4 ways to Increase Product Discovery through Social Context

If your brand is well known and loved by your customers, then you have the toughest part out of the way, but how can you retain those valuable fans and double down? Use actionable context and customer attributes to help shoppers discover the products that are the most relevant to them.

There are many sources from which context about your shoppers are readily available. The tricky part is parsing this data to pick out only the most relevant and actionable attributes, then normalizing and automating its use. There are four contextual sources below that are sure to surprise and delight your customers, helping them discover more of the products that relevant to them.

Facebook Open Graph
Encourage shoppers to connect their profiles to their preferred social network with a Social Login or by entering contests. High quality and diverse information can easily be  pulled from APIs like Facebook Open Graph. Normalize and sync this data into your CRM to provide different site experiences based on anything from gender and relationship status to favorite books and popular hobbies.

Geography
Location can be grabbed from shipping information, social networks or account creation forms. Pick out major cities and target locations with the largest number of your customers, or segment by region. Are your East Coast shoppers in the midst of a Polar Vortex? If so, maybe they will be interested in some survival supplies, very warm clothes, or maybe some board games. Create a relevant live feed for your customers with Popular Products in their area. Get creative with your campaigns beyond seasonal promotions.

Community Engagement
Segment customers who have uploaded photos, entered contests, or referred friends in the past. Treating these customers differently can help you increase onsite engagement by growing your community from the inside out. Thank them for their advocacy by granting them early access to campaigns or additional contest entries.

Friends from Social APIs
If a customer has linked or created their account to a social network, then display the activity of their friends to call their attention to products that are more relevant to them. Showcase reviews from friends, what products they have liked or shared, and items they have purchased.

 

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Making a good First Impression with User Generated Content

We all know that first impressions matter, whether it’s a conference, a new client dinner or a first date. Does your site make a good first impression? Make your site the one that catches your customers’ eyes by calling upon and showcasing your existing community of fans. This can give your site an immediate impression of activity, like seeing a restaurant full of happy patrons.

Ask shoppers to rep your brand
Give shoppers a reason to share their content with you. Provide discounts for uploads that are upvoted by peers, host photo contests or reward customers who review and send a picture of themselves with purchased products. Once your biggest fans have helped populate your shopping experience with their content, new shoppers will join in as well. These are still considered user generated content and a great way to boost engagement across all shoppers.

Put your brand advocates front and center
80% of your social engagement will be done by 20% of your customers. Double down on the activity of that minority by showing your appreciation and showcasing their content prominently. Dedicated fans that feel they are appreciated will not only continue to provide high quality on brand content, but will also bring in new customers through word of mouth.

Create multiple ways to play
Not everyone loves taking selfies or thinks of themselves as a fashionista, but you still want these people to contribute and feel that they are a part of your brand’s online community. In addition to focusing on the selfie trend, also put an emphasis on the fact that all shoppers can vote on user photos, leave ratings and reviews, and provide input on new products.

 

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Groupon’s doing it, you could too: 5 use cases for Flash Sales

The idea of a Groupon-style Flash Sale may turn many brand conscious marketers off, but a well orchestrated Flash Sale can be perfectly onbrand as it provides significant objective benefits. Consider the use cases below for Flash Sales and see how something like it can function as a flexible, powerful tool.

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3 Perks of Peer Referrals

Paid advertising, pagerank, and peer referrals arguably have the largest impact on site and in store traffic. However, unlike other methods, traffic from peer referrals come with three attributes that make them more valuable than the rest. These act as an online word of mouth phenomenon, quickly driving high quality traffic on site.

peerreferrals

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What sets your shopping experience apart?

How do you differentiate your online shopping experience? Do you compete on pricing, does your brand hold a special place in the hearts of your shoppers, is your product unique, or is it the best of breed?

Nothing’s impact on your business may ever trump your product, brand name, or customer service, but a unique shopping experience can come close. Here being different is just a start, being interesting, engaging, and helpful are what makes an impact.

1. Interesting
First time visitors often need a hook to stick around, and while being a price leader has a huge impact on conversion rates, sometimes it’s not enough. It reduces the value of each new shopper which is too bad because bargain hunters already have a higher likelihood of moving to a competitor the second they find a better deal.

New shoppers who don’t bounce immediately can be encouraged to continue their journey on your site with just a little bit of acknowledgement and a reward, even if the reward is purely symbolic rather than a discount. A badge or a link to an exclusive site category can give shoppers who are interested a reason to explore a little bit longer, maybe join your customer loyalty program, and eventually convert. Now that’s interesting!

badges

2. Engaging
Purchase history is meaningless to a customer, it provides no incentive for them to return more often or stay loyal to your brand. However, as a business, your customers with a meaningful purchase history are more valuable to your company, and they should be invested in accordingly. Public leaderboards keep longtime customers engaged with your brand and give them something they would lose by switching to a new competitor – status.

