Brad Walters, Director of Social Media and Emerging Platforms for Lowe’s Home Improvement, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss starting the conversation rather than letting the customer start it, tailoring content and strategies to individual platforms, and delivering consistently helpful content across all social platforms.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“Each platform is a way to drive a particular piece of our objective; not every platform’s the same.” -@bradjwalters (tweet this)
Tailor to Your Platform
Many companies are using social to bolster their customer service efforts. Lowe’s took this a step further and sought to initiate the conversation by creating an original Facebook app they call Rant or Rave. “We can sort through these things and then categorize them in a way that the customer care team can be very, very effective.” It’s not about sitting back and waiting for customers to interact with their brand; it’s about starting the conversation in a space they can control.
The key, Brad says, is to target content and goals to each particular platform. “We look at each platform as a way to drive a particular piece of our overall arching objective, because not every platform’s the same.” A visual platform like Pinterest doesn’t demand the same type of content that a text-based platform like Twitter does, and vice versa.
For Vine, Lowe’s created their “Fix in Six” series. The idea came by studying how people were using this new social media platform. “If we were going to really go into the platform,” Brad says, “we want to come in with a strong content strategy that can be utilized instead of just randomly posting things out there and seeing what works.”
These six-second stop-motion videos are intended to give consumers excellent everyday fixes: find the studs in your walls, avoid hammering your fingers, screw screws into hard-to-reach places, etc. And for the users who don’t have Vine on their mobile devices, Lowe’s created a Tumblr where all that content can live.
Your brand doesn’t have to cover every single social platform; the trick is to taylor your content strategy carefully to the platforms you do use.
Four Your Information
How did you get involved in social media?
Brad had an agency background and was focused entirely on digital. As social media emerged as an interest, lots of clients were asking him how they could utilize it. “I like to see how folks interact, almost like the psychological and sociological view behind it.” It became a real passion for him.
What do you like best about social media?
He likes the opportunity to get to know the customer. “It’s just really fascinating to get an understanding of who these folks are and why they’re there, and the opportunity to engage with them and help them as best we can.”
What do you like least about social media?
Sometimes information can become misconstrued, especially news sources.
If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who might that be and why?
As a big Texas Rangers fan, Brad would like to do a Skype call with Nolan Ryan to “find out what it was like to be a player back in the day when baseball was a little bit more pure than it is today.”
See you next week!