Compete Blog: How Can Retailers Win the Social Media Race?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the Compete Blog. Compete Inc. is a web analytics company that focuses on understanding how consumers use the Internet.
Based on a recent survey by Compete, 40 percent of online shoppers believed retailers’ Facebook pages have been extremely/very influential on their purchasing decisions. There’s also the imperceptible impact social media has on building brand awareness and loyalty.
So, how should retailers make the best out of their social network marketing?
Blogs are no longer as effective. According to the Compete survey, less than eight percent of shoppers read or post on retailer blogs, forums, and reviews sites on a daily basis, a number that has been declining over the past six months. In addition, 42.9 percent of the population has never read or posted on a retailer blog. Many retailers are shifting their blogs to social networks such as Pinterest and Tumblr.
Everyone loves sales and promotions. Survey results told us more than 55 percent of people visit retailer Facebook pages (52.1 percent for Twitter) in order to keep up to date on sales and promotions. About half of consumers visit both sites to enter sweepstakes or giveaways.
Word-of-mouth is powerful (even if it is virtual). The survey showed nearly 30 percent of people visit retailers’ Facebook pages when they see that one of their friends "liked" the page. In addition, 29.4 percent of them try to connect with other people who like the retailer (same number for Twitter) and 18.2 percent of them wish to let others know why they like a specific retailer (18.7 percent for Twitter). Not only is word-of-mouth being spread quicker, it is also having a higher reach on a broader range of people.
Know your audiences well. According to Compete’s survey, more female shoppers are on Facebook and more male shoppers on Twitter. Also, for people in the 55+ age group, 66 percent don’t have a Twitter account and 73.4 percent of those who have accounts don’t follow retailers on Twitter.
Understand that not all social media channels are the same. Some companies spread themselves too thin and focus on all social channels, posting the same content in each network. But each network has its own function. For example, Pinterest works best with women, creative photos and crafts. According to Compete’s data, the most engaging traffic for Pinterest comes from retailers in the food, lifestyle and fashion industries. On the other hand, because Twitter allows users to share information so quickly with others, it would work better with retailers focused on daily sales and promotions such as Amazon and Walmart.
Which of the findings from Compete’s survey do you think is most important for retailers to act on? Are there others that you would add when it comes to retailers’ use of various social media platforms?