Why Is Social Media the Key to the Omnichannel Consumer?
𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰? 𝐀𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐, 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝟑.𝟗𝟔 𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚. 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐥𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐨𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧!
How many social media accounts do you currently have? More than one, isn’t it? As we are living in an increasingly connected world, different social media platforms allow us to keep up with the latest news and trends and stay in touch with our friends and families.
From a commercial standpoint, it is apparent that customer engagement via social media has begun to play a significant role for businesses, especially for omnichannel businesses with online and offline presences. Customers today are more demanding, and they demand quick solutions to address the issues they face. Social media is growing to become a vital component of businesses today, as can be seen by how 93% of marketers now use social media for brand-related marketing purposes to build trust and improve customer experiences.
📌 Importance of Social Media in the Omnichannel Customer Experience
Numbers don’t lie with social media, as statistics continue to grow. Therefore, business owners should recognise the influence this medium has over their customers. Integrating social media into your omnichannel strategy is important for the following reasons:
1️⃣ Social Media Helps to Raise Brand Awareness
Based on our experience in digital marketing, we have learned that most potential buyers will look for the Facebook or Instagram button soon after they land on our client partners’ websites. Customers will visit your social media accounts to find out more about your brand, even if everything can be found on your website. They will go through posts published not just by you, but also by other customers, to gain more information on your brand.
Moreover, 1 in 3 use social media to discover new brands. Social media will help you raise the exposure of your business, and it should be considered a vital component of your omnichannel business.
2️⃣ Social Media Provides Another Touchpoint That Connects You With Your Customers
According to studies, customers prefer brands that provide consistent and seamless customer experiences, over those that just provide lower prices. When deciding whether to purchase from a business, 42% of customers place having a seamless customer experience across channels as a top consideration. Also, 74% of consumers indicate that they are likely to make a purchase based on experience alone.
Especially so for the younger generation Z, the customer experience is how customers differentiate and choose between brands. Social media emerges as one of the digital generation's most direct avenues of contact, and it is important to use social media as a tool to reach out to and connect with your customers, in order to remain ahead of the competition.
📌 Integrating Social Media Into Your Omnichannel Strategy
1️⃣ Be Responsive on Social Media
From our experience, many consumers spend significant amounts of time on social media daily. Hence, they are more likely to reach out to your brand via social media platforms, instead of searching for your website's contact page. If customers contact you for help via your social media, don't send them to your website to get additional information. Show them that you care about them and that you have a team of social media experts on hand to answer enquiries and offer help around-the-clock.
This can be supported by the use of social media chatbots, as they can significantly shorten your response time, which is important for retaining customers. 32% of customers anticipate a response within 30 minutes, even on the weekends and at night. Utilising chatbots will enable you to give prompt replies that will set you apart from the competition and leave a good lasting impression.
2️⃣ Leverage Social Media Listening
It is important to determine which social media platforms are used most frequently by your target demographic. Analysing what users are doing on each platform is also a good idea in addition to this, so that you can better understand how customers interact with your business on different channels, in turn helping you develop a successful omnichannel strategy.
Social media presence monitoring through tools such as Google Alerts will allow you to keep an eye out for online references made about your brand, in discussions about your products and services. The main benefit of this practice is that it helps you better understand your brand's internet reputation, and to be aware of potential areas for improvement.
3️⃣ Engage Your Audience
Engagement is ultimately the key to social media success, and you should always be on the lookout for new ways to engage your audience. Compared to just 61% for email, more than 70% of businesses now use social media as a means to communicate with and engage their customers.
What better way is there to grow an effective and loyal community online, than to be engaged in the conversation yourself? Social media in-app functions such as live streaming can be used to engage with your audience in real-time, and can even be a platform through which businesses sell their products to customers directly. In fact, the practice of social selling has been in trend, and is expected to stay on the rise for the foreseeable future. (Have you read our blog on omnichannel trends yet? Check it out here!)
Happy customers are a company's best advertisement. Providing exceptional customer experiences is made much simpler by social media. Social media involvement is a necessary component of the omnichannel consumer experience and cannot be excluded. The potential of social media in levelling up your omnichannel brand is limitless. What is your current social media presence?
📌 Ready to Develop Your Social Media or Omnichannel Strategy?
Look no further!
VKT offers a full-fledged 360° Digital Marketing Programme focused on accelerating your company's growth. Expect not only solutions in Social Media and Omnichannel, but also a variety of other services ranging from Branding to Supply Chain.
With our experienced MRA & EDG Certified Consultant, VKT boasts a proven track record in achieving a high EDG application success rate that grants your business up to 70% funding for SMEs and 50% for non-SMEs. So wait no longer, and contact us for a coffee chat to discover more about how you may start your social media and omnichannel journeys and leverage our expertise!