Social media Is a term for a wide variety of tools and applications that give the Web Its social capableness – capabilities that allow the community to come together, communicate, and build upon each other’s opinions and ideas. Social media and video blobs, internet forums and message boards, social networking sites and applications. All of them have become popular because of the practical, social and psychological benefits they provide. Before the popularization of the social media, companies reached their audience in a straightforward manner.
The most prominent means of communicating a message was through banner and display ads placed in key areas of web sites. Today, while banner ads are still a high viable mean of web marketing, social media has created a numerous other opportunities for marketers to identify and reach their audience. Consumers of social media, unlike consumers of traditional media, can interact instantly and directly with either the originators or the authors of the uploaded information. They can interact with each other, too.
The interaction and cross-communication that social media makes possible is precisely what makes social media so world-changing. Social media offers a business some benefits that no other form of public interface does: the ability to monitor public perception of its brand, products, and services in real time. And although the business benefit of social media is indirect – the effect of social media advertising cannot be easily measured in relation to sales, it is mainly directed to customer “identification” with the company and its products.
Identification is critical: from it grows online interaction, and from online interaction grows customer loyalty. Furthermore, people feel more connected with a company when they have direct immunization on an ongoing basis and opportunity to express their opinion. The statement that social media is important in marketing is proved by the fact that 94% of the marketers indicate that they employ social media for marketing purposes and 83% indicate that social media is very important for their businesses (as at 2012).
Other main benefits that social media provides to marketers are: Cost efficiency: Social media tools allow marketers without large advertising budgets reach a target audience. If a message is crafted correctly, marketers can often rely on the audience o spread the word for them, sparing marketers the high cost of ad placement. Broad visibility: If desired marketers can reach a broad and general audience through social media. According to Patton “social media presents tremendous opportunities for networking, collaborating, sharing best practices, communicating and connecting to a nearly unlimited pool of people with similar needs and wants”.
Narrow visibility: Similarly, marketers can reach more narrowly defined audiences through vertical or niche outlets that reach a specific market demographic. Pulse of the market: By eying attention to the philosopher (the blobbing community as a whole), social media trends, and user opinions, marketers can track how users feel about their brands. Marketers can take this information and develop their business and marketing plans to respond effectively.
Increased trust: By allowing consumers to express public opinions – about their brands through social media, marketers can gain the trust of their audience, who want to believe that the brands they buy will be responsive for their needs. Self-made community: Brands can use social media applications to create their own online communities. Marketers build strong connections to their brands by giving people news, product updates, information, and the ability to express themselves. Increased revenue: Ultimately, the increased visibility and interaction with consumers should lead to increased revenue and sales. En able to before, leading not only to more effective marketing, but also to better service and improved understanding about what each has to offer the other. Social media marketing is the utilization of social media specifically as a marketing vehicle, and typically falls into one of three categories: Public Relations: As more news are enervated by users and traditional news are increasingly spread through online communities, public relations professionals are looking to social media to get their message to their target audience.
To do this, news must be trustworthy and valuable to the reader, or it risks getting lost or ignored in the crowded social media universe. Marketing Content Generation: Blobs, videos, and other content created for a marketing purpose need to be crafted in such a way that they will be relevant to the desired audience. Although not necessarily as news-oriented as the information strutted via traditional public relations methods, brand-generated content must still be compelling in order to capture readers’ attention via social media networks.
Viral Messaging: Viral messaging campaigns are typically shocking or unusually entertaining videos (or sometimes, text) that pique such a high level of interest in an audience that people feel compelled to pass the file or information on through e- mail, social media networks, or other means. In instances where the content is particularly engaging or entertaining, viral messages can make their way to millions of people in an extraordinarily short period of time.
There even is a marketing strategy called social media optimization which encourages people, companies and organizations to get their content distributed as widely as possible throughout the social media universe. This strategy is based on the idea that marketing is more effective when seen by more people; therefore, marketers and content developers work to spread their messages through a multitude of social media networks. In fact, social media is used not only in Business-to-consumer marketing, but in Business-to Business marketing although BIB marketing focuses more on the tools Linked, Twitter and blobbing. . Major social media tools Faceable, Twitter, Linked, blobs and Youth were the top five social media tools used by marketers, in that order. They were followed by Google Plus and photo sharing sites like Mainstream. A. Faceable Faceable is the social networking leader with more than 500 million users in early 2011. Competing with the likes of Google and Youth for visitors but dominating both in terms of activity and length of time, Faceable allows users to build their own profile and connect with other users.
