The Social Explorer: Failing to plan…

12 May

Failing to plan is planning to fail when it comes to social media strategy…

This is a bit of a sensitive subject, but when we look at a lot of major retailers and their social presence, there’s a scary trend of ignorance towards the consumer. When fan acquisition is the number one task for the in-house social media ‘expert’ or agency, my gut feeling that this is their only step in a short lived social strategy. So you’ve got 500,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and 100,000 ‘followers’ on Twitter…so what? If the strategy behind your social media proposition doesn’t involve talking to and with your fans (rather than just at them), then all you will do is very quickly turn your new best friends into your newest nightmare…

ASOS manage their social spaces fairly well – paying particular attention to Facebook. They seem to reply to most comments though we’ve spotted that they do hide away from negativity. There really isn’t an excuse here – if you’ve got the resource to make a page, open a Twitter account or post videos on YouTube then you must ensure you have the resource to manage these pages and talk to your fans. H&M are a fantastic example of a big company with a HUGE social presence managing their consumers expectations. With over 7,000,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook, they reply to 90% of customer queries in a professional and timely manner. So what’s your excuse? The only improvement for me would be to make the approach more personal and less ‘template’ like. But – they do reply and that is key.

H&M on Facebook - 7,000,000 fans and still replying!

So, my suggestion is for retailers who want to be a part of the 21st century social ‘revolution’ to get to grips with Web 2.0 first and plan conversation and dialogue into their social strategy.  If you don’t, customers and other retailers will leave you behind – wishing you’d adopted dialogue much earlier. The way I see retailers who are ignorant to conversation with their social fans is how I see self service tills in Tesco. Yes, we live in an exciting and often clever digital world but lets not take away the personality and communication that humans crave.

– The Social Expolorer

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