Direct brand to consumer relationships work. It makes people feel that their opinion matters and that a transaction has more meaning than just an exchange of goods. There’s a reason why 62% of shoppers say they will engage brands in social media and other platforms, while 72% use social information to make purchasing decisions - they want to establish a connection beyond just the purchase.
With common platforms, the experience is inherently through a third party, lacking the look and feel of your brand. The ideas that make social media a success for businesses - the ones that do it right - can translate to other social interaction channels as well.
4 Tips for Successful Social Interaction
Own a Piece of the Conversation
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the heavy hitters in social interaction and commerce, with Pinterest steadily gaining massive shopping influence. Investments easily passed the $500 million mark last year with efforts to create more shopper-oriented ways for make social experience out of online shopping. This all goes to show that the demand is there and the key take away for brands is that you are going to have to play ball if you want to stay ahead.
“Playing ball” now means finding a way to take your audiences to a platform you own as a branded, engaging step between social curiosity and checkout.
Use visuals to showcase your products with live demos, showing examples of use. Product videos can only get you so far. When you can incorporate live visual responses you get the benefit of providing exactly the information shoppers need at the critical moment where they decide to purchase or not. They are far more likely to have an experience like they would in a retail store – the interaction and information from a real human – with all of the benefits of online shopping.
Shoppers crave feedback and advice from other shoppers who are on or have been on the same journey. When like minded people come together to research the same ideas and information, they tend to create purchase validation for each other. The interaction and feedback create the social proof in a natural conversational setting.
Interaction isn’t limited to just shoppers. Brands on the forefront of marketing constantly find ways to inform shoppers. Participating in the shopping conversation - the more real-time the better - lets brands answer exact questions, instead of blanket product details and generic FAQs.
Don’t Be Afraid To Sell
While the majority of things that a brand has to say in a social, public setting should not be all about “me, me, me”, there are times when it is okay to take the opportunity to sell. In the end, effective sales pitches are you speaking about your passions - when you speak excitedly about products that you are invested in and proud of, you sell your product effortlessly and without the sleazy demeanor of a used car salesman. If you can convey your continual excitement and conviction for your product, the feeling spreads to every audience member you’ve captured.