With Chipmunks roasting on an open fire, Chanukah dreidels already spun out and holiday songs displacing commercials on the radio (which is something like a Pandora for traditionalists), I wanted to take a look at which of the larger brick and mortar retailers were naughty or nice in social media this holiday season.
A little history on this: I had a problem with Sears last year. They had no way on Facebook or Twitter to communicate with them: They weren’t listening and the things people were saying, but they’ve learned. I didn’t visit a store for nearly a year until I saw them starting to respond to issues on Facebook this year. Sears, you have made a nice change, but still need more people listening and responding – there are a lot of us. Perhaps the amount attention we seek needs a significant amount staffing and cross-training, but yes, I’m back and you get a Santa cookie with red and green sugar crystals.
While the GAP wins the design wars, Kohl’s gets points for nice design. It’s hard to make Facebook look good, but you’re among a growing number who did. I did notice a lot of unresponsiveness to a lot of negative postings, but you started getting more responsive as Christmas closed in. Are you staffed to keep it up in 2011? Honestly, I wonder if a lot of those less than savory postings were “real people” or spammers, but kudos to you for not deleting them.
J.C. Penney, you get nice design points too and points for having your default page being your “Adopt an Angel” campaign. Just reading the stream I see a question in Spanish – and a response: “Con mucho gusto enviamos a España!”(I had no idea you ship to Spain). Looks responsive to me! You even added an app to seamlessly allow shopping within the Facebook framework. You get a Santa cookie (and milk if you tell me how much personal information you’re collecting in the app).
Walmart, nice landing on the “Fight Hunger” page. I was going to take you to task on deleting some posts, but the truth is that I can’t be sure it wasn’t a group of “post spam.” It was, however, addressed with the nice message showing you really weren’t hiding it: “Hi everyone – We’re sorry if your post was deleted. We do encourage our fans to review the advice for joining Facebook discussions … We appreciate feedback from our customers and any suggestions for how we can improve.” Walmart, huge improvement and good use to direct customers back to your site to grow product reviews and communities. You get a Santa cookie.
Target, you have the best soundtrack of on a Facebook page featuring Guster, Jenny O. and others with free downloads. Of course, if you change tabs in Facebook, the music stops. But folks, there does not seem to be anyone there providing timely response to questions, complaints or boycott related issues. Target, I’m sorry, but a naughty lump of coal for not listening or taking part of the conversations on Facebook with your 3.5 million “fans.” However, your Twitter feeds (@TargetMobile and @Target) are both doing much better at responding to concerns and selling opportunities. Give them some Santa cookies and a few bonus latkes for a job well done.
Best Buy, you just win this with the Kenneth character, an integrated mobile app, and responsive in both Facebook and Twitter by scaling and training the Twelpforce. Cookies, milk and latkes for everyone because Kenneth already told us you’ll be there Christmas morning.
There’s the rundown of a few of the biggies, but there are so many more (like almost everyone). Make it clear that Facebook has become more of a two-way street between companies and their customers. It was not originally designed for this type or volume of communication, but a lot of companies are making it work for them and their customers. There is a lot to learn from companies who want to listen and engage their base and it starts with staffing and training the right people. A lot of local companies are listening as well and seeing the gains in loyalty and making social time pay for them.
Facebook over the next year, despite the valid privacy concerns, will continue to make it easier for users to use the mobile platform (where users share twice as much content as compared to computer use). Also expect to see significant growth in eCommerce on Facebook as well (fCommerce or f-Commerce).
Happy Holidays to you and your family from mine and everyone here at MediaBullseye.com!