The concept of marketing used to be limited to the traditional media of print and TV. In today’s world, that is no longer the case. “The way people get information is really driven more and more by the digital world,” says Steve Goldner (a.k.a. “Social Steve”), an integrated digital marketing and communications executive. “Marketing must change as well. Themes that are being carried within a store need to play into the digital space as well; it’s building your brand out in many different worlds.”
Social media success among retailers is difficult to measure--especially when looking at a group as diverse as the Top 101. For a retailer with thousands of locations, reaching a million “likes” is a relatively easy task. Yet there are significantly smaller players out there who average thousands of followers per store thanks to engaging content and savvy strategies. Here are just some of the retailers who are establishing themselves as the social butterflies of the digital world.
Average Likes Per Store
Develop Compelling Content
“Social media marketing isn’t just about posts and tweets--it’s about producing content that’s important to your target market,” says Goldner. Cumberland Farms engaged its consumer base with its “Thirsty for Love” promotion last summer. The campaign featured David Hasselhoff and culminated with the celeb hang-gliding over parts of Rhode Island and the Cape, encouraging consumers to post pics with the tag #IcedHoffee.
Engage Your Consumers
“Social media marketing is about building relationships such that brand preference is established,” says Goldner. “This is done through two-way communication and interactivity with the target market. That’s the ultimate goal.” Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp are a great way for retailers to interact with their customers—and relay that they care when expectations are not met, as QuickChek does with its “qcares” account.
Think Beyond the Store
“People want to support brands that are meaningful to them,” Goldner says. And sometimes people care about more than just the store. Hess’ Toy Truck (a holiday staple since 1964) has 35,303 Facebook fans. With more than 5 million likes, 7-Eleven’s Slurpee has more Facebook friends than the retailer does.
Community-service initiatives by CST Brands, Rhodes 101 Stops, Rutter'...