Keys to Successful Shopper Social Media Programs

December 17, 2014
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What makes a successful shopper social media campaign? We get this question a lot when it comes to our business (after, of course, answering the question “what the heck is shopper social media?”). Although there are multiple factors that come into play when it comes to successful campaigns, from product type to timing, there are 3 key things I have noticed that consistently lead to a successful Collective Bias campaign.

  1.    Drive other marketing initiatives; don’t just keep social separate.

When it comes to successful shopper marketing, a 360 plan is critical for success. Online and offline marketing should complement each other, not compete for attention.

In-store activations are gaining traction with new innovations and creative shopper interruptions along the trip. But how can marketers gain pre-awareness for those amazing in-store activations, especially temporary or limited activations such as demos?

This was the very question we were asked with one particular large-scale program this summer at Walmart. This well-known brand already had a significant national marketing program to drive awareness but they needed to stand out in particular at Walmart. How do you break through that noise to make Walmart the hero retailer?

Our solution was to leverage the power of social influencers to drive traffic to the in-store demos beforehand. We highlighted stores where the demos would be held via blog posts as well as during our Twitter party so that shoppers could plan out their trips to Walmart to visit the demo in their area with their friends and family. As the demo was executed over the weekend, we continued to drive social influencers to the live events, sharing live tweets and Instagram posts and encouraging the demo attendants to do the same to encourage local participation.

  1.    Incorporate social into in-store pieces

In order to continue driving the total marketing solution, we worked closely with the demo execution company to incorporate our hashtag into the in-store demo hand-out materials and signage and encouraged the demo workers to share about the hashtag and the program with shoppers as they approached the demo cart.

  1.    Make It Shareable

It isn’t enough to just put your hashtag on other marketing materials and assume that shoppers will know what to do with it. You must give them an action to take, especially a sharing action encouraging them to share their own experience with the brand or share it with someone else friends and family. People love talking about themselves more than your brand so give them a reason to share about themselves, encourage them to share what is important to them and subtly incorporate the brand into that message so that you remain authentic. As I have mentioned before in Retail Leader, one of the most important shopper segments -millennials- want to feel connected and engaged with your brand, but on their own terms and in their own words.

For our program, we gave the shoppers who visited the demo an action to share socially as they left the store: just share a photo of who you shared this product with. The demo workers were encouraged to take action as well to show an example and we continued to see that action play out on our hashtag with shoppers and demo workers even two weeks beyond the demo date, stretching the value of that marketing spend as well as our own.

As part of a total shopper marketing execution, our joint program contributed to product growth for this product that was DOUBLE the growth experienced by all other large store retailers combined during the 4-week program.


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