Retail Relevancy: Building Customer Loyalty Through Social Listening

Retail Relevancy: Building Customer Loyalty Through Social Listening

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When I started working with local food trucks ( 😉 back 2010 it was like a reboot for me as a marketer. The goal was to add as many local “foodie” followers as possible and convert them into customers. Getting them to show up was actually pretty easy, but watching them interact with the chef and supporting staff really opened my eyes on how disconnected traditional advertising/marketing had become. These social platforms allowed food trucks to scale the 1-to-1 relationship (digital word of mouth). –Fast forward to 2018 and we all know how loyal “foodies” are to their favorite restaurants, food trucks and craft breweries. As we hear all the failures of retailers going out of business it seems to be all traced back to this social media shift. Yeah… yeah, I know Amazon is the usual suspect in this “retail apocalypse”, but they filled a HUGE void that customers crave just like their favorite street food off the truck. Simplicity of transaction and engaged customer service. Retailers that establish this type of customer connection along with great products or services are the ones remaining at the top.

I’d like to share my latest retail customer experience renting a car. Lately when I travel, I’ve been using Lyft or Uber, but our latest trip to Hawaii required a car for the week. We booked the airfare and cashed in some credit card points that matched us with Enterprise Car Rental. So far, so good… Picked the car, staff seemed friendly (in an average way) but the office seemed more like a take-a-number driving bureau, even offering a lonely row of kiosks to avoid interacting with their staff I guess. The issue wasn’t the check-in, it was when I dropped the car back off. My mind was thinking about the gas tank being full… If I’m in the right line… Are we good on time to make the shuttle to the airport, etc. When I jumped out of the car you get hit with multiple questions as I’m grabbing suitcases and bags. To make a long story short… I forgot my favorite iPhone car charger… You see it’s not like any other iPhone car charger, it’s the Road Rockstar™ by Belkin. I’ve had it on all my road trips with associates and family… It has those additional 4-ports for additional charging. I really liked that charger, haha. For me, Belkin is one my favorite brands when it comes to my digital lifestyle. As I watched this younger worker drive off with my rental I had this feeling that I forgot something. It wasn’t until we took off that I realized what I forgot.

“My Loss is really Enterprise’s Loss”

My first attempt at recovery was to forward my email contract over to their office with a note about my charger. I figured after the 9 hour flight, I would have gotten a response. We landed, drove home then called the location later that evening due to the 6 hour time difference. I spoke with lost & found employee and she abruptly said it’s not here. It kind of caught me off guard, so I asked are you sure? “It looks a little different than your normal phone car charger.” She put me on hold for a little longer came back and said it’s not there. Okay, I understood (and probably expected it not getting turned in) -So is there a way to see who cleaned my car? Or if it’s currently being rented out and possibly reaching out to the new customer? She put me on hold again and this time it was for 12 minutes and then it hung up. As a customer, my mind shifted from “it’s my fault” to who took/stole my iphone car charger? I tried calling back and got voicemail. I tried a few more times and no luck, very frustrating. I mean, it’s not like they could call me back right? So the next step for me was to go social. I posted a negative review on Google Maps, along with a flurry of tweets and shares on Facebook to share my customer experience. All I got was generic replies saying upper management will be in touch (never did), and/or if we find we will be in touch. I don’t consider this real engagement, now if they called me back and explained the process of where the car goes after check-in and that they really exhausted all options looking I would have felt better, and realizing that it was my fault for leaving it. As I’m typing this post… I’m thinking how sad is it that items left behind aren’t returned usually or expected to be? It makes me not want to rent from them again unfortunately. This whole process reminds me of a book intro that was just shared from John Andrews and Ted Rubin called of all things… Retail Relevancy. Their upcoming book explores how brands and retailers can thrive in the future by being relevant in consumers minds which is now more important than ever. I think I’ll ship one to Enterprise when it’s out :-).

Okay enough doom and gloom, because I went social with my issues… the Belkincares Teamstarted reaching out to me. First, I received a mention on Twitter, (which included Enterprise) then a DM saying send me your address. THE NEXT DAY I had a new Road Rockstar Car Charger!! Also, they threw in some additional DuraTek™ Lightning to USB Cables. The level of trust and loyalty I have using Belkin’s products has never been higher because of their customer service and when it’s time to make another digital accessory purchase I won’t even shop around because of this connection I feel with this brand.

