There was a time when retailers wanted nothing to do with digital. If someone couldn’t walk in the store and touch it, forget it. But eventually retail thinking about commerce evolved, and now retailers are also rethinking marketing.
Retailers are letting go of the traditional and embracing digital and social strategies. They’re spending more on creating content and less on conventional tactics. Essentially, they’re taking small steps toward becoming complete digital businesses, which is smart since going fully digital can take a long time. There are complex decisions to make and potential ramifications to assess.
If you’re looking for an easy step into digital business, start an employee advocacy program. There’s nothing complex about it. It’s a natural fit with the digital direction of the entire retail industry. And it’s not risky since you’re simply combining two things you already have: a social strategy and social employees.
Consider that your company probably does the requisite Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram work, all in a quest to create relationships and increase revenue. At best you have a formal social media process; at worst you scramble and improvise at the last minute.
Either way, social isn’t as effective as you might believe. According to Venturebeat, social media only drives 1.55 percent of traffic to e-commerce sites, with email generating twice as much traffic and four times the amount of conversions. To get exceptional results from social, you must start building long-term relationships.
Which brings us to your social employees. Most of them are posting away on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (and a bunch of others) all the time: at their desks or on their way to lunch. They’d love some of that posting to be about your company but either they don’t have good content or a safe way to post it.
An Employee Advocacy program solves everything. Your employees can receive and post company-approved content with a voice that people trust more than your abstract brand. It’s voice that builds relationships.
So imagine having hundreds, perhaps thousands of employees promoting the company day and night. They’re not passively sitting in offices or waiting for customers to walk in the door. They’re bringing customers in the door.
Now you can take the first step into digital business by shifting the employer-employee relationship.
When you trust employees with the company’s voice, they become more engaged, increasing enthusiasm for their jobs and helping them build their online brands. Your company increases brand awareness and revenue.
Pretty good for a first step, huh?
Homepage image via iStock
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