With a profile the users can add video, images, recent purchases, status updates, location check-ins and discussions with friends. Faceable allows businesses to create a profile page for the business. Businesses can interact with their fans the same way that users can interact with each other. Businesses can communicate with their fans through the Faceable email and allow fans to upload images and pictures and provide information or promotions specifically through Faceable.
Loyalty, retention programs, and branding dominate the business usage of Faceable, because very few are using it to acquire new customers because it is rare for people to “like” a company in Faceable until they have done business with them. For retention, Faceable creates an easy immunization channel by allowing businesses to send updates to their fan base, as Twitter is a social networking site. This platform allows anyone with an account to post short messages.
To tailor the onslaught of messages being broadcast from the “Twitter-sphere” of 200 million current Twitter subscribers, users can create lists of those they wish to “follow’ so they only receive Twitter feeds from those they select. Thus, consumers can “follow’ their favorite brands and be exposed to different advertisements. Twitter also has various phone applications so consumers may be reached whenever and wherever they are. . Youth Youth, which was founded in 2005, burst on the scene as a video-sharing service.
It allows users to create an account, upload videos, and simply send a link to the video rather than the video itself. Without having actually to send a video, the speed of sharing increased significantly, as well as the access to the videos. Five years later Youth’s success was astonishing – it had more than 2 billion views a day, it was the third most viewed website, and 24 hours of video were uploaded every minute. Hence, companies, which wanted to reached people considered Youth as well. . Google Plus Google Plus is a multilingual social networking and identity service owned and operated by Google Inc.
It was launched on June 28, 2011 and within four weeks of its launch, the number of Google+ users shot up to 18 million. Google plus enables the user to separate his contacts according to different groups they fall into, thus creating different ‘Circles’. This is extremely helpful on the commercial front aside from being of immense importance in the social context. A businessman will be able to group his clients according to their chosen product [service preference. They would most certainly appreciate not being flooded with information and promotional news or offers about products and services they have no interest in.
Thus, only relevant information need be shared with each of these contacts apart from the common message pool. Social media tools and the power they yield in bringing communities together have been a boon for marketers. By adding these tools to their own Web sites and by marketing their brands through social media networks using site optimization techniques and the direct inclusion of new content, marketers have contributed to he rise of social media and have been able to expand the reach of their message.
Now let us focus on the example of H&M Hennas &Mauritz ABA, a company with a strong and effective marketing strategy, and how it implements the social media to increase its value to customers. Hennas & Mauritius ABA (H&M) is a Swedish multinational retail-clothing company offering collections for ladies, men, young ladies and men, accessories and a full children’s department which features quality clothing starting at newborn up to kids age 14.
From a single womanlier store in 1947, to a global company offering cushion for the whole family, and their home, under the brand names of H&M, COOS, Monk, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories and H&M Home. Today H&M has around 104,000 employees and around 2,800 stores which are spread across 49 H&M’s business concept is to give the customer unbeatable value by offering fashion and quality at the best price. Its own designers interpret the latest fashion trends and create collections that are accessible to all.
H&M ensures the best price by: having few middlemen having a broad, in-depth knowledge of design, fashion and textiles buying the right reduces from the right markets being cost-conscious at every stage H&M is driven by seven important core values: Keep it simple Straight forward and open-minded Constant improvement Entrepreneurial spirit Cost conscious Team work Belief in people Quality is a central issue, from initial idea to final product. Their quality testing is extensive. They also work hard to make sure goods are produced with the least possible environmental impact and under good working conditions.
H&M does not own any factories. Production is outsourced to independent suppliers, primarily in Asia and Europe, through H&M’s local production offices. Nor does H&M own any of its stores. Instead H&M rents store space from international and local landlords. H&M’s growth target is to increase the number of stores by 10-15 percent per year, and at the same time increase sales in comparable units. This growth, which is entirely self-financed, will proceed with an emphasis on quality, sustainability and continued high profitability.
