I am writing this blog post out of love. Honestly.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Banana Republic. If you go into my closet, you will find most of my clothing comes from there. I love Banana Republic because I feel I get good quality items for my money, the store has excellent sales and it sells not only long pants BUT LONG SHIRTS AS WELL! Perfect for tall girls with gangly arms and legs.

My relationship with Banana Republic did start out very rocky several years ago. I was just starting out in my professional career and would wander into the store looking for work-appropriate clothing and leave empty-handed. I found the clothing boring, and I perceived the items as out of my entry-level public relations professional salary league.

But maybe five or six years ago, Banana Republic’s clothes took a more stylish turn, at least to me. I do suspect the clothing prices have gone up, but I was making slightly more money at that point and able to invest more in my work attire. I started to shop there and would eagerly await new collections.

So, as I got more into social media recently, of course I jumped on the bandwagon and “friended” my favorite store on Facebook and followed it on Twitter.

But why am I so disappointed by their social media presence?

I have written to the company before about the Web site. While nice and easy to navigate, I wanted more information on certain items, particularly accessories, and I thought adding reviews would be helpful. Obviously I am not the only one who directed these suggestions to them, because the site now has these features.

But what’s up with its Facebook and Twitter efforts?

So disappointing! I barely hear from Banana Republic on Twitter, and on Facebook, I get PHOTOS of its product offerings and announcements about sales. That’s it.

Out of love, I have suggestions for Gap Inc.’s leadership about Banana Republic’s online presence. You guys can do so much better!

Facebook

Today, I went to Facebook and Banana Republic recently had a fashion show for its new collection. Instead of posting video of the show, someone posted PICTURES! What? I can see that on the Web site. I want to see the actual show!

Brands such as MAC Cosmetics do Facebook right – I see videos of make-up artists using new collections to create innovative looks with make-up, working back stage at fashion shows and giving make-up tips. And they don’t post this stuff all the time, but they do it enough to keep me engaged.

I would love to see Banana Republic do the same. While sales announcements are great, since I visit the Web site frequently I know about them before I see it posted on Facebook. Give me more. I want to see the designers for the store’s collections talk about what inspires them, what is in, what is out, and why. I would also be interested in seeing how the stylists take the pieces and create different looks. There is so much that can be done here.

I would also like for the public relations staff to interact more with the folks who do comment on Banana Republic’s page. People are on there all the time professing their love for the store and its clothes. Why not reciprocate?

Twitter

I didn’t even get a tweet on the new collection or a link to see the images.

On Twitter, I would love to get tweets from their designers and stylists with fashion tips and advice, and see more interaction with followers in the form of answering questions, asking questions, etc.  Banana Republic specializes in fashionable work attire. With so many job seekers out there that need to look on point for interviews, and those with jobs seeking to polish their professional image, the company should and can be an expert in this area.

I would also love to see tweets on where Banana Republic is featured in magazines, such as InStyle.

I believe that if you are going to invest the time and money in social media that you should take full advantage of the opportunities that exist for you with these tools. I am sure that a company such as Gap Inc. has the people, resources and budget to really engage its customers in meaningful online dialogue.

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