If retailers would actually roll their sleeves up and start taking social media seriously they have chance to evolve and survive the “retail apocalypse” and truly become retail relevant.Incorporate a team that truly listens to real conversations and requires a marketing strategy that rates SOV (share of voice) over Page One clicks from Google is a must. Just like food trucks, big corporations can scale 1-to-1 customer relationships like never before by using apps like Photofy, for in-the-moment content creation and Hootsuite for monitoring, listening, curating & posting. With a little extra effort Enterprise Car Rental could have built a relationship instead of wasting one.

Social Search & Rescue Workshop

Thursday March 20th, 2014 – 7p-8:30p

Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (Conference Room)
387 Medina Road, Suite 500
Medina, Ohio 44256

SSR Workshop #2 Agenda

  • Workshop Overview
  • Avalanche Media Works Keynote Covering Facebook for Business
  • Hands-On Workshop
  • Work with Attendee’s Profiles
  • Engagement Strategies
  • Close – Q & A

Cost: Free

Complimentary WI-FI… Please bring your laptop or tablet!

Only 10 Spots, Limited Seating Sign-up below!!

Event is Full


15 Stats On How The Top Nonprofits Use Social Media

I was reading an infographic from Craig Newmark’s CraigConnects and realized that the statistics within the image were brilliant. I wanted to outline some of the top stats and give you some ideas in regards to how the top nonprofits are using social media.

“The deal is, it’s not about money, it’s about getting people to talk with each other to make people’s lives better,” said Newmark.

Visit Newmark’s Facebook page for the infographic, which includes an explanation of the methodology and sources used in its development.

1. 92 % of Nonprofit Websites Contain At Least One Social Media Button

This is important because 92% of them have a Facebook button. What is even more glaring is that only 12% of them have a LinkedIn

2. Only 12% of Nonprofits Use LinkedIN on their Website

This was a crazy concept to me. Out of all the socia media sites, LinkedIn has the higher income bracket and (probably) the higher level of engagement with business professionals. Why is it hard for nonprofits to understand the important of a networking website like LinkedIN?

3. YMCA has almost 500,000 less fans than the American Red Cross but $2 billion or more in budget.

4. PBS has the larget Twitter following at 840,653 (at the time of the creation of the infographic)

5. PBS is also the most talkative on Twitter at 877 tweets in a two month period of time.

6. 90% of Nonprofits have a Twitter share button on their website

Remember it is important to give users every opportunity to share your content.

7. Only 22% of Nonprofits have an RSS feed on their website.

This is interesting to me because it tells me that only 22% of nonprofits actively blog. This is a shame. Content is king and storytelling should be everything to the nonprofit entities on this list. Storytelling is what drives interaction and engagement among constituents.

8. C.A.R.E is the second most talkative Twitter account with over 860 tweets over a two month period of time.

This stat probably fluctuates based on what is happening within the nonprofit entity.

9. PBS is also the most commented nonprofit on Facebook averaging 17,205 comments over a two month period of time.

10. The size of the social media following of the nonprofit was not dependent on the budget size.

11. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was last on the list on income but has over 97,000 fans on Facebook.

12. The 3rd most commented Facebook page is the Nature Conservancy with around 5,336 comments.

13. The organization with the highest net income, the YMCA, only posted 19 times to Facebook in two months, but has over 24,000 fans.

Is the YMCA missing something?

14. The American Red Cross was the first organization on the list to create a Twitter account.

15. Food for the Poor is the most talkative nonprofit on the list on Facebook, and has posted 220 posts over the course of two months.

It appears that income does not increase a nonprofit’s visibility and interactions in the social media world. Some of the most social media savvy organizations are in the bottom quarter income bracket, yet they are clearly active on social media.

-content provided by Kyle Lacy

Best Twitter campaigns, data mining and why Asia is wary of social media

Hi everyone,

We are determined our readers should be kept up to date on the latest issues in corporate social media. Read below to see bite size summaries of what’s hot in the space  – need innovative campaign inspiration? Having trouble engaging with Asia? Read on!

Asian firms are wary of social media

Two things here. First it is definitely worth taking a look at a recent survey by Burson Marsteller ‘Global Media Check up‘. It looks at how the Fortune Global 100 companies used the four main social media platforms in 2010, compared to 2009 and throws up some interesting points.

