Over the next three weeks a be-spoke Facebook app, hosted at http://www.facebook.com/MarksandSpencer, will enable fans to choose between four M&S-backed charities to donate their penny to. The company will match fund the donations, meaning that the charities will share a pot of £20,000*.
All four charities – Royal British Legion, MacMillan Cancer Care, Shelter and the Newlife Foundation – have existing partnerships with M&S through Plan A, M&S’ eco and ethical programme which aims to make M&S the world’s most sustainable major retailer by 2015.
To mark the social media milestone and boost the charity drive, M&S has commissioned an art installation made from a million pennies borrowed from the Bank of England.
The work of art took 15 people two days to complete and has been turned into a stunning time-lapse video which is featured on the app and will be seeded online to drive M&S fans to donate.
M&S’s one millionth Facebook fan ‘liked’ the M&S Facebook page yesterday evening, putting M&S into a select group of retailers with over one million fans.
Lou Jones, Marks & Spencer’s Head of Online and Digital Marketing said: “We’re thrilled to have passed such a significant milestone. Our ‘Thanks A Million’ campaign is our gift to every fan and further supports the great work we do with our charity partners through Plan A.
“It’s been a fantastic three years for M&S on Facebook and one million fans is quite something for a retailer like M&S. The level of engagement we enjoy shows the unique position the M&S brand has in this country.
“Our page has helped us evolve our marketing from merely broadcasting to customers to a two-way dialogue with them. It helps us create conversations, learn from our shoppers, listen to frustrations, share in their joy and also have a little fun. Facebook helps us interact with customers on a more personal, light-hearted level.”
Launched in 2009, http://www.facebook.com/MarksandSpencer has become a key tool in the M&S communications mix. The page receives around 5,000 comments per week and is managed by a dedicated internal team, including a customer service team based in Chester.
Highlights over the past three years include:
Facebook-inspired changes to the M&S Dine-In Menu – all now carry at least two vegetarian options as a result of customer feedback on Facebook;
Percy and Penny Pig (M&S confectionery characters) getting engaged on Facebook;
Seb White staring in the M&S Christmas TV ad after his mother posted on the M&S Facebook page.