Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing

1. Executive Summary a. Background b. Objectives 2. Our Current Position a. Communications tools b. Social brand awareness and advocacy c. Comparison to elsewhere in the industry 3. Using Social Media as a Marketing Channel a. Other Businesses Who Currently Use Social Media b. Communicating with Customers through Social Media 4. Building a Social Media Community a. Product Blogs b. Social Networks c. Labeling and Advertising d. Mobile Web 5. Next Steps a. Things to Consider b. Staffing a Social Marketing Team c. Executive Support 6. Conclusion

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


1. Executive Summary
A. Background: This Web Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing aims to help develop alternate marketing communications channels that support our already existing marketing efforts to drive increased traffic to the web and increase Operating Income (OI). “Generation Y online buyers” participate in Internet activities more than any younger generation, and this influences their online spending habits. Online buying is developing in such a way that conventional PR and marketing strategies are quickly becoming irrelevant. Shoppers are influenced by social and communications sites when they are looking to buy something. As eMarketer says in “Social Media and Shopping Behavior,” To reach this demographic segment, Web retailers are marketing to them on their own turf.” Change in the patterns of influence means more speaking directly to customers, defining new methods of influencing them and their buying habits. B. Key Objectives: The key objectives are to: 1. 2. 3. 4. Drive traffic to the external web site Build email database. Increase the social brand awareness and viral advocacy of external web site Enhance the company’s reputation as influencers, thought-leaders and industry experts in apparel.

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


2. Our Current Position
A. Current Communications tools Our primary method of electronic communication is through email campaigns. B. Social Brand Awareness and Advocacy Since the transition to one brand, the company has worked diligently to spread the word about our products and value message to the public. We continue to work to understand who our online customer is, and how to best service them. Developing a Social Media-based dialogue with our customer can improve upon the level of intimacy we already enjoy, as well as strengthening the brand advocacy that keeps us forefront in the minds of fashion conscious, value oriented families. C. Comparison to elsewhere in the industry The medium is relatively new to being recognized as a viable marketing channel, and as such there are relatively few large retail companies leveraging Social Media. We currently have the opportunity to delve into the space and begin the process of understanding how best to utilize it to our benefit.

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


3. Using Social Media as a Marketing Channel
Social Media is largely defined as “…content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies that are intended to facilitate communications, influence and interaction with peers1…” Social Media platforms can increase: • • • Brand Ethusiasm. Turning customers into fans, driving repeat purchases. Sales. Using social media to create first-time customers or to introduce your brand. Loyalty. Decreasing customer churn, improving customer service.

A. Other Businesses Currently Using Social Media Notable retailers with a defined social presence include: Amazon /mp3 (Twitter: 97,359 followers) Zappos (Twitter: 287,455 followers) Express (Facebook: 3,253 fans) Abercrombie & Fitch (Facebook: 255,013 fans) Victoria’s Secret PINK (Facebook:1,159,565 fans) Woot – (Twitter: 291,726 followers) B. Communicating with Customers through Social Media 1. Leveraging current customers as initial touchpoints Use social media as a marketing voice to customers about the latest trends, offer snippets of advice and recommendations, that all link back to the website. 2. Extending marketing and brand presence to potential customers Much of the information disseminated across SM networks is, by definition, viral. User A posts an item of interest to their platform, which is then accessed by their network (Users B, C, D, etc), thus creating the potential for a cascading flow of marketing contact points.

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


4. Building a Social Media Community
Social Media can be leveraged in a variety of ways to drive traffic to the website, such as: Reinforcement of email messaging (last chance, redemption/distribution dates) Announcement of promotions (30% off, new site updates) Special Offers (Sweepstakes, daily giveaways) A. Product Blogs - Become thought leaders with product blogs on current trends Consider deployment of a *social network team* (merchandisers) who will blog and engage with social networks as evangelists and communicate current trends for apparel. This team will also encourage (gently) existing consumers to be part of the social networking efforts. The "currency" for incentifying the social campaigns should be generous product coupons and special offers. Time Commitment: 1 hour a day B. Social Networks - Use our Company’s Built-in Fan base to Communicate the Brand 1. Create a Facebook Group: Set up a corporate page, interact as appropriate with other Facebook groups and leverage that partnership the same way we would our affiliates. Utilizing our current employee base who are already familiar with our products, The company may already have the makings of a substantial and instant social network. Minor employee incentives - perhaps coupons to give away in online social encounters - would generate significant buzz at virtually no cost, enhance social networking opportunities for customers, and probably help build employee brand loyalty as well. For employees who currently utilize Facebook, we need to: 1) encourage them to join and interact with the Facebook group; 2) encourage them to list The company as their employer; and 3) have them list in their list of web site links. Time Commitment: 10 minutes a day

