Macy’s was in the news recently: not for sharing news about back-to-school sales on Facebook and Twitter, but for using as many different channels as possible to get their customers’ attention.
How are they doing it? For the popular American retailer’s youngest customers, there is a Facebook sweepstakes as well as promotions with Radio Disney and Disney Channel. The promotions include in-store appearances with Raini Rodriguez and Calum Worthy from “Austin & Ally” and tie-ins with “Celebrity Take with Jake.”
But that’s not all Macy’s is doing. College-aged customers will see a microsite of eye-catching dorm essentials as well as a text message-based sweepstakes. The 13- to 17-year-old customers (the ones to really attract since they buy the most clothing each year) are receiving the bulk of the promotion. August 10th is being named “Teen Vogue Back-to-School Saturday” and special markdowns within the store will be used to celebrate. Free MINI emergency kits filled with lip balm, mints, and a sewing kit will be given away to all who spend a minimum amount at the cash registers, as well as a chance to win a style consultation in New York.
The days of using a blanket promotion to attract customers are gone. In today’s world you have to use every avenue available to you, and just because there’s a social network available doesn’t mean it’s the right one to use. For example, what works on Facebook may not work on Google+ and vice-versa. What are the most popular social network sites’ benefits? Here’s what I’ve found:
Facebook (1.11 billion total users worldwide)
- Great for businesses to generate referrals (example: “Share this awesome deal with your friends,” “Like this post if you agree,” etc.). The more times your fans share and interact with your posts the more often you’ll show up in their news feed.
- Creates relationships with your customers. Have customers post pictures of them using your products in their daily lives and encourage postings from happy customers.
- Allows customers to talk to you any time of day (can send a message at 8:47 PM when they’re watching TV at home or at 9:15 AM when they’re at work and on break)
Google+ (500 million registered users)
- Good to use if you want to be found near the top of search engines
- Chances are if your customers are using this site regularly, they are very vocal on it and will interact with you and your postings
- Great for networking within a niche or specific interest
- Great place to find content producers
- Great for sharing news with your customers, either about your industry or directly about your company (be careful and use the 80/20 rule: 80% of postings are about non-company news, the remaining 20% can be company specific)
- Easier to share more often than other sites; one post every 2-3 hours versus 1 or 2 post per day on Facebook or Google+
- Great for finding new hires for your growing company
- Helpful articles by experts in the LinkedIn Today section
- Connect with professionals in your industry (Groups are a great place to network with others)
- Strengthen your company’s culture by creating a group for employees to join and create discussions, comment on posts, etc.
- Another outlet to share your products and give descriptions and show images of them
- “Products & Services” allows you to advertise 3 of your products and their perks
- Allows customers to write recommendations about your products or company for others to see
Pinterest (48.7 million users, average time spent on site is 1 hour 17 minutes)
- Easy to share pictures of your products with customers
- A great outlet to share relevant items to help stay at the front of a customer’s mind. Take a look at Jellybean Wine’s Pinterest page as an example. Not only are they sharing their wines, but they’re also providing lots of relevant pins for pinners to share with their friends (that are not all directly from their website).
Your small business may not be able to run three contests at one time on different channels like Macy’s, but using free social media networks and knowing which one will give you the best bang for the buck will certainly help you out. Try experimenting and seeing which social site your customers use most frequently, or offer a coupon code for your Facebook fans to use and a different one for your Twitter followers to use. You never know until you try!
Which social networks do you look at most often? Where would you pay the most attention to a contest taking place; offline or online? Shout off in the comments below!