Wednesday 25 April 2018

Will JB HI-FI’s Twitter Crew Become Australia’s Equivalent of Best Buy’s @Twelpforce?

Australia’s largest home entertainment retailer JB HI-FI appears to be gearing up for a major tilt at incorporating a grassroots ‘shop floor’ Twitter army across its business.

At first blush it appears JB HI-FI is modeling its approach on US chain Best Buy’s @Twelpforce – “A collective force of Best Buy technology pros offering tech advice in Tweet form”.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that; indeed, it’s a smart strategy. Best Buy has long been regarded best practice when it comes to customer care and brand responsiveness on Twitter.

JB HI-FI has assembled its Twitter presence across multiple fronts:

First, there is the @JBHiFi Twitter account, which at this stage is like most corporate accounts – non personal, not following anyone and pushing out one-way sales messages.

Secondly, individual stores are getting into the action, like @JBChadstone and @JBSpringvale. Their activity currently is similar to the corporate account i.e. one-way messaging. 

And thirdly, and more impressively, employees from different stores are also becoming involved. Their presence in terms of Twitter handle and avatar appears pretty consistent – i.e. @danh_jbaus (personal, but tying back to the brand) along with a photo that reflects their personality, but each one has a yellow wash through it, once again to reflect JB HI-FI’s trademark yellow branding (see some examples below).

Whereas the corporate Twitter accounts need a bit of work (granted, it’s early days for the brand), the individuals involved appear to be getting right into the swing of things and obviously have the imprimatur to do so, which is very cool.

So what is JB HI-FI doing right?

It’s still very early days by the looks of things but decentralising much of their Twitter activity gives JB HI-FI not only additional ‘arms and legs’ in the Twitterverse but importantly injects authenticity into the program. People want to hear from the experts who walk the floor, not necessarily someone cloistered in a head office cubicle.

Also, I like the way individuals can tailor their Twitter accounts to their personality. Once again, this provides a sense of genuineness so often lacking from corporate activity, but doesn’t detract from the JB HI-FI brand. Getting this balance right is critical.

#jbhelp hashtag

A hashtag has been created and promoted – #jbhelp – that makes it easy for members of the public to tweet a question which, in turn, can be responded to by any one of the JB HI-FI Twitter army, not necessarily one designated Twitter account. This is similar to how Best Buy’s @Twelpforce operates.

And finally, the company has been smart in how it has asked for volunteers (employees with Twitter experience along with those eager to learn); they’ve trained them up and, according to Yvonne Adele from Ideas Culture who has been advising JB HI-FI, provided guidelines that give clarity on what is and what’s not acceptable behaviour on social media when representing the brand.

All in all a pretty good start on Twitter for a major brand. We will watch with interest!

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