Social media platforms will be a major source of information and persuasion for this year’s holiday shoppers, and many consumers will turn to their social networks to help them navigate through the online crowds. Online shopping is the key retail trend to follow, as more are turning to their devices in order to help them make informed purchase decisions. With the stress, time-constraints, and strict budgets associated with the holidays, it’s no surprise that social media will play a huge role in businesses hoping to maximize their profits during the last quarter of the 2011 fiscal year.
Whether they’re comparing prices, reading reviews, or actively making purchases, the average holiday shopper plans to do 46% of their holiday shopping online, according to the latest research conducted by the National Retail Institute.
The same survey also found that 29.2% of consumers (that’s nearly 3 in 10) will check out a company’s Facebook page for more information about products, consumer reviews, or holiday promotions, while 65.1% plan on reading customer reviews on a company’s website. A similar survey conducted by the marketing research firm, SymphonyIRI, breaks down exactly how consumers plan on using the Internet during the 2011 holiday season. 61% of consumers will use more coupons from group couponing websites (as opposed to only 33% in 2010), 48% will take advantage of promotions learned online, and 43% plan on comparing products online via blogs, forums, and other social platforms.
According to Deloitte’s 2011 Holiday Survey, 44% of consumers will use social media as part of their holiday shopping process. Below is a breakdown of how consumers plan on using social media:
As a business, how can you use social media to help you maximize your success during the 2011 holiday season?
Update Is The New “Up Sell”
It is extremely important to keep consumers up to date on all the latest promotions, discounts, one-time deals, and exciting new product linesas holiday shoppers are in hot pursuit of deals, reviews and coupons. By continuously pushing new updates across your social platforms you can easily increase your business’ presence by staying relevant with key search words. In addition, a frenzy of updates will filter through the viral tunnel which will ultimately send more people in your business’ direction.
Integrate your social posts with your other online advertising communications (such as emails, banners etc). This allows for instant feedback and analytics that can help optimize conversation and response rates by responding to your customer’s needs and preferences in real time.
Don’t Just Entice Customers With Your Promotions, Engage Them
Spread the news about your unique promotions (Clickz suggests activities such as: gift registries, holiday countdowns, and price altering) through your social networks. By adding opt-in and registration opportunities, like Facebook tabs, you can easily drive value and add engagement while at the same time growing your databases for more effective conversations even after the holidays.
Respond With Rewards
Incorporate incentives such as exclusive offers and loyalty events for social community members. Make a reward available for those consumers who engage with your holiday campaigns and who help to spread the word.
Integrate The Ability To Make Purchases
46.7% of holiday shoppers will buy online this year, so why not use those online purchases to leverage your social media platforms? Use your Facebook page to offer purchasing opportunities (this is known as F-commerce). Clickz also suggests using your social platforms to create social events around big commerce events, like “Chat With The Designer”.
So, get to where your consumers are this holiday season. Respond to the latest trends and shifts in holiday shopping behaviors, and leverage your social media presence in order to maximize your profits in the fourth quarter and beyond. Remember, you need to keep your consumers up-to-date with fresh, exciting content, and compelling, unique promotions, as this year’s holiday shoppers are all about price discounts, product reviews, and comparative shopping. There are also a number of many creative ways to extend your success and capitalize on conversions by incorporating your existing social platforms. If you’re overwhelmed by these tasks, or are in unsure of how your business fits in with this new holiday shopping model, turn to the experts here at Blab! For suggestions, strategies and executions.
When we wrote about Groupon a few weeks ago, we were happy to pass along the concept of preparedness to ensure that any group buying transaction pushes your business forward. In the process of researching, we’ve come across an online tool directed at businesses participating in group buying deals and it’s definitely worth a closer look.
As expected, the group buying industry has seen its fair share of growth recently. It’s no secret that consumers love a good deal and that more people are jumping on the bandwagon to save money. What fails to make news, however, is the industry’s downside. Businesses worldwide are beginning to open up to the concept of group buying and many have already begun experimenting by launching deals in their local area. The problem is that many of these businesses are slowly loosing what seems like a hopeless fight. In order for this industry to survive and continue to thrive in the future, merchants need tools and support to succeed. If the businesses can’t make it work, then there are no deals to be had! Cue the solution.
