In recent years, the ways in which customers behave and interact with organizations has changed significantly. Social media has led to greater competition and weaker brand loyalty, where organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to control their messages. Consumers now have a stronger presence in the market, and organizations are tapping into these changes to increase customer engagement. This is why customer engagement via social media marketing is so important to a company’s bottom line.
Customer engagement is a concept that explores the long-term value of customers, where engagement over longer periods of time may lead to the creation of stronger relationships with consumers and beneficial outcomes for the organization. Customer engagement is premised on the notion that focusing efforts on establishing lasting relationships with customers will result in more sales and increase profits more so than simply focusing on immediate sales. It also includes motivational drivers, that is, the customers behaviours that result from the benefits they expect to receive in return from the organization.
The successful adoption and integration of customer engagement strategies strengthen brand loyalty and influences customer actions, discussions and purchasing behavior. In recent years, customer engagement has become a popular way for organizations to focus their corporate customer engagement activities.
Engagement strategies may be led by the organization, or individual driven, and can focus on an array of products and/or services sold, or pursuits, and activities that are not directly sold. Organization initiated engagement strategies can provide customers with opportunities to participate in creative events with the organization. In contrast, customer-initiated engagement strategies involve the use of a company’s goods or services and promote a company’s offerings to people with similar interests on their own social media channels.
For most businesses, creating an ongoing, reciprocal relationship with customers in which multiple sales are made has become an important part of their business strategy. ASOS is a great example of how a company can influence customer engagement with effective social media management, and a great example of a company that utilizes customer-initiated activities to engage with their clients.
ASOS is an internationally recognized online fashion store targeted towards 20 year old millennials. Founded in 2000 in the UK, ASOS sells different brands, including their own, and offers its customers a wide range of products including women and menswear, accessories, beauty products, and the like. Its online platform has been so successful that ASOS has become the second most visited fashion website in the world, amassing over 80,000 branded and own-brand products.
The success of ASOS is conditioned by their balanced use of social media as a means of supporting sales strategies and ensuring potential customers’ engagement in brand’s development. Having implemented numerous effective marketing strategies, ASOS is now considered to be one of the most successful digital brands.
ASOS utilized a user-generated content strategy to facilitate customer engagement through the use of a branded hashtag (#AsSeenOnMe), and asks followers to use the hashtag when showing off their latest outfit from the retailer. In return, the customers have the opportunity to be featured on the ASOS Instagram , and/or Facebook.
The utilization of this user-generated content strategy allows ASOS to fill up their feed, engage customers, and get their customers to do the advertising for them. According to Hannah Craik, ASOS Head of Social Media, “More people have access to, and feel they are an inspiration to others”. This idea is evident in the #AsSeenOnMe campaign, where people share their purchases on social media, facilitating impulse purchases via a “see it, want it” motivation. A link to the ASOS app is included in the caption of the Instagram photos, making it easy for customers to purchase items featured in the photos.
However, the company’s customer engagement efforts are not limited to user-generated content strategies, which is why they are dubbed as one of the most successful digital brands. ASOS also utilizes an influencer marketing strategy to engage with their customers. Known as the ASOS Insiders program, the company works with influencers to promote their latest products and styles. However, this isn’t your typical insiders program, in which the company exchanges money for posts. Instead, ASOS has turned their influencer program into a community, as a means of authentically communicating with their customers, and enabling partners to engage with and/or tag one another.
Lessons for Others
In summary, ASOS is a great example of how a company can influence customer engagement with effective social media management. ASOS has mastered the art of organic customer engagement through the use of a branded hashtag, enabling the company to communicate directly with their fans and establish long-standing relationships with their customers. In doing so, they have built a community of advocates who promote and recommend the company. Smaller businesses or those just starting out can take notes from ASOS on how to engage customers with user-generated content campaigns, while larger, more established brands can follow in the footsteps of ASOS and experiment with influencer strategies.
Industry: Online Retail
Name of Organization Contact: Hannah Craik
Authored by: Allie
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Akerr (2014). Inside the Industry with ASOS Head of Social Media. Retrieved from http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/fashion/2014/10/17/inside-industry-asos-head-social-media/
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