Impressive digital and social media performance for Duty Free
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Impressive digital and social media performance for Duty Free

Duty Free Canada is a group of retail stores that sell products to cross-border travellers free of tax and duty. They’re located on the Canadian-side of the Canada-US border.

The store owners have been striving to educate travellers, particularly Canadian travellers, that they can indeed stop at a Duty Free store before visiting the US. Many Canadians believe that this is not possible. Travellers are also often confused by the customs allowance limits. Government has not done a great job clarifying this.

To address these two issues, we’re working with Duty Free to raise their profile and simplify the complexity of the customs regulations using innovative online tools, social media and now, a national campaign. As a result, they have seen vast improvements across a wide array of metrics: search engine ranking, newsletter signups, Twitter followers, Facebook followers and questions & comments submitted online.

Integrated social media is more powerful

Social media tools that work together have more reach and impact than if they are treated separately.

The Duty Free social media platform begins with the blog, and extends into Facebook, Twitter and individual store websites.

The Duty Free blog also communicates special product promotions, events, new or featured products.

Blogging has played a major role in Duty Free web traffic improvements. Search engines value fresh, relevant content that is rich with back- and cross-linked websites. When the Duty Free website is easily found, our education messages are more likely to be read.

Most newsletter sign-ups are now in response to specific blog posts.

Blogging has also provided an arena for potential customers to comment and ask questions about Duty Free. Often the questions relate to customs allowances, which are answered on the integrated Duty Free Canada Twitter feed.

Blog posts are also tightly integrated with the Duty Free Facebook page, as well as the blogs and newsfeeds of the individual Duty Free store websites to ensure maximum exposure.

Overall, our search engine ranking consistently hits the top 4 results without paid advertising.

Generate excitement for Duty Free retailers with a $1,000 shopping spree prize

The digital advertising campaign is supported by in-store print

To get travellers engaged and excited about Duty Free we launched a national campaign supported by our social media platform as well as digital advertising. The campaign asks participants to discover their travel character, and then write an amusing caption in response to an illustration that is produced.

There are actually two $1,000 prizes. One winner will be selected by a panel of judges, the second winner will be voted by Facebook peers when they collect the most ‘likes’ for their caption.

The campaign has just started, but it is gaining momentum and every day shows increased engagement over the previous day. Throughout, supportive messaging is included to promote awareness of Duty Free’s benefits.