Gap exec: 60pc of social media engagements happen via smartphones
March 1, 2013
PALM DESERT, CA – A Gap executive at eTail West said that with more than half of social media engagements happening on smartphones, everything the brand does in social media takes on a mobile-first approach.
During the “Analyzing Organizational Team Structures of Social Media To Increase Responsiveness Of Your Program” session, executives from Gap, Office Depot, Ballard Designs, Zazzle.com and Better The World spoke about how they use social as part of their digital marketing mixes. The session was moderated by Corey Capasso, president of Nomi Technologies, New York.
“We are seeing 60 percent of all social media engagements happening via smartphones, so everything that we design is designed for mobile-first,” said Rachel Tipograph, director of global digital and social media at Gap, San Francisco.
“We have even tested that consumers like mobile content better, so we see higher engagement with an image produced via Instagram than an advertising asset from a traditional agency,” she said.
“So there is just this proclivity to want to like these low-fi assets versus a traditional high-fi world that we use to engage with.”
Reinvent via social
Gap has been ramping up its social media strategy in the past year. One of the main things that social has been used for is to change the perception of the brand.
Gap has created partnerships with start-ups and platforms – such as Tumblr – to help the brand build cultural relevance with women aged 20 – 30-years old. Via social, Gap is aiming to gain style credibility with these users.
Additionally, social is integrated into Gap’s overall global score card. This helps the brand understand how all marketing channels work together holistically.
Social has a different value that drives a company’s business and cannot revolve around a one-size-fits-all approach.
Unless social commerce is embedded into a site – such as how Fab.com is set up – social media advertising will not return the same lift as a traditional TV spot will.
Email and retargeting on the other hand can be effective at driving commerce.
Last year, Gap launched its influencer program called Styld.by that was aimed at getting women in their 20’s and 30’s to consider Gap a place for fashion and style and then acquire these users as a customer.
Every season, Gap sends products to fashion blogs and sites that encourage the sites to photograph and style the product. The fashion blogs and brands have to put the photograph into a template that exists on their site.
Gap doubled the number of millennials who engage with the brand’s social platforms via Styld.by. Additionally, Gap drove 2.7 million unique millennials to Gap.com in 2012 as a result of Styld.by.
Gap also increased its association with fashion style by 40 percent as a result of Styld.by. The consumers who engaged with Styld.by in 2012 spent 20 percent more in-stores than those that did not participate in Styld.by, per Ms. Tipograph.
The program is being rolled out to 50 countries this spring.
Mobile is social
According to Emery Skolfield, senior director of marketing and brand usage at Office Depot, Delray Beach, FL, social helps marketers find new ways to talk about brands with people and understand how they react to marketing.
As consumers turn to mobile as the first interaction with social media, it is a must that marketers think about which devices their content will be viewed on.
“I think more and more, we ask the question, ‘Are you creating this content to look a certain way on your computer screen or are you thinking about how it will look on your phone,’ because that is where I use social – and that is where our users are using social,” Mr. Skolfield said.
"So I don’t know if we differentiate the two – I think we are more challenging ourselves to make sure that we are starting with mobile and making sure that our social content fits into that interface,” he said.
Additionally, Office Depot wants to bring social experiences inside stores that change the retail dynamic, meaning that content is served in an interactive way.
Nowadays, there is a plethora of social platforms available to marketers.
Matching social content to the correct medium is key, per Diana Adair, director of communications at Zazzle.com, Redwood City, CA.
“In some circumstances for Zazzle.com, which is ecommerce-only, one of the main stories that we are trying to tell is about customization and making your own products by the way that you order them,” Ms. Adair said.
“Depending on which channel, you might show a different part of that,” she said.
“Some are better for photos, images and behind-the-scenes, so in some ways this customization – where users might be placing a photo of their dog on a pillow and then taking a photo of it and uploading it to Instagram – has a lot for us to capitalize on.”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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