Secondly it is worth reading this article which has homed in on something fascinating within the study. Only 40 percent of Asia’s top companies use branded media channels like Facebook and Twitter for corporate marketing purposes. This is in comparison to 79 percent globally. And the reason? Culture. Reading this will also serve as a good reminder that each market develops differently in this respect. And don’t assume the UK are the best at it either…

Many brands continue to act “Me First”

A down to earth post about customer relations and the importance thereof. This post says customer relations are the best marketing there is. It asks if companies adequately reward or even recognise employees who take the time to solve problems. It also shows us a great video of when one comedy show turned the tables on a notoriously “Me First” phone operator.

Best Twitter case studies and innovative campaigns

Simply Zesty have provided us with yet another really helpful post. Following the success of their case studies on marketing through Facebook, they’ve gone and done the same on Twitter. Brilliant. Click here to see why Jeep , Orange and Levi’s all made the cut. They’ve even managed to get our old favourite the Old Spice Guy in.

Data mining  – the next frontier

An interesting post showing us the evolving nature of social media. For companies ahead of the curve, this tool is no longer  ‘another broadcast opportunity’ but a chance to analyse data. Technology now allows us not only to see customer profiles and historical buying patterns but to widen the spectrum of what we know about individuals such as hobbies and tastes. To see how to collect this data, how to avoid the pitfalls and how to make what you find useful, see here.

Get Free Chipotle Food for Watching NBC Promo on Facebook

They do say that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. In their latest campaign NBC are banking on the fact that it is also the way to get people watching their programmes. Harnessing the creativity of Chipotle (Mexican food), who have already had success with social media in a campaign last year, they are offering buy 1 get 1 free deals through Facebook for those who watch a 90 second promo trailer. Sounds good to us, can Innocent talk to the BBC perhaps?

-Posted by Francesca Boothby Filed in Tuesday Update

Why Advertising Agencies Struggle With Social Media

The day an advertising agency’s creatives (art directors and copywriters) truly “get” social media and how to communicate ideas through social channels, is the day said agency becomes a relevant player in the new marketing landscape. Trouble is, in my experiences, advertising creatives are often solitary, anti-social types, content to focus on their art and craft even at the expense of changing with it.

Certainly I don’t infer that all creatives are this way. Many have made the transition from “working on my book” to creating compelling communications. Many more have gravitated from nice print and outdoor pieces to providing creative direction for simpler methods of transmitting messages, like sales letters, Pay-Per-Click ad copy or even blog posts.

Get Creative!

But the transition of the advertising creative to be able to include compelling social activations in their traditional communications concepts has not been an easy one for many. When you think about it, the media creatives typically deal with are known and, thus, uncomplicated. We understand that a billboard is stationary, can’t be too dynamic or distracting to the audience (lest it causes accidents) and must communicate a compelling, memorable message in art and copy that takes less than 10 seconds to comprehend.

Conversely, a piece of content you would provide to your audience on Facebook can be more complex in language, include dynamic or multi-media elements, but is also rather unpredictable in that the audience can respond to it. In fact, good creative execution on Facebook compels the audience to do so.

Now the creative concept must truly live outside a prescribed box of parameters. If the content is good enough, the audience will demand more and fast. Reactions or comments on the content may open new avenues to explore in conversation with your audience.

Facebook content potentially has a never-ending life of its own. A billboard gets taken down after a while because everyone who will see it, has.

The reason creative executions of social media campaigns work, like the Old Spice response commercials, is because the creative team took their thinking outside the confines of a set of parameters. The elements of size and duration are erased, even flipped to have the creative expectation ever-present and always changing.

In years past, an advertising campaign may evolve and have a life of its own, but there are typically weeks, even months in between the first set of commercials or placements and the next iteration that continues to tell the story.

In social media the time to press for phase two is often minutes.

Since first trying to communicate the importance and dynamics of the social web to the wonderful creative teams I worked with at Doe-Anderson to the custom training and education sessions I do with advertising agencies and PR firms today, I’ve been searching for that switch to flip and illustrate what can make a traditional creative understand how to approach social media marketing successfully. I haven’t found it yet and it will likely take collaborating with a creative to really nail something relevant.

But I’m understanding more and more that the roadblock has less to do with the personality of the art director or copywriter in question and more with the space and time differences in digital and social versus traditional executions.

Your ideas? How can we facilitate understanding and advancement within the traditional agency environment to help our creatives produce compelling communications that are persuasive, but also social? What are your agency creatives doing that compels you in this space? As a creative, what differences in approach do you find helpful in producing communications that work online?

Your thoughts will help shape our understanding of the conversation and contribute to a better environment for us all. the comments, then, are yours. BY JASON FALLS