Word of mouth influence is just as important as ever when it comes to driving conversions and building your bottom line. However, the methods we now use for conversion have drastically changed. In the past, the game plan for acquiring new clients looked like this: a customer walks into your store, you treat them well and hopefully they tell their friends and family about their positive experience shopping with you.
But more and more people are turning to social media in the hope that they can build word of mouth influence by taking advantage of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Just one look at a report released last year by Shopify shows the power that social media has to drive sales for ecommerce business.
Social media has been such a disruptive force in the ecommerce space that there has been a number of methods developed over the last few years that can either help you hone your effectiveness in using social media to drive sales, or that can help you recreate a social experience on your website—which in turn encourages visitors to engage with you. We list five of such methods below:
1. Start Funneling
Users with relevant segment targeting segmenting is something that marketers have been doing for quite a while now, but how do you segment the right messages at the right time when the rate of engagement is working at warp speed? More importantly, how do you segment in a social way?
Now that we rely on deeper analytics it’s possible to segment messaging in real time which can lead to quicker conversion rates. Take for example a tool like Commerce Sciences which gives end users the ability to target website visitors by behavior and whether they’re new visitors or returning visitors. Imagine if you could hit a hesitant buyer with a message that offers 20% off their next purchase with you. If you can employ user data points when it comes to segmenting, you can ultimately make your messaging more social and more effective.
#2 Stay on Top of Mentions
If you’re doing a good job of creating visibility for your company via social posts, guest blogs, and other social or written collateral, then you may get to the point where you can’t keep up with all the mentions you’re receiving from different sources (this of course, being a perfect world scenario). Tools like Sprout Social, Hoot Suite and Mention update you in real time anytime someone posts a comment about your business.
How can this affect your conversion rate? Say for example a current client takes to Twitter and tweets about a bad experience they had with you—by staying on top of mentions you can get on top of the problem quickly and let that customer know their business is important to you.
#3 If You’re Not Already, Start Using Video
Ever Since YouTube and Facebook started the video wars, the debate has raged over which platform will win out when it comes to video dominance – and because both behemoth companies are throwing a lot of weight behind video promotion, marketers have been able to take advantage the conflict by way of putting their brands on blast.
Right now the reach of social video is on an upward trend – especially for Facebook (see the chart from socialbakers below)— and chances are if you’ve been posting videos to your newsfeed, you’ve been pleased with the engagement rates you’ve been getting. If you’re not using video, now is the time to start.
#4 Create Real Time Conversations on your Website
One thing that social commerce has provided consumers with is the luxury to voice their concerns and have them responded to in real time – and if you’re not on par with the curve in this regard, then you’re probably not converting as many customers as you could be. With tools like Live Chat and ClickDesk end users can converse with website visitors directly to see how they can make their customer experiences better.
With real time messaging methods at your disposal you can also help visitors through checkout difficulties before they checkout of your site. What’s more, most real time messaging apps integrate with a number of CRM and CMS platforms, making it a tool that most companies can use easily.
#5 Monitor all of Your Social Media Traffic from one Dashboard
No matter the size of your marketing or social media management teams it can be a hassle (not to mention an organizational disaster) to try and manage all your traffic and engagement from disparate portals. Facebook and Twitter both have useful analytic and metric tools, but once you start using LinkedIn, Google+, as well as any other social network you’re using to help drive conversions, it can quickly become cumbersome to maintain, monitor, and assess the effectiveness of the different social platforms you’re using.
But there are plenty monitoring tools out there that can help you manage your networks from one location. If you’re a small company with less of a budget try out tools like Cyfe, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. If you’re an enterprise business consider IBM Social Media Analytics.