Social Media Marketing Award Winner - The Warehouse Group

We are excited to chat with Leslie Taylor, Employment Brand Manager at The Warehouse Group in Auckland, New Zealand.  The Warehouse Group won the award at this years' Social Media Marketing Awards for our Industry Category, Education and Employment. 

Tell us about your business? 

The Warehouse Group is one of New Zealand’s leading retail groups with over 20 brands. The core is made up of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, and Torpedo7. The Warehouse Group employs 12,000 people, has over 240 locations and a 2017 revenue of $2.92 billion.

Why do you use social media? 

The Warehouse Group recognises the importance of raising the profile of our employment brand. Employment Brand has a positive impact on a company’s reputation, awareness, attraction, retention and engagement. 

The purpose of Employment Brand at The Warehouse Group is to: 

- Market Retail as a Career #retailcareers 

- Market each of our brands as a great place to work 

- Build awareness and drive attractiveness for critical & strategic roles  

We do this through a variety of online channels including dedicated careers websites, careers social media and blog channels. We have 12 careers social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We created and lead the successful hashtag #retailcareers to market retail as a career both in NZ and abroad.

What is Employment Brand?  

Employment Brand indicates an organisation's reputation as an employer. 

A well-known definition of Employment Brand is "the image of your organisation as a 'great place to work'". Employment branding is concerned with enhancing your company's Employment Brand. 

Just as a Unique Selling Proposition is used to define a product or service offer, an Employee Value Proposition is used to define an organisation's employment offer. Likewise, the marketing disciplines associated with brand management have been increasingly applied by the Human Resources and talent management community to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees, in the same way that marketing applies such tools to attracting and retaining clients, customers and consumers. 

What is your demographic? 

One of our objectives is to market retail as a career - therefore all of New Zealand (4.6+ million people) is our audience. 

However, we want to build awareness and drive attractiveness for critical & strategic roles therefore we have created personas for each of these target audiences. We target our campaigns and posts to these audiences.

Why is social media important as a part of your overall marketing strategy? 

Our Employment Brand strategy focuses on a range of channels but social media has contributed significantly to the success of our Employment Brand. Our social media channels provide an inside view of what it is like to work at each of our 5 brands and the authenticity of these posts has captured our audience’s attention and helped to tell our story. 

We have created the foundations to enable us to be successful on social media – strategy, defined purpose, tone of voice, key messages for each month, content calendar, Scheduling Tool, persona and reporting.

How do you grow your fanbase? 

By sharing relevant, authentic content that engages our audience we have been able to grow our audience. However, we also engage on internal social platforms to amplify to content and have additionally run campaigns to engage with our critical and strategic role candidates.

What type of content do you post? 

Our focus is on storytelling, and sharing the successes of our team members. The content we post is a vehicle to tell the stories of our people, and at the same time shows our candidates what it is like to work with us. We give our audience a chance to see the faces behind the scenes which establishes a stronger connection with our brand, thus creating content that both our audience and our 12,000 employees want to engage with and share. 

Rather than a traditional marketing team placing their customers at the centre of their content. We place our candidates at the centre of our content. The entire purpose of building a brand is to connect with your customer/ candidate. Behind the scenes videos, stories, or pictures all a great way to add depth to our brand and further connect with people who can relate and understand what we do. For candidates, this demonstrates our open and honest culture. 

We also experiment with a range of content types – photos, infographics, blogs, video, GIFs etc. and post times then use our analytics to understand what our audience engages with. Candidates don’t care about our brand promises, they can about how the message of this brand makes them feel. We use emotive storytelling to connect. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools of persuasion. 

Just as people don’t buy products, but rather the stories that these products represent, equally people don’t choose a job - they choose a purpose, culture and people they want to work with.

What type of content does your fanbase engage with most? 

Show instead of tell. Emotive storytelling, i.e. our peoples career stories, is by far the most engaging content. As an Employment Brand team, we also see that posts which are supported by people photos/ videos gain the most traction. People want to see people, and hear their stories directly from them. 

We don’t use stock images. Visual content is a cornerstone of almost every branding campaign. We want to humanize our brand - people like to connect with other people. We also largely use ‘user generated content’ from our internal social media channels meaning the stories come directly from our people.

What is next for your social media channels? 

We are currently considering amplification tools and command centres. We are also continuing to focus on experimentation and data led decision making. The future in social media is so unknown, with every new release, new tool and trend we intend to know about it as it happens to make the decision if it is right for our business/ audience.

How important is education in the social media space? 

Social Media doesn’t stay still. To be successful in our industry you need to be a lifetime learner, naturally curious and competitive. It’s important to take every learning opportunity in order to keep moving with the platforms, and with the industry.

Why did you enter the Social Media Marketing Awards? 

To compare our work / channels to others in Australasia. We wanted to benchmark ourselves against our competitors and see if we have been successful enough to win.

Why is it important to win awards for your company? 

Awards are important for our business because they are indicative of our successes. To be able to demonstrate that the work we have done is award winning increases the credibility of our work and can be great source of internal motivation.

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Leslie works at The Warehouse Group – one of New Zealand's largest retailers with over 20 brands, 12,000 people and 240+ sites across New Zealand.  As Employment Brand Manager Leslie is responsible for positioning Retail as a Career and each of their 5 core brands as a great place to work. Leslie’s team are responsible for 12 social media pages including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter #retailcareers. Leslie’s role encompasses Brand, Marketing, Communications, Digital and PR applied to HR. She has mentored over 40 Marketing and Communications Interns and Co manages the Auckland Employment Brand Network.  The Warehouse Group brands have won numerous Retail Employer of the year awards and have been recognised as both winners and finalists in the IBM Best Places to Work awards. Connect with her on LinkedIn: