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Big Brand Kiwi Retailers - Where Are You?

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If you're in our conversations offline, why are you not in our conversations online?

Recently I've been trying to get my head around whats happening in the Social Media space in New Zealand, especially for some of our larger household brands.

My overall conclusion is that some are obviously either unsure what to do, skeptical, naive, while others are just plane slow off the old blocks.

Around the world retailers are reaping the benefits of social engagement with their punters, listening to tweets and reacting to resolve service failures and acknowledging complements. They are "fishing where the fish are" but to be honest this statement is still not really that true for New Zealand. The last estimate I've read is about 50,000 Tweeters in NZ with probably a darn sight less if you're just looking at active people. BUT Facebook is massive with about 60% of New Zealanders signed up. 

However take one look at WHO is using Twitter and you'll find a vocal, active community of industry leaders, media, public relations, marketers, parents, entrepreneurs , all influences and early adopters who are social on and offline, creating quite a buzz. Which brand would not want an audience of 50,000 and growing to talk to, share and engage with?

Social media has become mainstream in the media, TV news now almost everyday are running stories about people, businesses or political stories involving Twitter or Facebook. The newspapers all have the share buttons and broadcast their headlines across multiple platforms. 

Across most industries competition for customers is fierce, price sensitive and advertising campaigns on traditional media are largely expensive to produce and expensive to maintain. As compared to Social media where social interactions, news feeds, special offers and customer service could help drive and promote loyalty, repeat business and an increase in customer retention rates at a fraction of the cost of any other options. 

I decided to start watching a few bigger brands in NZ to see what was happening, what was being said about them, what they are missing out on.

Mitre10 - Are you really there?

Mitre10 has a Facebook page with 5 fans! The last update was June 24th 2009. Mitre10 Albany has a profile page, usually used for personal profiles with 7 friends.

Mitre10 does have a Twitter page they started on February 8th with 7 followers and they are not following anyone. They are listening and commenting on mentions which is great to see albeit intermittently. But the profile could be much better and there are plenty of comments they have not replied to. 

Don't you have like super smart builder types that could be sharing "How To" advice with the community?

Placemakers - Where are you?

There are two Placemakers outlet Facebook pages with less than 10 fans. I could not find a Twitter page so I'll assume that they don't have one at all. However all you have to do is search Placemekers in Twitter to find that people have added a brunch to Gowalla (Geo Location app) and are talking about their brand. Admittedly their are less mentions of Placemakers as compared to Mitre10 or Bunnings but considering the overall lack of attention to Social media by all three brands there is a HUGE hole to fill. 

TopTop - Where are you?

TipTop have a Facebook page, its actually quiet good, rather active with TipTop posts and fan comments. The activity is sporadic though, not a post every day, just occasionally. I could not find a Twitter profile for Tiptop and yet people are mentioning their brands and favorite ice creams. Tiptop is missing out.

Foodtown - Where are you?

Foodtown has a Facebook page for people who work there. They have a home ordering, delivery service that one might think would do well with some Social marketing, but alas I could not find them on Twitter. Searching Twitter for Foodtown and you can see that people have added their local supermarket to Fourquare, another location based social application and are talking about going to and shopping at Foodtown. 

Woolworths and NewWorld supermarkets were also found to be lacking any real social media presence. Hey everyone loves food, we all like to know about new products, where to buy them and how to use different products in different recipes, seems to me like a huge opportunity is just being wasted here..

Whats interesting to me is that all these brands are household brands that people talk about all the time, at work, at the pub and at home. They play active parts in all Kiwi's lives one way or another chances are at some stage you will shop and one or all of these retailers. So whats holding you back? It's not like you ain't got anything to talk about. 

What other big brand New Zealand businesses are missing from Social Media? Who would you follow if they were on Twitter or Facebook?

Big Brand Kiwi Retailers - still a deafening silence on #SocialMedia

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