With the holiday shopping season just weeks away, retailers will want to start thinking (if they haven’t already) about several areas in which they should have robust preparation. One area in particular is social media.
Folke Lemaitre, founder and CEO of Engagor, a real-time customer engagement, social media, monitoring analytics platform, shared with Multichannel Merchant five ways brands can win at social this holiday season.
Prepare way sooner than you think you need to: Many companies aren’t adequately prepared to address the holiday rush because they started their holiday planning too late. Lemaitre tells us that it is important to make sure you have a well-defined strategy in place before the holidays have even crossed your customers’ minds. Think back to last year, if you had a high volume of customer service messages between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, plan ahead with ready-made responses to ensure that customers are directed accordingly and aren’t ignored.
Plan a Holistic Campaign: It’s no longer enough to only offer email promotions or social giveaways, to get the most traction, develop a campaign with a strong name( give it a name people will remember) and takeaway that that can layer social into a broader marketing campaign. For example, Sephora saw success last year with its Sephora Claus Holiday campaign, where the company created a microsite encouraging fans to connect their Twitter accounts to “wish” for a beauty product.
Add an offline component to your online campaign: Hashtag campaigns and social offers are effective, but getting customers physically in front of the brand is just as important to create a total customer experience during the holiday season. Macy’s annual Believe campaign does this well by getting customer into retail stores to drop off letters to Santa, while looping the visit back into social by encouraging customers to share pictures with #MacysBelieve.
Reshape customer complaints into positive: There will be recurring issues and common complaints on your social feed during the holidays. Find creative ways to address these issues and put a strategy in place. For example, if there are multiple Tweets about how cold it is waiting in line for a retail store to open, act quickly and have employees bring hot chocolate to people outside. This not only addresses the problem, but demonstrates the company’s care for its customers.
Take complex customer inquiries off social: Sometimes it is not enough to Tweet back a 140-character reply to a customer service inquiry. Respond as early and neutrally as you can, but take it out of the public forum by redirecting customers to private messages, emails or “please call this number” responses to avoid filling your social feeds with strings of customer-related comments/questions.