Tag Archives: holiday sales

3 Ways to Drive Revenue Through Social Media

The never-ending discussion around Social Media ROI has morphed into several definitions over the past couple of years. Where it becomes particularly interesting is during the holidays, when brands and companies use social as a channel to drive people to make purchases more than any other time of the year. Before the 2014 holiday season comes and goes, it’s time to lay out the groundwork for how brands will drive direct revenue on social- and it’s not just about referrals anymore.

People are shopping via their mobile devices so it’s no surprise that channels like Pinterest and Twitter were among top referrals to the eventual purchasing funnel last year. One study found that consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals- but why not make the purchase (or any sort of brand-to-consumer exchange) directly in social? The odds of a purchase greatly increases when you create a shortcut for the consumer.

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1. Direct commerce

Then: This usually works by promoting a particular product or sale and linking from social to a microsite or product page. Brands have placed value on trackable referral links from social to determine if social consumers follow through with purchases. This has mostly been dependant on social discovery- not commerce.

Now: Rather than driving people away from social channels- brands can now use Actiontags for in-stream commerce. These are specific hashtags that brands can promote within their campaigns that consumers can use on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to actually make a purchase (#buy #newproduct). This is similar to #Amazoncart but works across social channels and is accessible to brands’ individual marketplaces. By keeping the transaction process within social, conversion rates are often much higher.

2. Discounts and Promo Codes

Then: You often see brands offering special holiday promotional codes that may be unique to their social followers or email subscribers. This allows insights in determining where your customers are that are most likely to make a purchase. By individualizing codes, you can learn which channels drive more purchasing, but you still can’t connect the social ID to the purchase- something become important for digital targeting.

Now: Brands can offer a promotional code to social media users who ask for it. Instead of a silent click on a promotional link, brands are asking their social and email audience who want a code. Those who opt in, using Actiontags (#want #promo) instantly get replied to with the code and a link to continue to their purchase. This way brands can pin-point their shoppers within their audience, create direct dialogue with their participating consumers and amplify your brand message at the same time- as all followers of those who opt-in will also see the message.

3. Data, Data, Data

Not a direct form of commerce from social media, but companies are now starting to put a high price on knowing who their most engaged and likely-to-purchase social followers are. Leading up tp the holidays, brands should know what their audience wants from them in social and which channels work best for generating sales. Knowing whether your audience wants good content, good deals, or product exclusives can set you up for success during the holiday season.

»sMajor brands are already starting to plan what their social and email strategy will be leading into Black friday and holiday shopping.  If they test now, they can put their learnings to use and turn insights into strategies.

Driving Holiday Sales on Social: How To Start Planning

Social media is a great place for brands to connect with current and potential consumers leading up to the holidays. It’s also a channel to promote the latest products, provide exclusive offers and have direct dialogue with users who engage with your branded content. According to recent data, people are already getting ready to shop for Back To School almost 4 months early this year.

It’s not surprising that the holiday season is the most important time for retail sales and even less surprising that consumers are doing their shopping online. Last year, mobile sales and traffic accounted for nearly 40% of online traffic on Black Friday and nearly a third of all online traffic on Cyber Monday. The trends continue to support that the biggest push for major brands who want to succeed during the holiday season need a strong strategy around mobile, social and integration.

Perfecting these strategy takes time, testing and analysis. Here are ways to implement strategies now so you are ready when it’s holiday crunch time:

Test, Test, Test

What channels are your most engaging customers in and what are they interested in? Brands need to figure this out down to a science. With all of the holiday cluster, consumers are only going to convert and engage with something that they want, in the channel that they are most active in.

Do your Twitter followers want deals or content? Are your Instagram followers looking for a sneak peek on the newest product or just like the dogs in the office? By testing out channels over a period of time, brands can learn which channel their consumers respond best in and where they are most likely to purchase.

Learn About Your Email House File

Another valuable data set that is important to succeeding in mobile is knowing how social your email list is. When it comes to the holidays, consumers will be getting hundreds of emails and it’s most likely only the subject line that will get them to open.

Discovering if your truly engaged email consumers are willing to share your email content (deals!) within social media to get something in return is highly valuable. By putting a tweet intent in your email (“Tweet #Want #PromoCode to get 20% off your next purchase) not only allows you to learn who your most likely to purchase consumers are— but takes your private offering and amplifies it in social media for their friends and followers to see.

Now What?

After gathering learnings, brands now can create a new data set of qualified consumers who participate in a social promotions, knowing they are highly engaged with your brand. If a consumer is willing to take steps to get access to your brands promotions, they are the consumers you will want to reward (VIP) with access to promotions instantly. This creates a more seamless way to give your consumers what they are asking for when they are ready to spend money this upcoming holiday season.

After taking some time to learn which channels your consumers are active in and what content or deals they are looking for, you can strategize your social media holiday plan. You may realize that your audience in Twitter are most responsive to promotions and your Facebook audience really wants to see exclusive content. By segmenting accordingly, you can set yourself up for maximum results.

Questions about how this works? Learn more by downloading a best practices guide here.