If you are not diving into social media marketing, you may be missing out on the best opportunity to drive higher engagement and conversion rates for your business. As part of a broader customer engagement strategy, social media can be an effective and cost-efficient tool for marketing, sales, service, insight and retention. Identify your customers and potential consumers, create opportunities for engagement, nurture your relationship with trust and you can establish a valuable one-to-one relationship.
Customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20 percent to 40 percent more money with those companies, than do customers who don’t engage, according to a Bain & Company report. The smartphone’s ubiquity makes it a competitive mobile shopping tool.
Social media is a communication channel that allows you to reach your customers directly — to tell your story and educate the consumer. Marketers can engage with hundreds of millions of customers and prospects. The ever-growing adoption of mobile devices offers incremental opportunities to do so.
As of March 2012, Nielsen reports 50.4 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011. As mobile device adoption continues to accelerate, so does the frequency of American adults going online on a daily basis. According to Forrester Research’s State of Consumers and Technology, 84 percent of U.S. adults report going online at least once a day in 2012, up from 78 percent in 2011. Forrester confirms the growth of tablet and smartphone penetration with two-thirds of U.S. online adults owning multiple connected devices and reports tablet adoption doubled from 2011 to 19 percent.
In the white paper Creating a One-to-One Dialogue Through Social Interaction by Peppers & Rogers Group and ClickSquared, Wayne Townsend, CEO of ClickSquared says, “Social media has become the central mechanism that consumers use to talk to each other and to share information about what they like about brands and products. The level of brand impact that consumers can have on these interactive platforms is significant — especially when you consider the viral effect that is central to social media.”
Social marketing activities that encourage rich opportunities for fans to engage with their brand may include:
- Engagement-oriented activities
- Ask visitors to share their favorite experience with a product
- Request product reviews and new product ideas
In order for social media activities to be meaningful to participants, activities should meet the following criteria:
- Appeal to the egos and needs of your participants
- Target the right audience
- Interactions should engage and excite
- Maintain a balance of freedom and control
Get to know your customers using analytical tools to gain a better understanding of their behaviors, preferences and needs. Rather than being motivated to sell your customers more, you should instead take actions to meet their needs and wants by listening to what they have to say. Then take actions based on their input.
Top tips for a successful one-to-one relationship:
- Listening, acting and delivering encourage engagement that can establish trust.
- Once trust is established, request contact information and ensure it will remain private and confidential and not be sold or shared.
- This information can be employed by using it to start a one-to-one communication stream via email and social media apps.
- Strive to deliver additional value to keep your fans engaged.
- Measure social engagement to continually fine-tune your social media marketing plan and keep building opportunities for customer care and profitable gains.