Target market The target customers of H&M belong to the group of fashionable and trendy consumers who see shopping as a social activity providing pleasure in their daily life. They acquire the most fashionable clothes each season and want to follow the trends without investing a lot of money. In order to fulfill the needs of the customers, H&M launched IDLE (Every Day Low Prices) products. In addition, they invited the top fashion designers in the industry such as Karl Lagged to be their partners for designing the new collection.
As a result, H&M is successful in making the combination of the best design under the name of an inexpensive clothing label. H&M aims to offer fashion and quality at the best price. In doing this, the company has an impact on the world around us. Quality includes ensuring that products are manufactured in a way that is environmentally and socially sustainable. Thus, according to its sustainability vision, H&M’s business operations aim to be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. By sustainable, they mean that the needs of both present and future generations must be fulfilled.
All H&M’s activities are based on a drive for continuous improvement. It has a are not employees of H&M. That is why they work closely with their suppliers to develop sustainable social and environmental standards in the factories that manufacture H&M’s products. They have to ensure that their employees’ human rights are not violated, and the same applies to employees of their suppliers and other co-operation partners, and to their customers. The company applies the precautionary principle in its environmental work and has adopted a preventative approach with the substitution of hazardous chemicals.
It strives to use resources as efficiently as possible and to minimize waste. By adopting new technologies and methods, it can work preventative to minimize its environmental footprint through improved production processes and its choice of materials. It must continuously review the company’s goals and strategies to reduce the company’s climate impact. The company’s decisions are based on careful consideration, where shorter or longer-term environmental benefits are weighed up in order to ensure that it chooses solutions that are sustainable in the long term.
It wants to be a good global citizen and act responsibly in its business relations. It takes a clear stand against all forms of corruption. It engages in dialogue with all its various stakeholders to build trust in its operations within the environment it relies on for its long-term success. 3. Sustainability Strategy H&M Conscious is the name for all H&M’s work for a more sustainable fashion future. It is an approach to managing its business based on the vision that all its operations should be run in a way that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
This means that the needs of both present and future generations should be respected in everything that it does. People, planet and profit: at H&M, they believe that being fully aware of the interconnected nature of these three elements is the key to the long-term success of their business. In order to help them achieve its vision, hey have broken it down into seven strategic, long-term commitments. These commitments are an integral element of H&M’s business strategy and they cover every stage of its product life cycle, from designing its fashion to how its customers care for the garments they buy.
Based on constant dialogue with its external stakeholders and the colleagues across the business, they have built a process to identify and prioritize the actions that they need to take over the short and medium term to help them meet each of these long-term commitments. H&M calls all these its Conscious Actions. Throughout the year they monitor the progress they make towards completing these actions, review and improve their methods and add more actions as their understanding of how to fulfill their commitments improves. 4.
Responsible marketing H&M communicates its business idea of ‘fashion and quality at the best price’ through the various advertising campaigns they produce each year throughout the world. H&M’s marketing has a major impact and it is essential for them to convey a positive image. H&M’s advertising images do not aim to communicate any specific ideal, but rather a range of styles and attitudes. H&M’s advertising campaigns are produced centrally in Sweden by H&M’s marketing department in cooperation with are designed to be clear and simple and aim to inform their customers of what is new at H&M.
All of the campaigns show the season’s designs and the price of the clothes pictured. The advertisements that they produce are largely identical in all of their markets, but the media strategy is adapted to local requirements and conditions. Each season they strive to feature models with different looks, styles and cultural backgrounds to advertise their concepts for women, men, teenagers and hillier. Models are chosen in collaboration between internationally recognized agencies and their own representatives.
As outlined in their advertising policy, the models depicted must portray the current fashion in a positive and healthy manner. The company deliberately distances itself from drug and alcohol abuse, and will not use models that do not portray H&M in a way that is in accordance with that policy. Special guidelines for advertising of their children’s concepts H&M has special guidelines for the advertising of their children’s concepts. The target audience is arenas, not children, and they place advertisements in media that are not aimed directly at children.
