Marketing Essay

Target’s Social Media Marketing Strategy


For your discussion post this week, select one of your favorite companies and research how it uses social media. In your post, identify the social media networks the company uses (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) and discuss the marketing strategies used. Is the company a frequent poster? Does it run contests or giveaways? Identify at least one way the company could improve its strategies.


Social media creates a platform on which consumers can engage of a company’s brands (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010; Mangold & Faulds, 2009; Hanna, Rohma & Crittenden, 2011). The aim of this paper is to explore the use of social media as a marketing tool in the corporate scene. In this regard, the focus is on Target, a company that offers various products, including general merchandise, food items, differentiated merchandise, and fashion items through stores and online. The social networks that Target uses include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and Google+. On Facebook, the company posts at least once a week, and over 23 million people like the company’s Facebook Page. However, in some cases, it may take up to ten days for a new post to be published. For example, the latest Facebook post was published on January 7, 2016. These posts are mostly dedicated to the announcement of offers, giveaways, and trivia questions designed to trigger interactions on various Target products.

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            The company posts more frequently on Twitter compared to Facebook. Most Twitter posts are about company-sponsored events such as parties and tours; product promotions, photos of merchandise, giveaways, and limited-time discount offers. Target has 1.78 million followers on Twitter and has made 30,000 tweets. The level of engagement on Twitter is seemingly higher than on Facebook.  Like in the case of Twitter, Target also has a strong social media presence on Instagram, where it has 1.2 million followers. The photos that have been posted on the company’s Instagram account are mostly about product promotions, discount offers, gifts, online shopping tips, and suggestions on usage of various products. The company is also active on Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube, through the level of engagement with consumers is not as high as that of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The company could improve its social media presence by publishing Facebook posts more frequently. Such efforts can play a critical role in creating a highly interactive social media ecosystem (Hanna, Rohma & Crittenden, 2011). These efforts should be geared towards displaying more photos showing its wide range of general and specialized merchandise. It is also important for Target to promote its products more aggressively in real-life-use contexts particularly on Facebook and Instagram. At the same, the company should upload more instructional videos particularly in regards to the online shopping experience as a way of improving the effectiveness of its social media marketing strategy.


Hanna, R., Rohma, A. & Crittenden, V. (2011). We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business Horizons, 54(3), 265–273.

Hoffman, D. & Fodor, M. (2010). Can You Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing? MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(1), 41-49.

Mangold, W. & Faulds, D. (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business Horizons, 52(4), 357–365.

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