Over the years, social media has become one of the most prominent forms of communication between business and patron. With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter emerging and growing at a rapid pace, businesses have been presented with a greater opportunity, especially in a retail setting.
For retailers, business is all about connecting with customers and maximizing sales. Social media, believe it or not, is a tool that can help retailers achieve both. From engaging customers in the moment too well after their visit, social media is a channel that retailers should be leveraging to engage their customers.
In today’s blog post, we explore the top ways your store can leverage social media to keep your customers engaged and increase revenue.
Utilize Social Media’s Messaging
Messaging within Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter is one of, if not the most, effective ways to engage customers. With 1.3 billion monthly active users on Facebook Messenger alone, it’s proven to be a powerful communication channel for any industry.
To start, social media messaging is instant. Regardless if you use Facebook or Twitter as your means of connecting, social messaging allows customers to connect with you in real-time, so they are never left wondering if you ever received that email they sent. Similarly, customers aren’t inconvenienced by having to search for a phone number or address. Everything becomes streamlined because customers can contact you on the channel of their choice without any complicated forms or processes.
Social media messaging also makes the selling process easier for retailers. With it, stores can set up appointments with clients, recommend products, and even sell or hold items in-store through a conversation. If a customer favours Facebook, as a retailer using Facebook Messenger you can invite them to store openings with a calendar invite, send a coupon for store sales, or even remind them of that pair of shoes they left in their online basket when browsing earlier. By reminding them of forgotten items or sharing events of interest, you continually engage the customer. Not to mention, you can leverage information from their profile to personalize the message.
As a retailer, if you’re thinking of leveraging social media messaging, consider adopting a messaging solution so you can connect on multiple channels from a single platform. An exceptional messaging platform will streamline the entire process by allowing customers to engage with you on multiple channels like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, SMS, WhatsApp, and more so you can send messages, respond to customers, receive orders, and ask for customer feedback, without the need for toggling through native websites.
Leverage Calls to Action
As previously mentioned before, running a retail business is all about connecting with customers and maximizing sales. Calls To Action (or CTAs) in your social posts are a great way to turn push-only product posts on social to sales generating opportunities.
Over the years, social media has grown to magnify their selling capabilities and one of the ways in which it has done this is through its enhanced CTAs. Unlike a standard website CTA on the sidebar of content or as a big button at the bottom of a page, social media embeds CTAs into actual posts, to make them less obtrusive and more appealing to customers.
By suggesting to a customer that they “send a message” to a customer service representative can help them make a purchase or answer any questions directly. What’s more, with the right messaging technology, any inbound direct message through Facebook or Twitter can be auto-routed to the right customer service team members. They can then manage the request much like an inbound phone call or email. In order to optimize the number of responses you get from a CTA, pose statements like “Discover our pre-fall collection.” or “Book your one on one styling appointment”.
Social media is all about immediacy. Customers expect messages to be read in the moment, especially from a retail store. It’s a standard that has proven to strengthen over time.
Whether it be an upset customer tweeting about poor service or a direct message from a prospect wanting more information, the amount of time it takes you to respond can be the difference between a happy engaged customer or an upset and socially vocal customer.
When building out a social strategy for your store, make it a rule for your team members to respond within the first 10-15 minutes of receiving a social media message. This will help create a regular cadence of checking social. If you don’t have the employees available to constantly filter through messages, make your responses more efficient and in moment by leveraging an auto-routing system. An auto-routing messaging platform disperses messages to the right department and eliminates the “middleman” such as your store’s marketing team or agency.
By tending to customers in moment, you show value for their time, acknowledge the urgency behind their requests, and keep them engaged throughout the entire experience.
Monitor and Analyze Social Performance
Last but not least, a great way to keep your customers engaged is by analyzing your social conversations to improve online and in-store performance. As industries bared witness over the past several years, customer preferences are always changing, which for such a customer-centric industry as retail, is imperative to stay on top of.
From a social messaging perspective, monitoring can help you determine how to better tailor performance and services. A stellar messaging platform should have some sort of natural language processing, so you can gauge customer sentiment at every step of your conversation.
From those conversations, you can gather additional data to help you stay on trend and improve your product in store. For instance, if you don’t offer a “hold” service for customer clothing and notice that every time a customer submits that request their satisfaction goes from “Satisfied” to “Unsatisfied”, it’s clear that adding that service would be a benefit to increase overall customer satisfaction rates.
By monitoring and analyzing social performance, you can better engage customers online to propel success in-store.
Social media over the years has become an integral part of brand growth. Through it, retailers have started to not only promote their store but sell their products and communicate better with customers. By using these tips in your store, you can continue to engage your customers and increase revenue along the way.