How Lifestyle Brands Harness Community & How You Can Too
Retailers and consumer lifestyle brands have been given a boon thanks to visual shoppers, and the very visual social networks which have emerged over the past few years.
Take Nordstrom, for example. With 4.5 million followers on Pinterest, it is the department store’s fastest growing social channel. The company realized the potential of the network and took it one step further, turning it into a sort of social focus group. Since March, the retailer has displayed top pinned items in several stores to see if combining social data and brick-and-mortar shopping drive results.
What can we learn from lifestyle brands and their success on social media?
Know Your Audience: Once you understand who your audience is and more importantly, what drives them, you can offer them content they crave. Looking at the Nordstrom example, they know the most popular categories of pins are women’s shoes, dresses and handbags. They can now leverage this data to build campaigns and continue giving their Pinterest followers what they want. If you’re a B2B brand, your images may not be as enticing, but think about what your audience wants and package it in a way that draws them in.
Invite Social Communities to Other Platforms: At the end of the day, social media enables us to engage with end-users, and hopefully get them down the sales funnel. By building trust with these communities, they will be more likely to follow links to your website, poke around and ask questions. Mercedes-Benz did this well in its #CLATakeTheWheel campaign on Instagram. The campaign engaged millions of users on the photo-sharing site who had the option to follow the hashtag and visit the website to enter to win a new CLA.
Go Outside of Social Media: It seems counter-intuitive, but once you have built relationships on social networks, take it one step further and take it offline. Invite your followers to a small event at your office or scale back and invite one person out to coffee. Meeting in real life will bring a new dimension to your relationship.
Give Away Freebies: We all love free stuff! Whether it’s a contest for a month of your services or a free tip sheet that gives step-by-step details on making a media list in Cision, your readers will thank you.
Make Navigation Easy: On social networks, make sure links are working. On your website, look at your analytics to see what visitors click on the most and put it front-and-center. Take it a step further and integrate popular social campaigns into your site. Nordstrom now includes a ‘Top Pinned’ link in the women’s section of its site.
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