Five Steps to Social Success

Capillary Aneesh_ReddyNEWSFLASH RETAILERS: It’s officially the era of mobile madness! Tablet and smartphone use doubled between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, signifying potential long-term trends toward mobile devices potentially outgrowing computers as a customer touchpoint. As for social media, more than 56 per cent of Americans have social media profiles. And mobile users generate 30 per cent of Facebook’s ad revenue. Like we said: it’s madness!

The trend has been so powerful that Google, the world’s ultimate leader in information provision, and the most immediate information touchpoint for the majority of internet users, has adjusted its algorithm to account for mobile voice search, and added extra weight to social media in its overall determination of search results.
If you’ve joined the revolution, great! If not, it’s time to buck up and get mobile-social with it. Here are five ways retailers and marketers can get in the game and use social media to get results.

Get up and running
If you are not using social media messaging at this point and your business relies at all on online or digital channels, you are far, far behind. Social media has been around for more than a decade and has revolutionized the time budget of the average customer: Facebook mobile users check the site 14 times each day.

Now is the time for you to begin building a customer base on social media. Launch a page. Use in-store and online opportunities to tell everyone about your pages and touchpoints. Engage more to draw more sales. Start now, not later.

Leverage coupons and offers
Customers who receive information from you do not consider your mail to be spam if they have signed up honestly. And guess what? Most of them have. Using coupons and offers online gives you a chance to do more than just improve ROI. It allows you to learn more about your customer. Coupon conversion rate will offer you keen insight into your core audience and give you the opportunity to adjust key variables of your message. Discover the power of the offer and use it to your advantage.

Ramp up your content campaign
Google is in love with content and you should be, too. More importantly, your customers want good content because it feels like they are getting something for free.

The key to good content is pushing out ideas that are worth your customers’ time. Build high quality content that is useful to your customers. If you are a winter sports store, put out information on where to go this holiday season. If you are a restaurant seeking new diners, put out content discussing new dining trends to play into the hands of foodies. Use your content to focus on your core customer and what you can do for them, as well as to bring in new audiences. Then, push that content out through social media and mobile channels, reaching multiple touchpoints with powerful messaging. Craft compelling content to build up a customer pipeline.

Monitor the social media environment
Social media scholar Dana Boyd once said that social media is the creation of a “new kind of public space”. And in this new kind of public space, your customers are able to interact with you, discuss your brand, and give you feedback on your deals. Monitoring social media consistently affords you the opportunity to improve ROI, as well as protect yourself against online issues. It also gives your customers a chance to communicate with you and feel as though you are on the same team.

Hilton’s @HiltonSuggests campaign is a good example of how one company was able to use social monitoring to its advantage. Listen and reposition according to your customers’ wishes to earn more riches. Start watching social media activity.

Profile individual customers
Mobile and social media have been excellent at giving people a view of at-large customer issues and macro trends. However, mobile and social media can and should also be used to focus on the activity of individual, large-spending customers. These customers are essential to your business: they are the most loyal supporters of your mission, vision, values, and cash flow.

Drill down into the specifics of individual customer behaviour. If your top three customers purchase 80 per cent of the time on mobile and respond to offers made through Facebook on Sunday afternoons, you need to know that so you can offer them the optimal deal for both you and them. If you want to know what your customers are like, meet them by profiling them individually and matching their needs.

Aneesh Reddy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Capillary Technologies