Children who take part in their campaigns must take part of their own free will. If children are cast in a photo shoot, there is always an H&M representative present to ensure the safety of the children and to maintain a professional environment. Cause related marketing They also run cause-related marketing campaigns such as Fashion Against Aids, aiming to raise awareness of HIVE/AIDS among young target groups. 5. H&M promotion strategy To promote the company and its products, H&M uses video advertisements, print advertisements and the concept of e-marketing.
These promotion and communication strategies tend to meet the consumers from different places anywhere in the world, especially those from the target markets or the consumers in the working place. Moreover, since the trend in the market place today is the usage of e-marketing, the company will provide a website that any client can access. The use of the Internet is changing high-tech marketing overnight while different industries have been trying to use it as part of their marketing strategy.
It does not only reconfigured the way different firms do business and the way the consumers ay goods and services but it also becomes instrumental in transforming the value chain from manufacturers to retailers to consumers, creating a new retail distribution channel. E-marketing is a powerful tool used by different business organizations around the world. It is defined as the process of achieving marketing objectives through the use of electronic communications technology.
E-marketing is also known to be the online marketing strategy utilized by different companies whose objective is to be the best company in their field. Thus, the H&M will create its own website (whom. M. Com). The main objective of utilizing e-marketing strategy is to keep in touch to different internet users to be able to attract more clients and consumers. All in all, through the website, whether the user is a customer, employee, stockholders, vendors, retailers or end customers, the true strength of e-marketing is acceleration of the business portfolio.
While the company does utilize the digital world to a certain extent, there are three main objectives which could greatly aid in brand recognition; restricting and reorganizing its website to improve conversion tastes and overall sales; and building user engagement and loyalty online by improving customer service through social media platforms. 6. H&M in social media Through social media, H&M can Inspire, Inform and Interact with customers, wherever they are in the world. These three are the main objectives in the social media policy of H&M.
H&M has established a strong social media presence that will only continue to grow. It has added a Social Media Room to their website. Here, anyone can browse through what everyday consumers are saying about the brand in the social networks and blobs. Today, it is part of its customers’ daily life through its pages on Faceable, Twitter, Mainstream, Google+ and Youth as well as the Chinese social networks Yuk and Sins Webb. Each network is updated on a regular basis. Through social media, millions of H&M fans and followers share ideas and opinions and get quick answer to their queries.
New fashion videos and reports are uploaded onto Youth weekly and have already been seen more than 30 million times. Through the H&M APS, customers can explore the latest collections and campaigns, find out what’s new at H&M and locate their stores. At the launch in August 2010, the Phone app was the most downloaded application in almost all of H&M’s markets. A. H&M on Faceable 14,314,214 people like the page, while 297,428 talk about it and 230,409 reported they were in the shop.
Meaning there’s at least two categories of people, those who are just fans of the brand, and those who actively like it, share about it, and are proud and able to report when they were in. The page is very active, and gains 100 000 new likes on average each day. On Faceable H&M publishes mostly looks, styles and pictures. It asks for opinions, focusing on one particular product or type of product, ND generates interaction around those topics they launched. So it does indirect promotion, through tips, advices, opinions asking, and also by offering some goodies, as for now, customized summer postcards.
The reactions depends on the posts and their nature (whether it is a new product, posters from the campaign, or opinions asking) but globally, it has about 5,000 likes in average. When it is about opinion concerning a style or a product, the comments are numerous, about 600. When it’s only about promotion, generally meaning a picture and a link to the website, the moments are less than 100. H&M is at the basis a banal clothes brand, relatively cheap. So they need to create and entertain the image they want to have, that would give value to the brand, and take away the cheap store chains image.
By creating content, and posting about specific events, they want to relate their brand to a certain image, by associating their brand and products into a certain way of living, a certain way of thinking, through events, cultural or fashion. H&M Landing Page As with all brand pages in Timeline, the first thing a visitor to the H&M page will see is the wall. H&M makes good use of the more visual nature of Timeline and the page pops with images from their latest collections. However, the page comes across as very product heavy. The channel functions more as an information source than a truly interactive page.
