This week I started with an overview of the Lowe’s brand. Most of the information I found on their website. It was very informative, well organized, and provided several internal links. I expected to find listings for their products, an About page telling about the company, and a section on careers with an online application. I did not expect to also find a page about how Lowe’s gives back to communities through charitable donations in goods and services. Here is an article about Lowe’s helping in Columbia, South Carolina, here is an article about Lowe’s helping to build a home for Habitat for Humanity, and here is an article about Lowe’s partnering with a small business, Hammock Boutique, which employs impoverished women in Yucatán community. Lowe’s also has something called Lowe’s Innovation Labs, which is helping to solve the global clean water crisis. An interesting aspect of this is that “citizen scientists and the DIY community” are invited to help create a solar water pasteurizer. Before starting this week’s project, I thought Lowe’s was simply a hardware and appliance store, and didn’t realize that this company is actively trying to help people in extreme circumstance or just with a weekend DIY project.
I also posted about Lowe’s presence on social media, and did an analysis of Lowe’s social media rhetoric. I discovered that this company is very active online and maintains a very consistent presence on the social media accounts. On Facebook they are quick to respond to customer complaints and find a way to rectify any issues. The same can be said looking at their Twitter account, which shows a long list of replies to happy and unhappy customers as well as tweets trying to engage specific users, for example about projects they may have mentioned to Lowe’s in previous tweets.
Their online customer service seems much more consistent than the content posted. Though Lowe’s posts frequently, often several times per day, their posts differ from site to site with different photos, or the same photos edited into a collage and using different captions. For viewers, it means having to follow Lowe’s on each website in order to keep informed about various deals, tips, design ideas, etc. It also shows that the people who manage Lowe’s social media accounts work very hard at coming up with content to post and making sure that each post is new and different in some way, instead of posting the same thing across all social media accounts.
Because of this, it seems like Lowe’s is trying to engage users on different websites according to what people from each site like to see or based on how users of different websites like to interact. They use high quality, professional looking photos on all of their accounts, but they seem to use the best photos on Instagram. This makes sense, as Instagram is a very visual, photo based site. They @ tag other businesses and accounts on Twitter, because that is one of the best ways to engage others as well as have your content get as much exposure as possible on Twitter.
Compared to Others
Just as Batdad did, Lowe’s also responds frequently to comments on social media. Unlike Batdad with his few-word answers, Lowe’s often gives lengthy replies to comments on Facebook. As Lowe’s is a company that employs many and is not just one designer or one internet celebrity, Lowe’s doesn’t have an option to provide personal information and peeks into a personal life as is what happens with both Batdad and Stella McCartney. Instead of focusing on what one person is doing or accomplishing, Lowe’s likes to show a sense of community and an ability to bring people together, either through a project or for a greater good. Also, it doesn’t appear that Lowe’s posts often about their good deeds.
Lowe’s doesn’t seem to rely heavily on word-of-mouth as Batdad does. However, Lowe’s does seem to care a lot about how their company is perceived, which is why they are so quick to respond, particularly to complaints. As they try to reach a resolution that will make a customer happy, others can see good customer service in action. Also, through their Rant or Rave app on Facebook, as well as through just the posts on their Facebook page (and other accounts), people can review their company, service, and products. This could be considered a form of word-of-mouth which is similar to Batdad, and is also something that Stella McCartney doesn’t do as she does not have some form of rating system on any of her pages.
What I Will Do Next Week
I will do as Lowe’s does and maintain a heavy online presence. I will also respond to every comment and tweet, as well as try to @ tag others on Twitter who have similar interests and content.