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BlogWell Seattle Case Study: REI, presented by Jordan Williams

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In his BlogWell presentation, REI's Manager of Digital Engagement, Jordan Williams, talks about the benefits and challenges of distributing social media throughout the organization.

In his BlogWell presentation, REI's Manager of Digital Engagement, Jordan Williams, talks about the benefits and challenges of distributing social media throughout the organization.

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  • 25% of shopping conversations are posted online from consumers while in an actual store - ListenLogicMore effective / higher engagementTime zones / local interest
  • Retail team members aren’t traditional social media workers!Not sitting at desks; Limited access to the web, computers or devicesHourly employees present unique challengesLegal issues: minimum wage act / after hours / personal devicesHourly employees mean every hour spent is an incremental investment (e.g. training, tech support, et al)Tension between time on the floor & time on the social media “floor”Retail Managers incented to sell, social designed to engage
  • National presences plus…53 new market-level Twitter handles53 new market-level Facebook fan pages300+ new social media practitionersSocial Media 101 & 201 training curriculumNew social media management platformRapidly expanding self-help & internal-communication resources
  • Your numbers may be different… but what you can expect is slow, steady, organic growth.
  • 14k training session15 modules3k certified
  • Big enough to: distribute the load & serve all needsSmall enough to: hold accountable Rotating-dailyRotating-weeklyAnchor-store carrying the load
  • Organizational trust. Our practitioners are -- very naturally, and with precious little training and guidance, doing exactly what we hoped they would -- delivering the green vest experience online. So far, the organizational trust in this program is paying off, without anything other than very minor "coachable moments" here and there.Traffic: local following up to almost 20k (aggregate) w/o any marketing support to-date + nice Ad Age article on our local approach
  • Transcript

    • 1.
    • 2. REI LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA:
      DISTRIBUTED, AWESOME, NOT EASY
      Jordan Williams
      @jordancwilliams | @REI
      Blogwell Seattle - August 2011
    • 3. Social Media at REI (pre-local)
    • 4. WHY LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA @ REI
      • Members & customers shop at their REI
      • 5. Listen or not, customers are talking
      • 6. Increasingly online while they are in the store
      • 7. Regionality is important
      • 8. So much great local stuff going on
    • LOCAL SOCIAL WITHIN RETAIL IS DIFFERENT
      • Retail team members are not cube dwellers!
      • 9. Hourly vs. exempt
      • 10. Technology (lack of)
      • 11. Inconsistent incentives:
      • 12. Social = engage
      • 13. Retail = sell
      • 14. Both = serve
    • Local Social Media Strategy
      Market-based
      Distributed management
      Drive participation
      Nationally + Locally
      Localize content
      Serve specific needs
    • 15. Social Media at REI (Post-Local)
    • 16. Social Media at REI (Post-Local)
      • By the numbers:
      • 17. 116-ish store locations
      • 18. 53 markets
      • 19. 126 new social presences
      • 20. 53 Twitter
      • 21. 53 Facebook
      • 22. 300+ practitioners
      • 23. Growth:
      • 24. Over 4,000 new fans / followers since 7/15 (when launch was “done”).
    • WHAT? WHEN? HOW?(practioners)
    • 25. DO’S
      • Emphasize the positive
      • 26. Pay attention to detail
      • 27. Obey copyright law
      • 28. Emphasize your community
      • 29. Be responsive
      • 30. Get to know other social media users
      • 31. Use links, tagging, @mentions to build relationships
      • 32. Have fun!
    • Social Media & Community (SMaC U)
    • 33. DON’TS
      • Don’t sell
      • 34. Don’t be careless with hot button topics
      • 35. Don’t be afraid of negative comments
      • 36. Don’t use content you don’t have rights to
      • 37. Don’t be a jerk!
    • HOW
      • Coachable moments, not mistakes / trouble / smack-down / etc.
      • 38. Environment of trust:
      • 39. We trust retail staff to interact with customers every day on the shop floor. WHY NOT online?
    • WHAT? WHEN? HOW?(organizationally)
    • 40. LOTS OF GROUNDWORK PRE-LAUNCH
      • Change-management & planning = more than a year
      • 41. Retail teams (mostly) chomping at the bit
      • 42. It takes a village:
      • 43. Legal
      • 44. Public Affairs
      • 45. Retail Operations
      • 46. Human Resources
      • 47. IT
      • 48. Marketing
      • 49. Membership Services (aka the Call Center)
    • ORGANIZATIONAL FLEXIBILITY BY DESIGN
      • Practitioners were self / locally nominated
      • 50. Guidance only on how many practitioners
      • 51. Multi-store markets self-organize / distribute load
      • 52. Single-store markets organized based on available resources / skillset / interest
    • MANAGEMENT TOOL A MUST
      • Account layer between employee & social log-in/password
      • 53. Workgroups
      • 54. Delegation between stores and between stores & HQ teams
      • 55. Ubiquitous web access
      • 56. Mobile app
      • 57. Reporting
      • 58. Built-in URL shortcuts
    • HOW’S IT GOING?
    • 59. WHAT’S BEEN TOUGH
      • Huge spectrum of social media fluency
      • 60. Remote training a challenge
      • 61. Very limited technology available at Retail
      • 62. One PC image
      • 63. Old browser
      • 64. Limited bandwidth
      • 65. Social media management tool vital, but imperfect
      • 66. We're hitting use cases not yet considered
      • 67. Market-level strategy might not mesh with Facebook product strategy
    • WHAT’S WORKED WELL
      Organizational trust 
      Traffic is building
      Enthusiasm in the broader organization 
      Enthusiasm at retail
      Customers are super excited
      Non-profit partners are already getting engaged
    • 68. QUESTIONS?rei.com/connect@REI@jordancwilliamsSara Lingafelter@theclimbergirl
    • 69. THANK YOU.

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