In June 2010, small business owner David Wachtendonk decided to take Groupon for a spin. At the time, there were no tools available to merchants so they could manage their own deals online. In search of more substance, David pulled together his own team and created some tools to solve his problems.
“I wanted to have more control and these new tools helped me achieve my goals,” said David, “Later on I realized that what I’d created to make my life easier could help other people as well!”
Frustrated with the lack of concern exhibited by popular group buying sites, David and business partner Christopher Lee set out to offer their services to other struggling merchants. And just like that, MobManager was born! Finally, merchants offering group buying discounts had a place to evaluate, analyze and plan for the future to ensure success for their business.
MobManager allows merchants to manage redemption, track ROI and even offers a loyalty feature that lets them follow-up with deal participants. The loyalty feature utilizes permission-based marketing, creating automated, opt-in, drip marketing campaigns. In addition, business managers can get a better understanding of their daily deal campaigns by using MobManager’s dashboards and reporting capabilities to answer questions like, “How much revenue is being generated per customer?” or “Is this daily deal campaign profitable?”
In the future, MobManager hopes to become part of a standard redemption process that will provide customers and merchants with a better experience and, in turn, positively impact the industry itself. Only time will tell if group buying is here to stay but in the meantime, services like MobManager are making the process a lot more painless for merchants that are interested in exploring new territory. To learn more about what services MobManager offers and how they can help your business, be sure to visit their website.
The internet is buzzing with updates and party plans surrounding this Thursday’s big celebration; St. Patrick’s Day! It’s no secret that some of us go all out with green outfits, face tattoos, and beads galore, while others simply prefer a visit to McDonalds for a Shamrock Shake. Take a look at what social networkers have to say about the day of the Irish and see how your opinions vary from others.
Infographic courtesy of Lab42
Facebook is no stranger to Internet memes and with the introduction of the new Facebook profile, some users welcomed the change with open arms. Alexandre Oudin, a French artist, has been credited for starting the next big craze that has more and more people participating as each day passes. Since the creation of Facebook, users have always experimented with photos but the new profile redesign allows for seriously clever animations, typography and photographic magic.
By now there are tutorial videos floating around that teach users how to create some magic of their own and it seems like a Facebook banner application is also cashing in on the trend so it may only be a matter of time before this really catches on. In the meantime, we’ve searched the web and found the top 10 Facebook profile pic hacks. If you’ve been getting creative with your profile, we want to see it!
What if you died tomorrow with a secret or confidential information and passwords locked away inside your head? What if your loved ones can’t find your bank accounts or your coworkers can’t access hidden files? Deathswitch.com offers a solution to bridging mortality with its information insurance plan. A deathswitch is an automated system that prompts users for a password ( at a frequency of your choice) to make sure you’re still alive and well. When you fail to enter your password for a certain amount of time, the system continues to prompt you again several times. If there is still no reply, the computer presumes you’re dead or severely disabled, and your pre-written messages are automatically emailed to those named by you. You can create email messages, attach files and specify recipients and your messages are automatically sent after your switch is triggered.
The free account offers 1 email recipient and no attachments. With the premium account ($19.95/year) you get 30 messages with up to 10 recipients each and the ability to attach files such as videos, photos and documents. Some users have found a deathswitch to be very convenient for funeral instructions, bank account information, computer passwords etc. The company even boasts a free trial so any interested users can set up a fake message to another email account, stop responding to the prompts and see how it all works. Luckily, if your recipients change their email addresses, you have the ability to edit your information every time you answer a prompt.
The company boasts encryption technologies and high security measures to protect your messages from hackers but you help but wonder, how safe is this process? Most importantly, how necessary is this process? It’s interesting to see how companies are beginning to use technology in innovative ways and in this case, capturing the attention of the password/secret junkie who is constantly worrying about the information they carry around in their head on a daily basis. There is no doubt that as society progresses towards a technological takeover, information insurance and services like the deathswitch are becoming more feasible.