With the onslaught of marketing messages bombarding them each day, connected consumers are increasingly looking to peer reviews and word of mouth marketing to support their journeys down the purchase funnel – so much so that 74% of consumers rely on their social networks to make purchase decisions (ODM Group). Social media continues to emerge as an increasingly effective avenue for driving traditional marketing KPIs, with companies reporting 2.1X higher customer acquisition rates for visitors acquired through social referrals (ShopSocially).
Brands like PC World and Boyd Gaming are generating 3-6 referrals per social share (Gigya) by implementing comprehensive sharing strategies, proving that empowering consumers to syndicate your content, products and services across their social networks is key in social commerce success. Modern marketers must learn how to maximize social sharing, or risk missing out on potential customers. Here are 3 best practices for optimizing social sharing to increase customer acquisition.
1. Put social sharing front and center.
The social sharing buttons at the bottom of your blog should suffice to drive referral traffic and conversion rates, right? Wrong!
Sharing buttons must be placed prominently across consumer touch points and experiences, including landing pages, emails, reviews and Facebook tabs.
Responsive design is also a key ingredient in social sharing success, with 44% of adult consumers under 35 visiting websites on their mobile phones each week, 44% of total email opens now happening on mobile (Experian), and 40% of cell phone users accessing social networks via smartphone (Pew).
2. Make sharing engaging and rewarding.
Offering consumers rewards for social sharing is an obvious way to boost share volume, but making social sharing part of a larger, engaging user experience is a more effective way to grow repeat shares over time. Incorporate sharing into immersive interactive strategies like gamification and contests, where users can compete for social prestige and work toward earning virtual and/or real-life rewards by syndicating content, purchases, and favorite products.
Gamification is proven to increase valuable on-site actions like social sharing by up to 29% (Gigya), and giving users the option to share gamification achievements and contest wins provides further brand exposure.
3. Leverage event-based sharing.
Prompt consumers to share specific, valuable actions at opportune moments, like after a purchase is made, a coupon is redeemed, or a review is submitted. Not only does this type of event-based sharing increase share rates by as much as 4X (Gigya), but it also puts users’ most influential and impactful site actions front and center across users’ news feeds and timelines. By allowing users to login to your site or app using their existing social media accounts, you can also request permission to auto-post specific events to users’ Facebook timelines via Facebook Open Graph.
Social sharing is becoming an increasingly effective and necessary solution for driving brand awareness, referral traffic and conversions. Stop leaving customers on the table and start optimizing your web properties for strategic social sharing.
What thoughts, questions, or additions do you have? Feel free to comment below!
Rachel Serpa is Content Marketing Manager at Gigya, where she helps spread the word about social infrastructure via blogs, white papers and social media. You can reach her by tweeting @gigya or dropping her a line on the Gigya blog.