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Social media has become a powerful communication, promotion and sales tool for a lot of retailers. Many brands have cracked its code to unlock top-notch marketing campaigns and engagement strategies that benefit both brand and consumer alike.
The beauty of social media is that you can engage with your customers on a more personal level and in real-time. Combine that with a person's smartphone, a device that they spend hours on every day, and you have the opportunity to create the most personal, contextual experience possible. In my eyes, social media is not limited to the experience a customer has while on Facebook or Twitter. It now spans across loyalty programs, in-store shopping, native apps and sales opportunities. Be sure to constantly update your strategies to adopt and allow for new and changing user behaviors and technologies.
Here are some ways to refresh your social strategy to guarantee you’re evolving with customers and new, engaging technologies. Relationship building with your customers happens at all levels; the more you keep your online and offline in sync, the better.
You’ve mastered your online customer engagement strategy, but what about syncing that with the in-store experiences and native apps? IoT (Internet of Things) now allows you to connect the dots for your customers. Create opportunities for your sales associates to take action based on a user's app behavior. Understand what features your shoppers enjoy most on your app and tie that into the instore experience. Your app should continue to evolve and adopt new technologies like advancements in IoT, wearables and even augmented reality.
I get a lot of questions around monetization. “We have an Instagram account with 30,000 followers, what do we do with them now? How do we get them to purchase?” Well, first things first: make sure you know how to track conversions and build out a monetization plan for your channels. There are a few great tools that can turn your images into sales. Also, understanding advertising options for Instagram and Pinterest (for example, promoted pins) can help keep your brand constantly in your customers’ hands via mobile usage.
Also, make sure you tie these social tools into your app experience. Creating one place for a shopper to take action is best. It will not only help you track better, but customers will see the benefit if it helps enhance their shopping experience.
Social content is much like search, split between organic and paid. You must understand how to maximize both to remain competitive.
One of the easiest and quickest things to implement is a simple audit of your current customer data. You might be sitting on opportunities that you don’t even know about. Pull data from all of your touch points to understand purchasing patterns, trends and customer behavior. Maybe your content needs updating, maybe there are opportunities to update your app experience to increase conversion or personalization, or maybe you’ll realize you’ve outgrown your current strategy. Pick the top three things that can be turned into action items and execute. It’s very easy to get lost in the data - three is enough to make an impact.
Social media gifts brands a great opportunity to be innovative and preemptive; relying on reactions alone can be detrimental. Listening is easy, reacting has become easy, but surprising your customers is the new goal!
Learn more by reading our Life After Launch whitepaper, "CMO's Guide: What to Expect When You're Expecting... A Mobile App."
Follow Brittany on Twitter @bmillsNYC.
We believe that addressing customer challenges gives you opportunities to delight. Using our proprietary Friction Reports and strong industry expertise, we dig deep into customer sentiment and create action plans that remove engagement roadblocks. The end result is seamless, relevant experiences that your customers will love.