How to Keep a Fiskateer Happy

In the first chapter of Secrets of Social Media Marketing, I write about Fiskars, the Finnish maker of fine cutting tools that uses a community of scrapbooking enthusiasts called Fiskateers to evangelize its products to specialty craft retailers. It’s a perfect example of how to use social media to create street-level awareness.

My wife, Dana, wasted no time in applying to become a Fiskateer, and last weekend she attended a gathering of her fellow crafters in central Massachusetts sponsored by Fiskars. What a bounty of gifts they received! Dana counted no less than 15 raffles for the 28 attendees. She won four of them and carted home about $500 worth of swag. To the left is a photo of the goodies.

Fiskars sent lead Fiskateer Kelly Jo as well as one of its “Fiskaneers,” which is what the company calls its engineers There was also a representative of Brains on Fire, the media agency that conceived of the community. Fiskaneer Doug chatted with the group about ideas for new products, yielding great insight from dedicated crafters. The attendees were treated to plenty of food and a trip to the nearby Yankee Candle superstore. The spent the rest of the afternoon crafting together.

Did Fiskars overdo it with the sheer quantity of stuff it gave away? I doubt it. These 28 women have already declared their allegiance to the brand, and giving them more incentive to promote Fiskars through their online and offline social networks can only help boost word-of-mouth marketing. The group has been designated “crafting ambassadors,” only it’s clear that the brand they favor is Fiskars. By harnessing their enthusiasm, Fiskars can extend the value of a few gifts to a much broader audience. The cost of goods for this exercise is cheap compared to the value of good cheer the participants will spread.