Merchants today are all in some way using social media to leverage their brand and products, whether it’s through Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, social media is becoming an emerging channel.
Lou Paglia, chief product officer and co-founder of customer insights firm Jirafe, offered up some tips on how merchants are successfully using the social channel that turns followers into buyers in a recent webinar.
Create a Unique Social Experience
Offer exclusive products or advance sales via a social buy button in your social ads. Zappos is a great example of a brand that offers social followers social-only access to content and deals. Zappos uses the strategy often called, “Fans only content” where they reveal content only after someone has become a fan. It creates a natural incentive for people to want to follow the brand socially because they want special access. They want to be part of the club. This is a great tactic to use to increase your following in these social channels whether it’s on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter or others.
Connect One-on-One with Customers
Adding personalization to your social efforts is the best way to keep them coming back. It doesn’t matter if you’re small and growing, or if you’re the largest of merchants. Nike launched its photo ID campaign on its social networks which included Twitter and Instagram. What Nike wanted to do was encourage stronger social engagement. Nike allowed fans to upload photos and then presented them with a Nike Air sneaker design, which contains colors of the photos that were uploaded. Each design was featured on the Nike website and across social media sites. The benefit of this was greater engagement and greater following from the consumer. Nike was then able to use that information to target social followers based on interactions in the future both on their website and across their social channels.
Using Social Proof
Social proof is a great tactic to use to generate a greater following and one with authenticity as well as integrity. Developing brand ambassadors is a great tactic to use. Have them share content on your social channels. Then integrate that content into your website. It’s an easy way to both get brand ambassadorship from people out on the web and also develop social following regarding your products in both the social channel and your site. Apparel retailer Dolls Kill runs rolling contests for people to audition to one of their iconic dolls to represent their brand. In this format, they allow potential brand ambassadors to upload pictures of themselves to Instagram wearing Dolls Kill apparel. The brand will then feature the photo on their site with the ability for others to buy the outfit or product featured in the social post next to it, further driving a virtuous cycle of getting followers to see the product in action and then going into the buying cycle.
Ensure your customers can share from the web and share across social easily. It’s one of the best ways to get network effect. For example, apparel brand ModCloth let users upload photos of their ModCloth outfit and share them socially. It let shoppers share their styles across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so they can quickly be seen by other customers. It also let shoppers recreate the look and buy it for themselves. Social sharing creates a positive network effect for each promotion. For each one of the social experiments and trials a merchant does, it allows you to actually, use sharing as both a way to judge the success of the marketing campaign, but also a way to create positive network effect and get a level benefit from a single marketing action.
With the new buy buttons entering the picture, demographic targeting is going to be more relevant to brands. For example, Ace Hardware recently ran a campaign to increase social engagement by using unique ads to target different demographics. Ace Hardware successfully boosted their social following with these ads and increased sales. They were able to track them by discount codes. The products they promoted via social buy buttons relied really heavily on this information. It also gives them the ability to target based on demographics whether it’s the profile or the use or the location, which are both active features and data that you can now use to target these channels. The buy button as opposed to the LIKE button, you can get even more power out of this specific targeting and a customer directly to sale.