Target Hits the Mark with Its Facebook Strategy

This post is part of the Killer Facebook Pages Series, which highlights the top brand pages on Facebook and provides tips on how to emulate their successes.

Target is a personable brand on Facebook, drawing customers in with its reliability, charitable initiatives and upbeat tone.

Joe Curry, Target’s social media manager, explains the company’s Facebook page was launched in 2007 “as a way to connect with our guests, provide them with great deals and give them a way to share their ideas with us.”

Among fellow retailers and brands on Facebook, Target maintains a strong ranking.

With over 17 million followers, it comes in at number 23 on the list of top brands, beaten out only by Converse, Victoria’s Secret, and Walmart in the retail category.

Letting the Fans Make a Difference

Target uses Facebook to enlist fans in the company’s charitable giving efforts, such as the current Give with Target effort to raise $2.5 million for education.

Target donates 5 percent of its revenue to charitable organizations, Mashable reports, and it often involves its fans on how that money should be spent.

Cause marketing, such as Target engages in, brings many benefits since the nonprofit involved receives support, the brand sees more exposure, and customers can feel like they’re making a difference.

“For the for-profit, the profit is greater favorability with consumers and, potentially, increased sales,” says Selfish Giving’s Joe Waters.

In 2009, Target held a contest called “Bullseye Gives,” in which fans voted for which ten charities should receive donations. More than 167,000 people voted.

Posting Questions and Commentary with Product Photos

Target doesn’t miss any chances to promote its products. It does this by interacting with fans on social media.

On Aug. 1, as a tie-in with the start of the Olympics, Target posted, “Bulleye’s all dressed up with one place to go.” The post, as of Aug. 10, received more than 37,000 likes and 769 comments.

On July 8, it updated with a photo of its up&up aloe vera gel and said, “Our up&up aloe is really soothing. Just sayin.'” The brand also included a link to purchase the product on the site. The update garnered 3,820 likes and 163 comments.

Customers replied, “This stuff saved me on Sunday! Got burned right around my knees, and I applied aloe several times. I never blistered and it helped the pain,” and “Love this product and have used it for many years on myself and other family member’s mild sunburns.”

Target managed to be timely, helpful and engaging while also getting its product out there.

Speaking in a Fun, Conversational Tone to Fans

The brand’s posts are positive and light, and uses the simple pleasures in life for marketing purposes.

Before Father’s Day, the page posted, “Give Dad something he can show off! (Because plain white socks are not as fun to brag about.),” with photos of and links to a men’s tee shirt, sunglasses, and watch.

A few days later, it said, “We can’t see the future, but we’re pretty positive you’ll need these soon,” and included a photo of marshmallows with a link to the product page on its website.

“It’s difficult to get consumers to see past your corporate logo and think of you the same way they think about their friends,” says As Local Surge Media. “Humor has a way of humanizing you. It feels less manipulative than many other marketing techniques. There’s something very genuine about it.”

In its updates, Target shows personality and has established a distinct voice.

Image by Flickr
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