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.

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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
  • BlogWell Seattle Case Study: REI, presented by Jordan Williams

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

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