Relationships and Social Media: How to Win This Holiday Season

— December 16, 2016

Get ready: social media is set to play a significant role in consumer spending this holiday season. Sprout Social released an insightful study on what marketers can expect as consumer spending increases this holiday season. During the busiest shopping time of the year, you’re facing a lot of competition.


One way to help you shine more brightly and capitalize on more revenue is to treat your social audience like you would treat someone in a relationship: good communication, positive attitude, and being likable. Let’s dive into this unique relationship:


Communication is Key


Consumers want to interact with you on social media. Just like any relationship, you need to be responsive if you want it to grow and stay strong. A lack of communication indicates a lack of interest, which is the last thing you want during the high-shopping season (or any time of the year).


During the holiday season, you can expect to receive 30% more social messages than the prior year. The average retailer will receive over 3,000 social messages this year, while brands are well over 4,000. And on Instagram, retailers could receive over 1,000 comments. That’s a lot of messages to manage! With that many messages retailers can usually only manage responding to 1 out of the 6, while the average business is 1 in 10.


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Plan to have all hands on deck during your busy months, especially when nearly 60% of your messages will likely require some sort of action. Be prepared to answer questions online and know when it’s appropriate to direct conversations offline. For instance, an irate customer will be better serviced over the phone. A customer that’s eager to buy but has a lot of questions would also be better serviced by speaking directly with a sales agent, such as over the phone or in-person. And here’s something to chew on: phone calls convert to revenue 10x-15x faster than web leads. If you determine a social media lead is likely to buy, consider getting them on the phone so your sales agent can close the sale.


And at the end of the day, remember that the response rate from retailers and businesses is pretty low. If you can grow your response rate even a little bit, then you’re already doing more than many competitors.


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Have a Good Attitude


Not many people enjoy being around the Ebenezer Scrooge’s of the world, especially during the season of giving. We gravitate towards pleasant people and the same holds true for the brands we choose to purchase from. Sprout Social found that nearly 40% of consumers hope brands will spread the holiday cheer on social channels and nearly 30% seek promotional offerings.


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Like relationships, they’re all about compromise: a little give, and a little take. This holiday season, keep it positive by spreading the joy and offer your social media follows special discounts for the products and services they’re interested in.


Be Likeable


Did you know 1 in 3 consumers say social media influences their gift buying? If they see that you have great customer service, are a friendly brand, and are offering special promotions then you’re in a good position to win their business. With the proper targeting, you can create a more personalized and relevant experience for your social media audience. You’ll build stronger connections and stand out from your competition.


And when it comes to gift giving, consider using the vast Facebook audience targeting capabilities to help make gift shopping easier. For instance, if you’re targeting someone in a relationship, present them with ads display deals for a special someone. Or if you’re targeting a parent that has children, target them with ads for your kid-related products. If you do this well, there’s a 30% chance the gift recipient will share about their gift on social media, which only helps build up your brand recognition.


Social Media and the Customer Journey


While your social media audience may engage with you on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, it’s likely that your holiday shoppers will be influenced to purchase with you through a variety of factors. They may see your display and search ads, or receive an email from you. They may click through to your website or search for your local business before visiting in-store.


As a marketer, it’s critical that you offer a mobile-optimized website, especially when 54% of holiday shoppers will shop on their smartphones throughout the day. You want to offer them a seamless and stress-free user experience, which means making sure it’s easy for them to navigate around your website. That it’s easy for them to find what they need and, if they can’t, giving them a way to get in touch with you quickly. Otherwise, they may bounce off your site and find a competitor’s site. The simple act of including your phone number alongside a “contact us” form, and even having a chat box available will be helpful. Ensure you meet all the needs of your consumers, as they can engage differently.


If you want to learn more about the role call conversions play in the mobile-first customer journey you’ll greatly benefit from our guide, Calls and the New Customer Journey: How Marketers Drive Revenue by Mastering the Call Channel.

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