Schuh: Maintaining the human touch
This article originally appeared in the Social Brands 100.
Panel Score: 71
Data Score: 129
Social Brand Score: 200
- No. 1 brand for responses to user posts on Facebook
- No. 2 Retail brand
Chatting about holiday plans and crushes; all in a day’s work for the team at fashion footwear retailer Schuh. Their aim is to give people something to laugh about and ‘a good chinwag’ according to Schuh’s Jen Rankine. “Last time we checked, we are human and we don’t try to be anything but that; our customers would see right through it,” she says.
Over the last year, Schuh has established a dedicated in-house social team. As well as showcasing the brand’s personality, the team is there to make sure that questions don’t go unanswered and to keep up with new developments on platforms.
Social plays a role in all communications, from competitions and in store events to jobs and relevant service information, with the aim of building a community of like-minded shoe lovers. “We check every feed under the sun to ensure that nothing is missed,” says Rankine. “Customers now know they can come to our social pages to get answers to any niggling questions or help with an order.” Handling complaints are part of the job and the team don’t remove negative comments, believing it’s important to demonstrate how they handle problems that arise, adding to the human feel because ‘everyone makes mistakes’.
Competitions have been a valuable way for the team to engage with their communities and reward customer loyalty. Having experimented with creating Facebook apps in-house, Schuh started working with an agency last year. One result was iWin, which gave entrants the chance to win one of two iPads and a pair of shoes. “We only promoted the competition through social and to our email database but our engagement levels went through the roof and our audience grew by 8%,” says Rankine.
The coming year will involve integrating social into other aspects of the business and engaging with new and regular customers who may not be aware of Shuh’s social presence. Although Schuh may see social as a great business tool, they aim to not lose sight of the fact that people invite brands into their social streams, “It’s a privilege, not a right,” says Rankine.