By Caitlin Brennan

March 24th, 2017

Nobody sells widgets these days. Not that they ever did, since every retailer has a product, customer-base and story that is anything but generic. The more you know about the unique ways your one-of-a-kind audience thinks about your product, the better you will perform on social. Whether your business has one brand or many, here are some tips for social eCommerce so you can stop selling widgets and start selling … well, real things.

How to create engagement across brands
First, you need to know the target audience for your brand. By using social listening, you can use the terabytes of social data coursing through the internet to pull out specific users and follow them across channels to get a better picture of their activities and interests.

Hone in on those individuals who have shown an interest in your brand and products. Use a social listening tool to monitor updates and sentiment noting that what customers mean can be as important as what they are saying.

You can use social listening observations to segment prospects based on their interests, rather than typical demographic data such as age, location, or job title. Tapping into people’s interests will be of far greater interest than simply sending “best guess” messages based on what you think these people enjoy.

Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can work on the type of content that will resonate with each segment. You may find overlap between various segments of your audience. It’s fine to deliver content from multiple brands to one prospect if you think there will be interest.

Listening also allows for better personalization of ad content. According to research by Adlucent, 71% of consumers prefer personalized ads. Whether you rely on organic and paid advertising, the degree to which you can personalize your social media posting will set your brand apart. That means using concrete data insights about your target audience to frame great content.

When creating content, consider if there unifying factors that tie your brands together. While each facet of your business is unique, are there universal factors that link the brands? For example, maybe your company’s environmental ethos resonates across all your brands.

Consumer goods multinational Unilever emphasizes its green brand positioning across its channels.

Make sure your content for each brand speaks to the company’s greater mission. Associating a new brand with a more established brand creates credibility for your new offering.

Depending upon the size of your company and diversity of your brands, unifying factors may be more ambiguous. If this is the case, don’t force connections that aren’t obvious.

Finally, staying organized is paramount for managing a multi-brand content strategy. The easiest way to get a holistic and clear view of your campaigns is with a content calendar. Falcon’s calendar enables multiple teams to work together with ease.

By making the social content distribution visible and orderly, marketing and collaborator departments can eliminate a lot of the labor and confusion created by content chaos.

How to boost engagement and sales
Social customer service:
According to Ambassador, 70% of customers who get their questions answered by engaging with a brand on social media become return customers. Both customers and companies benefit with social customer service. Customers who receive fast and thorough answers will be more likely to repeat purchases and refer friends. Anyone visiting your social media channels can tell the difference between a customer-friendly space and a place where frustrated people scream into the void.

Slack does a wonderful job keeping customers up-to-date regarding service issues and platform updates. They answer customer tweets quickly and conversationally, often adding an emoji! 

Influencers/user-generated content:
According to Nielsen, 83% of those surveyed trust the opinions of friends and family and take action on these opinions at least some of the time. Trendsetters, celebrities and trusted reviewers can make or break a new product release. Even users with a fan base numbering in the dozens can be useful if their content is compelling with a little signal-boost. Using social listening will help you find compelling stories from real people.

Fashion retailer Aritzia encourages customers to post photos to Instagram wearing Aritzia clothing and using #myaritzia. Aritzia comments on photos and asks permission to feature posts on their website. Users on Aritzia’s website can then see how items look on another customer, rather than just a model image.

Use CTAs:
Congrats! Your content has caught someone’s attention. Make sure you provide clear direction to those interested eyes before they look away. Never forget to include a call to action in a Facebook post.

Whether it’s clicking through to an article, making a purchase or joining a mailing list, whatever good impression your content has to fight against the natural instinct to keep scrolling. If your content provides a path to more actions, more scrolling thumbs can become clicking thumbs.

The better you know your audience the better you will be able to position your brand on social which will drive sales. By engaging with your customers you can improve their user experience and gain insights for their comments and concerns.

Don’t forget to keep your content organized and CTAs clear. If you use these factors as a guide, you will have success with social eCommerce.

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