Staples Canada is using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest to reach their target audience through social channels and they are (this close to) killing it, or so it would seem. A quick glance at the Staples Canada profile on each platform shows consistent imagery and language in their bio creating cohesive brand representation. They know their target market is millennial moms through to business professionals so these platforms will proposition Staples Canada on the channels their market is using most. After a browse through all of these channels, it can be said that Staples Canada:
- Provides information and resources ✔
- The majority of their posts lead with a question followed by a slice of information linked to a resource or future event
- Creates community ✔
- The use of a brand centred hashtag, #worklearngrow and #staplesspotlight encourages employees, customers and brand partners to create community as well as show off purchases
- Curating and hosting virtual events, not to be mistaken as altruistic as, afterall, Staples Canada is a business, these events pair nicely with a new purchase from Staples Canada
- Acknowledges current social matters ✔
- Using a combination of the different Pride flags during Pride month
- Posting about current social issues such as the recent uncovering of the mass grave at the former residential school location in BC
While Staples Canada is using the best social media channels for their target market and creating a cohesive online presence throughout all of the channels, there are clear next steps the company must take to up their game, especially in the age of social media.
- Interaction with audience – creating a hashtag to allow customers to become part of the Staples Canada story is great, however, their inconsistent replies to customers via social media is noticeable and the issue with this is amplified because there are only a handful of comments on posts making it seem that these questions are ignored rather than just unable to get to due to the amount of questions. A greater effort should be made to reply to satisfy current and potential customers.
- Social standing –
- (a) including a Pride flag isn’t demonstrative of inclusion and equity anymore, showing how you are an ally is what matters. Is there continuing education occurring within the company? How about using the #staplesspotlight hashtag as a way to spotlight who the flag represents? A recent comment on their Instagram asks what they are doing beyond using the flag and -surprise- no reply.
- (b) posting about the mass grave in BC shows they are listening to the news, but are they listening to the people? The Facebook post reads,
“At Staples we will continue to build our education and awareness of the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada with all of our associates, and stand up for diversity, equity and inclusion every day.” – Staples Canada
This is another example of Staples Canada acknowledging a social/political issue. Their words are great, but how is Staples Canada do this?
Staples Canada has made a solid effort to be present where their target market is, but target markets are wising up to companies empty contributions to society and lack of relationship building in exchange for more niche brands that put in the work to build a relationship and earn their sales. With more consistent and timely customer interaction and clearly defined steps to help achieve social goals within the company, I think Staples Canada stands a chance with the next generation of tech-savvy customers.