Social media engagement has become the most important way for brands to connect with customers. A recent poll revealed that nearly 80 per cent of consumers will choose a brand over a competitor after a positive experience on social media. Accordingly, 70 per cent of businesses surveyed rely on social media for customer engagement, compared to 61 per cent for email, 87 per cent for TV/radio, and only 24 per cent for print ads.
However, do the results match the enthusiasm? Another study surveying 200 luxury goods companies revealed low satisfaction with social media campaigns. Only a few rated Instagram (34 per cent) and Facebook (20 per cent) as “very effective.” Where’s the disconnect?
Part of the challenge with social media engagement for brands is that it turns traditional marketing on its head. Before social media, brands interrupted people’s attention with advertisements, whereas social media users want to interact with brands on their terms. Users are turned off by brands who try too hard to sell through social media. Instead, the goal should be to build a long-term relationship with customers that pays off further down the road.
A Successful Case Study
Last year, a small clothing store called JJ’s Fashions in Trail, British Columbia, gained over a million social media followers in just four months. The store’s manager, Rhylan Streloff, was brainstorming ways to drive traffic on their Instagram account, which is shoppable and linked directly to their store’s website. One of the staff suggested TikTok, and they began experimenting with videos.
They stumbled on success with the “Hot Boss” concept where female employees swoon over Streloff. After struggling to grow their Instagram account, their TikTok took off as they monitored which videos got the most engagement. More followers on Instagram came too.
There are two key takeaways here. First, JJ’s isn’t trying to sell anything with these TikTok videos. They’re meant to be entertaining, creative storytelling. Secondly, JJ’s was willing to experiment, take chances, and track what worked and what didn’t. Once they found something that was gaining traction, they went with it.
Will JJ’s “Hot Boss” concept work for most brands? Likely not. But the point is to think outside the box—engage with your customers, don’t sell to them.
Another challenge for brands is that it can be difficult to strike that balance between being personable and professional. Customers are likely to ignore anything that’s too vanilla—unless there’s a sale attached to it—or will respond negatively if you commit a faux pas.
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. Brands will have to think hard about their identity as well as their buyer personas.
Creativity is difficult and requires investing time and energy. However, the advantage of social media is that it doesn’t need high production value. As JJ’s shows, the most important element is customers feeling like they’re connecting with a real person behind the brand.
We Can Help
Customers are increasingly looking to purchase items through social media, which requires optimized e-commerce channels. Whether you’re looking to build online ordering capabilities or improve on what you have, we can help. We offer complete e-commerce solutions from the management of your e-commerce all the way through to the fulfillment of orders.
Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca today to learn more.« Back to Blog