Threadless is a community-centered online store for T-shirts. What makes them special? Here is the catch. Members of the Threadless community (most of them designers) submit t-shirt designs online which are then put to a public vote. The best of submitted designs are selected for printing and sold through Threadless’ online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit and the fun starts here. Happy designers, happy customers, unique t-shirts and a huge online community of great people.
No doubt, social media has a huge impact on their business. In May 2009, Threadless partnered with Twitter to launch Twitter Tees by Threadless. They allowed users to submit “tweets” to be voted on by the community. The winning tweets were designed by and printed onto Threadless shirts. The winners received $400 and a $140 gift card to the Threadless.com family of sites.
Twittering from: @threadless
Number of Followers: 1,647,534
Number of Tweets: 4,796
Here is what they shared with us about their Twitter experience:
Do you remember when you set up your (the company’s) Twitter account? And do you remember why you did it?
We signed up April 21, 2007. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to help folks share the word and join the Threadless community.
Do you have a team that is in charge of your Social Media? Have you got a special Twitter strategy?
Yes, there is a two person team that heads up Social Media and that includes a lot of the community and video content initiatives as well. Our strategy is to communicate like any of your friends would. Instead of constantly barraging folks with marketing messages, we do a lot of link-based sharing of cool designs. Almost like little riddles!
What makes you different on Twitter? What’s the secret of your success?
Since we’re a community-based company, we see Twitter as just another way to communicate with our like-minded friends and followers. Following straight up companies can be a stale bummer of an experience, so we try to keep it upbeat, lively, and human.
How should companies use Twitter? Any tips or tricks?
Basically, treat your brand like a person. Get a fun, witty person to do the messaging and go at it. Don’t think super hard about ROI per tweet or scheduling too far in advance. Twitter is instant so being alert and instantly responsive is key. I say “responsive” but we keep our @threadless feed response-free. We answer all customer service queries at @threadhelp. This is so folks can read our feed and not be annoyed by quick meaningless one word responses to people that are not them.
Does Twitter help you to sell your products directly? Do you use it for that?
Yes, absolutely! We sell a lot via Twitter, get email signups, and more community members!
How did Threadless become a community-based T-shirt company? Who came up with this brilliant idea?
Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart founded Threadless. They took the idea of a one-off t-shirt design contest and decided to build an entire website devoted to it!
Do you think that your sound social media presence helps you to stand out from the crowd? Many companies print T-shirts, but none of them is so famous. What’s your secret?
I hope it does! We always have a TON of fun things going on onsite so there is constantly stuff to talk about. That really helps. The site is the workhorse. We just spread the word and encourage others to do so as well.
Your favourite Twitter story?
We did a funny April Fools thing one year where we asked people to come up with fake new Threadless products. We suggested “Threadibles” aka shirts you could wear and then eat. Our followers came up with some good ones too! Like “Treadless : shirts made from tires.”
What is Twitter all about?
Word of Mouth sharing times one billion.