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Five ways to win on social media

Delving into the world of social media engagement, Dessi Bell, founder of Zaggora, Simon Lee, chief marketing officer of Matalan and Gabriella May, head of ecommerce at People Tree, shared their insights for social success at the Drapers Digital Festival 2018.

Smaller followings mean better engagement: “We’ve been working with influencers a lot more, and you want someone with an engaged audience,” says Lee.

Bell notes that engagement is indicated by comments, more than by the number of followers or likes an influencer has. “Smaller influencers are better,” she says. “They have more engaged followings and they are less stretched across their brands.”

Authenticity is key: “It’s important to find people with engaged audiences and it’s really important that when we work with influencers that they fall within our brand values,” says Lee. “It’s important that things are authentic. We’re turning away from branded content – the customer feels deceived by it.” 

Use social to improve your product: “When we started we gave away product and utilised feedback to get customers through the doors,” says Bell. “We went to social media because it was genuine feedback. We had great confidence that most of our reviews would be positive. We’ve really maintained that practice.

”Customer feedback is an essential part of our development process. We talk to customers to find out their issues. For us, social media is about getting as much info from our customers as we can.”

Instagram’s shopping function is still an unknown: “We have to ask, ’does it feel true to a brand to be selling through this channel?’” says Lee. “It could be the future. We may turn around and find it’s the norm.”

“We’ve found it’s about balance in our testing,” says May. “Sometimes we’ve seen brands where every single post a shopping post, and that’s just pushing product too much. We use one post in four as a shopping post and we’ve seen a huge growth in sales since it went live.”

Twitter is a place for conversation: “Twitter is best for our highly engaged followers,” says May. “We can tell consumers exactly where and who made their clothing.

“Our ethical consumers find organic posts that speak to them directly more effective. They love to research and are highly engaged on social media and often self-identify to us.”

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