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Social Media for E-Commerce Marketing

With more than 3 billion people using social media each month worldwide, there’s never been a better time to engage with customers through social platforms. There are obvious benefits: Increased exposure, brand awareness, access to direct customer feedback, and a real chance to get to know your customers. But with social media conversion at only 1.81% compared to email’s 4.29%, can your venue use social media to convert, and if so, how?

Social media gives identity to a brand. It offers a human interface where customers and prospects can interact with customer service in a way that no other traditional marketing can. This gives venues the chance to showcase ideals and values and get to know the customer in a much more individual way. According to Smart Insights, the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year and these users represent a huge opportunity for marketers to target based on online behaviour and preferences.

Social media advertising is cost-effective too. Organic reach costs nothing, yet the networks are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a potentially unlimited reach. According to Kingston Webworks, social media is a more effective way to reach and target consumers than billboards, direct mail, broadcast TV, radio or print media. Citing figures from LinkedIn, the technology company says that while direct mail advertising to 1,000 people costs around $57, it is possible to reach the same number of people on social media for only $2.50.

Social media in 2018 is a highly complex place full of analytics, statistics, trends and behaviours, all valuable to marketers. Whether optimal times of engagement, likes and reactions, demographics, click through rates or referral traffic, everything is tracked.

So what are the benefits of social media and how can you use social platforms to promote your venue?

Here are 6 ways social can work for you:

1. It’s a great way to nurture leads
Social media makes is easy to engage and interact with your audience, establishing a two-way relationship between your venue and the consumer. This builds trust, and trust can produce conversions. A 2016 report by emarketer showed that of the social media platforms, 95.8% of social media marketers felt that Facebook gave the best ROI.

Recent statistics published by disruptiveadvertising.com said that 64% of online shoppers agree that a video on social media helped them decide on a purchase, while 43% of online stores receive significant traffic from their social media pages.

Social platforms also offer a place to establish your venue as an industry thought-leader. As well as publishing adverts for your products, services and events, you can promote blogs, video blogs and other content, offering valuable information and establishing a relationship with between customer and brand. This inbound marketing approach generates interest among your audience, making them more likely to convert.

You can even offer simple add-on purchases during after click-through. A customer clicking on an event-ticket advert could, for example, combine the booking purchase with a parking reservation, and perhaps a retail offer or experience.

None of this has ever been possible with traditional media. Social media advertising allows a customer to click on a product or make a booking as soon as they see the advert, which is a powerful way to nurture leads and move them through the sales and booking funnel.

2. It’s the ultimate personalised experience
Nearly 68% of time spent on social media platforms is now on mobile. A customer’s mobile screen and personal social media habits are very much becoming associated with personal space, even being called an extension of self. This means advertising has never been closer to its audience.

Meanwhile, despite concerns over privacy, customers are increasingly attracted to personalised marketing. Adobe found that 78% like personalised adverts, while Yahoo said that consumers find them more engaging (54%), educational (52%), time saving (49%) and memorable (45%) than non-targeted adverts.

Personalisation can stretch to great customer service too, and this in turn leads to ongoing relationships and greater customer lifetime value. According to disruptiveadvertising.com, 77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet receives a response. This single statistic underlines the importance of social media as a method for engaging with customers on an individual level.

3. You can increase brand awareness
Frequent, unique, good quality social media posts lead to increased brand awareness simply because people are interacting with your content. Each post that is shared introduces a new network of potential customers. In fact, 91% of marketers claim that social media marketing greatly increased exposure for their business.

4. Lead more people to your venue’s website
Social media posts and adverts are a great way to drive traffic to your venue’s website. When you share quality content such as a video or blog, readers will engage as soon as you publish a new post.

Open a conversation with your audience. A regular Twitter social chat, which you can set up, for example, as a weekly event, can be a positive way to increase your visibility, showcase your venue and drive traffic to your website. Rather than focusing on promotional messages, a social chat should offer value to your audience, but do ensure that your website address is included in all of your social profiles so that people can learn more about you with a single click. You could use a pinned post on social media to lead people to a landing page on your website that’s relevant to the chat.

In order for website visits to convert, it must be fully optimised for mobile and feature a user-friendly checkout. An integrated online booking system like Rezcomm Shop will provide a seamless, brand-matched, fully secure e-commerce platform where clicks can quickly become conversions.

This in turn allows you to capture valuable customer data and incrementally increase revenue potential in the long-term.

5. You can partner with influencers
An influencer is a person who has built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise in a certain field. This person posts regularly about that topic and generates a large number of highly engaged followers who pay attention to their views. Social media influencers can create trends and encourage their followers to buy the products they promote.

The majority of influencers are celebrities, bloggers, content creators, industry experts, thought leaders and micro influencers, with the latter becoming more important. While celebrities were the ‘original’ influencers, their influence is waning.

Bloggers and social media influencers have an authentic and active relationship with their fans. This can be harnessed by any brand that partners with an influencer. Research by Nielsen, Carat and YouTube found that partnering with an influencer has the potential to offer your brand four times more lift in brand awareness than simply collaborating with a celebrity.

Remember: Between 20% and 50% of purchasing decisions are driven by word of mouth. When people start talking about your products, services or venue on social media, you set yourself up for more sales.

6. You can convert!
1 in every 10 online purchases comes from social channels, 78% of consumers surveyed say that a brand’s social media posts influence their purchases. For these reasons, a massive 97% of global share companies use social media.

Some social media ideas for venues:

  • Engage in storytelling to sell your event space. Remember you are marketing to event planners. They want to transform that space to fit their needs. By telling the story of different events in your venue you will help planners to visualise their own event

  • Hashtags are a great way to build social media presence, and using your own unique hashtag can be a game changer. Create a personalised hashtag for your venue and include it in every post, encouraging your followers and visitors to do the same. On Instagram, this will mean that every tagged photo will show in your profile making it easy for clients to see the potential of your venue.

  • Use social selling tools such as dynamic adverts and social media ecommerce intergrations to sell products and services direct from your social media channels.

  • An active blog offers clients and visitors inside information about what your venue offers. This is a great way to show off your venue’s selling points. Event reviews, client or team interviews and live, behind-the-scenes video are all good places to start.

Social media marketing requires creativity, thought, time and effort. But paired with specialist e-commerce tools that offer social integration tools to facilitate easy direct bookings, it offers a strong online presence, good visibility and powerful customer interaction. A good social media strategy will pay off in establishing your venue and growing revenue for the ongoing success and growth of your business.

**If you would like to speak to Rezcomm about our integrated e-commerce and booking software or if you would like help with your venue’s marketing strategy contact the team today. **

Victoria Wallace

Victoria Wallace

Director of Digital at Rezcomm, Victoria specialises in Digital marketing, CRM, digital design, UI, UX, email marketing, airports, innovation, technology, travel, parking, eCommerce.

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