Target is juicing up their social media campaign just in time for the holidays, using Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms to capitalize on this shopping frenzy. Just to show how dedicated they are to social, Target has increased social media marketing spending by 30% for the holiday season. Colleen McDuffe, senior director of social media at Target said, “Holiday this year represents Target’s most ambitious social spend for a single campaign…For the first time, Target will be leveraging Snapchat to engage our guests during the holidays.” The two goals for Target this Holiday season are to start early and to be more social.
This campaign comes at a good time for Target, seeing as they have struggled recently in the social media category. For being ranked 36th on the Fortune 500, Target ranks just 325 in the 2015 Social Media 500 (a database that ranks retailers based on the percentage of their overall traffic coming from social networks). Last year just 3.14% of Target’s traffic came from social networks. This year, Target is dedicating 61% of its media spending to digital, an increase from last years 51%.
The result of this increased spending is The Holiday Odyssey, a season long campaign that starts from early holiday planning going through the end of the holidays. The first episode went live on October 30th through Youtube, followed by ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest on Nov. 4. So how exactly is Target using social media across different platforms?
On Facebook, Target is starting to use Facebook Canvas, an ad unit that gives shoppers an array of images. This allows shoppers to browse through products in a simple platform without having to leave Facebook. If users decides they want to purchase a product, they are taken to Target.com. This helps drives Target traffic without immediately taking consumers away from Facebook. Target has tried using cleaner and simpler Facebook ads to entice users engagement. Here is an example of their Black Friday ad on Facebook, viewed almost 3 million times. Target will also be using Facebook’s canvas e-commerce ads to increase sales of Wonderpacks, craft-activity packs that help families make things like ugly sweaters and mistletoe.
On Instagram, Target is using Instagram’s Marquee, an ad unit that helps generate brand awareness and expand the reach of the brand. This ad unit can help bring awareness to larger events, such as Target’s 10 Days of Deals special.
Target is also using Pinterest to present customers with buyable pins, allowing customers to purchase products directly within a pin on the social network’s mobile app. For example, a shopper could click through a Thanksgiving recipe, adding certain ingredients to the Instacart.
On Snapchat, Target is unveiling a series of holiday filters. They already released ones for Thanksgiving and Black Friday and they plan to release a new one everyday between December 1st and Christmas. With these new filters, Target will be looking to increase consumer engagement by reaching the 100+ million snapchat users. This will be the first time Target uses Snapchat for holiday marketing, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
Conclusion: I believe Target’s increased spending and strategy of utilizing a multitude of social media platforms will lead to a drastic increase in traffic and engagement for the retailer.
Shown by L2’s Digital IQ index, Target is already doing well in 2015 on Facebook amongst retailers. While they are posting less frequently than other retailers, they are seeing positive engagement numbers. Through putting out more content during the holiday season, Target’s positive engagement numbers will drive the Target’s traffic. I am interested to see how often I notice Target in the social media space over the coming month.