Engage in E-tail Seminar – A lesson in social media from Follow agency

social-mediaFollow agency were invited to speak at the recent `Engage in E-tail’ seminars hosted by the Australian Retailers Association. The agency spoke on their wide range of experience with clients and campaigns of all different shapes and sizes in the specific area of social media and e-commerce. One of the strongest messages they had during the seminar was; “Whether a business has $500 a month to spend on marketing or $50,000 a month to spend on marketing, the principles within social media remain the same.”

Shoe Fair Online know there are many retailers currently making the transition into e-commerce and using a social media platform to push and promote their new online venture. But there is much to learn on this new digital realm. So this issue we share some of the handy insights and useful tips/strategies from Follow’s presentation to get you started and help you along the way.


• It was all new media at one stage – radio, tv, websites, edm – no need to feel pressured or rush into it
• Business and marketing objectives first, social media strategy second • Its another component of your marketing mix. Same questions apply – Are you creating a point of difference to attract new customers? – How are you encouraging brand loyalty and repeat business?
• Social media overview – interesting facts, tools, and tricks of the trade
• Today we will focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube • We will finish up by touching on social commerce including the emergence of facebook commerce

REMEMBER: To take the time to get comfortable There are people at the other end.
THE RELATIONSHIP HAS CHANGED: Social media allows for many relationships between your brand and consumers but JUST BEING ON FACEBOOK IS NOT A STRATEGY The key difference between what’s come before and what is now:
TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING – is one way and disrupted the conversation
SOCIAL MEDIA – two way but the brand must fit into the conversation

Social-Media-300x300COMMUNICATIONON ON STEROIDS: A customer has a good experience tells one person, a bad experience and tells many! Now a consumer has an experience with your brand and can tell the world, instantly!


• Facebook ‘hate’ page: GASP Clothing treat their customers like dirt – 3030 likes within one week
• Facebook: GASP page removed due to high traffic of negative comments, then returned with public wall removed
• Twitter comment: “I am actually laughing.. I can’t believe gasp called themselves fashion forward.. Sweetheart you sell polyester dresses u ain’t no Prada.” Ruby Rose

• Embrace the social generation
• Environment where conversation becomes critical to breeding conversion
• Your role is to moderate and guide this conversation to benefit your business
• Communication is 2-way. Be transparent & LISTEN to the market and your customers.

• The new world of influence needs a more conversational approach; advertising should encourage interaction, input and community
• This means having a blog, being in social networks, creating content such as photos, videos etc – generally being part of the conversation.
• Advertising has a big role in the future world of influence – it provides the revenue for most of the services that enable and cultivate consumer recommendation

• There are no secrets in the new world of influence
• Brands, products and services are under constant scrutiny and the truth cannot be managed in the way it was when a few gatekeepers controlled the distribution of information
• The only path is honesty, openness and transparency. If you make a mistake in the new world of influence – you admit it and make good.
• All categories of goods and services are now impacted


80.1% of the Australian population is using the internet (source: internetworldstats.com)
Of this:
– 66.82% are using facebook
– 14.2 million users 39.89% are using blogs
– 8.5 million users 10.66% are using twitter
– 2.3 million users 10.34% are using LinkedIn
– 2.2 million users (source: Neilsen)

• Whether you’re involved in social media or not people are talking about your brand
• Social media has turned us all into content creators and placed billions of opinions online
• A total revolution in the way consumers share influence and opinion. Most of the time, by trusted sources
• Digital channels encourage more frequent interaction and make it easier to share influence e.g through sending links, videos or pictures.
• Retailers can try to identify brand ambassadors and leverage their spheres of influence to promote their business (traditional VIP model, online)
• This is influencing purchasing decisions. As we all know, you can’t beat word of mouth for positive or negative feedback and opinions

Brand awareness, interaction and increased sales would be the end goal for everyone. However, you need to focus on one element at a time and match this to the current stage your business is in. Much discussion focuses on driving huge numbers of fans – we often explain to clients that this should not be the focus.

You should be seeking the right social media following. Much like a bricks and mortar store, it’s no use if your foot traffic is high but made up of the wrong market, likewise, having 10 fans that buy each week is better than having 2000 that never purchase. What do you offer offline that you can offer online? What content, how often, when? Why will someone choose to frequent your page over every other one?

Here are a few things to think about before engaging in a social media channel for your business:

• Integrate social media into your operations – planning and strategy is key!
• Write down specific business goals and objectives
• Brand awareness
• Interaction
• Increased sales
• Customer support
• Recruitment
• Research
• Business development
• What’s in it for your friends, followers and fans?
• How will you initially engage your consumers?
• How will you keep them engaged and interested?
• How will you reward them?


About FOLLOW agency: 
• Follow are a full service agency based in Brisbane with clients ranging from small to medium to large national businesses
• They specialise in social media and ecommerce and creating effective strategies to achieve ROI
• They are about creating brand loyalty and believe that the most effective marketing stems from engaging with your customers and joining their conversation


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