Consumers are more likely to buy if your brand is social
In this digital age, it is rare to see any brands not jump onto social media to connect with their fans and target consumers. With the advent of smart phones and the ease of a quick Google search, most consumers are well equipped and educated in finding information about any brand in a matter of seconds.
Being on social media doesn’t necessarily translate into direct sales. However, it definitely influences their perceptions about the brand, which may sway them into being potential customers. This can help with future sales and developing brand loyalty while fostering a strong relationship between the brand and the consumer. Brands must not undervalue the power of social media and the influential impact it creates because this will be the future of communication.
A consumer survey was conducted by New York University’s Assistant Professor of Communications Liel Leibovitz that touched on the matter of social media and the consumer. It was reported that:
88% of survey respondents are less likely to buy from companies that ignore complaints on social media. (Source: Conversocial, 2011)
50% of consumers reported that they use social media to communicate with brands (Source: Conversocial, 2011)
78% believed that social media platforms are well underway of taking over traditional means of customer service. (Source: Conversocial, 2011)
62% of influencer impressions are made on Facebook (Source: Forrester)
Social media and mobile has allowed consumers to have interactions about a brand before they even touch foot into a physical store or their online website. These interactions can be taken into forms of product reviews or word-of-mouth from peers.
With these insights in mind, let’s take a look at a trailblazing company that knows a thing or two about being social online and offline. Lululemon Athletica is an example of a company whose digital marketing strategy crosses all social media platforms successfully, inspiring creativity while educating and challenging their customers into a healthier lifestyle.
Lululemon specializes in athletic, yoga-inspired clothing primarily for women. Lululemon states that their mission is to “create components for people to live long, healthy, and fun lives.” Their online and social experience feels like an extension of their services and brand values from their in-store environments. Their message remains consistent, clear, and concise among all channels, which heightens their brand awareness.
This is a snippet from Lululemon’s Annual Report describing their target audience:
“Our primary target customer is a sophisticated and educated woman who understands the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle. She is increasingly tasked with the dual responsibilities of career and family and is constantly challenged to balance her work, life and health. We believe she pursues exercise to achieve physical fitness and inner peace.”
Lululemon and Social Media
Currently, Lululemon has over 900,000 Facebook fans and 600,000 Twitter followers. Although Lululemon has main corporate Facebook and Twitter accounts, they also strategized to create localized accounts from major cities, getting as close to their fans as possible.
Lululemon hosts free yoga sessions on Saturdays and encourage women to post their experiences and thoughts onto Lululemon’s Facebook page to share with other fans. Lululemon also uses their brand ambassadors and advocates to promote their products and lifestyle on their Facebook page. By localizing and segmenting their target audience, Lululemon was able to make a huge impact and drive tons of traffic and fan engagement to their pages. Lululemon’s Twitter page is always active. They address consumers’ inquiries through tweets, advertise company promotions, and provide inspirational quotes.
As for their Pinterest page of 2 million followers, they have curated a collection of beautiful boards filled with inspirational quotes and imagery reflecting their very core brand values. Their Pinterest page does not obviously push their products with only stagnant, boring stock photos of each product. Instead, they integrate their clothing with visually stimulating photographs of people being active in it. The same strategy has also been implemented into Lululemon’s Instagram account. The company has reported that 14% of their revenue (earning of $197 million) in 2012 has been generated online, which was an 86% increase from the year before. Much of this was due in part to Lululemon’s online presence and being able to reach a larger international audience.
Lululemon understands the importance of image-focused marketing strategies that results in engaged consumers and drive interaction points and conversion rates. It is evident in the way Lululemon interacts and participates on these social channels with their fans that they understand their customer really well and has proven success in sales due to their overall marketing strategy of building a budding community.
Though there are many competing athletic clothing brands in the market, Lululemon customers stay loyal to their beloved brand. Devoted customers were quoted saying in an USA Today interview that “Once you go Lululemon, you never go back” and that “Lululemon products have a way of making you want to work out.”
Lululemon is not just selling athletic clothing products. They are actively selling and promoting a lifestyle. Looking back on who their target audiences are, we can conclude that Lululemon has done a great job in holistically building their brand to be social and widely successful.