisa Frank uses most.

  1. Inspirational: Lisa Frank saves its amazing inspirational memes mostly for Facebook.

Many of these memes are silly, but some are downright inspiring. I may have made one or two the background of my phone during particularly hard days.

2. Share-Worthy: Many of these Facebook posts also refer to relationships, whether they are friendships or romantic relationships.

These posts increase the likelihood that Facebook users will share the meme to a friend’s wall, or comment on the post using a friend’s name.

3. Creative Use of Product: Your product doesn’t have to sit alone on a pedestal and look pretty. Lisa Frank’s sure doesn’t. This Instagram post, one of Lisa Frank’s top-performing posts in the year so far, is a great example of how you can make product werk by featuring real people in a real environment, in effect modeling how followers can use the product the same way.

This technique is especially valuable on a social network like Instagram or Pinterest, where social users tend to gravitate when they want creative ideas to incorporate in their own lives.

4. Celebrity Partnerships: 20% of Lisa Frank’s top Instagram posts in 2016 have featured or mentioned celebrities. In fact, this is Lisa Frank’s second-most-engaging Instagram post of 2016 (so far. We’re only going up from here, folks):

This is a worthwhile strategy for any brand, e-commerce or otherwise. Note that the brand ambassador chosen here is one that will appeal to Lisa Frank’s target demographic: young women (and girls).

Nostalgia Above All

Lisa Frank’s social presence values nostalgia above all. For instance, one of its top-ranking posts was this photograph of an old Lisa & Me mag featuring a young Mila Kunis, which racked up a whopping 2,097 in total engagement:

Lisa Frank clearly sees a lot of benefit from showcasing old-timey (meaning 1990’s) paraphernalia on Instagram, but the brand also uses the platform to showcase new or upcoming products, as with this post that mentions Macy’s.

Lisa Frank also just partnered with on a Lisa Frank-themed credit card. They have posted about this partnership on both Instagram (making the link to their link-in-profile) and Facebook, a cross-channel rarity for their brand but indicator of their focus on generating both awareness and sales from Instagram and Facebook.

While Lisa Frank’s website is still being updated (and has been for a while–believe me, I check every day), they are using social to make people aware of brand partnerships and new product offerings. This is a unique approach. Lisa Frank is using social as the basis for its marketing efforts instead of using social as a mechanism for driving traffic to its site.

Since Lisa Frank sells its product in stores like Macy’s and Wet Seal, this approach makes a lot of business sense for its brand, and can be a good model for your own e-commerce brand. Although, of course, I’m dying for their site to open up. Who knows what wonders I’d find there? Maybe a rainbow horse clock?

It's time for some Lisa Frank! #lisafrank #vintage #90s #rainbowchaser #whattimeisit

A post shared by Lisa Frank (@lisa_frank) on

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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