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In this guest post, James Ainsworth takes a look at the surge of social media use by retailers in the lead up to Christmas. Read on for great stats and insight (and a festive slideshow!).
First things first, the title of this post is a slight exaggeration. Although, it always seems like everyone else is doing it and certainly it is true that more are doing it than ever before. Back in October, research conducted by LinkShare, suggested that 43% of Marketers intended to use social media in their Christmas campaigns this year.
Is this because it is cheaper than print and a whole World away from a TV ad spot budget? Maybe. Is it because it pays dividends to be active where the conversation is actually happening? More than likely. Is it because creating an engagement loop with existing and new customers is a sure fire way to generate advocacy, interest and sales? Let’s see…
So, this year will be a very social media Christmas and we are already seeing some exciting examples of joined up marketing campaigns that integrate an aspect of social to get the message across.
- Sainsburys are running a Christmas microsite whereby users can win a Sainsburys Christmas party if they can mobilise enough support from their friends via social networks.
- Amazon vouchers can now be bought and given to friends from within Facebook.
- Wagamamas have a somewhat addictive Christmas game.
- Twinnings are setting up a tea subscription club and supplementing it with a newly created community of tea lovers and in-house tea experts.
- Debenhams have shop floor assistants that will be tuned in to twitter to help customers in a pickle
- Children can now harass their parents from every social angle as Argos introduces a Christmas Wish list Facebook app.
Christmas is also seemingly a time for drinking. Two of the biggest commercial indicators that Christmas is indeed coming are the ‘responsibility’ of Coca Cola and Starbucks. The former being the famous ‘Holidays are coming’ TV spot and the latter being for latte lovers anticipating the arrival of the Red Cups flavoured coffees each year.
This year, we Christmas loving monitoring mavericks at Alterian are going to throw ourselves head-first into the conversations on the web around the Starbucks Red Cup campaign and look to conduct some deep insightful reporting with our SM2 social media monitoring tool and in-house specialist resources. We will examine what the web is saying and how other retailers can extrapolate these findings to apply some new business actions themselves with their campaigns.
If you are in the retail business, how will you use the data that you capture from your Christmas social campaign in 2011? What will you do with the community your seasonal offering builds? Please do join in with the fun of Red Cup World and see how social media monitoring can deliver valuable insight on those magical Christmas campaigns, not just for Christmas but for life…
As a consumer have you been interacting with retailers in the social media space?