Tonight I'm in attendance at the Auckland Social Media Club.  It's been interesting catching up with a few people who I've seen over the past couple of weeks.

Tonights session is about Social Media in Retail with representatives from the following 3 companies, Harvey Norman, Dress-smart and Griffin's.

Harvy Norman - Russell & Ken

Russell's comments:
- Promised to keep the volume lower than their TV Ads.
- When Russell started Jerry Harvey saw little importance with online marketing
- A young person had been assigned to running Social Media
- In December of last year they started with a campaign on Facebook giving away $500.00 which provided committed fans and good sentiment
- They had to find their voice quickly which is always going to be an ongoing process
- They had to move focus from being just brand marketing to customer loyalty.
- They have been focused on developing a ROI tool to measure their effects on Social Marketing.
- All people who have redeemed offers on Facebook didn't engage further online but redeemed vouchers in store.
- They have faced challenges with funding and suggest that people fight for such funding.
- Research has influenced the direction they will take with Social Media moving forward.  Pre-demand has more impact than the price of their products.
-  Higher pre-demand delivers higher conversion to sales and also determines higher price points
- Will be moving away from direct response campaigns to establishing 'eye-balls' through social.
- Social is emotive by nature which provides and excellent place to create pre-demand.

Ken's comments:
- Build a brand which is supported by an 'always on' strategy with Facebook.
- A lot of companies are treating a Facebook page like a microsite, the reach they were seeing from Facebook was happening within the news feed.
- Wanted to reach people and have them engage back with them.
- They moved away from 'Market-place' ads to premium placement.
- Major New Zealand companies should be thinking seriously about premium placements as they are seeing a 10x return as a result.
- Facebook Offers is a tool they have used to gain access to people on mobile devices, which is a huge difference.  The messages also come from a friend which helps to create a conversation.
- In late May they had a successful offer around 50 months interest free for Apple Mac Computers.  It went viral on Facebook by people seeing that their friends got a good offer.
- A lot of New Zealand brands are overlooking social media as it is considered to be an after thought of a larger marketing campaign.  Integrated campaigns preform a lot better - WOW.
- To get the reach you want on Facebook is possible, but it does require a good deal of funds.
- Make sure that organisationally you're working as a team.

Dress-smart - Gaylene

- There are four outlets throughout New Zealand hosting aver 100 stores.
- They focused on branding
- They are working on getting engagement from their outlet shop tenants.
- Each location looks after Twitter for each of their locations
- They are trying to get each outlet store to feed through information for Dress-Smart to send out on their behalf.
- They are about informing people about what is available so that people think about what is available in their outlet malls.
- They don't keep reiterating the same message on Facebook and Twitter,  they keep answers to questions short and sweet.
- Their two focused areas are about lifting the brand name and engaging their tenants.
- Gaylene referred to a limited budget.

Griffin's - Matt from McCready Bale Media

- Griffin's have a communications strategy about bringing to life "Dear Griffin's".
- Running a Social Media listening platform as a crisis mitigation tool.
- Working on the 'Bring Back Choco-ade' campaign which they saw as a good example to get started with as a model for the future.
- Build a simple harnessing tool which provided people a small incentive to get support around their "Bring-back" style campaign.
- Quickly they got 8,000 likes in a 24 hour period which created an emotive connection based on memories, people and stories.
- The next step was to create an army of advocates to quickly get people to share their experience about it tasting exactly the same as it use to.
- People very quickly were able to show how they were enjoying the product which started a cascade of people talking about on Social Media.
- They then took the product into the "Water-cooler" environment by doing office shouts.  This was a way of getting people to share memories with their work colleagues, keeping the conversation going in the 'real world'.
- The campaign became the biggest first week of sales by values in NZ scan data history.
- 300k+ products sold in 7 days at full retail price in a market where nobody buys anything at full price.
- The campaign reached over 1.4 million kiwis.