During one of our recent trips to Thailand we stopped by Bangkok and attended one of the well known ThaiCraft Fair Trade Fairs. These fairs are organized on a regular basis in the Sukhumvit area, a very dynamic commercial center in the Thai capital. There we met Peng and Mynt, two very professional young ladies in charge of ThaiCraft communication department. We ceased this opportunity to ask them a few question about their social media marketing.
Mynt (ThaiCraft): Mostly it is about our activities and pictures from the fairs, to attract more people to the fairs. But we also use these new medias to spread the news about punctual actions or events. Like during the floods in 2011. We wanted to support our artisan members who were affected by the floods so we spread the news on Facebook and were able to provide them with food and blankets during these difficult times. Some areas were severely affected, to the point that the handicraft production had to stop which means that many people were left without an income. We decided to undertake these actions to support them.
Ronny (FTC): Does ThaiCraft also have a blog?
Peng (ThaiCraft): No, only our website. But we should have one. It’s in our future plans. We would like to either create a blog or develop our website to tell more about the artisans’ stories, we are working on it.
Ronny (FTC): How would you like to tell the stories of your producers?
Peng (ThaiCraft): We would like our product tags to tell the story. Maybe with a QR code system that the customers could scan at the fairs and directly get the information on the people who made the products.
Ronny (FTC): So the QR code would link to a web page or a video?
Peng (ThaiCraft): Yes maybe a web page, maybe a video.
Ronny (FTC): How does ThaiCraft communicate about the fairs?
Mynt (ThaiCraft): We have what we call the « Friendship System ». Our customer can register and become a member of that program. We then send them an e-newsletter before every fair we organize, keeping them informed of what will happen during the fair. Like the workshops they can attend.
In terms of content we like to speak about the workshops that people can attend during the fairs and we post a lot of photos related to the fairs.
Ronny (FTC): Can you tell us more about these workshops?
Mynt (ThaiCraft): We have themes, for the moment we focus on environmental issues and craft work. This year it is also our 20th anniversary. Mostly it is about how our artisans work, how they exploit their skills. The customers can engage with the artisans and watch them make the products but they also can join and take part in the production process.
In January our theme was « recycling » and we organized a workshop duringwhich people could bring their own second hand material and create original clocks from it.
Ronny (FTC): What else is being discussed in Thaicraft’s communication department?
Mynt (ThaiCraft): We are trying to make our websitemore interactive. We try to get people to interact with us. One of the strategies is to publish more pictures of our products. And also to link these pictures with the stories of the artisans so that people can understand how it is crafted, how it is made.
Ronny (FTC): How do you plan on doing this?
Peng (ThaiCraft): We have to reorganize the website and collect the information, the stories from the artisans. The plan is to update what we already have and make it more interesting.
Also we would like to have more videos, because we think that animated movies are much more interesting than pictures.
Ronny (FTC): Do you have someone in your team that could create these videos and bring the stories?
Peng (ThaiCraft): Not specifically but we need to think about it. Maybe you can give us some tips about making videos!