Online shopping websites face issues unique from brick-and-mortar retail stores. While the convenience of shopping online often surpasses that of a physical store, being able to build a meaningful customer/brand relationship is far more difficult. Without face-to-face interaction, online retailers can appear static and lacking personality. But with the advent of social media, online merchants can now build more meaningful customer relationships.
As social media use in the online shopping realm is still a new concept, it's not surprising there have been growing pains. Too often online retailers jump into the social media fray without considering long-term strategic goals. Web-savvy shoppers see right through “salesy” status updates. If your company is looking to get involved in social media and create unique customer/brand relationships, Twitter, Facebook and a company blog are three options to consider.
Twitter is an excellent resource that allows you to monitor and participate in conversations about retail in general and your own retail offerings. In addition to its ability to gather and share information based on what consumers are saying about your particular retail focus, you can also learn what other retail thought leaders are doing in the space.
A free keyword monitoring service like Monitter enables you to easily track conversations relevant to your business and respond when opportunities present themselves. Someone could tweet about a customer service issue, for example, or that they’re looking for a particular product. If you monitor for these keywords, Twitter provides an opportunity for your business to become a resource for these consumers.
Facebook offers a robust platform for creating and sharing content, as well as an outlet to connect with your customers in a community atmosphere. Facebook pages can be equipped with more interactive content to create deeper customer interaction. At this point, brands are finding Facebook success by engaging customers with multiple touchpoints.