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Target’s Bull’s-Eye View on Social Media

Revamping the online content on its Web site includes taking into account the impact on sales.

With 365,000 team members worldwide, 1,800 stores and 30 million guests each week, Target Corp. has a “bull’s-eye view” on how to use social media to drive sales.

Dustee Jenkins, vice president for marketing — public relations, said a year ago the company realized that even though it had a Facebook and Twitter presence, there was “no place to house great content,” and Target “wanted it all in the same place.”

In revamping the site, the discounter decided to include a little bit of everything to incorporate the interests of its guests, from fashion to food, which is why the site includes recipes. The content on the site changes every day, with the aim of informing and inspiring its guests.

Fashion content includes styling options to show users how to put different pieces together.

Next on Target’s agenda is its partnership with Neiman Marcus in which designs from 24 Council of Fashion Designers of America members will be sold as part of a holiday collection beginning on Dec. 1 at all Target stores, online at target.com and at neimanmarcus.com.

RELATED STORY: Neiman Marcus, Target Team in Daring Designer Deal >>

Jenkins said information about the partnership wasn’t just about the product — Target wanted to tell the story of the CFDA as well.

As for the effort in creating content, Jenkins said, “It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy. Once the content is out, it’s out. There’s no taking it back.”

The company works with the mind-set that it has to do things at a moment’s notice, but be willing to consider marketing opportunities as well. “You can’t do marketing and not be willing to put it on the site. You can’t not talk about it on the site, that would disappoint [our guests],” she explained.

Considerations include global, national and local concerns all at the same time because that’s how Target runs its business, and the team keeps that perspective to maintain the same tone of voice on its site in the presentation of materials.

While there was some leeway in the early-stage development of content a year ago, these days the focus is on driving sales, Jenkins noted.

The bottom line, she said, is: “We can’t justify [certain] resources and spend without talking about sales.”