This review is a part of our ‘Social Media Strategy Review’ series where we do a 360 degree analysis of a brand’s entire social media activity. You can read the reviews of more brands here.
Starting its journey from Chennai in 1999, in the two and half odd decades (twenty-three years to be precise) of its operation, Dubai-based Landmark Group’s Lifestyle International has positioned itself as a premier shopping destination housing over 500 brands across various categories.
The shopping destination is frequented by many buyers; while some leave satisfied, some don’t. In this article, I will analyze how the shopping center used social media not only to provide new information to people and engage them, but also how it handles those customers who were not happy. The goal here will be to analyze the social media activity of the shopping hub following the format I have used in the recent posts.
This review is for the time period between July-August.
Audience Analysis of Lifestyle International
A shopping destination like Lifestyle International appeals to people from all age groups, because it stocks products to cater to the needs of every family members. This is probably the reason for the following result when a wagon wheel consisting of various age divisions is drawn.
Although the store has a good deal of positive emotions flowing through its various social media channels, as reflected in the following image, not everyone is happy about the brand. You can see in the second image how unsatisfied some people are with the store.
The question that this negative trend raises is whether it is a permanent absence of certain products or the lack of quality services that is leading to such resentment towards Lifestyle International? Or is it just their social media activities that don’t go down too well with the audience? In short, the data about these sentiments should be read with caution.
For a retail store like Lifestyle, social media could be a channel to address concerns, inform its customers about the latest happenings (promotion, new range, etc.) in the store, and establish itself as the favorite shopping destination for a family.
Lifestyle International uses social media as an announcement vehicle where it talks about recent events in the store like sales, new arrivals, etc., along with sharing the things it does for the community. The brand has also tried to engage people on a deeper level, the efficacy of which will be studied below.
Lifestyle International on Facebook
On Facebook, the store has more than 38.27 lakh fans, but the overall engagement has been pretty low so far, for a page as strong as theirs. The brand, in the last two months, has only engaged less than 5,000 people on a daily basis. This engagement level went beyond 5,000 only on a few occasions, despite its effort to interact with people by running contests which do get some good likes, shares, and comments, and announcing sales and other important events (see the second image).
One reason for such a performance could be traced back to the mismatch in the text and image in some of the posts. For example, in the following post the connection between the sale announced and the image is not very clear. The image entertains ambiguity, instead of which the brand should have used an image that expresses desire and voice aspiration.
The images used in some of the posts are nice and explanatory. A screenshot of one such post has been posted below (see the second image).
The brand has also shared posts related to their sense of social awareness, and of the work it has done for the community (see the image below), which is a wise move. If you go by the Facebook-participation rulebook, then the steps taken by Lifestyle International will make you put a tick mark on all the items on the checklist, but far from explaining why there is a lack a strong engagement, it will confuse you. The brand has failed to apply itself in the posts.
The posts look plain, and no one wants plain stuff from a brand that claims to be “vibrant and youthful.” The participation should have been spirited, and should reflect the brand’s personality. It does not even reflect in the tips that it shared (see the second image), and it simply feels like the soul is missing.
Lifestyle International on Twitter
Lifestyle International’s Twitter profile reflects the “vibrant and youthful” image that the store wants to portray. On Twitter it has 9552 followers and it has made a little above 2,292 tweets, which suggests that the store is not as active on the platform as it should be, particularly when you take into consideration what its followers have to say.
@esha_goel We will get back to you on this shortly.
— lifestyle stores (@Lifestyle_Store) August 27, 2013
Followers of Lifestyle store are very active on Twitter, or so it appears from the conversations they hold, and the tweets they post to engage the brand (See the tweets embedded above and below this paragraph). Seen in that light, the brand needs to be more proactive on Twitter.
— Divi. (@Diviforlife) August 23, 2013
— lifestyle stores (@Lifestyle_Store) August 13, 2013
— Avantika (@stunningmoon) August 13, 2013
It has been seen that the brand has followed the same method of using the platform for announcement, but unlike on Facebook, this approach is appropriate for the medium. The brand as appropriately used hashtags and mentions to keep the communication going.
— lifestyle stores (@Lifestyle_Store) August 20, 2013
Comparison with competitor
Shoppers Stop, a better known retail store, is the closest competitor Lifestyle International has. Shoppers Stop has a larger fan base (see the first image), but their engagement rate is almost as faltering as that of Lifestyle, despite some visually appealing posts with crisp content, as you can see in the third image below this.
When you compare the above image with the one (of the similar nature – talking about a 50% discount) from Lifestyle’s Facebook page, you will see the difference in the quality of content design (style of content). Even the quality of content shared (substance of content) is an improvement over the ones shared by the studied brand.
Compare the following two screenshots with the screenshot of the “skin care 101″post shared above, and you will see the difference in quality and design.
On the content and design front Shoppers Stop has done a better job that Lifestyle International, even its per post engagement is high, but in overall engagement it trails behind the studied brand (see the following image).
Lifestyle International Elsewhere
The shopping center had created a YouTube channel as well, but in the three years of the channel’s existence, Lifestyle has posted only 6 videos – the last one was posted a year ago.
Social media efforts of Lifestyle store has some holes, which it should plug. For example, the brand should use the event app to announce the opening of new stores or the beginning of new promotions, and instead of focusing heavily on its own hashtags, the brand should also use other commonly used hashtags on Facebook and Twitter to amplify its reach.
Lifestyle International should have either used YouTube properly, or removed the link to the YouTube channel from its website, which is currently visible on the Wibiya bar it has installed. Retaining a non-active channel will harm the brand more than it will help them. The store should also spend more time on Twitter.
Overall, the social media effort of Lifestyle International is just average, with no special mentions to it.
Lifestyle’s social media presence can be termed ‘boring’ in one word. A brand which is in the life style and clothing space has such a huge opportunity to be interesting and to engage users around the 4 C’s: Colour, Cut, Comfort and Costs (Discounts). Its also a big opportunity to leverage customer service to turn around negative sentiments into a positive one.
Lifestyle fails at both these aspects. Social media can also be used to drive offline footfalls but given the fact that basic customer service is handled poorly, it is hard to expect Lifestyle to focus on taking their social media presence to the next level by concentrating on online-offline footfall impact. On the whole, Lifestyle needs to do a lot more and invest more attention to engaging with consumers and driving value to them.
Expert View by Rajiv Dingra Founder & CEO of WATConsult – An Award Winning Social Media Agency.
Analytics support courtesy: Simplify360