Shopping. You either love it, or you hate it, but one thing that makes the experience more worthwhile is when you can share it.

Shopping is a social activity. When possible, people often take a few friends or family with them and make a day of it. We turn to others when considering that crucial decision between the black or blue shirt, or to share an appreciative swoon over the release of the latest gadget.

With the immediacy provided by visual platforms such as Instagram and SnapChat, social media has allowed shoppers to turn to friends and family, even in those moments when we happen to be flying solo. Photos and status updates about products, sales and discounts are plastered all over social media networks, which are then shared again and again by others.

Local Measure helps retailers see these conversations and gives them the opportunity to join in on these discussions about their products. When a customer shares something about your brand, posts a complaint or has a question about certain stock, we can deliver these updates to you as soon as they are posted.

Why Focus on Social Media?

When it comes to making decisions about purchases, customers inevitably turn to social media to do more research. 63% of social media users read product reviews and blogs before they decide to buy. However, only about 24% of users post such reviews. By creating a dialogue between your brand and these reviewers and bloggers, you can reach a wider audience by simply maintaining a social profile.

Customers are also turning to brand social profiles to find out what businesses are doing for them. According to the Sensis Social Media Report, 2011, most customers are interested in discounts (57%), giveaways (45%), invitations to events (41%) and product information (41%), so maintaining an active, online profile can help improve your relationship with customers.

In 2012, nearly half of social media users were already using a social platform while considering a purchase, and almost the same number said they would consider buying something based on reviews and recommendations left on social media platforms.

Social media is an essential resource for your brand, and its relevance is fast expanding. Your brand’s potential audience on social media is broadening – it’s not just millennials turning to social media, but a third of internet users, aged 65 and over, are also joining in on the networking.

Let your customers be the advocates

Thanks to our Hootsuite integration, you can now share public customer content to your various social networks to help promote your brand. And the best part is that your customer is the one advocating your products and services for you. Sharing real customer experiences not only lets others know how people are enjoying your products, but also draws attention to the aspects of your products or services that are gaining general interest.

Acknowledge your customers when they participate in your campaigns

You put a lot of effort into devising and maintaining your campaigns or shop displays. It’s exciting for both you and your customers when they post that image to social media and actively participate. So let them know that. When a customer admires a display or engages with something set up at your particular location, it’s nice to receive the compliment and continue the conversation.

‍A customer post about an in-store promotion
‍Customer photo of a shop front display window

Delight customers in the moment

When a customer posts to social media, you have the opportunity to engage with them in real time as soon as they do so. For example, in the following photos, both guests have high follower counts and have posted photos of themselves at their respective store locations. With Local Measure, retailers can receive alerts immediately when a high influence guest posts at their store. This allows them to then interact with the customer immediately and further enhance the experience for them.

The retailer might also reply to the social media post in a fun and friendly manner, perhaps offering a discount on the next visit, suggesting accessories that may look good with their purchase, or complimenting their choice of product.

Address customer queries and feedback

Local Measure provides retailers with the ability to reply to posts on multiple social accounts from the one dashboard. This makes it easier for marketing and customer service departments to efficiently address customer concerns and monitor the type of feedback they are receiving. Instead of having to log into multiple accounts, you can reply from the ease of the single dashboard and keep track of what has been said on different platforms.

From here, a staff member can give a detailed answer to the question, but a post like this also provides the brand with the opportunity to suggest other products that the customer might find relevant. When replying, the staff member might offer resources or give advice on cosmetic application techniques. This demonstrates that the brand is happy to engage and offer as much help as they can. By creating conversations with customers you improve relations and inspire loyalty.

Brand risk

Social media is also useful for gauging and preventing brand risk scenarios. For example, in the  post below, a customer posted a photo of the extensive queue outside a shop front. This image provides the retailer with the customer’s experience, as they are waiting outside, and they can then take measures to try and reduce the line or make the wait a little more bearable.

Translating social media information into meaningful, in the moment experiences can radically improve your customer relations in a unique way. By turning those online conversations into offline interactions, you are building rapport between your brand and your customers that counts on multiple levels.