Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’
Some of us look forward to it and dread it. You would be surprised to find that teens actually embrace email. Perhaps it’s a special offer, a promotion to receive coupons, announcements, or daily information about news and trends.
Are they actually reading it?
For the most part, some of us forget why we signed up for certain email campaigns. Email is one promotional tool that provides the lifeblood of information to different digital channels. Time sensitive reports should be made known immediately through your social media channels and cross promote on your emails. However, is it the most effective medium to get your message across to teens? Email might be that one opportunity to get your message across to them during their busy day. It should be viewed as an intimate conversation with your customer. Social media is a place to share a conversation with your customers, friends, family and perhaps colleagues to gain feedback, interact, and stand up for your beliefs. As social media and mobile usage have become more apparent in our lives, Millennials and teens will appreciate your emails if you give them a reason to feel important in your communication style. Remember some teenagers don’t have access to text, smartphones, or permission to use certain websites or online services. Email can also be used to appeal to parents, teachers, or their peers to influence teens to take action.
One may think email would not be popular with teens because they have used more social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with brands. According to a recent report in Mediapost, “95% of Millennials who fan companies on Facebook also subscribe to commercial email. 95% who follow companies on Twitter subscribe to their email list. While less than 2% of Millennials only engage companies through Facebook.”
Teens continue to request information via email and value its importance. Yet, no catchy sales gimmicks are going to go over well with this audience. You better be careful following strict permission-based tactics. No one likes surprises or SPAM in their inbox! “Millennial subscribers receive 7.4 permission-based email messages a day. 87% of 15-24-year-old consumers that use email sign up for permission-based email.”
Make sure teens are well informed about what they are subscribed to with your email campaigns. If possible, show an example of the type of mailing and make it easy to potentially unsubscribe with one click.
Be courteous to your audience who is giving you their personal contact information and don’t abuse that privilege by sending out too many mailings. Use email to promote specific announcements on sections of your site, personalize a message, or guide them to what’s happening on different social media channels. It’s important to ask your audience their thoughts to guide them to make comments to Facebook/Twitter, or direct them to address concerns with your customer service and/or marketing department. Respecting teenagers thoughts, opinions and creativity will in turn reward you with respect for your brand.
Boston’s Social Media Butterflies
Meet to Discuss Social Media Measurement Success
Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO & Founder of KDPaine & Partners wants to encourage others to kick butt in the social media space! Katie, alongside a panel of other successful social media experts started the conversation off with that statement at last night’s Social Media Club Boston event. Attending were some of the top social media butterflies in the city all seeking to share new insights and grasp new ways to measure this new social phenomenon through different means.
Consider social media as one important “spoke” on a large marketing wheel which includes using other channels both online and offline to reach your audience. As Jamie Pappas, Social Media Strategy Manager for EMC mentioned, “I like to think we are doing the butt kicking,” but it’s important as a marketer to make sure that you are integrating your marketing efforts and continue to prove the value of each initiative to the executives.
Finding Out Where The Buzz Goes
Bill Carlson, Editor-in-Chief of CIO.com mentions how much social media can provide a window of opportunity to connect better with the audience where you can react to something in real-time, while Holly Allison, VP of Marketing for Vico software was pleased with the success of her guest blogger campaign. She was able to attract new thought leaders to write blogs and shared Vlogs of individuals on Youtube as each became a spokesperson to champion her brand.
Go out there and listen to what people are saying, rely on such sites as Trackur, Social Mention and Twendz to see what all the chatter is about your brand and react appropriately. Start responding to questions, identifying new keywords being searched to find your product, or make changes to your campaign instantly. As marketers, we need to discover the best ways to interpret the results of social media so companies realize it’s sticking around and believe it’s not just for free. It takes support, time, and creative ingenuity just as any other department to be effective, but more importantly social media can save costs to a company that opens a new means to conduct focus groups, improve customer service, and empower the audience.
Where’s The ROI?
As new technology emerges, marketers can better quantify results of social media to generate potential leads that convert to sales. Chris Penn, VP of Strategy and Innovation of Blue Sky email marketing has been successful aligning a baseline each quarter between the goals set within Google Analytics and the percent of quality leads generated into Sales Force. Chris shared his formula (Earnings – Spent/ # of Leads) for gathering the amount of money earned across different digital marketing efforts and comparing it to the amount of money spent as a percentage of the number of leads generated to drive sales. He can further examine the ROI of each tweet, blog post, PPC campaign, email and more by using Google Analytics URL Builder. Set a unique URL to track instances of where people are learning more about your product or service and how it can help to measure your overall conversion. Mike Proulx, VP of Interactive Marketing at Hill Holiday relies on Meteor Solutions to embed a tracking code that can be associated with different incidences of traffic sources coming in from Twitter, Facebook, or other mediums.