Reward new and established shoppers with discounts, exclusive offers, free shipping or personal invites to events.

gameleaderboard

3. Helpful
Nothing will outshine good ol’ fashion customer service. Calling a number and immediately connecting with a human is priceless. Getting customers to this stage is the hard part. High context product recommendations can help get them there.

In addition to past purchases and onsite behavior data from social network APIs like Facebook Open Graph can help you attach actionable and unique information to customer profiles. Knowing what region someone is from, relationship status, age, gender and more enables marketers to pick out relevant categories and serve truly helpful product recommendations.

product recommendation

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5 Ways to Increase Review Volume Onsite

70% of Americans say they look at reviews before they move on to make a purchase. Product ratings and reviews are becoming more and more important as shoppers start to trust these opinions more than advertisements. Conversions can increase up to 50% when product reviews jump from 1 to 10 reviews. In a study on Yelp reviews, an increase in a star, led to 5-9% more overall revenue. Follow these steps to increase your review volume.

1. Make leaving reviews easy
Add a ratings and reviews feature on every product page and include visible call to actions for reviews for every product. With social login, signing in to leave a review is as easy as one click. Also add guest features for customers who prefer to leave anonymous reviews.

2. Ask for reviews at the right time
Ask for reviews in post-purchase emails which generally have a higher open and click-thru rate. Be sure to give customers adequate time to experience your product or service and they will be more likely to leave a review. These emails could just be a simple thank you to customers for their purchase and an ask for feedback from their experience.

3. Syndicate reviews from other sources
Product reviews can be written in multiple places and with syndication, you can pull these reviews to bolster the review volume on your site. If you are a brand, helping retailers populate their review pages will help your product sell against competitors.

4. Give samples in return for reviews
Send out product samples for new or promotional items to your Top Influencers in return for reviews. This accelerates the process of collecting reviews and enables you to launch new products with reviews ready.

5. Incentivize reviews as part of a loyalty program
If you have a loyalty program, make sure that leaving reviews is a rewarded action. Customers are more likely to leave a review when incentivized to do so.

 

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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Retweets (and then some)

The old saying goes, ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words’. In the new age of social media, this is more true than ever. Visual social sites, Pinterest and Instagram, blew up last year. Other social giants strove to catch up with update after update, optimizing their newsfeeds to make them more visual. Twitter, known for its 140 character limit updates, made a few tweaks, putting the emphasis on visual. Your Twitter feed now includes photos and videos directly instream.

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What most social campaigns are missing

Social campaigns are designed to increase engagement, brand awareness and social reach. Marketers are told the key to a successful marketing campaign is to throw more social contests, do more giveaways, post more photos, and get on Instagram. This is all fine and dandy, but most of these marketing strategies neglect the most important component of a social campaign, attributing revenue to social investment.

As a marketer, attribution is always difficult to track and for social, it’s even harder to prove. Many believe that social is a necessary cost for marketers, but with the right tools and the right campaigns, social can add to your bottom line.

missing

 

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18 Very Real Struggles of a Social CMO

Being a Chief Marketing Officer can be difficult at times. In order to brighten your day, we have put together some very real gifs. Laugh, enjoy and share!

 

1. You are surrounded by acronyms – crm, lol, pos, ttyl, esp, brb…its hard to differentiate them all

2. Let’s just say you prefer words over numbers…

3. Thirteen year olds know more about social media than your marketing managers

4. Your marketing managers look like thirteen year olds

5. Your time-tested marketing strategies don’t translate well into social strategies

used to be

6. You’ve heard talk that Facebook may be on its way out

facebook animated GIF

7. You have to include Google Plus in your marketing strategies

8. The best marketing ploy out there currently involves selfies

selfies

9. When people see that your office is not Pinterest perfect

10. People assume you are the life of the party at Holiday Corporate events

11. Your marketing managers seem to suggest social contests every month

12. Sometimes, you feel like you know too much about your customers

13. Other times, you don’t know who your customers are

14. Your CEO doesn’t know the difference between likes, follows, pluses, RTs, hearts, and pins and doesn’t care

15. Your CFO doesn’t care how many likes, follows, pluses, RTs, hearts or pins your campaigns get

16. You can’t pinpoint revenue from your investment in social

17. Sometimes big marketing ideas end up like this

18. BUT at the end of the day, remember

 

 

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