May 4, 2015 Blog, Homepage, News & Events
Imagine you walk into a clothing store looking for a new pair of jeans. As you enter a clerk approaches and informs you of a 40% off sale they are having on socks. You tell him that you are looking for jeans and ask where they are in the store. Rather than answer your question the clerk tells you, again, about the GREAT deal they are having on socks.

At this point you are getting frustrated so you begin to walk away and look for the jeans yourself. You see them, and as you start to move in that direction the clerk jumps in front of you and screams…SOCKS!!! Needless to say this is a horrible, and exaggerated, customer experience that would have you running for the door.

The result of this interaction would not only be a lost sale but a negative experience with the brand. Without a doubt you would share this story with your friends, who would share it with their friends, tarnishing other’s opinions of the brand as well. I think it goes without saying that this clerk’s approach is not the right one.

So take a moment and ask yourself, is this how I’m treating my customers online? When someone sees one of your ads in their social feed are you showing them something relevant, or are you showing them what you want to sell? Are your ads “company centric” or “customer centric”? Meaning, are your ads and campaigns focused on your goals or the customer’s?

Digital marketing professionals, especially those focused on social, can learn a lot from traditional brick and mortar store clerks. Successful face to face interactions with customers share many of the same attributes as social conversations. When done well, both support brand loyalty and revenue goals. So as you refine your social strategy think about things from the perspective of a customer walking into one of your stores.

For example:
  • Social is conversational, so focus on the tone of your content and remember personality matters. Are you being helpful or pushy? How would this conversation play out in a face-to-face situation?
  • Handing out flyers in front of your store to every person who walks by may not be the best use of your marketing dollars. Social, over other digital channels, offers great ways to target the best potential customers. Targeting, when done right, makes your ads more relevant, less spammy, and ultimately drives higher conversion rates.
  • Retargeting is a great way to engage with customers who abandon the check-out process, but think about how you many times you serve an ad and over what time period. If they don’t convert maybe try giving them a recommendation for something else…or maybe even back off a bit.
  • Don’t forget to ask at checkout, “Did anyone help you today?” Ensure all of your campaigns have proper UTM tags in place so you can accurately determine what is working and what is not. Certain social networks or techniques may be better “sales clerks”.

At the end of the day social media is about people. So if you think about it, it is a bit of a no brainer that traditional brick and mortar techniques would also apply to social. Whether in store or on social you are interacting with people who have different needs and preferences, but ultimately all share the desire to have a great experience. The best store clerks know how to be helpful and engaging without being overbearing. No one wants an annoying clerk following them around a store, the same way no one wants annoying ads from brands following them around the internet.

Because social is personal, being respectful plays an important role in campaign success and the brand experience. So next time you sit down for a social strategy meeting talk with your peers about the “in store” approach to building your campaigns.
Written by SocialFlow Marketing