How Big Businesses Are Leveraging the Power of Social Media

The Social Media Success Summit panel discussion on How Big Businesses Are Leveraging the Power of Social Media was very insightful. I know that I’m not there yet, but I’d like to think that I will eventually have to deal with multiple communities, and everything that comes with it. The panelists were Marla Erwin from Whole Foods (the biggest retailer on Twitter), John Bernier of Best Buy and Sarah Molinari of Home Depot.

Marla Erwin (Whole Foods)

  • Marla Erwin
    Marla Erwin

    Corporate accounts are used for evergreen content and customer service. Individual stores and metro areas operate their own Twitter and facebookaccounts (they have about 200 stores on Twitter)

  • Store accounts broadcast store specials. They’re controlled by the individual stores.
  • There are also topical accounts – recipe of the day, cheese and wine. They each have a unique voice
  • Whole Foods started using flickr to feature store artists. Now it is also used to show store and
  • community events
  • Their YouTube channel is a corporate channel that feautres local content. It also shows things like cooking demonstrations, interviews with chefs and producer profiles (to let customers see where food is coming from)
  • Started using Gowalla to give deals and coupons to users
  • Started using four square to create competition for Mayorships and better deals at the stores
  • It is important to cross promote social media channels and places. Create landing page and promote directly at the store. Give specific information.

John Bernier (Best Buy)

John Bernier
John Bernier
  • @twelpforce is a  twitter base customer service used to talk with users, not at them.
  • It is employee-driven and it is left up to employees how much to share
  • They provide value to the conversation and “help customers know what we know as fast as we know it”
  • They provide trusted advice. They do not jump into conversations uninvited
  • There’s no need to have “a” voice of a company. Differnt voices humanizes the brand
  • By lettting the user evolve with them, they are able to create a unique experience

Sarah Molinari – Home Depot

  • Sarah Molinari
    Sarah Molinari

    Many parts of the company are involved with social media and they gather monthly to discuss things to do

  • Creating a weekly dashboard keeps people on track
  • They use their YouTube to show tips, and how-to videos
  • Point people to YouTube to give customers access to real time tools
  • Customer service is being there when you are needed
  • Let customers know that their feedback matters and make sure to personalize the outreach
  • Important to create a single landing page which is an official place to send people
  • Home Depot is new to facebook and they are seeing natural growth
  • Syndicate video and share them where the customers go
  • Enjoy the fun moments
  • Focus where people are talking about you before you start

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