If you run marketing or sales for a beauty brand or retailer and you’re not using social intelligence analytics to understand, serve and grow your customers, think again! Here are some tips:
How can I use social media to spot beauty trends ahead of everyone else?
Imagine for a moment you have a crystal ball. In it, you see every woman in the country. You know exactly what she’s thinking about her beauty challenges, the products she uses, and your beauty brand. You would know about her lifestyle, her opinions, her buying habits and who influences her decisions.
And with that crystal ball, you’re also capturing her conversations with her friends – and their friends. You know, at a glance, what trends are resonating – and why, where and how.
Think about how valuable those insights would be to you.
Being first, right and predictive about beauty trends is a huge competitive advantage, especially in a crowded marketplace where winning influential and loyal ambassadors – to build brand equity, innovate products, and attract new customers – is everything.
At your fingertips are millions of social conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr blogs, Instagram and other platforms. And within those, there is ‘information gold’ about consumer motivations, buying habits, preferences, influences and so much more – if, that is, know where, how and why to look, and how to turn those insights into actionable outcomes.
What’s in a Tweet? (Or how can we find the value in all the social babble?)
If you think of Twitter as a lot of irrelevant, uninteresting and repetitive noise, you’re not alone. Not all of those 650 million daily Tweets and Re-Tweets are valuable to you.
But in all that ‘info-besity’ there are powerful business growth hormones.
The art (and profit) is discovering and harnessing the few that count, and how they count.
For instance, how can targeted ‘social intelligence’ insights help an upstart new skincare line get on the shelves of Saks, Neiman Marcus or Henri Bendel?
A briefcase full of data-driven proof of growing traction with enthusiastic customers that fit the store’s target psychographic is very persuasive. At Verifeed, for instance, we can tell you exactly what your customers are saying about your brand, what they love about it, how they use it – and who they talk to about it.
By filtering, parsing and patterning conversations in real-time around targeted phrases, keywords, geo-location and more, we can also see who is influencing the conversation, how influential they are across social platforms, and what their ‘amplification quotient’ will be in driving earned media, conversions and sales. Then we can translate all that social data into a compelling ‘no-brainer’ for the store buyer, who now has numbers to prove your line is a low-risk, high-reward, promotable and profitable addition to their inventory.
Who’s an “influencer” and why should I care?
Did you know that 82% of all purchasing decisions are made based on what “people like me” say about a product or service on social media? Or that people are 12 times more likely to trust content (and calls to action) generated by regular people rather than direct from the brand? And according to new research from FinancesOnline.com, 53% of women (compared to 36% of men) access deals for brands through social media.
It pays to know who is going to influence a woman to buy (or not buy) your product, and social intelligence has become a vital tool now that advertising and marketing is being turned on its head by targeted ‘word of mouth’ marketing driven in large measure by social conversation.
Target a few key energetic ‘influencers’ who will happily amplify your message to their friends – and you’ll be driving high-impact and low-cost conversions.
At Verifeed, for instance, we identify a brand’s influencers, monitor their sentiment and other key qualitative indicators of their enthusiasm, loyalty, expertise, lifestyle, and more, and then go further to analyze their impact on conversations. How often do they start conversations, change the subject, and change opinion? How many followers or friends do they have? Do they drive a lot of re-tweets, re-blogs or likes? It gets more interesting: Who are their friends, and how active and influential are they? If one of your customers is re-tweeted by a leading beauty blogger, you know she has influence.
This process allows us to map out what we call the “amplification quotient”: If you target 50 loyal customers, we can project out your word-of-mouth ‘earned media’ reach over time. So for instance, 100 people may get you to 100,000 key targeted new customers.
How can my brand use social data to improve content marketing?
Establishing an emotional connection with your customers is vital to any 2.0+ marketing strategy. That’s about telling a good story – and better yet getting your customers to tell your story by telling their stories. The more personally relevant the message, the more engaging and conversational the content, the more conversions you will drive.
Every consumer is an individual and has come to expect individual attention from brands. They want content that is relevant to their daily lives, experiences, circumstances and interests. And they want a conversation.
That’s why social intelligence is so vital in knowing how to customize or personalize your brand’s content to different folks across different platforms. Of course personalization and effective user generated content is more easily said than done.
For instance, what might resonate to Pinterest aficionados is likely different from what will work on Twitter or Tumblr, and what works with women in Las Vegas will be different in Washington D.C. or Cedar Rapids, IA, and different again depending on age, lifestyle and budget.
So it’s important to know as much as possible about your customers’ (and would-be customers’) personas on each social network – so you can best tailor your messages and content accordingly. Yet another thing behavioral analytics applied to social listening can accomplish so you can be more proactive about customizing native content for the right people on the right platform at the right time.
And if you also understand your ‘influencers’ you can get them to tell your story. Rewarding your customers by engaging them in content creation and messaging is a powerful driver of ongoing goodwill and viral adoption.
What do you think?
Please share your experiences using social media to market your brand, and better yet if you are among the growing numbers using social data intelligence, what you have learned. I’d love to hear about your experiences and thoughts on the blog! Thanks. Catch up with me on LinkedIn or Twitter @Veriate.
See this blog post also on Cosmoprof.