Get in Touch

  • Email Us
  • INTL 001.562.252.3789
    USA 800.430.4095
Shireen Qudosi

What Brands Can Learn from Macy’s Social Media Strategy

Mar 29 2012, 01:36 PM by

Department store giant, Macy’s recently revamped their shopping strategy with a clever marriage between concierge shopping and social media. With over 800 stores worldwide, the company has taken what would have been an otherwise blanket generic marketing campaign for any competitor of comparable size, and turned it inside out with a social media strategy that invites customers into “back doors” for an experience that delivers exclusivity.

In just 2010, Macy’s worked to enhance their social media presence by launching Facebook, Twitter and YouTube campaigns. Macy’s now boasts over 2.4 million Facebook fans (with the help of a clever “Million Dollar Makeover” campaign), and continues to utilize various Twitter strategies with a range of Twitter feeds. But here’s how the company went beyond just basic social media use and soared into success…

Backstage Passes – An in-store effort, Macy’s now offers customers a “Backstage Pass” program. Customers can snap a picture of a QR code with their phones to pop up a promotional video of a specific product. The idea isn’t completely unique. Just yesterday I saw the same type of marketing approach in Home Depot, of all places. Snapping a QR code there could get me tips on planting my favorite flowers.

Macy’s approach is getting their star-backed products synced with videos made by those stars. You may not have celebrities to rely upon, but you could partner with other authorities or even local personalities. You could also take a cue from the custom content Macy’s offers with their “Trend Report.” While there are thousands of qualified trend and fashion sites, Macy’s sets itself up as one too. After all, why let your customers look elsewhere when they can look to you?

Macy’s strategy was years in the making, including years of analyzing customer behavior data and developing customer-centric approaches, so Macy’s could “better search each consumer’s individual needs.” The approach has led to the new strategy, which initially began as a “systematic experimentations and testing of new marketing approaches in 2011.” Clearly though, it’s beyond experiment status with such winning results.

YouTube – Unlike too many small and mid-sized businesses, Macy’s understands the power of video. Their media relations manager, Orlando Veras, adds that, “In a format like YouTube, you have the opportunity to have longer length content rather than delivering smartphone or SMS. It’s an opportunity to expand on the message.” Macy’s takes what can be found in the stores via QR codes and more, and plugs them online for everyone to see without even having to step foot in the store. The move is a smart one that helps navigate and influence the large number of online shoppers.

If you want to know the golden formula to what makes social media a winning campaign, you can find it with the words of Holly Thomas, Macy’s Media Relations and Cause Marketing VP, who says, “It’s in constant evolution, and we continue to be flexible as we hear from our fan or consumer what they really want in that space. It tends to be a mix of expertise, fashion perspective and great, iconic events.”

There are essentially two lessons to take home. The first is creativity (after of course claiming your online presence). The second is spending. Macy’s spends an average of $120 million out of a $1 billion advertising budget on digital media alone. While most of us don’t have either of those amounts to play with, we can recognize that a successful campaign by one of the leading department stores worldwide sees the importance of allocating a good chunk of their marketing budget to digital media efforts – which of course includes social media marketing.

We should be doing the same.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Social Media, Online Branding, Current Events

Related Blogs