Boots are a high street favourite and as an essential retailer, its doors are open. But alongside its essential medication and pharmacy services, providing Covid vaccinations and support, Boots also has a gorgeous line in beauty products that its customers love. Boots are a fantastic example of a brand who are getting the balance of their communication priorities just right. The business is ticking the essential comms box, as well as meeting its customers’ needs for a little fun and inspiration beautifully well.

Read on to find out how you can be take inspiration from them and learn how to apply the same tactics, using the Maybe* 10 steps framework.

Step 1: What was the business goal?

Boots is trading as an essential retailer offline. But it also has a whole line of beauty products to sell online and a captive audience looking to be inspired and engaged by the latest beauty trends and launches while locked down. Track your own business goals in the Maybe* platform.

Step 2: Telling the Boots story

Boots' is open for business and as well as on hand for customers to get their medication, stores are also doubling as Covid vaccination centres. Boots do an awesome job at combining practical information, highlighting their essential services, and inspiring with their non essential product. Its story is balanced between what customers can expect from the essential in store experience, with lighter relief.

Step 3: What do Boots want its audience to do

Boots want people to get the practical and essential health support they need through this time. But at the same time it needs to inspire.

Health content is personal and introduces the people and faces of store colleagues you can expect to meet. This is always important, but it’s even more important to put customers coming in for something they might be nervous about, at ease. It's not just Covid that Boots are on hand to take care of, alongside the pandemic, Boots continues to support other health concerns and other patients as part of its essential services.

You can mimic this approach yourself by making things personal and introducing your team members especially if they are experts. Help customers get to know the people behind your brand so they feel looked after and know what to expect.

The Maybe* What’s being said report for Boots showing the content created by Boots and the engagement with it

Step 4: How does Boots engage with customers?

Boots puts its efforts in the right places. It is very active on Twitter, handling customer service feedback, order enquiries, store and service opening times are the core message here. Boots even have a separate social media presence especially for customer care.

Delivering great customer service online should be a top priority of your social media approach. If you are online engaging with other businesses and creating content about your business, then customers can see you are online. Sharing your own messages before responding to your customers' feedback looks bad. Make sure you are responding at the start and end of your day, and whenever you can in between. Being clear with customers on how long it will take you to come to them is a great way to manage expectations up front.

Maybe* dedicates a whole section of the dashboard for you to respond to customer messages. You’ll find it on the right of your Maybe* dashboard.

The Maybe* dashboard view showing Boots comments and mentions they need to respond to

Step 5: Who does Boots want to engage?

Boots' customers are likely to span many demographics, so they aim to reach a wide audience.

The Maybe* Influencer Report shows the business who’s creating the most content about them so they can engage with those customers. Boots see the majority of its influencers in the beauty space, including other beauty brands they stock. Although they just continue to serve the needs of the public, the brand also needs to be interacting with influencers in the conversation about it and creating content that serves that beauty loving audience.

You can replicate this by building relationships with the influencers in your conversation via Maybe*. Start by simply liking or sharing their comments, or be bold and dive straight into a conversation.

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

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

Boots is active across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Content is replicated across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram though typically you’ll see the brand having more conversations of a customer service nature on Twitter.

Beauty content drives the most engagement for Boots and you’ll most likely find that generating the most levels of engagement on Instagram. Tagging in beauty brands such as Rihanna’s beauty range ‘Fenty drives engagement up as does providing beauty fans ideas to get their glam on at home.

Measure your own engagement within the Maybe* platform to understand what content best engages your audience.

The Maybe* See what works report for Boots showing the content created by Boots and the engagement with it

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

Boots knows that their audience loves a lippie, a good night cream and are excited about the latest beauty brands. They also know that while locked down, working from home and nowhere to go to look fancy, people still want to add a little glamour and glow to their many Zoom calls to feel good. Boots creates content that meets those needs.

Find out who and what your customers care about by listening to relevant conversations. We have many free and topical conversations in the Maybe* platform waiting for you.

Step 8: Mastering advertising

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

How can you do this? Well you can connect your own advertising account really easily using Maybe*. You can spend as little as £1 a day, so don’t think advertising is only for big brands with big budgets.

See how to connect and manage advertising

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 25-35 who are interested in Urban Decay, 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. Boots 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 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 Boots' measures of success?

Boots can use the Maybe* Insight summary to see how they are stacking up against competitor businesses. It needn’t be painful, use this to find out how to improve.

You can copy this approach yourself to compare your social media performance against competitors, like minded brands and even other businesses in your location. This is what you need to understand how your content is performing, and to benchmark whether your social media is as pretty as a picture or whether it needs a makeover.

The Maybe* Insight Summary for Boots

Step 10: Measuring delivery on the original objective?

Although the business is an essential retailer, Boots stocks beauty products and still wants to sell it online and interest customers with it, which is no mean feat given the tactile nature of beauty products. But by engaging and creating content with its celebrity owned beauty brands, Boots succeed in maintaining the lead in the beauty stakes.

Boots 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.

You can replicate this by checking 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, sentiment, influencers and best Instagram post for Boots through January 2021

Key takeaway

As an essential retailer Boots are able to trade for medicines and health supplies. But it’s its beauty offering which continues to catch shoppers attention online and that drives engagement for them. By continuing to create beauty content, Boots keeps its followers engaged and feeling fresh faced to great success. Whether you are an essential retailer or not, you can still create non-essential content, customers want to see it and feel good even if they can’t visit you in person.

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