The John Lewis Partnership is a well known British retailer that functions in the department store, supermarket sectors, insurance credit cards, limited manufacturing activities and other business lines that serves the up market consumer segment in the UK that is comprised of middle and upper class customers (Logicalis, 2014). This study will explore the social media strategy of the company’s department store segment. This analysis has important implications as social media has been hailed as the newest and highly significant addition to marketing and promotion activities for companies (Mangold and Faulds, 2009).
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Kietzmann et al (2011) advise that social media, in a business sense, consists of the utilisation of low cost tools using words and visual presentation to further the aims, exposure, marketing and promotion of companies. A survey by Hubspot found that 92 percent of companies indicated that social media was an integral part of their marketing efforts (Infused Digital, 2013). However, 85 percent indicated that they are unsure of the best ways to utilise social media tools, or how to link them together (Infused Digital, 2013). As an aid to this examination an article in Forbes’ magazine that cited the “top 10 benefits of social media marketing” will be used to help in this analysis (Infused Digital, 2013, p. 1). Table 1 – Top Ten Benefits of Social Media Marketing (Infused Digital, 2013: Statista, 2014) In terms of this exploration concerning the manner the John Lewis Partnership uses social media, some theories and applications will be explored: It needs to be remembered that the theories on social media are still evolving, thus result not all of the theories proposed could be included here:
The social media strategy of the John Lewis Partnership represented an outgrowth of the company embracing digital marketing as it understood the key to competing in the UK retail sector entailed reaching current and potential customers on an ongoing and consistent basis (Mari, 2015). The company’s commitment in embracing digital marketing saw it embark on a defined strategy approach in 2012 to aid in building its brand popularity and enhance the effectiveness of its marketing efforts represented by print, email, mobile marketing, broadcast and its online store (Mari, 2015). As shown under Table 1, converting new customers, increasing brand power, and enhancing inbound traffic were key elements of a social media campaign. In the instance of the John Lewis Partnership Dosanjh (2012) explained that its overall digital marketing strategy encompassed computer use of online sources such as its website, online store and social media websites on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks along with including these applications on smartphones and tablets. These aspects were mentioned in the points covered by Infused Digital (2013) that represented the strengthening of brand’s storytelling.
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