Social media lessons from ASOS

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Their story is one of undeniable success. Originally founded in 2000 by entrepreneur duo Nick Robertson and Quentin Griffiths, and then known as ‘As Seen On Screen Ltd’, ASOS has grown to become one of the most powerful online fashion and beauty retailers in the world.

With over 50,000 products both designer and own label, ASOS is the number one most visited fashion website in the world. The site has some 3.7 million active customers shopping online from 160 countries.

So what’s their secret? At least one of the ingredients behind their success is their powerful use of social media for digital marketing. Sedge Beswick, Global Social Media Manager at ASOS, shared her top tips with Dynamic Business.

How often should SME’s be posting?

There are no real rules around this. If you have something good to say that’s worthwhile and will benefit your community then go ahead and say it! The number of posts will always depend on the social channel and the brand. Personally, I’d never recommend going over 3 updates a day on Facebook but for a small start-up I’d opt for perhaps 3 in a week. For Twitter, 6–8 a day… Google+, I’d say 2 a week for start-up. These are all just rough numbers as it does really depend on the content first.

How should the posts be constructed?

That all depends on who your audience is and what you want to achieve from the message you send out. Your message needs to be aimed at your target audience but still reflect your businesses image. Social media is about engaging with your audience, at ASOS we like to include posts such as fashion and beauty news as it is of interest to our target audience however we keep our tone upbeat to fit in with ASOS’s personality.

Utilise the social media platforms best assets, for example, if pictures are easy to upload and view why not communicate with your audience through visual communication as well as written? The key thing to remember is engagement.

Put yourself in your audiences shoes. Would you want to read your posts as a social media user? It’s not just about writing a call to action you might have an interesting news story that relates to your business and your audience’s interests. For example, ASOS regularly keeps up to date with celebrity fashion and new trends which we share with our followers.

Which social media platforms are the most useful?

ASOS are on a lot of social channels – 10 in total so I’m kept nice and busy! Again, think about who you are trying to reach, what country they’re from and what message you’re trying to get across. For example, Facebook is great for engaging with your audience through visual communication such as pictures. We often get people commenting on our videos and photo albums.

I find that Twitter is great for speaking to someone from the audience directly; we often get tweeted at by our audience telling us about products they’ve bought which is fantastic for receiving feedback. 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. Social media trends are changing constantly so it’s difficult to say what are the most useful as a certain age group may prefer Facebook over Twitter or Vine over Instagram.

What are the most common mistakes you see SMEs making in the social media/digital marketing space?

Everyone’s learning, if you don’t try stuff out – you won’t know whether it’s going to go crazy or be a complete flop. The main broad thing is setting up social channels without realising the on-going implications. It’s not like the olden days when you’d take down a poster and everyone would forget – if you start out on social you have to be prepared to work and really dedicate the time to it.

How does ASOS utilise social media for marketing?

Social media is at the heart of ASOS so we based our content around our customers‘ wants and needs. Across our 10 social media websites we tailor our content to our audience’s gender, region and the topical things that are going on, allowing us to create an engaging experience on a global level. We talk directly to every customer who follows or ‘Like’s’ us on our social channels as part of our business objective to hit 24/7 engagement.

Our social channels all have a clear direction and personality as consistency is really important so your audience gets a clear understanding of your company’s personality. Our social channels house everything from behind the scenes content and ‘shoppable’ updates to interactive competitions.

One thought on “Social media lessons from ASOS

  1. Anne

    As a marketing manager myself and an avid shopper, I can definitely see how taking some cues from a company like ASOS could be beneficial. I think it’s also important to point out that it really depends on the industry you are in – some, like fashion and beauty, can have endless posts and people will enjoy browsing through them; others, like technology and IT, often struggle to get that kind of audience. Although Sedge made a very good point when she said that you need to try things – this is true, as you’ll never know what will and will not work for your business if you don’t give something a go!

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