Communication and interaction with customers is changing. Not only do an overwhelming majority of customers actually want to hear from the businesses they frequent, but many of them want these interactions to take place on new channels.
The Square Future of Commerce report found that while 60% of customers want to hear from a business via email, a sizable 46% of customers want to hear from businesses through a social media profile or in their DMs. Since social platforms are a valuable way for businesses to create authentic connections and build trust with customers, it’s worth knowing exactly how to engage with customers on these platforms.
Here are the top-five ways consumers are interacting with businesses on social media profiles, according to Square Future of Commerce data.
1. Community building and trend tracking
The core of social platforms is communication and information gathering, and according to Afterpay data, Gen Z, in particular, relies on social channels to socialize, build identity, and follow and influence trends.
This holds true when it comes to consumers at large interacting with businesses on social channels. Square found that 32% of consumers are using social profiles to follow a business and 24% are liking or commenting on business pages and posts. Another 21% are keeping tabs on trends by watching when a brand they follow does a livestream.
Since social platforms are where early-stage communication and interaction between customers and businesses take place, having a social selling strategy can help build meaningful relationships and long-term loyalty with customers.
2. Two-way communication
One of the biggest advantages for consumers using social media is the quick, two-way communication channels that social media platforms offer. According to Sprout Social, the volume of customers who prefer using social media channels for customer service jumped 110% from 2020 to 2021.
Square found that 24% of consumers sent businesses a direct message on social media platforms in the last 12 months. When done right, businesses can deliver a high-touch customer service experience using social media, whether that’s by quickly responding to posts, answering customer questions via DM, or directly responding to frequently asked questions on their social channels.
3. Feedback and reviews
Consumers trust feedback, testimonials, and customer reviews from people who’ve purchased or tried a product or experience. BrightLocal reported that 46% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family, and Square found that 22% of consumers wrote a review on a business’s social media profile in the last 12 months.
If your business is present on social channels, showcasing your feedback and reviews and giving customers an opportunity to leave their own is essential. After a customer makes a purchase, follow up with them and ask them to leave a review. Use the communication channel that makes the most sense — if they purchased a product on social media, ask them to leave a review via DM or text message.
4. Deals and promotions
The majority of consumers have used a coupon for shopping, and Square found that when it comes to promotions across social channels, 20% of consumers participated in a giveaway or contest, and 20% used a promotion code they saw on a social media post.
When asked why they didn’t shop with a brand over the past 12 months, Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X and older reported a top reason was that no discount or sale was available. Given that consumers are browsing, discovering, and purchasing across social channels, offering deals, digital coupons, and promotions is a way to entice new customers to try your brand and keep loyal customers coming back.
Offering unique, one-time promotion codes across social channels can help your brand stand out. With Square Marketing, you can generate single-use codes to share across social platforms, on websites, and in person.
5. Social commerce
Social commerce is growing: The number of retailers selling goods directly through social channels in 2022 increased 10% year over year from 2021, and Square found that consumers bought an average of four products from social channels in a month.
As consumers spend more time scrolling through products and brands on their phones and younger generations in particular like shopping directly through social media, having a social commerce strategy in place is key to expanding sales and reaching customers where they’re already spending their time.
With tools like Square Social Commerce, businesses can sync their eCommerce stores to social platforms to reach new customers and make sales on social media. Customers can browse all your items at once without leaving the app, and you can accept, manage, and track all social sales and orders from your Square Online site.
Square Social Commerce
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