Company: Leroy Merlin Espana
Entry submitted by: Francisco Campos Dominguez (PacoCampos) Social Media Manager
Community: Comunidad Leroy Merlin (https://comunidad.leroymerlin.es/)
LSW social channels:
Lithy category: Most Creative Community Promotion or Launch
Leroy Merlin Background
Leroy Merlin is the home improvement leader with 58 stores and has been in Spain for the last 25 years. Part of the ADEO Group, Leroy Merlin is the European home improvement retail leader.
Leroy Merlin is an innovative company in which the term "employee" is not used, because 94% of the 8,000 people who work there are shareholders, and for that reason they are called "collaborators.”
The company’s values are:
The company culture of sharing, co-constructing and co-directing, is in the DNA of each "collaborator" and therefore Leroy Merlin Spain is a “community” in itself.
The Community: The heart of social evolution
The company’s culture of "sharing" among consumers is growing every year. The new consumer wants to know the experiences of other customers before they buy. Leroy Merlin understands that willingness to "share" is important, but not as important as the brands that are willing to listen and act accordingly.
There are many threats and opportunities that this new culture generates, but there are many strategies to overcome them. Leroy Merlin is aware that the "culture of sharing" is part of the company DNA so it decided that social evolution must be a priority.
The goal was to increase the productivity of each "collaborator" of each department, including: central purchasing, human resources, brick and mortar store teams, etc... In short, the entire company adapted the mission and started executing the new rules for the “new consumer.”
The strategy was to "truly be social and not just seem social.” This means that each "partner" should know the opportunities and concerns that the new environment poses in the company’s "mission" and every individual in the company is responsible to seize it. The option of trying to “seem social” in all the social activity in the marketing department was discarded.
The tactics focused on creating three major points between customers, employees and partners in order to be successful. The three points of contact are:
1. Official social media channels in the most important and relevant social networks:
a. It is the meeting point between acquaintances and friends
2. Physical stores (58 stores throughout Spain):
a. Physical meeting points between customers and employees
3. Web + Sites related:
a. A digital meeting point between people who are passionate about home improvement in Spain was the heart of the social strategy
The operation kicked off in in 2012 with the launch and continued development of Leroy Merlin’s social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest with three objectives:
1. Investigate and test: there were several thousands of activation strategies and touch-points with customers and collaborators that Leroy Merlin considered an "internal and external social laboratory" of the future community
2. Recruiting: engaging users with social content to facilitate the subsequent launch of the Leroy Merlin community
3. Define and optimize processes: internally listen to feedback to ensure the company is prepared to enable customers to propose improvements in the community.
After nearly two years of actively listening, the Leroy Merlin community launched in December 2014. It became the heart of Leroy Merlin and the online destination for professional opinion leaders, "home improvement" customers, DIY lovers, partners, collaborators, installers, etc. It became the place where people can learn and share their concerns, experiences and projects to do more and improve their home.
Social networks are formed by groups of friends who may or may not have common interests, and Communities are for groups of people unknown to each other but who share interests. The objective between 2011-2014 was to achieve a high volume of relationships with groups of friends in social networks (500,000+ followers and 26,000,000+ video views) and the end of 2015 was to use these relationships to enhance the discussions generated in the new Community. Four months later, the traffic from social networking accounts was 46.25 % of the total traffic to the Community. Leroy Merlin has a "Total Community."
Why participate in the Leroy Merlin Community and not another? This was the point from which Leroy Merlin started defining the Community, and the three reasons they determined were:
1. Not only to assist other users, but the Community has hundreds of experts who can help solve consumer’s doubts
2. Not only can consumers interact and learn in the online space, but physically too by attending weekly in-person events organized in Leroy Merlin stores
3. Not only can consumers read recommendations of other consumers’ solutions, but they can also buy products needed to improve their homes.
In order to realize these objectives, in 2014 Leroy Merlin selected and trained over 80 store volunteers – called animators - who carried out the company’s mission in each of the 58 stores. The goal for 2015 is to bring 200 new animators to ensure internal and external buzz, and to continue listening and learning from customers.
To measure the success of the Community, Leroy Merlin focused on four main KPIs:
1. Number of visits: Whenever a client resolves a question by visiting the Community, the company saves hours of customer service in stores, improves brand image and increases commercial potential
2. Number of content generated: Whenever members of the Community generate content for free, the company saves the cost of producing marketing/corporate materials
3. Number of visits to the store: Every time the Community drives a customer to visit the online store a sales opportunity is generated
4. Number of business opportunities enabled: Each time the stores detected an opportunity to improve service to customers and activate the company in the community that improves its profitability and brand image
The best promotion is to use it
The company is committed to "truly being social, and not just seeming social”. The launch of the Community made it very clear that participating and sharing in the Community and other social networks is part of the larger goal of having each client and collaborator meet their individual goals with social. The Community does that by providing peer-support, product reviews, questions answered by experts, etc. to help enrich their shopping experience.
The communication strategy of the Community launch went through the organic integration of it as a new feature that facilitates and improves all points of contact between the brand and its customers; all while fostering a new dimension of engagement.
Every collaborator, every store and every department of the company is responsible for using this new tool – the Community - and the ease of use to customers allows the company to create a much more continuous and close relationship with customers.
Leroy Merlin took an omni-channel, organic approach that improved over-time and which integrated into the daily lives of customers, employees and partners. By using the Community, all they key stakeholders were able to achieve their goals.
The model has involved a more gradual release, but identified by four major phases:
2. Focus on the integration of customers.
Leroy Merlin focused on publicizing the Community to all customers in a personalized way with different points of contact with the brand, on and offline.Communication and promotional messages of the Community were led by customers.
Posters in shops formed by the actual client projects, event flyers in checkout lines, workshops and demos in stores to help customers improve their homes, web banners, presence guides brochures, related magazines, websites to sharpen the content strategy.
In order to emphasize collaboration with TV, Bricomanía which airs weekly on Antena 3, has incorporated a 2-minute video in which one of the Leroy Merlin community members has a project and is interviewed in the program and commissioned to introduce the Community to the rest of lovers in the world of DIY, decoration, garden, etc.
3. Focus on the integration of partners.
Leroy Merlin focused on B2B, to publicize and integrate strategic partners such as the group of bloggers, installers and architects, to launch a personalized relationship model for each group.
4. Focus on the integration of suppliers.
Leroy Merlin focused on linking the Community with the range of products, launching the ability for users to test and evaluate products.
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