What about the people that live outside of social media and how does one measure their impact on your brand? It’s very important to validate not only the discussions online, but make a point to be engaged with your audience in other ways through face-to-face encounters, customer service calls, and keep track of other interactions where people that form impressions around your brand. Keep abreast of not only the top influencers in your market, but don’t neglect the people creating a buzz in smaller communities. Over time people come together to form their own community and you don’t want to risk not paying attention to the messages, nor miss a new business opportunity to your competitor.
Not everyone is immersed in the online social scene and there are many other audiences that are not accounted for when you quantify results. However, you can establish a dashboard unique to your business comprised of the different touch points the customer is engaged prior to a purchase of product. Carry that information forward followed by the actions after that purchase.
Mike offered his thoughts around creating a dashboard that reflects the goals of marketing and how to evaluate its impact on the overall strategy. There are many ways to look across both the qualitative and quantitative measurements to comprise a picture for management that makes sense of your business and can help marketers prioritize their efforts.
The day and age of buy this, try this, and oh it’s on sale are not always convincing. People are more cautious today with many choices and some are being frugal. Despite the economy ups and downs, people will be evaluating their purchases decisions and retailers need to be inventive to generate new business. It’s those subtle niceties that attract consumers, being genuine and the reputation that one finds the value in his/her purchase. Whether it’s the accessibility and assortment of merchandise in the store, the personal relationship a customer has with a salesperson, even the cleanliness, or if you just enjoy the adventure to find the best bargains. All of this and more come into play that keep customers from coming in and out of the doors through the experience with a retailer.
Kevin Ertell, VP of Forsee Result’s retail strategy division, recently did a study that reported half of the top online retailers have a minimal to nonexistent Facebook presence. “The consumer/retailer relationship on social media is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon,” he said. “Our most loyal customers are likely to reach out to us on social media, but it’s how we interact with them once they get there that fosters greater loyalty and the likelihood to buy from us in the future.”
One thing to keep in mind is that some consumers don’t want others to let the secret out of the bag and participate in online communities to share their fashionable finds for fear they are uncovered by others. It can be a sport and very competitive hunting down an item before someone else. How will retailers re-act to that as well?
Retailers need to learn to drive visits to their stores by not only showcasing the hottest styles off the runway onto the racks, but some are now seeking to adopt new technology to engage and retain new business through social media tools, create informative and user-friendly websites, and use new mobile applications to improve upon their service.
What sets a great retailer a part from another is not only satisfying one’s need, but making it a great experience. More and more brands and retailers have had to assess their business practices to stay competitive and consider offering new experiences for their customers. It’s not just competing with other big box retailers or local stores but eCommerce continues to grow, people are seeking new ways of convenience, a connection, as well as a reason to take time from their busy schedules to go to stores.
It’s surprising to see how many retailers are lacking their use of social media tools to bring greater awareness of their products and service to their customers online. Regardless, people are creating their own groups on Facebook and they have resorted to online communities to spread their passion for specific retailers, fashion designers and brands.
Retailers need to rely on new technology and face-to-face encounters with their customers to learn more about their interests, demands and enhance the experiences for customers to feel proud of their purchases. Additionally, some retailers have been slow to adopt new methods of mobile communication to facilitate better transactions. In certain cases, the employees have done a great job listening to the demands of their customers by honoring coupons sent via email now displayed on one’s phone to offer a discount in person. Yet, many are lacking this convenience.
Below are just a few ideas to keep in mind to consider your customer’s interests, providing convenience and getting one to come back to your store:
- How about a mobile GPS locator to track the next fashionable store that offers your favorite designer?
- What about email or other alerts about new items arriving daily/weekly? Why not create buzz online in a fashion community about a new designer shipment and offer a coupon towards your next purchase to a select group?
- Recognize your customer’s interests, passions, talents and involvement in other online communities by creating a promotional program that aligns well with your brand and allows people to participate through user-generated content.
- How about a bi-weekly newsletter for people to subscibe and offer promotional updates?
- Partner with another brand, service, or seek an endorsement from a celebrity, or even better yet make your customer feel like a star creating a new promotion that rewards them.
- Promote an event through Facebook or email, where you drive traffic to the store and one can browse new merchandise, but also be entertained with a VIP reception.
- Collaborate with other local retailers and raffle off free make-over consultations, manicures, or other services.
- Let your customers share their own stories and become brand evangelists as fashion editors for your store writing about their wardrobe finds online. Allow the audience to vote for their favorites.
- Partner with companies such as CardStar to offer a mobile loyalty card service.
- Community involvement and charitable causes are important to people today. Why not partner with a non-profit and portions of your purchases go to certain organizations?
- Provide an online platform that is monitored internally for customers to speak-up about a poor incident in store to alert others and make good on that experience rectifying the situation.
- Hold contests online that drive traffic to the store and vice versa.
There are lots of things to consider, some are easier to execute than others, but it’s important for retailers to take action, listen and start to experiment to see what works best in their environments and how people respond.