Social Media: Don’t wait for consumers to come to you, meet them on their platform

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Social media, Retailing

Social Media: Don’t wait for consumers to come to you, meet them on their platform
As social media evolves, more retailers need to look at integrating it into their online stores and turn them into entertainment destinations, or they may be missing a trick, according to data analyst Verdict.

A new report by the independent retail analyst has revealed that although e-commerce and social media are separate entities for retailers, those that recognise the potential of combining the two will reap the rewards.

And Ross Glick, CEO of social media specialists Indelible, believes the beauty industry also needs to catch up and utilise the platform as best they can.

Create a relationship

“Beauty companies must create an environment where things flow and you can engage the customer to create a relationship,”​ he explained.

Indelible has worked with a number of brands, including Estee Lauder, MAC, Laura Mercier and Clinique, developing specific strategies for each individual company.

And the biggest problem companies’ face initially is that once social media pages are set up, they do not know what to do with them. Companies are increasing their spend on social media but are unsure of where their ROI is coming from.

Firstly, companies need to set clear objectives. It is all well and good if they set up Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and gather loads of followers, but it is what you do with that resource that matters.

Content, content, content

And that is where Verdict believes online stores can benefit and set clear objectives as its research highlights how effective social media could be for online stores in helping to shape brand identity.

For example, simply embedding YouTube videos could emphasise brand identity and boost customer engagement as they would help consumers to identify with the retailer on a personal level.

According to the analyst, in an increasingly online world, brands have to work harder than ever to engage consumers, and this will continue in the future.

Charlotte Woods, analyst at Verdict, said: “Most have recognised the value of social media, but very few have realised its potential to benefit their online stores.”

Brands and retailers have the ability to attract increased levels of traffic to their online stores by using social media to create entertainment destinations which consumers can get excited about.

Cosmetics brands already doing it

Estee Lauder brand Smashbox recently adopted this strategy by integrating Facebook into its e-commerce site.

Smashbox’s social marketing initiative incorporated a platform that allowed it to gather Facebook Likes from shoppers and their friends to allow for personalised recommendations.

When shoppers click on the “Social Shop” tab on the website, a box pops up asking for their Facebook login information. Then, when customers browse for products they will be able to click the Like button.

There is also a comment function and a chance to create a community for their friends where they can share lists of ‘Liked’ products, thus increasing interaction.

Related topics: Digital, Market Trends

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