How Dollar Shave Club used Social Media Marketing to become a Billion Dollar Company
It all started with one sentence:
“Are the blades any good? …no…our blades f**king great.”
17 seconds into a YouTube video from a shaving company you’ve never heard of was all it took to get your attention. One minute and 17 seconds into a YouTube video for a shaving company you’ve never heard of was all it took to start a razor revolution. That’s how Dollar Shave Club did it. Built off the success of a hilarious YouTube video in 2012, Dollar Shave Club would eventually become a company that would be bought for $1 Billion dollars. That’s billion, with a “B”.
One video though isn’t enough to build an empire, even a video as original and funny as the first commercial. That first video, and to a larger extent the entire company, benefitted greatly from social media and social media marketing to grow their brand from a cheeky California startup to what they are today, a company that was recently bought for a cool billion dollars. That’s what happens when your blades are that good…and when your marketing game is on point.
Marketing Make the Company
Dollar Shave Club was born of video marketing. Their first video was the entire catalyst for the company, and its reliability is part of what made it go viral. They started off with a novel concept, cheap blades that are great, and then created a video that resonated with the male population they were targeting. YouTube was where they began, as back in 2012 Facebook’s video platform wasn’t a driving force like it is today. YouTube is what helped them explode onto the scene; within the first 48 hours of their video going live, the company generated 12,000 new customers. From one video.
The original video racked up 4.75 million views in the first three months, and currently, sits at over 23 million views. It put DSC on the map and was parlayed into national television commercials and appearances, but it also paved the way for their social media presence.
While video marketing is their most powerful tool, DSC has made great use of social media to engage with their customers and audience. Social media and social engagement have been the bread and butter for DSC’s strategy since they began, and it remains an integral facet of their strategy today. Take their current practice of social sharing for example:
When a customer shares an image of their monthly box of shaving supplies on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the best ones are favorited and retweeted by DSC and the poster gets a free t-shirt. This kind of simple brand engagement does a few things really well:
- It shows users of the product on social media, adding social proof for the products quality.
- It rewards the users of the product for engaging on social media with their new product.
- It makes the customers and community feel special that the company is engaging with them.
This social engagement and sharing approach is great for staying involved in the community and fostering growing relationships with them, turning them from simple customers into brand advocates. This approach works wonders on their Facebook page, which has nearly 2.8 million likes. Additionally, DSC makes it a point to answer questions that consumers pose in their comments section or posted individually. This communication is key for any brand, not just theirs, to building a community and brand followers.
Content Rules the Day
On top of their social sharing strategies, the company posts great content on their social channels, with excellent content being a focal point of their strategy. On top of their self-promotion style ad posts (which have a funny and light copy to mask the fact that it’s essentially an ad), the company shares articles related to their brand, some of which they have been active participants in. Other times they push out new short video ads that designed to quickly catch the eye of the audience and get them back to the website for a purchase.
Take a look at their “Father’s Day” video they created for Facebook. The video is short, illustrates that boring old Father’s Day gifts are terrible, and then offers a solution in the form of a Dollar Shave Club box, complete with angelic hymns from on high upon opening. This video does a great job of subtly, yet powerfully, suggesting their product for a gift for dad. And it was well received with nearly 27 thousand views as of today.
Their Twitter account works just like their Facebook page does, sharing articles, videos, and customer engagement opportunities, and most importantly shares the same language and tone as their other channels. DSC is united in their branding across their social media channels in the tone of their brand. They know who they are, who their audience is, and they cater to them.
Dollar Shave Club is a brand of humor, style, and culture that other companies in their industry just don’t have. That style, when added to social media, and coupled with their target audience, is the gas to the fire in today’s digital world. Make no mistake, without social media and the marketing and messaging the company has used on it, Dollar Shave Club wouldn’t he the billion-dollar company they are now. Their blade might still be f**king great without social, but no one would know about them.
Todd Swoope is the Chief Marketing Strategist of Inbound Kitchen, an Inbound Marketing Agency based out of Austin, TX. From the mountains of Pennsylvania to the heart of Texas, Todd creates engaging content that spurs the audience into action.