Do you ever wonder how some of these giant mega stores approach little things like social media marketing for their business? Personally I love when employees get engaged with social media to help grow a brand because it gives each communication effort a bit more integrity and realness. In a recent Advertising Age article they discuss how Home Depot is changing the way their business interacts with their online audience and customer base.
A certain group of floor employees across different stores will not only handle customer interaction on a face-to-face level but they will also be “experts” on Home Depot’s How To Blog creating a content synergy between floor experience and online connection…priceless.
“Home Depot’s social-media store associates live a double life: apron-wearing store associate three days a week and savvy content creator two days a week. The hybrid role, just shy of one year old, is a cornerstone of the retailer’s social-media strategy. Supported by a “lean” internal team, the elite group of associates was hand-picked by Brad Shaw, VP-corporate communications, and his group to manage Home Depot’s How-To Community seven days a week. Today, they also contribute to The Apron blog, serve as on-call experts in the Garden Club and on HomeDepot.com and also assist with media appearances.”
The most important thing to take away from this information is that even an organization of this size, Home Depot finds a way to incorporate a strong social media effort without breaking the bank. Many companies now struggle with ROI and resource issues and if you just dig into your existing staff you might find some great resources sitting right under your nose. What better than to have a team of blog writers for your business that directly interacts with your audience on a personal level. This allows them to use information in their content that is a direct result of communication on the floor. From a social media stand point this is worth its weight in gold.
Home Depot goes on to say also that not all components are done in-house. Some efforts are outsourced and collaborated with the marketing department and outside vendor relationships. Home Depot claims that a cross-functional approach is 100% unnecessary for overall success.