The Home Depot: Revolutionizing D.I.Y. Through Engagement

Within a company,  a necessary component of marketing strategy involves customer engagement. This creates report between the company and its customers, and it allows the company to learn the needs and wants of the customers. The invent of social media has created a whole new way for customers to achieve this engagement. Some companies are finding new and innovative ways to use social media to engage with customers.

The Home Depot has built an entire brand around “Do-It-Yourself”. They have always focused on customer service. They have offered project workshops and a knowledgeable staff to assist customers in all of their home repair needs. While this traditional strategy of customer engagement has made Home Depot a successful company, they are fully aware of the changing times (and technology).

The Home Depot has utilized Twitter in order to help their customers around the clock. They understand that customers will have questions and concerns about products/safety in relation to their home improvement projects.  To better serve these customers, The Home Depot has set up a Twitter account that answers customer’s concerns 24 hours a day. There is always an official representative on hand to answer any question relating to a product, service, home improvement project, or safety issue. This is an added comfort to customers who can feel assured that Home Depot is always there to assist them. Using the most common questions from Twitter, Home Depot also has a YouTube account to post instructional videos related a wide variety of home improvement projects.

This type of service is certainly not required, but it increases customer satisfaction by engaging with customers and “going the extra mile”.


Starbucks: Brewing Success Through Aggregation

Aggregation, in the business sense, is the collecting and combining of information from different mediums in order to consolidate the data and

In the realm of social commerce, aggregation has many uses. Using social media, companies are able to collect vast amounts of information on different consumers. These companies can then take this data and uncover trends based on specific variables (Such as income, age, location, etc.).

Starbucks has been pioneering the use of different social media outlets to better understand customers needs and wants. What does Starbucks say is the most important aspect of social media? Listening. When launching their new instant coffee Starbucks Via, they employed several social media outlets to discover what customers had to say about the brand.

1). Twitter:  Starbucks used twitter to engage with customers, answer questions and allow consumers to voice concerns.

2). Facebook:  Starbucks uses facebook to upload videos, blog posts and photos. This creates a forum for customers to give feedback and open discussions topics. Instead of having to spend time collecting data on their customers, facebook has made it where customers are willingly bringing the information directly to Starbucks.

3). YouTube:  Starbucks uses YouTube to upload commercials, informational videos and updates on charitable works. This is yet another way they engage with their customers and, perhaps more importantly, allow their customers to engage with them.

Social media has created a whole new way for companies to collect data on their customer bases. The companies that take advantage of this, like Starbucks, are reaping rewards for their efforts.

The Five W’s

At the base of every type of advertisement (whether it be on Facebook, in a newspaper or magazine, on TV or on a billboard) is traditional content. What the hell is traditional content? Simply put, traditional content is the written word, or substance, of the advertisement. While social media has revolutionized the way companies advertise, traditional content remains the core of it all. What are the keys of successful traditional content? While things like originality are important, I think content all boils down to 5 things: Who, What, When, Why and Where.


In any advertisement, it is important to make the consumer aware of who you are. Not just the name of your company, however. You need to be able to connect with the consumer on a deeper level. The companies that most fully understand this might blend their charitable works into their advertising. An excellent example of this is Yoplait and its Pink Yogurt Lids campaign. People walk away from that advertisement with the knowledge that Yoplait is active in the fight to cure cancer. The consumer knows who Yoplait is.


Next the advertiser must show the consumer what the product is or what it does. This is the most obvious of the five, but it takes skill to execute it successfully. One of the best current examples of this is Apple’s iPad commercial. During this commercial we see the wide variety of ways that the iPad can be used(such as “curling up with a good movie”). Afterwards, the consumer knows what the iPad does.


The advertisement should also tell when the product(s) are available (i.e. how long the “special price” lasts, is it “for a limited time”, etc.). We have all seen the commercials advertising The Lion King 3D (which is awesome). In all of those commercials, they emphasize the phrase “for 2 weeks only!” to instill motivation for the consumer to go and see it immediately. The consumers know when The Lion King: 3D is available.


This is perhaps the most important of the five. An advertiser needs to show the consumers why their product is better than the alternative. An example of this is Comcast’s slow turtle campaign. These commercials try to convince the consumers that Comcast internet is the fastest option. After this ad, consumers know why Comcast is the best option.


Sometimes products are only available at certain stores. When this is the case, it is vital to tell the consumer where the product is available. An example of this is Lady Gaga’s second album Born This Way. When the album was released, Target and Lady Gaga had a deal to offer a Deluxe edition exclusively at Target. Because of this, the commercials for the album included the phrase “exclusively at Target”. The consumer now knew where to find the deluxe edition.


We are living in the era of the smartphone. We literally carry a  handheld computer with us everywhere we go. We can tweet and retweet, post pictures, videos and statuses to Facebook, and browse MySpace (Yeah, like anyone does that anymore!), all from our phone. Now, we are also able to update friends and family on our location via FourSquare.

FourSquare is a location-based social networking site. Once you sign up, you can “check-in” to different locations. If you choose, you can have your location updates posted directly to Facebook, so that your friends can know where you are. Some might ask: Why? What is the purpose of this? Well businesses think they know the answer. Many are already capitalizing on this brilliant idea. Some restaurants/bars offer specials for people who:

1. Come to their restaurant


2. Post their location to FourSquare.

For example, Fox and Hound (a bar and grill with several Memphis locations) offers 1/2 priced appetizers to any customers that “check-in”. This is FREE advertising for their business. Not only is it free, it happens to be the BEST type of advertising: word-of-mouth. In addition to specials, you can also achieve “badges” for checking in to certain establishments.

A word of caution, however. You should always exercise caution when giving away your location to the public. You should always be with a group and in a safe location.

Social media is taking over the world. It’s inevitable. Many businesses have accepted this and are attempting to cash in on the growing trend.

Social Media

What does social media mean to me? In short, social media is everything to me. Even though I have only been involved with social media sites for about 6 years, I can barely remember the distant, analog past. My generation has long since evolved into a digitally integrated species. We eat, sleep and breath social media. I check my Facebook and Twitter EVERY single day. Without fail. It allows me to meet, connect and re-connect with friends and acquaintances. In fact, that’s what social media boils down to: connections. I crave connections. I think everyone does. Today, I can be connected with people from all around the world. It is an exciting feeling. It allows me to be a part of the pulse of the world at any given moment.

In addition to creating connections, I believe social media is an agent of progress. Social media encourages people to extend beyond their culture and experience the great diversity our world has to offer. While social media shows the ways in which people are different, it also shows that we are ALL human. I believe social media is helping to create a more tolerant and understanding world. Social media represents the future and what could be. So, what does social media mean to me? I believe social media is helping to create a brighter future.