Lowe's Home Improvement's Director of Social Media and Emerging Platforms, Brad Walters, sat down with us to talk about their success on channels like Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram. Brad has been a member since 2013.
According to Brad, the biggest challenge brands face with emerging platforms is understanding why they should be there.
“I'm a believer that, just because a new social platform exists, doesn't necessarily mean it's the right platform for everybody to jump on. You've got to really be strategic on the decision-making around joining new channels,” says Brad Walters, Lowe's Director of Social Media and Emerging Platforms.
“Certainly, there's nothing wrong with experimentation, but there's a level of discretion that has to come from brand marketers.”
Bright and shiny isn't enough — Brad says bringing value to the customer is the most important piece they look for in new social channels.
And if the value isn't there, Lowe's isn't either.
According to Brad, “An example, at least right now, would be something like Snapchat. I think Snapchat is an amazing network, but for us to leverage it, I think it would need to be more beneficial in support of our customers' needs.”
As an early adopter of Vine, Brad says their strategy was inspired by a campaign that worked well for them on Facebook.
“The success we saw on Facebook was a good indicator that it would do well on Vine where we can tell a more compelling story with six-second videos.”
Their Fix in Six campaign focuses on succinct, creative tips for making home improvement and DIY projects easier — and people love it. He says with Vine's recent debut of loop counts, the metrics have only reinforced their strategy's success.
Vine is about more than the platform for Lowe's — it's about scalable storytelling.
“The uniqueness of Vine for us is the short-form aspect of the video. While Vine as a platform is great, it isn't as much about the platform as it is the six-second videos that come from Vine and the ability to scale it to our other consumer touch points,” Brad explains.
For example, Lowe's might leverage their Vine videos on Twitter, YouTube, and some paid media.
But for all of their success in Vine, it's not the only emerging platform Lowe's is innovating on.
As you can imagine, Pinterest is a welcoming environment for a home improvement brand like Lowe's. When Jelly debuted, they quickly determined its opportunity to support customers and found themselves once again in the spotlight of social platform innovation. They also have an active following on Instagram because of their abundance of visual content and their work with guest contributors.
“There are so many bright and talented individuals with great ideas to share about home improvement,” Brad says.
“By collaborating with them and giving them the opportunity to express their ideas and creativity with our customers and social media followers, it helps us further enrich their social media experience with our brand.”
Of course, providing value to the customer and disclosure is still key.
Brad says Lowe's is transparent about when ambassadors post content for them, and they ask the contributors to only post content from projects, ideas, and inspiration they own.
“The reaction from our customers and followers has been very positive based on their comments and social expressions,” he says, “which for us is a key indicator that we are providing content that's useful. Our main goal across our social media platforms is to support our customers fully and provide them value.”
Follow Brad on Twitter and tell him about one of your favorite home improvement hacks.