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Target’s social strategy stands out for driving mobile engagementBy Chantal Tode
Retailers such as Office Depot, JCPenney and Staples recently took to social media to promote back-to-school shopping. However, Target’s strategy really stood out for driving 50 percent of tweets from a mobile device, according to exclusive mobile data from Engagor.
With younger consumers increasingly engaging with social media from their smartphones, savvy merchants are ensuring that mobile is baked into their social strategies. Many of these efforts are still in the nascent stage, with some marketers doing a better job of honing in on how their customers are engaging with brands via mobile than others.
“Through mobile social, these back-to-school campaigns offer the chance to engage with one’s favorite brand, quickly and directly,” said Folke Lemaitre, CEO/founder of Engagor, San Francisco. “It offers an instant connection, which the consumer values.
“According to Twitter, mobile users are 76 percent more likely to favorite, 66 percent more likely to re-tweet, 46 percent more likely to compose original tweets and 44 percent more likely to click on links,” he said.
“Brands should definitely be aware of the value mobile has nowadays and use it to their advantage.”
“While we have no way of knowing exactly why Target and Staples have such stronger mobile engagement, we did notice that Target put quite a bit of effort toward cool and unique Instagram videos and generated massive buzz from that.”
This year, retailers focused heavily on their social channels to promote the back-to-school shopping season.
Office Depot partnered with pop band One Direction to launch its #together anti-bullying campaign, Staples promoted #StaplesHasIt highlighting how it is simplifying shopping for the right technology at appealing prices.
JCPenney leveraged social with the #firstdaylook hash tag to drive awareness around its back-to-school fashion campaign.
Target used social to support is Give with Target program that invites consumers to vote for a school to help Target allocate $5 million in donations for schools.
In an analysis of social media for the these brands between Aug. 13 and Aug. 25, Engagor found that the majority of social mentions around the back-to-school campaigns took place on Facebook, except for Staples where most of the conversation occurred on Twitter.
Additionally, consumers engaged significantly more with retailers on Facebook compared to Twitter.
In terms of overall volume, Office Depot was the winner with 26,609 social media posts between Aug. 13 and Aug. 25, according to Engagor’s research.
Approximately 12 percent of these posts, or 3,136, were Tweets from a mobile device/app. However, Office Depot only responded 134 times to social commentary.
JCPenney was the most responsive in social, responding more than 2,500 times to customers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Overall, JCPenney’s #firstdaylook hash tag received 16,900 posts, 11 percent of which were tweets from a mobile device.
Staples responded only 742 times to social commentary, saw 6,394 social posts overall, 25 percent of which came from a mobile device.
Additionally, Target was the fastest to respond to consumers on Twitter, with an average response time of 1 hour, 15 minutes and 54 seconds. Target received 10,604 social posts overall, 50 percent of which came from a mobile device.
JCPenney came in second at a response time of 4 hours, 51 minutes and 54 seconds.
The findings point to how it is no longer enough for marketers to just listen to and analyze the social conversations around their brand. Instead, companies need to engage with their consumers to provide value.
Customers not only expect brands to respond to their questions in a timely manner, they also want to engage in real conversations.
“Mobile is increasingly playing a larger role in retailers’ marketing campaigns,” Mr. Lemaitre said. “For Target and Staples respectively, 49 percent and 25 percent of all posts are tweets from mobile devices.
“Office Depot and J. C. Penney show much lower numbers in mobile buzz, slightly more than 10 percent of all posts on their back-to-school efforts were tweeted from mobile devices,” he said.
“With such a high volume of people visiting social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from their mobile devices, it has become one of the most effective ways for a brand to engage with its customers through an avenue they use most often.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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