Learning from 5 Successful Social Ecommerce and Retail Companies
Retailers and ecommerce companies have long pondered the importance that social media has in driving revenue for their business. Meanwhile, major players in this domain can attest to the efficiency of social media in increasing the lifetime value of their customers.
Last year social media generated more than 30 billion dollars for social ecommerce and retail businesses. Thus, we can clearly say that being a social company definitely pays big time.
Now let’s take a look at some of the businesses that are doing incredible things on social media and discover how they got to this high level of social media optimization and strategy.
Founded in 2000, Asos has rapidly raised to fame with the help of social media. They have always been at the forefront when it comes to social strategy, testing and later employing emerging techniques.
The Social Media team at Asos currently manages the accounts for all the available key platforms. They are currently doing maintenance and update 2 separate blogs. One of them is targeted towards real life advice regarding fashion and beauty, whilst the other one, called Asos Likes, focuses more on lifestyle advice. Both blogs feature helpful content with the addition of high quality photos.
Instagram is a goldmine for Asos. They currently have more than 4.7 million followers worldwide and that number is ever increasing. They use models to showcase the products but also pictures from their fans. All the pictures are very high quality and seem to be taken by professional photographers.
On the other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter one can find a healthy mix of tasteful self promotion and helpful articles from both their blogs. Furthermore, they have implemented a customer support service on these platforms knowing very well that Social Media represents the future of customer support. The tone of voice is very friendly, which is probably the reason why they currently have 4.2 million likes on Facebook and 980.000 followers on Twitter.
This retailer, currently the 15th largest in the whole of USA, has recently expanded its reach to the global Ecommerce market. For this move to be successful and also be in touch with fans and clients around the world, they have stepped up their social media game.
Macy’s makes exemplary use of what I am calling the Social Media trifecta for retail and ecommerce, which is formed of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In analyzing their accounts we can see that they are using a well thought out content plan with a strict posting quota in place.
What is more, communication is very open and they embrace customer feedback. The vast majority of posts are self promotional, with a very tasteful concept, containing product updates and lifestyle advice. The only overlap between the different social platforms is with the pictures used, as the copy is customized and targeted for each of the platforms.
Similar to Asos, they also use their social accounts to provide next level and real time customer support while still engaging with their fans.
The third biggest retailer in Europe, with almost 7000 physical stores worldwide, Tesco definitely has the retail market all figured out. What contributed to the incredible rise in popularity and also revenue for Tesco? Social media, for sure.
Facebook is the first and biggest contact point for customers and fans of the brand. Here they have gathered more than 2 million likes, using a mix of self promotion and helpful cooking recipes. Tesco is yet another brand that uses social media, specifically Facebook, for customer care activities, this way ensuring that every comment gets a proper reply.
For the image heavy platforms, like Twitter and Instagram, Tesco has targeted the content towards people who are passionate about cooking. In here they always share the latest seasonal recipes, created by them with products from their stores. Tesco uses high quality and very appealing pictures for each post and also provide a link to the detailed recipe of every dish.
This company has more than 11 thousand stores worldwide, as well as an online store… That means a lot of customers and potential customers. Providing content while also managing customer feedback for a company of this size is a monumental task.
Walmart managed to earn more than 32 million likes on Facebook, making it one of the most popular retailer pages worldwide. How did they achieve this incredible feat you may ask?
The answer is very simple: by providing a healthy blend of content that is also engaging, whilst interacting with your customers and fans, answering their concerns as fast as possible. They are also the first to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to new trends and are heavily migrating towards video content. You see lots of funny and short promotional videos on their page, which presents how their products can improve some daily life situations.
Currently they are sharing product updates interweaved with some promotional content on the official Twitter and Instagram account. As for the interaction with their customers, that remains very good overall, retweeting and replying the messages soon as they come.
What separates Walmart from the other retailers is their highly successful YouTube channel, which has a total of over 272 million views. They generally upload “how to” videos, recipes, interviews and plenty of custom and funny video advertisments.
Founded in 1946 in North Carolina, this retail home improvement and appliance store definitely knows how to adapt as the years pass us by. Their social media strategy stands as testimony for this.
For example, their Facebook page, where they have gathered more than 3.5 million likes, has started to migrate more and more towards video content. That means 3 out of 5 posts have a short video embedded, with short “how to” videos having a runtime below 60 seconds.
The communication is very open and friendly, which further promotes the idea of one to one engagement and interaction. As far as we can see, every comment is promptly answered with a very upbeat tone. The customer interaction is amongst the best that I have ever seen for a company page.
The other social platforms continue the highly engaging posts trend. The same video content communication system is applicable for Twitter, but clips here last for around 10 seconds, adapting to the style propagated and implemented by Twitter.
Same as with Walmart, a key differentiator for Lowe’s is their YouTube channel. They have recently introduced a weekly web series that has become incredibly popular, which present home improvement projects that can be done in just one weekend. Their channel currently has over 230.000 subscribers.
Last but not least they have a blog… or I should say blogs. Lowe’s currently has a creative ideas section on their website where they have listed around 20 bloggers who write about home improvement. This blogger network features many DIY projects for your home and garden and basically provides unlimited ideas for anyone interested in these topics.
Even if the majority of the companies featured in this article were founded many years ago, it doesn’t mean they haven’t adapted to new social ecommerce and retail trends. Au contraire, these companies are some of the best social communicators out there.
- Adapt your content to fit each social media channel for better engagement
- The use of the social media trifecta (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is essential for any and all social ecommerce and retail business
- Provide highly specialized content for followers, including but not limited to how to’s and explainer articles/videos
- Use high quality pictures and videos for your posts
- All the companies listed in this article use Social Media for Customer Support activities
- Reply to every comment and engage your community — The migration to video posts means about 3 out of 5 posts have embedded videos
- Differentiate yourself from the competition. Create a web series or build a blogger community like Lowe’s
- Even if you sell a variety of products from different categories target your content like Tesco did for their food and recipes accounts
We still have much to learn from the social media strategies implemented by these businesses, but this article may be your starting point.
What other Ecommerce and Retail companies do you think should be on the list and why? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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