7 Brands Doing it Right! The Importance of Social Media in Retail

The powerful effect social media can have on marketing and promotion can’t be overstated. It’s all part of the way brands interact with their existing and potential customers.

It’s not just a matter of posting a few tweets or a Facebook post promoting the latest product: a social media presence can take the form of ‘everyday’ interaction such as getting involved in online discussions and sharing content. In other words, doing what social media is designed for; to build and maintain relationships.


The right approach

The opportunities are there for businesses of all sizes to use the most appropriate social media channels for their business type in the same way that they can benefit from tech geared especially to their industry. For example, fashion related concerns might use POS (Point of Sale) packages specific to their business. Use the tools that are right for you in all parts of your business to ensure that tech is working for you rather than the other way around.


Brands and social media use

Certain brands are making maximum use of social media and reaping rewards in strong customer engagement and increased sales. Here are some success stories:


  1. Pop-Tarts

A recognized brand in the Kellogg’s stable, Pop-Tarts uses Twitter to great effect in that its ‘voice’ mimics those of its younger demographic to help engage with them. Interestingly, at the last count Pop-Tarts had 164,000 followers on Twitter compared to its parent company’s 89,000.

Pop-Tarts’ use of its target audience’s voice stops it being ‘just another brand’ on social media.


  1. Wendy’s

Another food brand using Twitter to engage, Wendy’s also uses its target market’s language to communicate with them and link many of their tweets to events and news items.

For example, for the 4th of July celebrations there was a picture of a hamburger with sparklers protruding from it with the tweet saying ‘sparks will fly 4th July’.

Such is the fast food chain’s social media success other big companies are getting in touch to ask how Wendy’s does it.


  1. Airbnb

The hospitality success story Airbnb uses influencers to spread the word such as travel bloggers and household names including Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey and Kim Kardashian so ensuring tremendous exposure.


  1. Starbucks

Coffee giant Starbucks uses social media in part as a reputation management tool. Customers can interact and ask questions and make criticisms with the company responding quickly to show its commitment to customer service.

You don’t have to be a large scale business to use reputation management and it’s worth understanding what function it can perform.


  1. Cisco

Technology might seem rather a dry subject to work on social media, but worldwide leading IT player Cisco use it to very good effect.

It provides useful and interesting human interest content on Facebook and Linkedin that interests many people. For example, a ‘what’s on your desk?’ interview with an employee, a story about how they helped surprise a high school football team, and how AI (Artificial Intelligence) can detect and combat bullying.


  1. Uber

Such is the power of social media, transportation network company Uber has found its name has become a verb as much as a noun.

The company used recommendations and word of mouth – a strong marketing method – to grow by offering incentives to users in exchange for shares on social media.


  1. Red Bull

The energy drink maker used Instagram to create brand awareness for a new tropical flavor summer drink.

By getting the audience focused on the summer season and associating its new drink with sunshine and fun, customers would link it in their minds to the summer and a ‘summer days’ related hashtag.

Red Bull understood the power of Instagram in launching and running a campaign using images – of summer in this case – to instill a strong association in people’s minds.


The takeaway

You may not have the depth of resources to get behind a social media presence or campaigns such as those discussed above, but used in the right way social media can help you engage and interact with your market and, indirectly perhaps, drive sales.