Email: anthro in our own words

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I was wondering when this month's "anthro: in our own words" newsletter would arrive. Lo and behold it's here today! July's ongoing theme is open communication lines. The newsletter talks about Anthro joining Facebook and having a proper Twitter feed. I am happy to see both of these things. With some companies you can tell the PR firm runs it but with Anthro they either have an employee devoted to being their social media voice (likely) or have a fan at the PR firm doing it (less likely but possible).

My minor disappointment has been in how one-sided it is. Anthropologie never replies to fan comments on Facebook; follows 0 people on Twitter and doesn't reply to anyone's Tweets. I suppose they don't have to. But it's like talking to a portrait: sure, there's a person across from you but at the end of the day it's still just a picture. Communication infers two ways...back and forth. Anthro seems to be nailing the forth in every try so far. Now they just need to work on their back.

The newsletter also highlights the new reviews feature on Anthropologie's website. Simply put, I love how the feature was implemented. It's smart, pretty intuitive and ahead of the curve with its options. That said I'm just not as excited about it as I could be. To put it selfishly, what's my incentive to review? (I should disclose here that I work in web development/social media.)

Most articles on the subject say reviewers fall into one of three categories: first is the competitor. They write reviews because being one of the Top 50 or Top 5 reviewers is important to them. Second is the complainer. They hate an item or their customer service and they want everyone to know it! Third is the incentive seeker. This is the person who reviews in exchange for a discount code, coupon, or other enticement. Count me in that group! I wrote one review to try it out. Now I'd like something in exchange for reviewing more stuff. Anthro isn't really doing anything more or less than most other sites so my critism extends to other sites as well.

On the blog I am incentivized by comments, suggestions and feedback. On the site it's again one-sided communication. I review...that's it. No feedback. No comments. No suggestions. It's lonely! Are you following along with Anthropologie's newfound social media presence?