Getting 'Social’: Primark And Ted Baker Prove You Don’t Have To Spend Big To Connect With Customers.

How do you maximise your social media presence with minimal advertising outlay?

How can small independent retailers compete with larger brands? The answer is to follow the example of the likes of Primark and Ted Baker. Their social media strategies are perfect examples of how you can reach a wide audience without spending big. Primark and Ted Baker have both embraced the social media and engaged with their audiences, but resisted the temptation of spending large amounts of money on national advertising and marketing campaigns.

Does the strategy work? Well, figures released by eDigitalResearch would definitely suggest so. In its latest Retail and Social Media Benchmark study, which measures the popularity of over 100 of the UK’s top retailers on the most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, eDigitalResearch found that Primark alone has 2.4 million Facebook followers and has climbed an impressive 14 places in the league table during the last year.

How has Primark managed to do this without breaking the bank?

Well, Primark relies on its own brand ambassadors. It lets its customers do its talking, rather than spending money on national marketing campaigns. Primark’s business model is tailor-made for social media platforms. Primark engages with users and encourages customers to share their Primark experiences with friends. This business model, which includes posting images of its extensive product range and highlighting its special promotions and latest offers, is replicated across all the social media sites. Moreover, its (non- transactional) website refresh with a greater emphasis on promoting social media links has helped Primark to better engage with those who want to get involved with the brand.

Primark first went online last year in a joint venture with ASOS in which it trialled its top-selling products; however, the move into the online world didn’t go as smoothly as Primark would’ve liked. Shipping costs and other online expenses cut further in Primark’s already tight margins. Therefore Primark, unlike most of its social media rivals, has now reverted to its in-store-only model, and is focusing its social media presence engaging with users and driving in-store visits rather than online clicks.

Similarly, Ted Baker, another retailer who resists the temptation to invest heavily in advertising and marketing, has called the social media heights and climbed 44 places up the Google+ league table and made it into the top ten for the first time. It has done this exclusively through the social media. Its Google+ page provides an exclusive look into their product range and catwalk shows whilst its entire social media strategy actively encourages followers to get involved with the brand and get creative.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, believes that the latest figures clearly demonstrate that social media marketing is the ideal low-cost strategy for smaller independent retailers, adding:

“The era of social media has played perfectly into the hands of retailers such as Primark, Ted Baker and other smaller or independent retailers who, instead of spending on advertising and marketing campaigns, are focusing their efforts on engaging with their potential customers through online social platforms. Ted Baker’s entire social media presence – from blogs to Pinterest – is a fantastic example of how a well-executed strategy can turn followers into advocates by creating an accessible brand personality that actively encourages people to get involved”.

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