Social media reminds me of the Oscars. It’s important to be there, glammed-up, looking fabulous and promoting yourself so that people will go see your films and you can gather fans and have a following. To be included in the Oscars is a must or you’ll soon be forgotten. – Such is the industry, full of actors striving to get noticed and only a few places to showcase with Oscar-style red carpet hoopla.
Social media is red carpet hoopla gone viral. Retailers too are striving to look online-fabulous, gather fans and have a following. Clicks and likes are like repetitive camera flashes in your face as you stride down the red carpet flinging your hair back in gorgeousness.
Social networks are telling you that your stats are amazing. Perhaps your stats are amazing and perhaps you deserve applause. It’s easy to hide behind the stats as everyone else does. It’s okay that your actual sales are down even with all the branding because the others have that same problem. I’m reminded of another analogy that has nothing to do with the Oscars.
Picture a retailer going down river in a boat. Other retailers are in boats too, but without oars.
The retailer sees this and discards his own oars and watches as they float away. That’s okay as it’s what the others are doing. Besides, not having to row offers a nice chance to take in the view. Each splash is a pleasant reminder that there is current. The current gets stronger and soon enough, the torrent of a mighty waterfall is seen lying ahead predicting impending doom. (Or store closure, literally.) We at Raange come along in a motorboat to offer assistance. The retailer rejects the help as the others aren’t taking it either because they’re preoccupied with their stats. “But we have an engine!” we shout as boats float over the falls, one by one, and resurface somewhere in the shopping mall in the sky.
Melodramatic? – Maybe, I deserve an Oscar. “ Wink, wink.” Yes, melodramatic it is, but how comfortable are you seeing stores in your mall closing, one by one?
You fight everyday to meet sales quotas on walk-ins. It’s hard to compete when most people are simply going online to shop or walk in, try on clothes, then leave to purchase them online. How come no one is driving people into your stores to buy?
What if retail marketing teams acted more like sales teams? Imagine a focus on sales and revenue quotas. Imagine a focus on the bottom line. I’d bet an Oscar that your stores would thrive, closure would become a distant thought and the shopping mall in the sky would have to wait a long time for your entry.
I love seeing lines at a register. Now, that’s a retailer who gets it. Collect opted-in data. Ask your customers what they like and want. Listen and make wise decisions based on real data. Then communicate, engage your customers and drive them into your stores where your staff is waiting to treat them like family. Then become a hero to your company, staff and most importantly, your customers.
It’s time for you to get pissed off and make a change. Use social media as you need to, but don’t get sucked into its red carpet hoopla of clicks, likes and followers. It’s better to be a hero, influencing a sales boom for your company rather than the alternative; be online-fabulous at the Social Media Oscars.