Want to boost your sales? Try using social media content to support the purchase process, aid search optimization and provide customer service because regardless of where consumers ultimately purchase, at least one-third of them start shopping with online research, according to AMP Agency’s Inside the Buy research. Therefore, it’s critical to persuade prospects with the information they need to buy from your organization. Social media-enriched content is useful at every step of the purchase process to allow shoppers the ability to experience your products more fully.
Here are six examples where social media content helps boost sales by providing prospects with useful, credible information:
1. Product information. Instead of terse product specifications written for search engines, deliver content written for humans that answer questions your prospects and customers want and need to know about your products before they decide to purchase. Social media will show and tell the content for your offering, helping consumers to better understand your products.
2. Add videos to give customers a 360-degree view of the product. Integrate photographs to show consumers how the product will look when they get it home. Show them how to put together clothing outfits or furniture layouts. Provide product instructions, shopping lists and patterns using blog posts or PDFs. The goal is to help consumers buy and use the product.
3. Customer reviews. When it comes to product reviews, it’s not about you! Consumers trust their social circle, including family, friends and other consumers, not your marketing. Since customer trust is gone, if you don’t provide product reviews, prospects will leave your site to find them on third-party sites like Amazon or one of your competitors.
4. FAQs (aka frequently asked questions). Many retailers overlook using this underutilized content area as a social media content treasure trove that can support sales and reduce customer service inquiries. Ask your customer service representatives for a list of common inquiries and answers that can be posted on your website. Include product descriptions, purchase process information and post-purchase questions.
Cross-promote this question and answer content on relevant product pages, emails, customer service live chat and customer service IVR (i.e., the recording when customers call in).
Ask prospects and customers for their questions. This is a great way to find out what customers think about your brand. Answer the questions directly or allow customers to answer other customers’ questions. In this case, you’ll probably want to moderate responses to ensure that they’re correct and in line with your guidelines.
5. Post-purchase support. Think beyond your returns policy; this is where social media content is particularly useful. Additionally, this information can be a great place to upsell customers on refills and related products. Make sure that you include shopping lists where appropriate and links to purchase pages.
Provide step-by-step instructions or recipes with photographs so consumers can see what to do. Create videos to give customers visual help to put products together.
6. Customer galleries. Put the spotlight on your customers and how they’re using your products. Remember customers may need help visualizing how the product will look when they get it home. Get other customers to show how they use your products. While this is great for hobbies and crafts, don’t limit yourself.
For example, Stew Leonards, an East Coast supermarket, uses physical bulletin boards to display photographs of customers reusing their plastic bags around the world. How can your customers strut their stuff? Don’t forget to allow for comments and social sharing.
As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to test what works best for your prospects and customers when it comes to social media content. To enhance the impact of your content, make sure it’s optimized for search. This means adding related text to videos and photographs. Also, include social sharing via Twitter, Facebook Likes and comments to expand your reach and engagement.
Do you have any other suggestions for how marketers can use social media content to drive sales? If so, please include your ideas in the comment section below.