Up Close and Social with ASOS's Sedge Beswick
Three years after graduating University, Sedge Beswick works at one of Australia’s most popular online retailers as a Global Social Media Manager overseeing all of the social channels at ASOS. In the past she has worked for notable brands such as the UK mobile phone network Three, Pretty Polly and Lola Rose. With her technology and fashion knowledge at hand Sedge talks about ASOS’s success and how social helped.
The social media channels
At ASOS, social is at the heart of everything we do so as you can imagine we have a lot of social channels, ten in total. We have Facebook which has 2.3 million followers, Google+ with 1.5 million followers then we have 67 Twitter accounts, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Spotify, YouTube and Tumblr with accounts for both men and women.
Our aim is to talk to every customer that likes or follows us because social is just as important as emailing or talking over the phone. We base our social content around our audience’s needs, which is why we have so many channels. For example you might get the blogger on twitter and the DIY fanatic on Pintrest; we’re all still exploring social media and testing out these new channels that arise. Everyone has a different use for the channels so it’s important that we are getting our message across to our customers on the appropriate platforms.
Understanding your audience
ASOS’s core customer is the ‘twenty-something’ fashion lover and we are obsessed about getting to know them so we can offer them the fashion and conversations they want and love. Understanding your audience will ultimately help you to increase engagement and tailor content over social media which is why we find it so important. ASOS’s audience, for example, are inspired by friends, celebrities and the media so we can base engagement around these subjects.
The thing I love about social media is the instant results you get from it. Everything happens so fast, so I know within a matter of seconds what has worked and what hasn’t. I can take that insight and the knowledge and immediately implement it into other pieces of activity. We like to test things out to get a real feel of our customer’s wants and needs. Once we work out what they’re engaging with, we can then put a strategy in place.
I often get asked if every business should be on social media and my short answer is no. There are some products or services that consumers just don’t want to engage with. You only need to look at one example, and for me it’s Fem Fresh that comes to mind with the uproar that happened on their Facebook page back in 2012. You have to think about what you can offer to your audience and ask yourself: will they be interested? It’s also a good idea to think about the platforms you want to use, is Facebook and Twitter the best for your business? A good place to start is by researching into your audience’s hobbies and interests, considering whether you can relate your business to it and thinking about which platform would be best to deliver your message.
Once you know your audience it’s easier to tailor content to them which will help to maximise success if you do it right, but remember it’s not all about you so don’t over promote. UK supermarket Tesco is a great example of this, they regularly reply to their customers on Twitter and their tone is very light hearted. Their followers love it so they re-tweet, share and engage with the brand.
Getting your brand’s personality across is so important, consumers need to be able to relate to your company and feel like you are approachable – especially if you have a customer care team on social. Our tone is a mixture of witty, enthusiastic and sometimes authoritative which is what our ‘twenty something’ audience likes. Our customers look to us for style inspiration, advice and entertainment. At ASOS we are wholly engaging and interactive so our customers can share their choices and inspirations through our social channels.
My advice to any business is to make sure you know your customers and give your social media channels a lot of TLC. Keep engaging and interacting with your customers as they will really appreciate the help and advice, and it also shows that you care.
The way we reach out to consumers has changed drastically and it is continuing to do so as social evolves. It’s more important than ever to really know your audience and keep up with the latest news and social media platforms so you can achieve maximum engagement to really promote your business effectively.
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