Marketers are allocating more of their budgets to social media, but their investments aren't necessarily yielding the results they hoped for. Before you jump to the conclusion that social media doesn't work, it's important to understand what it can and can't do.
Social media can help marketers drive sales by building brands, surfacing additional purchase choices, and answering pre-purchase questions by engaging with prospects and customers.
The problem is consumers use social media to socialize, not purchase. As a result, social media commerce choices like F-commerce haven't yielded the results major retailers like Gap and Nordstrom expected causing them to shut down their social media commerce.
Because a social media presence doesn't magically translate to sales, marketers must connect their social media efforts to their purchase process. In order to close the sale, you must incorporate the following three elements where appropriate.
Social media does a great job of showing off your products and getting prospects talking. This is great for getting potential customers into your purchase process. To close the deal, however, you need to have a streamlined conversion process on your website. (BTW - this doesn't give you permission to transform a social media presence into a one-way marketing promotion platform.)
What other recommendations for closing the sale in a social media context would you add and why?
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Heidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, an interactive marketing consultancy. She has over 20 years' experience helping clients increase profitability by developing innovative marketing programs to acquire and retain customers based on solid analytics. Clients include New York Times Digital, AccuWeather.com, CheapTickets, and the UJA. Additionally, Riverside Marketing Strategies has worked with numerous other online content/media companies and e-tailers.
Prior to starting Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi held a number of senior-level marketing positions at The Economist, the Bookspan/Doubleday Direct division of Bertelsmann, and Citibank.
Heidi is also a popular speaker on current industry topics.
December 5, 2013
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December 12, 2013
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