In essence, the wall reads like a catalogue – visually appealing, also includes links to several tools housed on the company’s main website, HAM. Com: Project Black Book H&M’s collaboration with 18-year-old designer Andre Lorenz Stock to create a line of t-shirts featuring images of everyday people. Andre and H&M have asked fans to submit photos by e-mail to [email protected] Mom. H&M Fashion Studio An interactive tool where users style looks on male or female models of their choice, choosing from a huge variety of H&M clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Color options, price, size availability, and collection origin are shown for each item. H&M Fashion Video Videos take viewers behind the scenes for a glimpse at up-and-coming clothing collections, to the streets of cities such as Paris for a look at what the locals are wearing, and to the desk of H&M designers. Fashion Against Aids It can be seen that the community is active through another tab of the H&M page. It is the Fashion Against Aids page, where users share their kisses pictures, to contribute to a $1 donation to AIDS association. In there, for about 17,000 pictures, there are more than 118,500 likes and 4,700 comments.
H&M Contests Trendsetting is crucial for the fashion industry and nothing is more important than finding out what the kids are wearing these days (be it fanny packs, funky scarves or colored denim). In an effort to engage its audience and provide galleries of fashion trends, H&M developed two different global contests that focused on photos, sharing and vote gathering. H&M Trend Scouts 2012 To find the trendsetters from across the world, H&M created a contest, called Trend Scouts, where users submitted photos and shared fashion stories, inspirations and favorite trends, creating a user-friendly gallery of unique, global fashion trends.
The people who garnered the most votes were put in front of a panel of famous fashion judges who selected the 2012 Trend Scouts. These winners attended the Rookeries Festival in Denmark Lully 5-8), where they received a special assignment to take photos of the coolest outfits and styles at the festival. These photos were uploaded to he Faceable page and the Trend Scout with the most votes on their photo won the grand prize of an H&M gift card for 1,000 Euros. The contest page has a fantastic image gallery; however, it’s missing an opportunity for sharing and fan engagement.
Although there are share buttons on each entry, they generate a generic message asking people to enter the contest, not vote for the trendsetter, which could be the reason some of the winners only have two votes. H&M Summer Spot The second contest is more generic and doesn’t focus on trends or fashion, instead focusing on visually appealing photos of fans’ favorite summer spots – creating a rower barrier to entry, which should drive more traffic. Though H&M Summer Spot contest is on Faceable, the contest is actually held on Mainstream.
Fans submit a gee- targeted photo of their favorite summer spot with the washrag #Humorists. The app. People who submit photos are automatically entered to be one of five lucky winners of a $200 H&M gift card. On the tab, fans are able to learn about the contest and Mainstream, as well as explore other fans photos and where they were taken. While the contest is held on Mainstream, H&M does a great Job of bringing the two channels together. Mainstream provides a great platform to curate visually appealing photos, while Faceable allows for better fan engagement.
While fans can share the photos with their friends on Faceable, H&M didn’t provide users the opportunity to share with their other networks. With the clothing retailer utilizing so many different social channels, it’s surprising they missed the opportunity for increased views and engagement. H&M’s Autumn Collection 2013 This app that it used to live stream its Paris fashion show in February. It promoted the live stream with several posts inviting fans to enjoy “an exclusive front row seat” ND a highlights package is still available on its Faceable page.
Though live streaming through Faceable isn’t necessarily a new idea, it is a good way of rewarding fans and giving them a reason to navigate to the brand page. H&M E-Gift Cards E-Gift cards are wonderful and can save you when you accidentally miss a friend’s birthday. H&M made it even easier for you by creating a tab that lets you purchase your H&M gift card right on Faceable. So when Faceable reminds you it’s your friend’s birthday you can write on their wall and send them an e-gift card via Faceable or email. And, when you go to check out, you receive a friendly reminder of all your Faceable friends who have birthdays coming up.
You’ll never miss one again! H&M Historical Timeline No longer will you need to search Wisped to find out when ‘M by Madonna’ launched at H&M (which was 2007, Just in case you were wondering). H&M has taken advantage of Faceable Timeline and provided its fans with a detailed history, featuring all of its special collections from its foundation in 1947 to now. This is a great visual representation of how fashion has changed over the years and who the company’s influences have been. This is especially appealing to all the factionists out there who love fashion history.