Recently I was fortunate enough to meet with Digital Strategist Sam Zivot at the Lorna Jane HQ. As a Social Media junkie and fan of the brand, I was very excited to discover what goes on behind the scenes of a company with such a strong social presence. During my conversation with Sam, there were 5 key stand-out things that they are doing to keep ahead in Social Media.
1 – The Lorna Jane Social Hub
The first thing I noticed as I entered the office was the new Social Hub, set up to monitor the brands social media activity. This hub of analytics was inspired by the Gatorade Command Centre video, Sam said, “It’s customer centric and we’re able to respond in a timelier manner and generate more content and more interaction. Time is the ultimate limiting factor because as more interaction happens we need more resources to manage it.” The Social Hub runs multiple analytics tools at once, providing a complete snapshot of brand related activity across all social platforms.
2 – Top of the range Analytics tools
Lorna Jane is acting as a trial partner for Hearis, a social media monitoring and engagement tool developed by Traffika. Hearis allows Sam and his team to have administrative control over all 130 Lorna Jane Facebook pages. I had to wonder what the management of these pages was like before Hearis. Sam told me, “It was just in disarray, so we didn’t have control over it. We want to empower the store managers and give them the ability to manage, be entrepreneurial and run their own businesses, but at the same time we want to have some control over that. Also, when a staff member leaves and is no longer a part of the organisation, this gives the ability to control access and passwords.”
Another program Lorna Jane is using is Radian6, which makes crisis management a lot easier. Referring to the tag cloud pictured, Sam said, “If I look at this and all of a sudden start seeing negative keywords around I can go click on that keyword and see where those conversations are so we can intervene.”
3 – Instagram
While Lorna Jane is across most social platforms, they have had a lot of success using Instagram. Sam said, “Instagram is a channel that’s just really taken off for us, during our Now Move It campaign we had 3000 photos tagged of the campaign hashtag (#NowMoveIt). We ran one last week and that got about 5100 in a week and we ran another that’s already up 3000, now we’re seeing 1000 images a week with our branded hashtag, (#lornajne). The response levels that you get on Instagram are very high, we’ve hit the popular page two or three times already which is great. Even with Facebook where we have 520k fans, we also get good engagement but Instagram proportionally is substantially higher because it hasn’t introduced an algorithm yet that limits the number of followers that see your posts, as per Facebook.”
“In terms of rates of engagement Instagram is leading for us as a channel at the moment.”
“Instagram is a great platform for contests at the moment. There aren’t yet strict contest rules in place as per Facebook, which has very clearly defined terms and conditions that limit what you can do on the platform. Because Facebook contests need to be created in tabs and not in the newsfeed (where 95% of Facebook page interaction occurs), they tend to be significantly less engaging and successful.”
4 – Great Content
A key difference that helps Lorna Jane stand out from the crowd is the way the marketing team have taken the brand beyond being just a clothing label, with their Move, Nourish, Believe philosophy. Sam explained, “The Move Nourish Believe philosophy is set up as an umbrella of content and everything cascades below that. We’ve established those three big areas of content and it’s the perfect mix, it’s constraining but there’s so much you can do within each of those, we have a hundred new products each month that are each on their own a piece of content that is sharable. It’s a very visual and inspirational brand which bodes really well for the social space.”
5 – Diversity
Sam and his team have made a conscious effort to share different content across each of their social networks. Sam said, “What I see a lot of brands doing which I’m very against is use a cross publishing platform like Hootsuite to schedule their posts in and push it to all the channels. I’d really advise against that because each channel really is its own animal and has to be catered for individually. You can’t write twitter posts like a Facebook post or an Instagram post. We treat each network differently and try to give people a slightly different experience on each of them.”
Some advice from Sam
I took the opportunity to find out from Sam what his advice would be for companies starting out. He said, “What I’d say would be you don’t have to be in every channel, because each channel is going to be more work. If you have to stick to just one channel, stick to Facebook. Twitter can be a lot of work for a relatively minimal return. In terms of traffic we see coming back to the website, Facebook is our fourth highest referral source. So in addition to the social engagement, it’s actually delivering revenue and traffic for our site and real customers.
“If you have a rather visual brand, Instagram would be a great complimentary channel, but really at the end of the day it comes down to sharing great content that is not always principally about you, it’s about the consumer and what empowers them to share the content.
“When creating social media content for your brand, remember you’re competing with hundreds of other posts from friends and others brands. To stand out you can’t always behave like a salesman; you need to act like a friend. Treat your followers as a friend and they’ll engage with you.
“There’s a place for selling in social, and it certainly does give us a result, but we try to aim for a ratio of at least five content or engagement focused posts to one selling based post.
“I always say when it comes to social; the less you ask of people the more that they’ll do. When it comes to the skimmable nature of Facebook, don’t ask for an essay just ask for a few words. Even when you ask for simple answers sometimes you’ll get great content as well. When Lorna was researching for her book, Move Nourish Believe, a lot of the content in there came from Facebook.”
“The thing is if you feed something and give it love, it’s going to give you a great return. That’s what we’ve proven with Instagram.”
Seeing social media being used on such a massive scale was inspiring. It made it very clear that no matter the size of your company, or the scale of your social strategy it really does all come down to great, sharable content. Lorna Jane have really hit the nail on the head with their content delivery, which is clearly a large part of the reason they are now the largest Australian retail fashion page on Facebook.