First things first – by ‘C word’, we mean Christmas (If you thought it meant something else, your mind is not as pure as the driven snow). Yes, it’s that time of the year again when consumers are frantically looking around for presents to buy and places they can spend their hard-earned cash. Forget the sleigh bells and the chestnuts roasting on the open fire – to put it bluntly, it’s a capitalist holiday, and any business, whether e-commerce or traditional, that wants to bring in customers, needs to get serious about attracting them through social media channels.
Twitter recently published a handy infographic to show just how useful it can be for customer engagement, and how its Twitter Shopper feature has proven popular in the US, and while it has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately, standing alone under the mistletoe with no sign of a suitor coming along to sweep them off their feet, it is still an enormously powerful platform through which people can research, find, and influence the purchase of goods and services.
As this blog explains, apart from being able to buy directly through Twitter, the reviews on the platform that may push people your way mean having a visible presence on the social media site is becoming increasingly important.
You can see the infographic below, but to summarise, last Christmas in the US, Twitter shoppers spend on average $811 during the holiday season. Some 84% of consumers who bought through Twitter also did their research on the platform, with 64% of purchases planned ahead of time.
What were the main things Twitter shoppers were looking for?
- Deals and coupons
- Product reviews
- Inspiration for gift ideas
Could your business offer all of these? Have you created the online content in your digital marketing strategy that offers relevant and helpful content, and have you integrated all of your channels so that your content is promoted through your social media platforms? Have you gathered your customer reviews and pushed them out there, not just on Twitter, but on Facebook, Instagram, etc? Have you created a great blog with a compelling CTA that drives people towards downloading a deal or coupon, and promoted it through your social media platforms?
Going back to Twitter specifically, 73% of Twitter shoppers also follow brands or businesses when on the hunt for deals, so you need to be nurturing those followers, engaging with them on a consistent basis, making sure they are expecting a great offer, and then delivering on it for them.
Almost half of Twitter shoppers are likely to visit a store after seeing a deal on Twitter, so even if they don’t go directly in and make a purchase, whether online or on the high street, posting and promoting the deal is still giving you a lot of visibility and making sure your business is fresh in their mind to return to later. That applies to any and all social sites.
As this blog points out, HubSpot has revealed that people are 71% more likely to make a purchase after a referral on social media, while Forbes found that 78% of people said a social media post from a business or brand influenced their purchase decision, and 80% of 12,000 people surveyed in the US and UK said they would try a new product or service based on the online recommendations of their friends.
By ‘friends’, when it comes to social media, that doesn’t necessarily mean their nearest and dearest – it can be a few any one of a few hundred people they engage with on Facebook, for example. And those people have maybe a few hundred other friends who can do the same thing, meaning an exponential increase in the visibility of your own social posts. There’s no better time for your posts to be seen by a large market, all looking for ideas on what to buy for Christmas.
So to recap, what should you be doing to prepare your social media?
1. Make sharing easy on your online content
Have a great blog full of killer SEO-optimised content that people will want to read? Got a great deal or offer as a CTA? Add social sharing buttons so consumers who engage with it can spread the good word.
2. Add reviews
Remember what we said about reviews and their influence? Put them out there on social media to not only add credibility to your digital marketing message, but also help customers validate their purchasing decisions. If a consumer is interested enough to consider your product or service, seeing positive reviews is likely to tip them over the top to go make that purchase because they are trustworthy pieces of information. And don’t forget to respond to those reviews, whether they are good or bad. It shows you are engaged, that you appreciate your customers, and are working to resolve any problems.
3. Go mobile
More and more people are using their smartphone to shop for Christmas gifts. Whether they are making the final purchase or just browsing for ideas, it is essential that you make your social media messaging mobile friendly by ensuring any links you post bring users to a page that is also optimised for mobile.
Connected to the above, making sure all of the content you want to bring consumers to from your social media messaging delivers a positive user experience means having a fully integrated multi-channel digital marketing strategy. Your social media campaign needs to align with workflows, email campaigns, your website, blog, product pages – everything you want your market to see – and it should all be focused on bringing the consumer through the buyer journey to ultimately make that purchasing decision.
If you manage to do all of this and use your social media platforms to the best of your ability, you are far more likely to have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Need help creating an effective digital marketing strategy that will increase traffic to your website and generate leads? Go to the phonebooth and ask us to give you a call.