Shopping trolley filled with Christmas presents

Social media is the modern day shop floor

‘Social media is the modern day shop floor.’

Listening to Eva Bojtos, Social Media lead at John Lewis & Partners talk at Retail Connected earlier this year, this was the one phrase that really stood out for me.

The key here is ‘shop floor’. Not shop. Shop floor. It’s where your customers interact with your sales staff.

You might have an online shop. You might have brand social media and content marketing campaigns running, but do you have the equivalent of an online ‘shop floor’ where customers can interact with your sales staff?

Since the explosion in online shopping – kickstarted by the pandemic in the Spring of 2020 -all eyes are on the peak season ahead.

Some 49% of people are shopping online more now than they did pre-covid globally (Bazaarvoice).

Add to this figures published by Future plc last month that reveal UK consumers saved a staggering £200bn over lockdown, and they’re planning to spend a chunk of it this Christmas.

And the marketing world knows it.

I’m receiving a lot of marketing mails right now on the topic of how to leverage marketing for Black Friday and Christmas.

What will Christmas peak season look like this year?

Which brands are going to win big?

According to Internet Retailing, more than half of millennials have purchased goods directly from international brands in the past six months.

The boom in International D2C shopping means millennials and Gen Z are set to drive peak sales this year. So reaching this demographic is going to be key.

As Eva’s comment reveals, the brands leveraging social media are cutting through. While advertising is undeniably the driver in reach, it’s authentic social media posting that creates trust and authenticity.

Trust is central to relationships, loyalty and growth

Messaging in the moment, creating content that resonates with customers lives enabling human to human connection are driving forces in building trust in today’s world. 83% of consumers want connection with a brand that communicates empathy, compassion and support for the challenges they face now. (Edelman Trust Barometer)

The brands who are turning their entire business into a customer relationship building engine, activating employees on social media to grow brand trust and influence and deliver sales are the ones to watch.

Not only are they deepening relationships with customers via employees on social media, through genuine, timely relevant conversations, but they’re able to showcase what they stand for, and connect with people around shared socio-economic values and purpose, what the brand stands for, and what the consumer is buying into.

Employee advocacy has been around for a few years now. And while it’s becoming well established in B2B, there are a few stand out brands in the B2C space leveraging the power of their employees to create meaningful connections with customers on social.

John Lewis & Partners. Waitrose, Post Office, the Co-op, Sephora, Waterstones, they are all upping the stakes in investing in their employees as influencers.

Using technology like the Togethr app, brands are able to empower employees to share personalised content regularly on social media, aligned to brand messaging, while tracking results and training employees in how to continue to get better at using social media for their work.

This is the new marketing world we live in

One where top performing brands put the human connection at the heart of their marketing, prioritising the expertise and connections employees bring, while coaching them to become brilliant influencers on social.

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