This entry I’ve been given the task of talking about the state of social media in my field. Well with my field being retail and mostly the sales aspect of it, I’ve decided to look at my current and previous employers and see what they’re doing. Best Buy, Sears and Carmax. Most retailers seem to mostly employ the ideas of using Facebook and Twitter. Which realistically makes sense, they are the kind of social media that users and consumers are checking on a regular basis. If you want to promote something or push a sale these are the best ways to do so.
Best Buy, my current employer has their toe in both pools, Facebook and Twitter. Out of the two, Twitter is where I feel Best Buy is excelling. The reasoning behind this is multiple accounts. Searching for Best Buy on twitter, you can see they have several accounts for different aspects of the company. The accounts range in a general Best Buy account, which is about the stores in general. Best Buy News, which is about the brand and operations. Then the accounts that are a bit more specific by name like Best Buy Canada, Best Buy Support, Best Buy Mobile, Best Buy Deals, Etc. Their Twitter presence is where they really marvel.
Sears, I was actually quite surprised to see they have a descent social media presence. The only reason why I say this is because everything I read and hear and experienced that the company is on a slippery slope. Much like Best Buy, a handful of pages on both Facebook and Twitter that covers their Auto Centers, Electronics, Sears Corp, among others. Carmax my other former employer doesn’t have the number of social media sites but when your company is just really about selling used vehicles, there’s not a ton of flexibility in much of a presence but they are there and actively using it.
Sure it’s just a small segment of retail sales but I feel that social media is essential and looks like that retailers are embracing it and even expanding upon just one page or one account. Which I feel is a great thing if you have different facets to your stores. Why not have someone who is an expert or knowledgeable in that department on the front lines of interaction outside of the store. I think this is a great way to interact with customers and handle good or bad customer satisfaction issues that may arise. It’s also a good way to the retailers to put of special deals or let their customers know about upcoming sales before the rest of the world. Retail sales and social media is really a match made for one another.
With this entry, I’m also being asked what other tools can be used for my field to help improve but when I think about it I don’t think there many other social media outlets for retail sales to branch out to. It’s primarily a customer service field and with Facebook and Twitter being the best and largest ways to reach your audience or market segment, in my point of view I can’t think of anything better.