Three Key Steps to Local Success With Social Media
Posted by Rant4u
By: Clara Shih
In my last article, I described how big-name brands like Walmart and 24 Hour Fitness are trailblazing on social media by connecting with customers on locally created social-media pages. Every store and gym gets its own page to share locally relevant content with consumers in the area.
It’s a strategy that returns us to good old-fashioned business, where customers are real people, not audience segments. How to implement this? Here are three crucial steps:
Get e-commerce and field operations in the same room.
The biggest challenge is organizational. Often, the social-media team falls under e-commerce, which works from a profit-and-loss statement that gives them little or no information about the numbers for the brick-and-mortar stores.
A decade ago, separating e-commerce from field operations made sense because in-store experiences were far removed from digital brand interactions. Customers who enjoyed shopping and ordering online were seen as different from those who still drove to the store to touch or try products before purchasing.
In 2012, however, in-store and digital experiences are merging. Increasingly, customers are using smartphones to map out driving directions to the newest stores, to “check in” on foursquare or Facebook Places, and to search for product reviews or coupons while shopping in-store.
Social-media teams organized under e-business will not view these connections as part of their responsibility. They focus on driving traffic to e-commerce sites only. The brand then risks missing out on the tremendous social-local opportunity that the growing use of mobile makes possible.
Retailers will need to bring social-media, e-commerce and field-store operations teams into the same room. The teams may need to be reorganized and additional social-media staff hired, but the benefits far outweigh any complexities involved. Read More
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