2. Create a Twitter Account: This micro-blogging platform is fast becoming one of the most

important tools for online marketing and brand marketing. Once a Twitter account has been created, it can be used to release information about products or services, or and to engage in industry discussions. In general, we should plan on posting twice per day with links to website information pages and offer answers to product questions or feedback received via “It’s a Girl’s World.” The Twitter page should be customized with a branded template.

Time Commitment: 5 – 10 minutes a day • • Twitter has an estimated US userbase of 6.1M people, of which 53% are women, with 35% of those women having children in the household2. Facebook has an estimated US userbase of 78.6M people, of which 55% are female, with 53% of those having children in the household.

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


C. Labeling and Advertising - Integrate Social Media as a bridge to brick and mortar stores Labeling and package printing should feature social networking opportunities. Rather than simply list websites and customer service, invite the customer to "Join Us" at the Justice store events or simply offer URLs for the social networking information. D. Mobile Web – Become Multi-channel Marketers using the Devices our Customers Use: 1. Explore the possibility of creating a mobile-friendly version of the website. Create an API for mobile devices that will easily launch the mobile site via an icon on the home screen of the user’s mobile device. 2. Twitter allows you to "broadcast" to mobile twitter users via simple internet interface accessed from PC. 3. Email remains a powerful tool when shoppers have opted in. Initially provide generous coupons for sign up, then modest coupons with encouragement to join the social networking efforts we have established, participate in the blogs, and more. 4. Opt in text messaging for coupons and specials are other things to consider. E. Multimedia – Making a presence in video sharing Increase online visibility by posting videos and commercials to video sharing sites such as YouTube.

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


5. Next Steps
A. Things to Consider 1. Lack of Consistent Visibility – We should not create a social media presence unless we plan to consistently maintain and update our social networks. 2. Focusing too much on being heard – We need to avoid "shameless" marketeering in favor of general branding, product awareness, and loyalty. 3. Not communicating enough value -- As a whole, the company should leverage social media to not only drive traffic to the corporate website, but to also position it as a valuable resource for information and trends. 4. Keeping the content fresh is vital -- Fresh content is important to maintain the viability of the blogs in search rankings where blogs often outpace websites in terms of ranking and search presence. The social media team should be selected more on their ability to write well and quickly than on any other criteria. 5. Not Branding Ourselves Strong Enough – The company tagline should be incorporated in all social media campaigns to set reinforce our brand in social media. 6. Security – We need to ensure that we are creating a social community that is safe and secure for our intended audience. 7. Measurable ROI Difficult – Since ROI is historically built on numeric quantities, ROI on social media is less quantifiable as social media is built around human interactions and conversations. We would need to instead focus on Impact of Relationships (IOR). IOR allows us to detail how a relationship develops with our company, whether they are a customer or not, and how that relationship has impacted the totality of our business. B. Staffing a Social Marketing Team Overall social media strategy and campaigns should be directed from the Interactive Marketing group but leverage partners from across the company: • • Use the Merchandisers as the thought leaders in product blogs Hire or leverage an existing merchandising intern to put an enthusiastic face on the company in the social networking space rather than an advertising representative, which is more costly.

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


6. Conclusion
Social networks are becoming a key form of human interaction and are already a powerful force in business to consumer interaction, so this is an important arena for any major business effort. At its core, social media enables a brand to engage with its audience on their level and terms, and its success is defined by the amount and level that users take part in the content provided and pass along. At a minimum the company should create robust individual product blogs and maintain an active presence on all major social networking sites, especially Twitter and Facebook. Resources: 1. Wikipedia - 2. Quantcast - 3. L'Atelier North America -- 4. --

Strategy for Integrating Social Media into eCommerce Marketing


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