Social media provides retailers with a wealth of information about their consumers that they could never get through traditional media.
Since social media is a two-way interaction between the brand and the individual, retailers can quickly get an understanding of which of their products are favoured by buyers, what features of the brand customers identify with and how to relate to them.
Ways retailers can use social media
Socially savvy retailers will track customer insights for this type of feedback and adjust their offering to reflect customer needs. People’s comments and likes on a brand’s social media platforms can dictate what the brand sells in the long term.
If retailers can connect with consumers meaningfully on social media they increase their visibility with an audience that’s already inclined to buy or looking to buy products.
By creating an online community filled with entertaining and valuable information, interesting insights about the brand and an active fan base, retailers will ensure that visitors to their social media are converted to fans and eventually, if the social media strategy is being done well, to repeat customers.
Social media platforms most suitable for retailers
Pinterest is a platform that should be uppermost on retailers’ minds. It is the perfect place to display your product range, engage viewers through high quality images and give them free reign to browse and examine potential purchases.
Facebook is a great place to engage existing customers and offer sales and promotions. This is where social media can be a sales tool. Facebook advertising is a major benefit of the network as it allows you to direct traffic to either the brand’s Facebook page or to its actual website.
Twitter can be used for customer service and to gain customer insights about your brand, certain products and their sentiment about products they have already purchased. Brands can also post images and videos on Twitter to add visual appeal for fans.
Measuring effectiveness of social media strategies
Measurement is another crucial part of social media activity. It is as relevant for retailers as it is for any type of business using social media to reach out to target audiences.
Measuring conversations and engagement with the brand
This involves tracking how many people are commenting, liking and sharing your content. If a brand generates lively discussions and active participation from fans this is a strong indication of brand affinity and trust.
Setting your own benchmarks
Once a retailer has developed their strategy or campaign they should remember to record their starting point.
Measuring click through rates
Retailers can measure engagement and success of their content by finding out how many people are clicking on the links included.
Identifying traffic referral sources
It is easy to see how much impact social media is having on a retailer’s website traffic using Google Analytics. The tool can demonstrate where traffic came from, whether it’s from a link on Twitter, a post from Facebook or an image on Pinterest.
By using social media platforms most appropriate to a product-based offering, addressing the needs, wants and interests of customers online and making sure to reiterate social media efforts based on the results they bring in retailers can increase their share of market, build a strong brand voice and become the brand of choice for their customers.