Lowe’s is quickly becoming my favorite large company with a presence on social media. They are present on all the major platforms and have an interesting strategy for each platform. Through the use of consistent logo graphics and colors, the company maintains a strong IMC approach and pushes great content to its followers on a daily basis. The voice or message that Lowe’s seems to be trying to relay to its customers is the ability to do projects at home. Their Pinterest profile is where this really shines and users are encouraged to submit photos of projects they have completed using Lowe’s products. Using this technique, Lowe’s is able to sell its products without making it look like that is their primary objective. Further, Lowe’s uses its Twitter to push promotions and coupons to its customers and even tells followers how to sign up for various “clinics” by Lowe’s (a service that I was not previously aware of before this assignment). Lowe’s does use hashtags but this does seem to be an area that they struggle in because the relevance is not always evident. The content outweighs this fact however because Lowe’s really does a great job of engaging its audience and encouraging them to go out and do projects of their own. All of the various profiles feature content that encourages engagement both on and off the computer screen. Overall, in my opinion, Lowe’s is doing one of the best jobs around at being present on social media without being obtrusive.
Zappos is different from Lowe’s and my final example in that they have never been known for their physical presence or a brick and mortar location. Zappos has always had to use the internet and social media in order to market its brand as seems to have done a pretty good thus far in their efforts. From an IMC perspective, the one distinguishing aspect of marketing that seems to stand out for Zappos is their use of an exclamation point made in the shape of a shoe. This logo in the light blue colorway seems to be at the center of its branding initiative and something I often found myself using when locating official Zappos pages. From a social media perspective, Zappos seems to take a rather engaging approach and posts content to their Facebook and Instagram accounts on almost a daily basis. Twitter on the other hand is not updated as often and hasn’t even had an update since March. The Twitter profile page makes up for this short coming of content however in that it is very personable and features a photo of the founder of Zappos as well as contact information in place of a background picture (a practice I have grown quite fond of since seeing it from General Motors earlier in the semester). Hashtags are used on the Instagram page which is nice because the hashtags are used to bring out the emotion associated with the photo rather than the product. Hashtags are rather absent however on both the Facebook and Twitter account. The Facebook account has good linkage back to the company’s Pinterest profile which is also rather impressive. Different appealing board on featured on the company’s Pinterest profile and give viewers a lot of different options to explore. Overal, Zappos does appear to be doing a good job on their social and marketing presence online but could use increased efforts in fresh content on some of their profiles. For a company that does not have the benefit of a brick and mortar store, Zappos really needs to make sure they are fully utilizing all forms of relevant social media.
Finally, Ford has done a great job at making its company present on all forms of social media and really seems to do a good job of appreciating its audience on each platform and engaging them in a more appropriate way based on the platform. The trademark blue associated with the Ford logo is present on all profiles and often worked in to the background of many of the pages associated. Ford has done a particularly clever job of its profile image for Twitter which is the standard Ford logo, but inspection of the actual profile page reveals this logo is actually the center of a steering wheel that is the backdrop photo. All of the profiles seem to maintain an appropriate level of personality which engages the user and again, reassures them that the overall interest in the social media presence is not necessarily about selling a product. Content is regularly pushed to its users and can be in the form of announcing new dealership openings or retweeting pictures of people with their new Ford vehicle. Where the company really shines is the Instagram profile and the fact that it seems to celebrate the history of Ford as well as the future. Older vehicles are featured on the Instagram page and seem to often be submitted by users who love their vehicle and get to engage with other Ford lovers on the page. Infographic and MEMEs are also featured on some of the company’s profile and make content that is able to be engaged. Finally, Ford has a great presence on LinkedIn and does seem to appreciate the spirit of the platform as the profile image is of Ford’s main offices at the Henry Ford II World Center. The posts on the page are often about various professional aspects of Ford including the occasional job posting. Concept cars also seem to be featured and it is my opinion that this is more designed to bring in the types of creative thinkers and engineers that Ford would like to have working on its future products. Overall, Ford seems to have done a great job at appreciating the importance of social media and having an appropriate presence on all of the major platforms.