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We're Nice Guys Really

 

Posted At: 16 April 2009 14:30 PM
Related Categories: E-tailing, Future of Retailing

 

Social Networking. Some understand it, some don’t. Some use it, some don’t. Nevertheless, all retailers should keep it in their peripheral vision because it’s a brand new weapon competitors will use to beat you down! Ok, so that’s a bit extreme, but it is very important…

 

Where our parents passed on their news, ideas, reviews and experiences with friends, neighbours and loved ones by word of mouth, the next generation are turning to the web. If you don’t have a website by now, shame on you! If you do, are you using it to its full potential? ASOS, Waitrose, River Island and Mothercare, to name but a few, have taken the plunge and added interactive social forums to their websites to great effect, and countless others are using sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to increase 3 things; their brand presence, their personableness and, as a result, revenues.

 

I can think of at least ten high profile retailers who have MySpace pages which work well for them – by that I mean their users are active, they update regularly and they have a benefit to the marketing of that retailer. TopShop are a great example of how to use MySpace – their profile is both ‘fresh’ and ‘funky’ (read: appeals to young ‘uns) and they use it to promote new lines, therefore quelling the risk of distracting  users from what they ultimately want them to do – become interested in the products and shop shop shop!

 

Some people suggest an ‘adapt or fail’ philosophy should be adopted when it comes to ‘Web 2.0’, but I don’t think that’s right at all. As with any marketing – and that is effectively what retailers are using it for – the target demographic should be the deciding factor; are the ‘old homelies’ going to care that you have a Facebook page? Would a typical CC customer feel lost without a regular Tweets? Probably not.

 

All that really matters is that you understand it. It’s really not good enough to respond to the question “do you have a Bebo page” with a blank look anymore – but it is ok to weigh up the pros and cons, and to decide that perhaps no benefit would be had from investing time and effort in this ‘new fangled’ marketing fad.

 

If you do decide to take the plunge into the murky depths of social media marketing, however, then please, for the love of God, grasp it with both hands. Us consumers hate nothing more than a stale page with no new updates; that would likely do more harm, than good.

 

Over and out. Oh, and keep an eye on our Twitter ;)

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.

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