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Social media takes on the festive season

Richard Bell

It is easy to argue that the relatively new trend for commercial social media has changed the face of retail.

However, as direct links from social content are rarely, if ever, the final click before a purchase is made, understanding their exact context can be tricky.

In many ways, it is tantamount to  an assist on the football field. The striker may be the person that delivers the final touch, but he would be nowhere without the midfield playmaker.

With the right leadership, guidance and understanding, optimising the work of the midfield social media maestros can ensure set goals are achieved and, in the best of circumstances, the match ball is signed, sealed and delivered to the dressing room.

The way that the big hitters in retail are targeting their social media this Christmas is indicative of this. Many headlines have been taken up by the John Lewis campaign, of course, but you only have to look at the other brands to see the trend in stark festive clarity.

Christmas high street favourite Marks & Spencer is a case in point. Staying true to its eminently successful ‘Magic & Sparkle’ festive message, the retailer is going big on social media this year.

It is very much giving it a ‘social’ feel, bringing a touch of the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas by promoting acts of kindness, rather than just the material gift giving aspect.

Also, it has been taking the approach for longer than many of us realise. For over a week, the @TheTwoFairies Twitter account has been delivering “random acts of kindness” to hospital night workers. It has only been revealed in the last few days that this is an M&S account.

A similar approach has also recently been confirmed by Debenhams. Similar, though very much more clearly a sales pitch, it is all about the emotion that goes into seeking, buying and presenting that ‘perfect’ gift to a loved one.

Richard has a First in English Literature and Creative Writing, and has experience writing fiction and short stories (which he has published both online and in magazines).

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