There is no denying that websites and social media accounts are now the digital storefronts of a business. Based on this, you should be treating these assets like they’re the most important touch point. Social platforms are no longer used to just share moments and stay connected with friends and family. Now, their use has expanded to a space to discover and connect with artists, content creators, organizations, companies, service providers, and brands.
In light of this, recent data from Google suggests that 61% of people expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences. Consumers have shifted the way they shop for products and services, and since social media platforms are developing tools to help businesses and consumers with their shopping experience, it is now easier to meet them where they are in their journey and cater to ever-growing online experiences. The key is to make it as seamless and painless for the consumer to reach, interact, and ultimately do business with you.
How Online Behavior Has Shifted
The shopping experience has shifted from being “uni-channel” to omnichannel, and with the rise of Google search, reviews, and social media, consumers are conducting more research about what they are investing in.
What is the omnichannel experience? Hubspot defines it as the following:
“Omnichannel experience is a multi-channel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers in a way that creates an integrated and cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a customer reaches out.”
According to the Umicore Social media benchmark report 2020,
“The average user has an account on more than 8 different social media platforms and spends an average of 2 hours and 29 minutes using social media each day, and 81% of small and medium businesses have social media accounts.”
This gives businesses a great opportunity to get in front of their consumers, who will find it easier to interact with these brands and content if they are offered opportunities for them to directly interact with them. A great example of this is Twitter and Instagram, where prospective and current consumers can interact with and get quick information from businesses or brands by directly connecting with them and becoming part of their digital community.
A few aspects to always keep in mind while embarking on the omnichannel journey are brand awareness and customer experience and accessibility. Think of these aspects as what the prospect will see and judge, what they will feel and aesthetically digest via your content. They will also judge how in-tune your business is with the digital modern world—whether you possess the level of familiar connectedness your customers want and expect to experience, or whether you make it hard on them to buy your product/service or connect with you. What will they take away with them from interacting with your brand and business? In turn, how will they describe your brand and business in their own words?
Improving the Customer Experience
Here are a few ways to streamline your customer experience on social media:
- Make it easy for them to find you and connect with you. This can be achieved by setting up your social media accounts in a way that anticipates customer interaction, including keeping contact information up-to-date and the website accessible via your social media accounts, having a strong social media presence and interacting with visitors through your content, and replying to direct messages and mentions, all of which make your customers feel seen, heard, and catered to. Brands and businesses are no longer just selling products and services; they are creating experiences and those experiences must be human-centric to create a seamless experience that will help retain customers.
- Consistency in your online presence is vital for your brand identity. Be where your audiences and consumers are, stay current, and grow as your customers and their needs grow. A portion of your audience and consumer base might prefer Facebook, some might prefer Twitter or Instagram, and others might be on Pinterest, so make your customer experience as consistent as possible across all these channels and platforms. Invest in tools, such as Instagram’s shoppable posts or Facebook messenger, so that your customers can easily access your products and services as well as ask questions when needed.
- Don’t underestimate the power of organic content. According to the Umicore Social media benchmark report 2020, “62% of Instagram users say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories and 90% of Instagram users follow a business on the platform.”
Taking all this information in and providing a seamless and connected experience is vital to attracting and retaining your customers. By closing the gap between the trigger and the purchase, existing and potential customers spend less time exposed to competitor brands and return not only for the product or service but for the hassle-free experience that was crafted.