A recent gaffe by Donald Trump is helping a Calgary sock company get a better foothold in North America, and in doing so, giving back to city non-profits.
In a speech on Tuesday night in Florida, the US president opened a sentence with ‘we just had another sock rocket…” before correcting himself to say “stock market” – and immediately social media went to work.
Sock Rocket owner Tommy Zizian said when he first heard it, he sort of brushed it off.
“I didn’t really think much of it (at first). I thought it was funny, but I didn’t think it was going to become what it is now,” Zizian said.
He sent out a light-hearted tweet in response and it picked up steam on Twitter – where they don’t typically engage with users, in comparison with Facebook and Instagram. So, they ran with it.
“So, we decided to send out a couple other tweets and kind of poke fun at the entire situation,” Zizian said.
“Which were consequently very, very popular tweets, and we got a bunch of attention.”
The Calgary social enterprise, run by Zizian and his brother Joey, sell their unique socks at markets and other events, and they offer memberships to a monthly sock club – and for each pair of socks they sell, they donate three pairs to charity. Local designer Jessica Phillips creates many of the patterns sold by the three-year-old Sock Rocket.
Trump flub a big boost for Sock Rocket
This recent Trump flub has been a boon to both their exposure and their sales. Their engagement on Twitter alone has grown ten-fold in the past 36 hours, Zizian said. Even Google searches for sock rocket were up substantially in the US after this moment.
And that means they’re able to give more back to local charities. For each pair they sell, they give three pairs of socks to non-profits.
Because they’re based in Calgary, they deal a lot with local organizations. They partner with a different agency each month for online sales; places like the Calgary Drop-In Centre, the Children’s Cottage and the Mustard Seed.
Zizian said no, the Trump mistake wasn’t prompted by the fact he was a sock-of-the-month member and it was already on the tip of his tongue. Though, that would be pretty funny, he said.
“A slip of the tongue is going to mean that a lot of people will get some socks donated to them who would not otherwise have them,” Zizian said.
“He inadvertently did a really good thing here.”