Form stronger bonds with customers
With growing numbers of businesses competing for the same customers on the web, most brands and companies simply try to compete on price point. But given the impact lower prices has on profit margins, it's important to think beyond product cost.
Since today's consumers have so many options, they often seek out brands they can rely on to make their purchasing decisions easier and less stressful. So, it is important to develop a strategy that justifies why consumers should buy from you on a level that has nothing to do with comparing your prices to other companies.
One way to bond with your audience is to provide social proof for your products. Social proof is simply the psychological marketing concept that consumers will adapt their behavior to what others are doing.
There is evidence to support the claim that most people will follow the actions of the masses. The market researchers at Nielsen found that 83% of consumers in 60 countries say they trust recommendations from other customers over any form of advertising. And study by CompUSA and iPerceptions found that 63% of U.S. consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a business if it has product
ratings and reviews.
Some ways to build trust are:
- Welcoming community feedback, reviews, and ratings
- Building better user experiences
- Offering more transparency
Investing in long-term relationships
Developing an engaging online presence that takes account of consumers’ social media behaviors can pay dividends to businesses and brands. Why? Because people trust their family, friends, and peers, often ask them for suggestions and recommendations, and enjoy sharing their experiences with products and services on social media.
By having engaged social media accounts that create a positive and influential presence while allowing your consumers to connect with you like they do their followers, consumers will be more likely to view you as trustworthy and shop with you.
Connecting on social media will result in a more personal relationship with consumers, generating an overall better conversion rate on your website due to increased trust. And while investing in relationship-building rarely results in immediate sales, it's perhaps the best way to stay connected to your customer base if you're planning to have a successful business over the long haul. The key is being authentic, interacting regularly, and being completely honest, even when you face complaints or criticism.
Offer hashtag giveaways
Hashtag giveaways are promotions using a specialized hashtag to drive social media engagement.
For example, several years ago Pizza Hut took advantage of the popularity of Valentine's Day with a humorous giveaway. Employing the hashtag #LastMinuteLovers, the campaign targeted spouses and significant others who had procrastinated about holiday plans and gifts.
Running from February 11 to February 13, right AFTER the holiday, the promotion gave away pizza-scented perfume and a $20 gift card to 24 winners, with the promise that it would be delivered “in time for Valentine's Day.” The campaign spread like wildfire, creating tons of user-generated content and increasing the brand’s visibility, while reinforcing its playful image.
Using Pizza Hut’s success as an example, strategic hashtag giveaways can provide your ecommerce business with a ton of tangible benefits, including:
- Help raise awareness about your brand
- Boost your search engine optimization (SEO)
- Get your products or services in front of a larger audience
Social media giveaways boost user engagement like no other tactic. People tend to be competitive, but beyond that, they love free stuff and special discounts. Keep in mind that when it comes to giveaways, it’s better to do several smaller ones rather than one large one, since multiple promotions will help build ongoing social media momentum over time.
It’s also a good idea to create a brand hashtag, which like its name indicates, probably includes your brand name (or a company’s slogan, name of a specific product, or the name of your marketing campaign). It will help drive new customers your way while spreading awareness about your company.
Facebook is still, without doubt, the most important social media platform, despite Twitter and Instagram making significant inroads. Facebook's popularity makes it the ideal place to employ retargeting or remarketing. Remarketing comes in many shapes and sizes, but its premise is to follow your leads around the web using "cookies," tracking their interests and making them related offers.
To remarket to the web visitors, a code is placed on the page that the user visits, which then triggers your ads to follow that cookies’ user around the web, whether that be on a social media site or on various websites across the internet.
On Facebook, remarketing is known as “Custom Audiences.” The concept works like this: when someone visits your website or interacts with your company, they’re tagged with a code that can be used to track them. Then, while scrolling through their Facebook feed, your brand's ad pops up to remind them about your products, with a clickable link to your landing page or ecommerce site.
Sources of remarketing on Facebook include:
- Using customer lists (of existing contacts)
- Website traffic (people who have visited pages with certain keywords)
- App activity (targeting based on app user behavior)
Using social media to drive ecommerce isn’t easy. But by thinking beyond the conventional methods of measuring ROI and comparing outcomes against specific business goals, companies and brands can tap into the real value of social buzz.
Need a social media strategy to help boost your ecommerce? Dotlogics can work with you to build a plan for your business.