Accelerating the Shopper Journey With Community Management

Now more than ever, shoppers are looking for more than just customer service from brands on social media. In fact, 76% of U.S. shoppers will end up purchasing something they’ve discovered from a brands’ social posts. But the biggest strength of social media may lie in what happens after that purchase.

Social media is evolving from social customer service—which focuses on one-on-one customer care and support—to social community management—which drives broader brand connections and consumer-to-brand relationships. This shift can help increase brand loyalty and advocacy as simply replying to a message can increase brand advocacy by as much as 20%.

As mentioned above, community management extends beyond customer service. It is the way a brand comes to life on social. It is the tone, the personality, and the manner in which a brand interacts with potential shoppers on a day-to-day basis. Below, we’ve laid out three examples of how social community management helps brands and retailers drive sales and retain shoppers.

#1: Social Community Management Can Spark Product Trial

According to a recent study from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business on social commerce, 88.2% of U.S. companies are using social for brand awareness and brand building. 64.7% are using it to introduce new products and services.

Community management provides an opportunity to supplement the information and content that’s being pushed out around these pillars. As shoppers inquire about new product lines, responding to comments and pushing them directly to product locators or product pages is a perfect way to spark trial.

#2: Social Community Management Can Inspire Advocates

When brands entered the social world, there was a large hunt for “brand love,” and creating a loyal brand advocate super force was the primary goal. Though social commerce has far evolved from this original outlook, shoppers are turning to social more and more to find information about products and discover new brands, so the need for advocates remains steady.

A recent study by Hubspot noted that shoppers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Being in-tune with social conversation and noting when your brand is recommended to potential new shoppers by your existing fan base provides the opportunity to continue to inspire advocates and increase revenue.

A great way to do this is through rewarding loyal followers. You can surprise and delight them by sending branded swag, free products, or personalized gifts.

Rewarding existing advocates not only inspires them to continue share their brand love and recommendations, but also inspires other shoppers to act as advocates too.

#3: Social Community Management Helps Build Brand Loyalty

In the event that you have sparked trial and transformed a new shopper into an advocate for your brand, it’s important to note that your job isn’t over.

A recent report by CrowdTwist noted that 43.5% of millennials use social media to share products or services they like, and that these shoppers expect prompt responses when messaging their favorite brands. When they don’t receive a prompt response, 1 in 3 shoppers will go to a competitor. 

Staying on top of responding to messages that include brand praise as well as liking, commenting, and sharing user-generated content is a great way to keep current shoppers purchasing your products.

While these three ways to enhance community management will help you accelerate the shopper journey, it’s important to remember that social media is constantly evolving. Community management is just one piece of the puzzle to selling through social.

Contributed By: Cheyenne Lohman, Social Media Manager, Integer Denver
Image Source: Unsplash