SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Social media is learning about your audience in order to understand how your customers are and how they behave, where they live, what are their interests and what they value in a company. With this knowledge, companies look forward to targeting their customers more efficiently and present them customized content to approach them. Digital unique experiences are also key when appealing to customers. The identification of the customers allows businesses to make better marketing and business decisions as well as investment choices that will be targeted towards the audience existing.
This incredible tool is meant to help the company to get closer to the customer by improving their communication and their perception about the brand. Engaging with customers is crucial when delivering an excellent customer service as well as when receiving their feedback. Peer recommendation systems are great for word of mouth advertising and thus, will greatly affect the perception of the customers and their decision whether to purchase or not. The development of technology has changed significantly how companies advertise and market their brands as well as the emergence of social media networks and strategies have changed the way brands are seen. Mobile devices and apps allow companies to have an infinity of possibilities to offer to their customers to improve their brand online experiences.
A strong social media strategy will push boundaries, start with understanding the real market audience as well as the brand’s overall objectives. Every post and tactic must be designed in order to approach more effectively the customers. Social media presence means building followers, an audience. It allows them to participate, share and enjoy the content you are providing them to and to let others also know about it without extra effort from your part.
HOW COMPANIES USE SOCIA MEDIA?
Social media enables companies to communicate, share or promote content with the desired targeted groups or communities. Nowadays nearly every company offers an e-service or even a live chat specialist in order to enhance customer experience or resolve problems. Although social media was only considered as a means of entertainment, nowadays is an essential for businesses. There is great abundance of social media platforms out there, each with different characteristics but all serve to fulfill the same purpose, some are free and some aren’t.
Through the usage of social media, businesses can achieve and gain new customers by creating awareness and therefore having a potential loyal client base. This can be accomplished through the use of customer segment targeted ads with real time results, which have recently turned convenient due to the high traffic in popular social networks such as Facebook ,Instagram or Twitter. However search engines play an essential role towards the recognition or popularity of the website which the company uses. Search engines will position websites through the use of SEO tool. Standing for ‘search engine optimization’, a browser will rank the websites appearing on your google search list according to the ones with the highest traffic appearing first. However search browsers also offer SEM, standing for search engine marketing. This gives a chance for smaller unknown businesses or websites to appear first on your search by paying. Google provides this service through adwords, a paid service to have any website appearing on the left side of the browser search marked as advert, these are paid by individual click.
Aside advertising and sharing, companies also use social media to stay safe and secure. Although 100% full security is impossible to achieve, businesses can drive down these risks through the use of technologies and social media. This includes social network privacy settings or even data protection using encryption.
ZAPPOS CASE STUDY
Zappos is a well-known online shoe retailer which aims to offer a unique service experience to its customer, differentiating from competitors by recognizing the importance of “the human touch” when helping the customer, even though they have an online approach. According to them, knowing what their clients want and desire is crucial in order to develop strategies which aim to take advantage of the emerging opportunities which exceed their expectations.
Its main objective and core value is to deliver the so-called “Wow” through service, in order words, encouraging their employees to provide the best customer service as possible. Although the word is incredibly simple, it has a deep meaning which aims to align the entire company behind a common goal. This ultimate objective cannot be accomplished without a dedicated labourforce who is willing to work for the brand and provide a unique service. Because of this reason, Zappos looks for outstanding employees which appear to be happy, fun and “a little weird”, making a special emphasis on empowering the positivity of the already mentioned labourforce. In addition, when hiring, evaluating the employee's culture fit, emotions and ideas is just as important as considering their skills and experience. The final outcome strives to achieve an incomparable customer service based on the belief that happy employees will incite customers to be happy too. As zappos states on its website: “We are not an average company, our service is not average, and we don’t want our people to be average. We expect every employee to deliver WOW.”
For Zappos serving the people is essential, thus using their resources to improve their customer's delight and trust is compelling. It is true to say that every retailing company is raised based on the trust of its customers, therefore every small interaction with them may contribute to the growth of it. Zappos takes this seriously and therefore encourages its customers be the engine of growth of their company.
SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY FOR ZAPPOS
First of all when creating any social media marketing strategy, we need to establish the different objectives and goals that we are hoping to achieve with the platform we are using. Having something to look up to, we can easily react and assess our social media campaign. If it were to not meet our expectations, we could try and improve some aspects of the marketing strategy in order to appeal better to the audience and achieve this aim more effectively. The objective we have chosen is to improve brand image and customer perception. To translate this in a SMART objective in order to be more easily compared, the objective would be to “improve customer perception and brand image by having a 70% positive feedback about Zappos in the microblog to be created by the first year of implementation”.
Another important fact to be taken into account is to analyse the prior social media marketing plan that has been implemented before and how it is working. This means getting to know the customers that are connected to your social media sites, how they are reacting, etc. Furthermore, optimizing profiles for SEO can help generate more potential customers through increased traffic.
Our proposal starts by improving the current layout of the webpage Zappos has. We believe that it is a great business with amazing core values. However, the website does not reflect this high quality service and how well organised the enterprise is. A new more user-friendly interface will result in greater online sales as the website would make the company look more reliable and trustworthy to customers.
The second recommendation that we would like to implement for our social media strategy is microblogging. This involves letting users to give quick feedback through images and short sentences, of their customer experience. We believe that customer satisfaction is key for every company, however, it is crucial for online based companies because they do not see customers face-to-face and they have to rely on online methods to ensure that they are happy with their purchase and that they would recommend it to others.
This microblogging space would be implemented in the website and will allow customers with an account in Zappos to comment about their recent purchase and how satisfied they are with the service offered etc. This platform will be implemented both in the website, with the most “voted” recommendations below each product but also in a separate blog that would summon all the feedback given, so that when new customers plan on buying from this website they have a Bank of reviews to look at in order to find out if the company will deliver them good quality or not. Furthermore, the reviews will be checked by the customer services department in Zappos in order to address the issues found by the consumers and help them raise their perception and expectations from the company.
“Social media is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. If you use it correctly, you can create a strong personal connection with your prospective customers.”
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