HSN Toolkit Takes Brands Beyond The Box


Celebrity used to mean being on the front cover of a magazine. Today, it means remaining top-of-feed on your fans’ social channels. As social celebs look beyond their niche audience to monetize their brand, they turn to TV networks like HSN. But, with only fifteen slots available per day, how does the HSN deal with the plethora of new social celebrity brands vying for some screentime?


The HSN is naturally a network Celebrity brands gravitate to for selling their products. With over 1,600 celebrity brand partners, HSN found there was not enough time in a day to showcase them all on-air. So, they took a step back to see how else they could support their brands and products. The solution? HSN would provide a toolkit of exceptional social content and strategy. Celebrities brands like Serena Williams and Nicki Minaj could take this brand toolkit and deliver great content through their social channels. HSN provides value with their toolkit and in return they receive exposure to new audiences.


And these new audiences are more receptive to messages when they’re delivered by celebrities they follow like Serena or Nicki. Partnerships like these are essential to driving viewership and social engagement. We spoke with Matt See, Director of Social Media & Games at HSN, to see how the toolkit came together.


1. What was the idea behind starting the toolkit?

One of HSN’s greatest strengths is our socially connected brands. This includes celebrity partners like Nicki Minaj and Sofia Vergara. We realized that we were missing major opportunities by failing to simply ask them to post on their channels. We decided to create standardized toolkits to provide them with everything they need to help socially promote their brand and HSN.


2. Imagine we are a celebrity or brand partner. Walk us through the toolkit?

The toolkit contains everything you will need for social promotion of your visit to HSN, including the appropriate hashtags, tracked links to your storefront, a suggested cadence of posting, recommended channels for promotion and a tracked hashtag that helps us measure the success of the campaign. Ultimately, you can cut and paste suggested copy right into your social channels at the suggested cadence and schedule. This takes the legwork out of, “What do I post and when” to my followers about my upcoming visit to HSN [for celebrities].


3. What sort of success are you seeing offline vs live?

At this time, it is really hard for us to track how our social is impacting the on-air portion of our business. However, we know our toolkit supports viewership and the social conversation around large visits that lead to sales. When it comes to the social conversation, we keep our partner and HSN in lock-step with the toolkit. This synergy creates a successful promotion cycle that could lead to success for both HSN and our Celebrity partners. Recently, we ran a successful TV and social campaign with Nicki Minaj where we actively promoted the digital launch of her new Pink Print fragrance through both distribution channels. Both HSN and Nicki began promoting the fragrance as soon as it launched on our website. The coordinated effort lead us to sell more than half of the available units in less than 24 hours.


4. How does Shoutlet, a Spredfast company, support the toolkit?

We currently utilize Shoutlet to queue all of our posts which is very important when managing a calendar that includes more than 1,600 brands. We also use Shoutlet to shorten all of our tracked links that we give to partners and large brands. We also create a branded shortlink, GoHSN, that gives our brand added exposure when the engagement (likes) for Nicki Minaj and Serena Williams are shared on their channels. Looking forward, we hope to utilize Spredfast Intelligence for tagging each of our 1,600 partners, so that we can easily pull recap metrics for our leadership.


What Marketers Can Learn from HSN’s Strategy

Take a tip from HSN's successful toolkit strategy and think beyond traditional placements. TV exposure can have a big impact, but is a singular event. To remain in the light, it’s important to find ways to reach new audiences. Expanding exposure through partner channels may take you beyond these moments. Break out of the box to social reach.


To learn more about what Spredfast and Shoutlet offer together, click here.

Jared Kinsler's picture

Jared Kinsler

Jared Kinsler is our Creative Marketing Strategist, supporting new content creation for Spredfast. He focuses on making sure the things we share are worth your time. He is a writer by day, composer by night, and Floridian by birth. Follow his visual life @kinsljar on Instagram.