Although there is an abundance of social platforms out there, many marketers operate in a very limited social landscape, focusing solely on Twitter and Facebook. This Q&A sheds light on how marketers can integrate other social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat into their marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
ClickZ (CZ): Tell us a bit about your role at shopbake.com and what you’re tasked with achieving for the brand.
Anastassia Boguslavskaya (AB): Shopbake.com, the first and only online bakery marketplace, is a start-up in its early stages. As many may know, being a part of a start-up requires wearing many different hats. Some days I throw on the Sales, HR and operations hats all at once. Having a background in business development and sales helps, but my passion is marketing. From a marketing standpoint, I am tasked with helping merchants (bakeries and baked goods suppliers) market themselves and their products while also promoting shopbake.com.
CZ: Besides Facebook and Twitter, what other social media platforms do you leverage in your digital marketing strategy?
AB: We leverage Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube and will soon engage with Linkedin for our B2B offering. YouTube is currently being used to help merchants with navigating around our site and creating their online store. Instagram and Pinterest are used to give our customers and merchants a more personal brand experience and we’ve seen the highest ROI from our engagement with other Instagram profiles. We have found that there are large engaged groups of our target on different platforms and we create tactics to become a part of that group and be seen as a “friend” or “group member” rather then a brand.
CZ: How have you used Instagram to cultivate brand loyalty and foster community for shopbake.com?
AB: Before I joined the shopbake.com team, Instagram was used to promote the brand’s pre-website launch and as a community-building tool. The founder was engaging with followers who were interested in baked goods, whether it was bakers or consumers. The content posted was not structured, yet it was authentic and had dashes of her character that followers loved.
With the site being launched and leading up to our big redesign, we are focused on not only sharing our merchants’ products on Instagram, but also finding additional bakeries and products to join our marketplace. We want bakers to feel excited to be part of our community and marketplace and feel the value of being part of shopbake.com and we try and convey this through our content.
CZ: You’ve also recently started using Snapchat as part of your brand strategy. What drove this decision?
AB: As a brand selling baked goods using social media, a big part of our strategy are platforms that are focused on visual content. I believe that until you see someone drinking a fun drink or having a yummy looking treat you may not think of ordering one. These items are not needs, but are fun and make people happy. Once you see someone consuming these items, it makes you think “mmm I want one”. Visual content is very important in stimulating purchase for consumer products-especially consumable products motivated by a craving.
I believe Snapchat is on the brink of becoming a marketer’s dream. Yes, currently there are limitations when it comes to tracking, searching and community building, but I strongly believe in its potential. There are brands that are doing a great job using Snapchat. Check out GrubHub, Tacobell and Love16Handles.
CZ: How does the user base for Snapchat differ from others? What are your top tips for marketers who want to start using Snapchat as part of their brand strategies?
AB: Currently, Snapchat is dominated by older teens and millennials. Its users are mostly female. However, the app is significantly scaling up and the demographic is changing. The app has a very high engagement with many users accessing the app to contact and communicate with family and friends multiple times a day. Reviews suggest that many users use it more often than voice calls.
The key is to be authentic, real time and not over-planned. There is no detailed “social media calendar” to be made for Snapchat.
CZ: What do you think will be the biggest social media marketing trend in the next year?
AB: In the next year I foresee the biggest social media-marketing trend to be around brands becoming a customer’s “friend”. It is brand loyalty on a whole new level where a customer will view a brand the same way they view their buddy Joe who they play hockey with on the weekends. A big part of this change will come from video content becoming the dominant content of choice as well as social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin giving extra push and exposure to uploaded video content on their platforms.
CZ: What will the key takeaways from your presentation at ClickZ Live Toronto be?
AB: There will be many takeaways, but the main one will be that a brand needs to share visual content that is authentic, real-time and exclusive (only for followers) to help the brand in becoming part of a customer’s “inner circle”.
Anastassia Boguslavskaya, CMO of shopbake.com will be speaking at ClickZ Live Toronto on Thursday, June 25 in a session titled ” Sharing is Caring: Tips from Instagram to SnapChat and Beyond“.
Get your ticket to ClickZ Live Toronto by registering here!