DIY and home improvement specialists B&Q have been expanding their community by optimising key online tools that have been and are continuing to thrive with consumers on a global basis. Renowned for their in store staff of ‘experts’ offering consultation as a part of service, it is clear that alarm bells are ringing, alerting B&Q to the opportunities that are on offer via the digital landscape. Looking through the chosen platforms used to operate the companies presence online, I took some notes on the strategic approaches taken to engage and draw visitors close to the heart of the business.
Activity on the largest of all platforms, Facebook, is consistent; and not only that, but strategically specific in approach. Companies should really have a grasp of the need for a two-way conversation within social, and B&Q seem to be inviting interaction, rather than pushing ‘BUY THIS NOW’ dictatorial content at consumers. It is clear that they are there to serve, with the mission statement being ‘to inspire and help you create a home you’ll fall in love with. We’re here to help in anyway we can’. Match this ethos with the appealing and fun visuals they display with every post and your onto a winner. Facebook facilitates and allows the use of effective visuals that everyone of us are drawn to; thus companies should always consider how best to take advantage of the visual nature of the platform.
With a third of the amount of people following their movements compared to Facebook, B&Q are still utilising Twitter and rightly so diverting their approach to much shorter and sweeter conversation starters, drawing Tweeters in to take advantage of the opportunity to respond and engage with such a giant brand in real-time (And yes; from what I saw they generally do reply!) #Hashtags and links to their website for all updates and further information are used well, drawing traffic back to the hub of the company and no doubt furthering sales via strong and loyal relationships. With the strap line of intent being ‘We’re here to inspire & help you create a home you’ll fall in love with. What home improvement projects are you working on right now? Lets chat!’, it’s clear how they see Twitter as a tool, and they’re moving in the right direction.
4,199 subscribers / 2,617,932 views
Content from YouTube is often prominent on all of our social feeds, with short and clever snaps at our fingertips to watch and enjoy. B&Q have their account laid out clearly, with categories on ‘Ideas’, ‘How to’, ‘Garden’ and ‘Home’, covering all aspects of the retailers products and services. Often using famous British faces known for their passion and expertise, these helpful videos are timeless and golden in moments of need. Content is often very product centric. Will we see B&Q’s channel grasp Googles latest innovation allowing integrated product purchasing? Lets hope they don’t lose their edge!
The community for a brand of their size is extremely small on Pinterest, a platform of much higher popularity within the United States. However, from scanning through their limited optimisation of the hotly tipped next biggest thing, B&Q are still again heading in the right direction. ‘Pin it to Win’ competitions are both enjoyable and beneficial to the awareness of the company; gathering consumers as they mark their favourite products, creating a mass community browse through what B&Q has on offer, allowing the aggregation of invaluable data used to measure consumers apetite. Then there are Bees. Everyone loves Bees right? Or at least nobody wants the little buggers to go extinct? Well, B&Q have formed a movement encouraging you to grow colourful flower arrangements in your garden to in essence encourage colonies of Bees to live happily ever after in their concept of the ‘Bee Café’. Whilst inviting you to pin ideas to their own board and encouraging all to browse for inspiration, once again B&Q are at the center of a movement where all are encouraged to participate. This process is mimicked with bedroom, bathroom, living room and every other room inspirations sourced from customers, each sectioned off tidily in their own board. How thoughtful of B&Q to include a link to their online store in the banner!
Some tastefully optimised tactics..
So many businesses throw competition after competition where the focus is on a prize irrelevant to the purpose. You can attract ‘likes’ by offering an iPhone 5, but it’s just as easy to ‘unlike’ you when the winner has been and gone and your content becomes boring and irrelevant. B&Q cleverly offer incentives like vouchers legible for both in store and online shopping, keeping the eyes on the company and attracting genuine consumers that have a lasting interest. They often hit the nail on the head in more ways than one, directing traffic across their digital world by having competitions based on accounts like Pinterest and posting updates and promotions out from all platforms, developing effective ‘reach’ via the activity required and growing community across all social platforms.
Attendance at important events on the yearly calendar has and always will be core to staying on peoples radars. People can now find out all about you online, and they care about your morals and ethical roots. B&Q sponsor charities on a global scale and promote these events via their social accounts in the interest of charity growth and awareness. This year they are supporting ‘Sentable’, an African charity founded by none other than one of the UK’s favorite national treasures, Prince Harry, in memory of one of the most popular british faces of all time, his mother Princess Diana. Clever and very like-able.
It’s fair enough having customer service on tap when in an outlet store, but what about when at home on your next big project when you find yourself stuck in a rut? Well B&Q have taken to the real-time communications approach, and have online Help Desks at your service during certain times of the day.
There is certainly room for development across all platforms, but isn’t that always the case in a digital world where tools develop and change very quickly? With consistent and effective use of all the major league social tools available, B&Q certainly are moving with the socially interactive world and the future looks healthy for the retail leaders.