Forrester Research predicts social commerce will reach $14b by 2015, as we increasingly rely on our favorite networks to determine which movies to see, what beer to drink, what makeup to wear and which baby strollers to buy.
It is important to understand how crucial it is to make sure you are meeting your new and existing customers on the Web to educate, inspire and enlighten them to the benefits of your products and services. Think of it as one big customer service “call center”- on the internet. Google calls this the “zero moment of truth”, the discovery process when someone sees your new television commercial, reads an article about you or hears about your brand from a friend or associate. More often than not, they will go on line to search for more information about you to help them along their purchase decision-making process.
Social Media Management
Engaging with your customers is something you simply cannot ignore. Whether you hire a marketing or public relations agency or decide to create a marketing management position within your company, it is imperative that you incorporate the on line seeking consumer into your campaign and meet and engage with them as they surf the net looking for information about your products and services.
Consumers should be able to easily collect your information from a multitude of sources, including your website and company blog.
User Generated Reviews
One of our agency strategies involves seeking personal product reviews (user generated and media generated ) which have been shown to set off a chain reaction as customers read and learn about your brand from others who have expertise in your niche market.
When we are developing a campaign for our clients we keep in mind the influence that niche bloggers have when they are given one of our client’s products to consider for review.
Early engagement with influential bloggers is one of the ways we help our clients create the tools needed to convince consumers to buy our client’s brand.
Qualifying an expert reviewer begins with measuring their online influence. How do we do it?
- We look to see if the blogger in question reviews other products like yours (price, quality, packaging)
- We review and research to ensure that they maintain a well-designed website and balanced reviews with consumers consistently commenting on those reviews
- We ask –how much trust has the blogger built with their audience and are they blogging consistently?
- Do they broadcast their reviews and are others sharing that information through popular social channels?
- We look to see the quantity and quality of their engaged followers throughout their blog and social platforms
- We search to see if the blogger has been interviewed as an expert by mainstream (print and television media) and if they have brought products along for the ride
- We look for high traffic and high engagement and the ability to drive others to action
We also help our client’s by –
- Where their potential customers are most likely going to find things about their product category.
- What words consumers are using in the search engine and what questions are they asking.
- In addition, we develop ways to increase sales by responding to customer feedback and questions on shopping sites.
- We help by responding to negative criticism first, as this is the ideal opportunity to engage with customers and add value to the discussion.
- We help our clients by making sure that every part of their marketing program is easily found online. We broadcast the good (on all appropriate social channels) and speak to the negative (in a timely fashion).
We then broadcast placements by –
- Placing TV campaigns and segment coverage on YouTube and your website.
- By tweeting and posting company Facebook stories and status messages.
- Blogging for our clients with key messages and interesting topics of discussion that appeals to their customers.
- Broadcasting great editorial coverage in traditional media.
Finally, we measure our success by true consumer engagement. We look to discover the economic value created by activities – and we don’t just mean clicks to the cart. This is about protecting our client’s brand reputation, speaking directly to their customers and educating the public.