From Being Social to Being Seller

September 10, 2011

Future Marketing Strategies

Every social marketing article we read these days talks about building relations and communicating with your customers.

All is good until that communication doesn’t start converting into numbers that can impress the management.

Now, the recent trends have shown that simply harassing the customers with huge amount of messages via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is not going to help much. You need to make those customers into buyers thereby making those channels a revenue source for you.

You will hardly find any major retailer without any social media presence. But surprisingly, not many are really aware of how to actually turn those social media channels into sales channels.

Thus, a huge opportunity lies for the retail stores to get the marketing strategies right and drive sales by making these social channels into their e-commerce channels.

The key question that comes here – how can the retailers actually use these channels?

Solution – Either use sticky promotions to bring users, localize the channels (e.g. walmart, having different twitter channels for each location) and selling through Twitter and Facebook pages.

The need of the time is innovative digital strategies that help the retailers grow their revenue. You would find that people are selling Twitter followers and Facebook fans as earlier more was better. Companies boasted about the number of fans and followers that they have. But research has shown that more is not always better. It is more important to get quality followers. What is the point of having 10,000 followers when 5,000 are users who hardly check twitter, or are from outside your serving area.

When planning your communication strategy, you need to think – why would a consumer prefer your brand over others? What is it that you can offer what others cannot?

Consider a scenario of a local Macy’s store in Houston. Now, they have region specific promotions and collection. Now, if there is one Facebook profile for Macy’s brand, then how will they build relations with all the customers together. A Houston resident will not benefit from products of New York store and vice versa. The retail stores need to define strategies that can help them get closer to their consumers, build their interaction and let the consumers connect to them on a regular basis.

If you have a celebrity coming at your store to launch your new product, let the locals know about it. You will see the fans lined up to buy the first hand version.

Use Facebook and Twitter to promote your brands by the consumers itself. For e.g. launch a Facebook promotion wherein the top 5 customers who post their 5 valued purchases from your store, win a price or gift voucher. Or the best story about an experience of a customer while purchasing at your store could win a prize.

The possibilities are endless, the key is to make your customers feel valued and special. If they are becoming your FB page fans, then let them feel as fans. Give them the red carpet treatment and they surely will come back to your store and even bring their friends and family members along.

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