How Retailers Can Begin Engaging Social Communities
Social media has been widely adopted by individuals over the past few years. Today, companies are joining the conversation and it’s changing the retail game. The companies that will come out on top need to communicate and build relationships where their customers are. But how?
Step 1: Find your community. Social networks have expanded to include more than just Facebook and Twitter. Your community may be engaging on networks like Pinterest and Google+. Research which social networks your target audience is spending time on, then make sure your brand's there too.
Express pins pictures of its clothing (and other items it loves) on Pinterest boards. Pictures of its clothing link back to its e-commerce site where the items can immediately be purchased.
In some cases you may have to think broader than traditional social networks. For example, brands like Birchbox and Rent the Runway are cultivating large and loyal communities of their own. Your brand should consider how it can work with other brands to leverage their social communities.
Step 2: Listen closely and start planning. When you begin establishing a presence on social networks, you’ll want to listen before you engage. Learn who the influencers are and store their information in your social CRM. Watch their social streams and see what they talk about, who they’re talking with and what kind of information gets shared the most. Then start building your own plan based on what you see working for others and what you think will work for you.
Step 3: Use social engagement opportunities. One common complaint from those new to the world of social networking is that it’s hard to know where to begin strengthening your customer relationships. From a retail perspective there are a lot of amazing engagement opportunities you can take advantage of immediately. You can try the following:
- provide coupons for your social followers;
- have fun social media contests; and
- promote time-sensitive deals.
Pepsi uses its Facebook page to share exclusive deals with their social customers. Social media is the brand’s best friend when it comes to building customer loyalty campaigns. Social media is changing the retail game and your company needs to be engaged to survive.