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Daily Archives: March 31, 2015

What I Learned From Attending IRX 2015 – What Small Businesses Can Learn from a Big Brand’s Approach to Social Media

Last week some members of our team attended the Internet Retailing Expo at the NEC. Launched by InternetRetailing Magazine, the IRX offered a full programme of workshops, one on one clinics and conferences, all delivered by industry experts in various fields.

I attended day 2 of the event in order to visit the Digital Sales & Marketing conference that was held, featuring talks from a number of industry experts. One of the most interesting talks that I attended was given by Claire Higgins, Head of Digital Marketing at Selfridges – Social Media to Tap into Customer Mindsets and Drive Forward Business Strategies. It was fascinating to learn more about how a renowned brand like Selfridges approach social media. This retailer case study triggered me to think more about what small businesses can learn from big brands when it comes to social media.

IRX 15

Engage, Engage, Engage, Not Sell, Sell, Sell

This is where many small businesses go wrong – social media should not be used as a hard sell. It is important for businesses and brands of all sizes to think about what it is that customers want to hear; the easiest way to find this out is by talking to the customer and finding out what is important to them.

Through social media, businesses can regularly share interesting and relevant information with their followers, encouraging them to like or share, re-tweet, favourite or reply to. Social media is not about selling – its real purpose is to help educate customers and followers, building their credibility and trust in their brand as a whole, as well as their products or services.

Social Media Should Be a TEAM Effort.

The Selfridges outlook on social media is: Together wE Achieve More

Many small businesses may leave their social media efforts to their marketing team alone, or in many cases, a single member of staff. What small business can learn from a big brand like Selfridges is that social media is too important to leave to a single employee or department and in order fully realise the potential of social media and see the best possible results, organisations must come together.

As social media is all about reaching the customer and engaging with them, creating social media content should be a joint effort between the marketing team, sales teams and any other customer facing employees. Although the writing and posting to the business’s social media platforms may be left to the marketing department, any customer facing staff should be able to offer some insight into what the customer wants to see/hear/or read.

Finding the Right Tone Is Important

Social media gives your business the chance to communicate with your customers through a single voice – so it is essential that you create a voice that is professional and suits your brand. Whilst it is important to let your social media team’s personalities to shine through in social posts, it is important that they continue to convey a consistent tone that is positive, authoritative and professional. Social media should allow customers to connect with passionate employees that will help to build up the customer’s trust in their brand.

Social Media for Customer Service

One of the main results of our increasingly reliance on digital technology is that we are very impatient and want all information as quick as possible. If customers have a problem or would like more information, they want to be able to resolve this as quickly as possible, whether this means checking your website or contacting your customer service department. Another side effect of the continuing development of digital technology is that rather than using a telephone, customers are happier to contact a business via social media if they have a problem. It is important for businesses of all sizes to respond to and resolve customer problems as quickly as possible. Whilst it is unrealistic for businesses to provide 24 hour support in most cases, it is always best for businesses to aim to respond to any customer problems within a day.

Rob Edwards