Zara, one of the largest international fashion companies, has more than 8 million fans on Facebook. But what happens to your social media strategy (if you can even call it that) when you post infrequently on your page, let the pictures do all the talking, don’t have a way of converting visitors to purchasers and let your page be used and abused as a free for all?
From Zara’s perspective, yes, it is definitely challenging to control 8 million fans and it would require a lot of man hours and staff to even attempt to remove inappropriate content and block users that repeatedly post inappropriate content. But what happens when you do nothing at all? You have everyone using your valuable space on the internet for their own gain, you’ve lost control of your page and your brand loses respect because you’ve done nothing about it. Here’s a sampling of the comments made on Zara’s Facebook wall and posts:
Clearly, these posts and comments have nothing to do with Zara–and there are far worse comments than the ones posted above. It might be good for Zara to do a bit of monitoring and policing on their page to regain control and keep the focus on their business. Banana Republic has the right idea–they posted the following disclaimer on their Facebook page to discourage bad behavior: “Please understand that while we have no obligation to monitor the postings, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove postings that are (1) abusive, defamatory or obscene (2) fraudulent, deceptive or misleading (3) in violation of intellectual property rights of another (4) offensive–graphically or in tone (5) solicitations of any kind.”
Facebook page monitoring aside, the biggest loss to Zara is the missed opportunity to convert their fans/visitors into purchasers. Zara’s posts are infrequent and mostly pictorial–photos of new looks and new collections are uploaded to their page–but there are no calls to action and no attempts to prompt a purchase from their customers. It doesn’t help that Zara has limited stores in the United States and has yet to establish online purchasing. In fact, those are the two most common fan complaints–no stores near them and no way to purchase online. There’s a lot of “brand love” on Zara’s page, but what good is that if it doesn’t translate into sales?
Takeaway: Design a social media strategy that both promotes brand loyalty and drives sales–post regular content and have a clear call to action. Don’t let your fans run wild on your page, do monitor your Facebook page to keep it clean, free of solicitations and focused on your brand/products.
Needs Improvement: Zara needs to take back control of their Facebook page and establish some posting guidelines and make an effort to enforce it. They also need to take what is currently a static Facebook page and optimize it with strong calls to action so that they can turn fans into purchasers.