Mashable recenty posted an infographic from Vocus that highlights the increased number of transactions occurring on Facebook and debates whether the platform is dominantly used as a water cooler or a marketplace. It concluded 50% of online sales will occur via social media by 2015. The reason for its success, as many consumers and ecommerce business owners understand, is that shopping is propelled by social interaction. That, and Facebook’s 1.15 billion population.
In comScore’s evaluation of the second quarter of 2013’s retail spendature, they found consumers who are searching for new products rely most heavily on the opinions of family and friends, as well as customer reviews. Customers are also more likely to purchase a product when they are fans of the company on Facebook.
So there is obviously a connection between personal trust and brand trust. But when it comes to marketing on social platforms, how do you take advantage of the wealth of user information without abusing your power? How do you find the friendlier (and less creepy) side of marketing on a social platform?
We believe the best marketing initiatives give users power. You should allow them to select which features they want and those they’d rather do without, keeping them in control of their shopping environment. Here are three to think about:
Be local, not close
With location services, it is possible to direct ads to users who are in your area. So a hungry shopper five minutes away from your pizzeria is going to want to see your ad.
Do: Use explanative copy to tell the viewer the town you are in and your delivery services. Add a phone number or an order online CTA.
Don’t: Tell users you are 2.3 miles from their location. They’ll start thinking more about how you got that information than how hungry they are.
With a great number of emails comes great responsibility. It may seem like more volume = more revenue, but it’s important you use your power wisely.
Do: Provide options for changing the frequency of emails or stopping them altogether. An easy-to-see unsubscribe button is a comforting choice users might not take.
Don’t: Email daily or more than a few times a week. Email overload is easy to reach and hard to undo in the mind of the user.
Get people talking about your brand – the ones who are genuinely excited – and give them an outlet to do so.
Do: Offer bonuses and discounts for referring friends. Create a community of reviews and customer-uploaded photos of your product in action. Links to social platforms will lead to more organic conversation and enthusiasm about your brand.
Don’t: Require friend outreach upon sign up. Forcing social interaction is as bad as your dad asking you to play with his boss’s kid when they come over for dinner.
The cross between personal and brand trust is respect. Whether you’re a billion dollar brand or the guy next door, your decisions reflect your values. Being overly pushy can ruin your reputation with clients and on social networks, word of mouth travels fast.
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