How can you use Social Media to influence customers?

Back in the 90’s, a study of supermarket marketing established that 70% of Brand decisions are made in-store.

Well it wasn’t quite that simple; what they found out was that 70% of shoppers might arrive wanting a jar of coffee, but they only decided which Brand to buy when they were in-store.

And this has long been held as the holy grail of retailing, but things have changed.

Today, over 80% of shoppers claim to make their buying decision before they get to the store.

Everything has turned on its head as a consequence of factors, such as:

  1. Greater awareness, to have an emotional control on costs in lean times
  2. With less time, knowing exactly what you want makes shopping more efficient
  3. Familiarity with check-lists as a consequence of on-line grocery shopping
  4. Price comparisons and an upsurge in the use of coupons and multiple offers
  5. Unprecedented choice; more Brands, more products
  6. Decreasing brand loyalty – supermarkets marketing is designed to encourage shoppers to buy, they really don’t mind which brand
  7. The web makes searching for best products and best price, with customer testimonials, easy to find that confirm quality

This means that retailers and manufacturers now need, more than ever before, to establish relationships and awareness with the group of people who may potentially buy their products at a very early stage, well before they are about to buy.

They need to seduce potential customers into thinking about their products, possibly talking about them or maybe trying them. It is a gentle and subtle conversation a million miles away from the aggressive, ‘Buy one, get one free’ approach. It should inspire and
cultivate them, not bash them over the head with special offers. It’s simply a different style of conversation.

This is the perfect hunting ground for effective use of Social media; to charm, delight, tease and generally create a feeling within potential customers that they actually ‘know’ you. In the same way that we feel we know the newscasters and broadcasters we see every day on the television or listen to on the radio.

That’s why social media simply doesn’t work as a separate ‘Channel’. It must be fully integrated with everything that you do, across all the media channels you use, to build different types of dialogue.

And once you understand how this applies to your business or organisation, it will revolutionise the way that you approach Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Blogs and the like. Take a look at this promotion featuring Shrek the Musical and you will see immediately the opportunities they are missing to promote this endearing character.

Join me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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