Stella & Dot: A Case Study on How Social Media Brings Profits to Business

Brandie Broihier | @brandienic Have you heard of Stella & Dot? Here's the low-down:

Stella & Dot is the direct-sales organization based in San Francisco that fuses Mary Kay structure with Social Media to bring in a new generation of sellers.  Called “stylists,” women are showing off their selling finesse with classic product showings mixed with modern technology.  The basic concept is the same; stylists host trunk shows and attempt to sell products.

The twist is that each stylist is given an E-commerce website of her own (24-hour sales, think of the 3 a.m. shopping possbilites!) that she can then promote with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.  If Mary Kay is the grandmother of direct-selling, Stella & Dot is the granddaughter of the beauty supply mogul we love.  In fact, CEO Jessica Herrin and her Chief Creative Officer, Blythe Harris named the company after their grandmothers.

Stella & Dot is a clear example of how using social media to promote your business is not only beneficial, it is essential to pulling in customers.  Building a network of stylists is much quicker through the use of Facebook and Twitter. A “star stylist,” who has a network of stylists beneath her, is not regionally limited.  Whether your company sells jewelry or hardwood flooring, online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. will help increase profits as it draws in a new audience.  An audience which continues to grow every day.

Using the key concept of “social selling,” CEO Jessica Herrin's company boomed in only 6 years to a valuation of $370 million.  I think Stella & Dot is doing it right.  “Stella & Dot leverages tools its predecessors didn't have in their heydays: a powerful fusion of e-commerce and social media. Trunk shows provide face time and fun girls' nights, but customers also can shop 24/7 on their stylists' pages on the company website,” says investor  Alfred Lin.

Stella & Dot is clear in their message. Outstanding products and smart stylists are the heart of this enterprise, but social media is a must-have platform in which the company will continue to grow.  Mary Kay may be less focused on their online presence than S & D, but they aren't far behind.

Stella & Dot has me thinking about the social media aspect of their design. It really does appeal to the tech savvy, socially connected crew. They are bringing in a whole new generation of women into the direct-sales, trunk shows and girls nights, wine, and awesome costume jewelry concept. Stella & Dot's Star Stylists don't drive a pink cadillac (unless they just want to), but do salute the Mary-Kay women of prestige.



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