In their annual Australian social media survey, Sensis revealed that 79% of Australians use social media regularly and almost a third of those are following brands and businesses. It seems safe to say that social media is here to stay—so your retail business best have a strategy.
And while it’s hard to imagine a more attractive measure of success than your post going viral, Australian businesses now recognise that real social media success comes down to your bottom line. If your likes and follows aren’t converting to clicks and sales, there’s a good chance you’re not hitting your target market.
So how do you tailor your social media posts to that target audience?
Sensis found that the vast majority of consumers can be split into just five groups with different goals for engaging with brands on social media. And each of these goals is best addressed by certain types of content. (Pro tip: “funny cat videos” is not one of them, and neither is clickbait.)
Let’s look at each customer goal in turn.
1. They Want to Learn
Online shoppers are used to finding their own answers, and social media is one of their key sources. It’s an effective way to research brands and the products they sell while getting a feel for how other customers are responding. And for retailers, this represents an opportunity to connect with new and existing customers in a helpful way.
While prospective customers want to learn about your products and your business, your existing customers are already well aware of what you offer. Keep them engaged with posts that give:
- News about upcoming product lines
- Suggestions for how to get more out of their purchases
- Care instructions for the items you sell
- Information about the ongoing support you can provide
- An insight into the people behind the brand.
Relevant, useful content will help build brand trust and encourage new customers to purchaseSensis
2. They Want a Special Deal
Everyone loves a bargain, so it’s no surprise that Sensis found online shoppers want discounts (54%) and giveaways (48%) from brands they follow. You could offer:
- Free shipping, if you normally charge
- An exclusive buy one, get one free deal
- An item you’re trying to clear from your store
- Free branded merchandise, such as a shirt, water bottle, or tool.
- Your options are limited only by your budget and creativity!
You’ll often find that customers who receive a freebie will go on to say good things about your retail store, but it can’t hurt to ask. Or use the freebie as an incentive for customers to share your content or sign up to your email marketing list.
3. They Want to Promote You
It’s hard not to love these guys. Think of them as brand advocates or unofficial ambassadors who want to tell the world how great you are and help you build your brand online. Keep a close watch on your social media channels to see who is talking about you and what they’re saying, and when it’s good, make sure you respond to thank them for it. If you offer gifts to your advocates, keep them small and low-value so everyone understands you’re not paying for positive reviews.
Create a bigger buzz around your products and customer experience by sharing such posts to a wider audience with your own snappy introduction. This will also encourage other fans of your brand to speak up and share the message.
4. They Want to Post a Critical Review or Suggestion
It’s extremely rare for any business to always receive glowing feedback, and as a retailer, you can’t control all the variables of your customers’ experience. For example, say a customer receives a product that’s damaged inside its packaging, or which has a small design fault that becomes evident once they start using the item. They’re likely to feel frustrated and may share their poor experience online. Turn it into an opportunity to create a buzz by proactively addressing their concerns. Fix the problem and do what you can to make it up to them, and don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to let you know—if you don’t know it’s broken, you can’t fix it.
| Related Reading: Securing Customer Reviews: Your Key to Ecommerce Success
5. They Need Customer Service
This is closely related to the previous point, but deserves its own attention. Sometimes, instead of complaining, a customer will just come to you for help. It’s good to have a plan for dealing with this situation. If you’ve got a large social media team, you might dedicate one person to handling such enquiries. Or, if your customers frequently require technical help, you might have an internal process for referring questions to your technical support team. If you’re a smaller business, you might simply train your team to point customers in the right direction, to your FAQ page or a help video.
Keep The Conversation Going
You may have noticed that the targeted social media approaches we’ve worked through are designed to initiate a two-way conversation. It’s not about broadcasting information at your fans—you’re building a relationship and, in the process, building your brand identity. This is something we’ll get into in more detail in a future post. Don’t miss the first post in our deep-dive social media series, 8 ways to build brand trust through positive social media interactions.
Neto is the only Australian retail management platform that provides a complete solution for ecommerce, point of sale, inventory, and fulfilment. Our integrated back-end technology enables exceptional and consistent customer experiences via any channel, be it in-store, online or through a marketplace. We automate repetitive tasks and integrate with multiple sales channels to manage orders and shipments.
We also help you connect with your customers through inbuilt social media sharing and a wide range of add-on integrations to digital marketing platforms, complete with inbuilt analytics to help you track your campaign success. And if you’re ready to take your ecommerce marketing to the next level, start by learning more about the power of segmentation and targeting.
Need some more inspiration for your social media? Download our Social Media Ready Kit which has 35 content and campaign ideas to fill up your calendar, 9 holiday-themed photoshop templates, plus our 2018 retail calendar (so you'll never miss another important date!).