A lot of the best case studies on the use of social media come from across the pond, so it’s good to see Marks & Spencer, a quintessentially British brand, setting an example.
M&S has gone through quite a few changes recently, embracing social media by incorporating ratings and reviews in its main website, and using Facebook and Twitter to carry on conversations with customers. As writer Aliya Zaidi says, it’s encouraging to see a major brand experimenting with new online channels.
Zaidi interviewed the company’s business development manager, Sienne Veit, who points out that the business has actually been engaged in conversations ever since it was founded more than a century ago, via letters, phone calls and, more recently, e-mails. “Really, what we are now doing is moving that conversation along technologically, to where our customers are now having their conversations: Facebook, Mumsnet, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter or wherever they may be online.”
Veit concedes that the company has not cracked the problem of measuring and benchmarking successful use of social media, but after trialling different approaches says it has a better idea of what success looks like.
“It is easy for us to look simply at the metrics: 80,000 Facebook fans, 4,300 Twitter users, traffic and revenue directly from social media sites building. However, for us, the true strength of social media is engagement so we also look at which discussions, posts, videos and events get the most comments and the level of detail of those posts. What we also need to do is quantify the value of the insight we receive about our products, services and brand through social media.”
See the rest of the interview here.