For brands, social media has evolved from a place to share memes with your customers, to a fully-fledged digital front desk. There are a myriad of functionalities that have developed within the last decade to enhance user experiences beyond an ordinary swipe or tap, with live-streaming and even shopping features coming into play.
And with 2020 necessitating virtually all businesses to shift operations online, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become vital channels for enhancing customer experiences, geo-targeting customers with cost-effective ads, and most importantly, driving sales.
Sell Me This Pen…on Social Media
Social media’s modern impact is how it has allowed brands to have an alternative source to divert traffic inwards and generate online sales. As the Covid-19 pandemic has forced brick and mortar stores to evolve, and purchase journeys likely to change for good, brands should treat social media networks as a storefront, where they can approach, interact with, and nurture prospective customers virtually.
With social media becoming the go-to channel to reach new prospects and gain market share, your brand reputation can be dependent on delivering regular and engaging content. Moreover, while your social media page could be the first touchpoint for your consumers, it should not be their last. With 63% of consumers who search for businesses online likely to continue patronizing businesses that have impressionable content, achieving the right kind of social media presence can bode well as it informs consumers that your brand is active.
Social Listening: The Missing Puzzle to Supercharging Sales in a Virtual World?
In the long-term, your social media strategy will benefit greatly by monitoring social conversations and key trends which will help push content that are aligned with your customers’ interests and needs. A social listening platform provides you access to unbiased qualitative information, such as reviews and experiences, to guide your social strategy and plug the gaps within your customer journey. With 71% of consumers finding it more likely to make a purchase through social media referrals, social listening can align your brand with customer success by identifying the ‘why’s’. Thus, providing informed insights to your social media performance which will be intuitive to your decision making.
Here are five considerations that can help level up your social selling strategy and build resonance with your consumers.
1. Finding Value in Social Media
Social media’s ubiquity in an increasingly-interconnected world should mean that consumer data is found wherever there is Internet. Your consumers are a constant source for data collection on consumer profiles, purchasing behavior, and brand recognition. Knowing the kind of social data available to mine is pivotal in developing foresight to detect key changes and prance on emerging opportunities.
Linkedin’s allure is in its ability to project your brand through a professional, business environment. As far as networking goes, people are often connected through any organizations previously and currently employed under, which makes Linkedin a strong platform for B2B marketing. Linkedin’s importance as a business-facing social network would mean that your competitors are likely on it too – giving you much much vital information from product updates to customer service benchmarking.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on the other hand, are the world’s top social media networks, and for good reason too.
- Facebook is largely used across the world to strengthen communities with the aim to connect every person on Earth to their platform.
- Twitter’s “micro-blogging”, primarily text-based format provides users the ability to share information rapidly and succinctly.
- Instagram’s image-based functionality is a visual catharsis, akin to building a digital photo album of your friends and family, and to a larger extent, peer into the lives of people unknown to you.
Although each has its own nuances and purpose for use, their users boils down to essentially one type of audience category–everyday people. Consumers who purchase your goods and services, who might just as well provide qualitative information about their purchasing behavior, location, and reviews.
2. Social Media Engagement is Gold
When it comes to social media, businesses are often found deliberating on several KPIs to measure success, yet rarely go beyond the surface of tracking likes or retweets. Marketers and social media analysts of today recognize social media engagement to be a true indicator for meaningful impact. Unearthing insights behind the ‘clicks’ and ‘comments’ can be a valuable proposition to the way your business responds in tune, thereby keeping your customers’ journey unobstructed and the revenue flowing.
Instagram provides a free Insights feature for business accounts, opening up information about your consumers’ behavior on all your posts, stories, and promotions from up to the past two years. Using these metrics can help you to manage your content creation by analyzing brand performance, giving you a fresh perspective on the hits and misses, audience targeting, and interactions within your social media profile.
3. A Sum of Social Media’s Parts
A social media strategy is not entirely different from the way a business strategy is built upon. To basically answer the question, ‘why does the business want to achieve a specific goal?’
A social media strategy is conceptualized in tandem with the operations of the brand, its value propositions, and its ideals that it wants to promote. Brands with a huge social media following are dependent on having a clear objective of its goals to facilitate a big-picture approach towards fulfilling one of many business needs:
- Talent acquisition
- Humanizing the workplace environment
- Feedback for product innovation
- Gaining a larger share of voice
Your target audience are the direct consumers of your social media campaign. Necessitate having a relationship with your consumers to attain valuable feedback and considerable insight into making a great product or service might go a long way into creating consumer advocacy and cyclical returns.
With social media platforms like Tiktok leading the race with short-form video uploads, getting on the same bandwagon may not exactly align with your target audience. As I mentioned earlier, your target audience may possibly be the lifeblood of your brand, focusing on a platform where they are not at may be a waste of your time and resources.
4. Channelling lifestyle to Reap Long-term Benefits
A new generation of consumers would rather prefer a brand they are following on social media, promote their products and offerings by reflecting a lifestyle. Lifestyle marketing is a technique of branding, where the business personifies the aesthetics, ideals, and culture that their perceived target audience identifies with.
Ideally, lifestyle marketing aims to recreate a social media experience in the image of their consumer’s perspective. As soon as a consumer notices a branded image, the goal is for them to process a reimagining of what it is like to own the product or experience the service.
A brand that is able to mechanize this process onto their consumers is closer to winning the first step to effectively sway them towards the lifestyle that they so desire with your brand in mind. In the long run, with the right lifestyle branding in place, it can effectively cement retention in your customers’ life cycle, increase click-through rates on social posts and improve your brand reputation.
5. Boosting E-Store Visits via Social Media
All in all for your e-retail business to generate the sales it needs, it has to consider directing its social media following to its website. Otherwise, it may just be a platform likened to window shopping. With audiences more selective and informed about who they follow, this brings an added incentive for digital marketers, as social media can be leveraged to bring in a continuous pool of prospects who are high in conversion and retention.
With that in mind, these are examples that marketers should consider to increase e-retail traffic from social media:
- Understand customers’ behaviours on each social media channel
- Find a way to bridge the customer’s journey from social to website
- Optimise social content for converting followers to website visitors
- Leverage influencers
With Instagram Shopping already an existing functionality for businesses to extend its storefront into a digital foray and Facebook including an in-app ecommerce manager, businesses may want to pay close attention to social media to diversify their revenue stream.
Bringing Your Consumers Closer to Your Brand via Social Listening
On a daily basis, hundreds and thousands of brand mentions and customer opinions go unheard. Thus, brands are now realizing social listening platforms exist to close these gaps and beat competitors to the punch with product and services updates.
On top of that, social listening can help to conduct extensive research into the types of content consumers are interested in. Having an informative social media will go a long way to preserving customer loyalty and staying top of mind when an opportunity appears. In fact, 89% of top performing sales professionals find Linkedin essential in closing deals and being in tandem with their sales strategy.
A social listening tool like Digimind Social can enable your brand to conduct an effective social media strategy designed to create consumer resonance, identify gaps in your customer journey, and increase overall sales by leveraging real-time insights about your brand health and performance online.
Download this comprehensive guide on How to Use Social Intelligence to Optimize Your Retail Customer’s Journey to understand how insights are gleaned from social listening at each stage of the customer’s journey.
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