Differentiation

QAwithPadmaLakshmiThis week’s (LONG overdue…I know) post will compare the social media campaigns of two major interior design/home décor e-commerce sites.

Two of my absolute favorite websites for finding awesome things for the home are Joss & Main and Wayfair.com. Both of these sites have amazing pieces and prices start at levels I can actually afford (win!)

Joss & Main is a member-only flash sale based site (very easy to sign up) that has different really limited time sales on all kinds of cool home décor items. I’m in love with their collection of graphic print rugs

Wayfair is a discount site that has an absolutely HUGE selection of everything for home. I love their selection of fun table lamps.

Now that my rather opinionated description of the websites we’re discussing is out of the way…let’s dig into the social media strategy for these two online design resources.

Joss & Main is active on Pinterest, Facebook, Google +, and Twitter.

Their Facebook account has a strong number of followers at 251K Likes. There are several posts within this page and it looks like posting happens daily. One thing I noticed when looking through their Facebook page is that other than the initial posting, Joss & Main doesn’t seem to be interacting with their fans. It would be interesting to see if their amount of Likes increased if they took the time to check back into each post and respond to the conversations they sparked within their community.

Joss & Main’s Twitter account doesn’t have a very strong following at less than 10K followers. This is disappointing from an interior designer stand point, as Joss & Main does such a great job at curating works from seasoned as well as up and coming designers to feature on their site. I’m sure they would love the extra exposure Twitter can provide.  Joss & Main seems to Tweet fairly regularly, but again, they aren’t really engaging with consumers. I think they could really find better use of Twitter by engaging with their customers – actively re-Tweeting design related posts from their followers and Tweeting content of interest to consumers other than just current sales could go a long way in enhancing engagement.

Their Pinterest & Google + accounts have a lot of really great content with tons of pictures and ideas. But again – Where is the consumer engagement?

Let’s move onto Wayfair. These guys are on the exact same social media networks as Joss & Main. This makes sense, given they have the same target audience. Wayfair.com actually has a huge presence on Facebook, with over 1 million Likes. However, like Joss & Main, they don’t engage in the discussions they start on their page. Imagine if they took time to even just check in once and respond to any sticky themes.

Wayfair’s Twitter account is also quite comparable to Joss & Main, but Wayfair has double the amount of followers. And Wayfair’s Pinterest and Google + also has the same themes and overall feel as Joss & Main – just with a larger number of people following.

I’m surprised that both Wayfair and Joss & Main aren’t active on YouTube. Selling such visual merchandise, it seems like YouTube would be a great way to connect with potential customers.

All that being said – Both companies seem to be doing a decent job with social media. With more follow up on ACTIVE engagement, I think they would each have great SM campaigns going.

What home décor/interior design stores get social media right in your opinion? Leave me a comment to discuss!

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4 thoughts on “Differentiation

  1. Katrina,
    I took the challenge to see if I could find a home decor site that does it right. I started with a simple google search for the top 10 home decor sites. On zoom sphere.com, they listed 10 top pages on Facebook by fans. While a lot of them were companies I have never heard of (mostly because they were in other countries) the #2 slot belonged to Pier 1 Imports. The site has over 1 million likes, 20 thousand ‘talking about’ and 77 thousand views. What makes this different than the Joss & Main and Wayfair sites? The customer engagement. That was the initial difference I noticed. Immediately I saw tons of comments from Pier 1 Imports responding to and participating in the discussions all over the page. I know that Pier 1 Imports is a large company and chances are they have a department dedicated to social media and monitoring it. But at the same time, there are other companies that are just as large but lack in this area.
    I feel as though if you are going to start a discussion you should at least partake in it. I don’t think Pier 1 would be as popular if they didn’t partake in what they post. I also noticed that Pier 1 posts discounts and coupons as well. Now i understand that there is a service being provided by the company as well because they are a retail company and want to sell products. So this is another factor that relates to why they are so popular. But again, I think that if Pier 1 didn’t post these things that they wouldn’t have as many views, ‘talk about(s)’ and likes as they do.
    The bottom line when it comes to consumers is that the average consumer wants to save money. Offering ways to save money and feel like they are getting a great deal is the best way to increase interest! I know that if I can save money or get a freebee because I ‘liked’ a page or retweeted something I would absolutely do it! I was signing up for dropbox and there was a list of ways to get extra memory just by liking and tweeting, so naturally I did it.
    So in general, I feel as though using social media to give a little something extra is definitely a great way to use social media. It increases awareness and is also an inexpensive way to advertise. If there is a sale going on in a store anyway, why not post it on Facebook? If someone can get a $5 discount for retweeting, why not offer it? Chances are that it is only going to increase sales and knowledge.

    • Hi Claryla – Thanks for your comment! I must start off by saying, I LOVE Pier 1!! And I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments about their level of engagement vs Joss & Main and Wayfair. I was really surprised to find these two companies with hundreds of thousands of fans (or even Millions in the case of Wayfair) are failing to pay attention to the most basic best social media best practice – engagement. It was crazy to see customer complaints go unanswered and lively discussions having no input from the brand that started them! I guess it shows that there’s still a lot for many marketing folks to learn about how to best use social media.

  2. I wonder why so many company’s don’t seem to understand the power of customer interaction. It seems that both of these company’s have fallen victim to the same problem. They jumped into social media because it’s what companies now HAVE to do, but neither of them have a clear concise action plan for how that platform will fit into their overall marketing plan. It seems that so many companies could benefit by hiring, and listening to, several people form the younger generation who are familiar with social media and its influence.

    • Thanks for commenting! Yes – I does seem like many companies quickly jump on the social media bandwagon, without really understanding how to use this medium effectively. Simply posting isn’t going to gain these companies the kinds of engagement that results in social media being a great marketing resource. Perhaps it would be a good idea for these companies to bring some younger people into their SM strategy. Maybe even have an intern be involved – a tactic that worked well for Pizza Hut a few years ago.

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