If you’re struggling to stay relevant to your customers over lockdown, then social listening will help you over that hurdle. When you combine insight with the voices of your customers then it can inspire a truly empathy-led approach to your content marketing. Just ask the UK's leading home furnishing retailer, Dunelm.

Over lockdown 1.0 Dunelm listened to customers in order to create a marketing campaign customers could relate to. And as home improvement and home makeovers are one of the country's favourite lockdown past times, they stand to continue to benefit well from this approach.

Using our 10 steps to social media success framework, we show you how they are staying relevant to customers over lockdown both in 2020, and in 2021.

Step 1: What was the business goal?

Dunelm sells home decor and home interiors products. Over lockdown with more customers staying at home, making over the home has helped customers stay entertained and occupied. Dunelm wants to be at the forefront of serving that need.

Step 2: Telling the Dunelm story

The home and interiors brand used social insight and customer feedback about life at home during lockdown and beyond to identify the little gripes we all have. From kids destroying a clean and tidy home, to perfecting your scatter cushion arrangements and wrestling with folding fitted sheets, the universal realities and home truths exposed, resulted in the Dunelm #homewegetit campaign.

Step 3: What do Dunelm want its audience to do

Dunelm wants its customers to be inspired to change up their living space and shop for soft furnishings, new furniture, and finishing touches. But as with its 2020 #homewegetit campaign, Dunelm also wants customers to engage and let the brand know how they’re feeling and what they’re doing, This engagement then feeds Dunelm’s content vision further enabling it to create content that customers can instantly relate to.

Step 4: How does Dunelm engage with customers?

Dunelm gives credit where credit is due and nearly always tags influencers and its customers into its product content. By using user generated content, Here Dunelm are able to benefit from the endorsement and followers of interior influencers and ensures it’s never in short supply of content, that is as creative and styled as a covetable sitting room makeover.

The Maybe* Who’s got influence report showing the conversation influencers creating the most content about Dunelm in January

Step 5: Who does Dunelm want to engage?

Dunelm wants to engage customers interested in home decor. So by listening and engaging in the conversation about home interiors ideas, or the conversations created by influencers in that space, they can re-share interiors inspo, and engage with tastemakers or partner with them on campaigns.

The Maybe* Engage view showing the hashtag conversations that Dunelm can listen and engage with

Step 6: Where do Dunelm need to engage and how did they do it successfully?

Dunelm is active across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But as a home interiors brand, they benefit the most from the visual nature of Instagram. Dunelm’s best posts often feature competitions. But its product content earns it almost as much engagement.

Not only does Dunelm grow its engagement and followers quickly with contests, but its audience are just as engaged with its core product. This is an impressive and enviable position to be in.

The Maybe* See What Works report for Dunelm showing the content and engagement with it

Step 7: Who or what else are your customers distracted by and interested in?

Dunelm knows that their audience is locked down at home and they are bored and stressed. Staring at the same four walls is never fun and thankfully Dunelm are on hand to help customers brighten them or create an ambience of peace and tranquility with fresh bedding.

Step 8: Mastering advertising

Maybe* is on hand to help you advertise easily and cost-efficiently.

If you’re using advertising on Facebook and Instagram, your audience insights will really help inform who you should target. You can create three different types of audience within the Facebook Ads manager. Let’s break them down.

Saved - this is easy. This is basically a cold audience, one that has perhaps never come across you before. This audience type allows you to add behavioural and interest targeting; gender and demographic information. So if you want to advertise to women between 25-45 who are interested in horse interiors then you can do that.

Custom- A custom audience allows you to take your Facebook page and Instagram page and build an audience based on who and how it's been engaged with. Dunelm could use this to retarget any customers who have engaged with them online, with ads to sell products.

Lookalike - this is the clever stuff. Made easy. So let’s say you have created a custom audience from your engagement data. A lookalike is where you take a custom audience (and you can only do it on custom audiences) and say find me the top 1% of people in Knowle who match my existing custom audience. Facebook will then find all the people in your custom audience, and then look for more people it thinks might be similar based solely on their Facebook activity.

Step 9: What are Dunelm’s measures of success?

Dunelm can use the Maybe* Insight summary to see how they are stacking up against competitor businesses. The business are less active than some of their competitors, and see less engagement per post and per day. But they sit well ahead of the likes of B&Q and Homebase. This insight shows Dunelm where they need to add a fresh coat of paint to their social media activity, and where they can break out the fine china and celebrate success.

The Maybe* Insight Summary for Dunelm

Step 10: Measuring delivery on the original objective?

Dunelm can use the Your Report tool within Maybe* to keep track of their social media performance, as well as ad any other third party business data they want to integrate. The report builder allows them to see engagement, sentiment, conversation topics, conversation influencers, and their best posts by social media platform so they can understand what's working and what's not.

Check out the Maybe* Your report feature which enables you to track your social media performance metrics and your business goals as well as find who’s got the most influence in the conversation about you.

The Maybe* your report tool showing the social media engagement, influencers, conversation topics by customers and best Instagram post for Dunelm through January 2021

Key takeaway

By engaging with customers and listening to their conversations online, Dunelm ploughed that insight into creating a wonderful content marketing campaign in 2020, and has continued that approach in 2021. By creating relevance to your customers, and using their current state of mind and priorities in your own content, you build empathy and resonance.

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