Larger organizations sometimes appear detached from their customers, especially when they lack a business strategy that gives clients a look inside the organization, allowing them to get to know more about the brand they're doing business with.
Instead, by giving customers a backstage pass that gives them a view of what's happening within the company, organizations can engage their clients, helping to create a stronger bond that should contribute to a long-lasting relationship.
And many organizations have a lot of stories to tell. They just need to find the way and the channel to deliver this information to their customers in the most engaging ways. For Target, the secret ingredient has been social media.
During the Corporate Image and Branding Conference, organized by The Conference Board, Eric Hausman, senior group manager for public relations at Target, described how the organization is leveraging social media to engage with its large audience by sharing engaging content. Despite challenges that included siloed content teams and different content voices and styles, the organization came up with a winning idea--its online magazine A Bullseye View.
The magazine, Hausman explained, gives customers a behind-the-scenes look at Target. "It is designed to bring the brand to life within the social media space and create brand advocates," he said. Hausman describes the online magazine as "a digital showcase covering the full range of what Target does." This includes fashion partnerships, recipes, and news items. Hausman said the aim is to move away from being overly sales-oriented and instead focus on giving information that helps customers better understand the company, drawing content from different areas across the company outside of PR.
And this has been a recipe for success with the magazine receiving more than 100,000 unique visits every month, allowing Target to reach out to a wide audience. Hausman said executives view it as a safe platform to pass on their message and the organization uses it to tell its story. For example, when Target, together with other retailers, got into hot water for opening on Thanksgiving evening for Black Friday sales, Tina Schiel, the company's executive vice president of stores, used the platform to explain the rationale behind this decision.
Finally part of the success behind A Bullseye View is the fact that it's integrated into every PR plan from the start, and teams throughout the company are encouraged to share their stories, allowing the retailer to really give its customers a proper backstage glimpse.