One of Facebook’s Ten Stories that it shared Tuesday to mark its 10th anniversary focused on Sevenly, a lifestyle apparel brand that relies heavily on Facebook for marketing and donates $7 from every sale to one of the charities it supports.
Sevenly was founded in 2011 by CEO Dale Partridge and Aaron Chavez, and the company’s donation total topped the $3 million mark.
Partridge offered more details in a Q&A posted on the Facebook for Business page:
My partner Aaron and I were inspired by organizations like Toms and Charity Water — awesome companies that were profitable but also giving back to the world. As we started researching, we found that there were so many causes that needed support; we didn’t want to restrict ourselves to just one. We also knew that there was a huge lack of awareness of charities and that the nonprofit industry was lacking in terms of marketing, branding, and fundraising. And so we made it our mission to bring awareness to many causes, and to use our marketing know-how as the vehicle for building awareness. That’s how we settled on the concept of Sevenly — every seven days, we choose a different charity that receives $7 for every product sold. The model allows us to spotlight worthy causes in a way that’s simple and meaningful.
We launched with a Facebook page first. We didn’t have a dot-com site until the business started to grow. Aaron and I had experience running other Facebook community pages in the past, so we knew that we could begin building an audience and grow awareness through Facebook. Now that Sevenly’s grown, we use Facebook to drive traffic to our site, while continuing to use the page to build awareness and engage with our customers.
We take a very iterative approach. We’re always testing and retesting because the way people react to content changes over time. We test different kinds of photos — black-and-white, color, etc. We experiment a lot with the length of the copy in our posts. Recently, we actually found that longer stories get more engagement, which came as a surprise at first.
We run Facebook ads and promoted posts for the charities we work with, like Autism Speaks or Invisible Children, targeted toward their followers so that the charity’s supporters can donate in a new way. Overall, we try to keep a balance between sales and engagement — for everyone sales post, we run five engagement posts.
Readers: Would you be more likely to make a purchase on Facebook if you knew a portion of it would definitely go to charity?