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Cyber Monday: The Top Retailers Ready to Help Customers on Twitter

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Cyber Monday is officially upon us—arriving with ever greater importance. In fact, already this past weekend, an estimated 103 million Americans shopped online, edging out the 102 million people who stuck to the stores. Analysts predict that when all is said and done, social media alone will account for a staggering $15 billion of sales in 2015.

So, as people continue to clamor to find the best deals online, we at Sprout Social wanted to take a closer look at how retailers are responding. We started with a list from the National Retail Federation’s Top 100 Retailers (which, it’s important to note, includes several grocers, restaurants and fast food chains as well as clothing companies and big box stores). We then plugged these retailers’ handles into our proprietary Twitter Comparison Report to get a score that reflects how often brands are pumping out promotional messages relative to how often they are actually responding to customers’ concerns.

While our most recent Sprout Social Index found that most retailers are ignoring customers on social 83% of the time, the 22 retailers highlighted below are prioritizing customer care on Twitter, earning themselves a Sprout Social Engagement Score of 98 or above.

We’ve also called out a few other facts about how America’s top retailers are approaching Twitter—from how many use a separate handle for customer service to how many aren’t even on this important platform at all.

Jump to the data of America’s most responsive retailers.

From Wal-Mart to Wendy’s, Social Standouts on Twitter

So what accounts for these retailers’ exceptional Engagement Scores? In reviewing their Twitter feeds, a few moments stood out.

Wal-Mart: Responding to the Outcry for Pie

After the enthusiastic endorsement from a fan on YouTube, singer Patti LaBelle’s signature sweet potato pies started flying off Wal-Mart shelves. The retail giant couldn’t keep pace with the demand leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday but was quick to issue a response to its Twitter followers, directly from Senior Buyer for Cakes and Pies Kinna Thomas, who promised that the popular product would soon be back in stores.

Nordstrom: Dazzling Audiences With Interactive Products & Promotions

If your product or service requires a bit of explanation, it can be difficult to encapsulate all that needs to be said in a short Tweet. Nordstrom, however, recently stepped up to the challenge. By integrating a Vine video into a DIY feature on Tevas, the retailer piqued its followers’ interest while sparking a lively conversation. At each stage in the lengthy Twitter thread that unfurled, @Nordstrom reps piped in with prompt feedback, providing more context about how the product works as well as where it can be found for purchase.

Target: Welcoming Customer Creativity

The world is abuzz over Adele’s latest album, which just broke the single-week sales record held by NSnyc. Target has played an integral role in driving a bulk of these sales—but it isn’t just promoting the album itself. Through some artful social media monitoring, the retailer recently discovered and then Retweeted an in-store photo of a welcome mat taken by one of its creative shoppers. This promotion of user-generated content invites other Target fans to interact with the brand in a more fun and meaningful way.

Wendy’s: Playing It Cool With a Brand-Adjacent Conversation

There are more “national days” than any level-headed social media manager can keep track of throughout the year. Of course, not every trending day requires a response from your brand, so it’s important to establish guidelines of what aligns with your core product offerings. Wendy’s provides a good example of how to coolly join the conversation without hashjacking a moment that’s totally out of step.

The Gift of Gab: Reaping the Rewards of Richer Engagement

If you want to earn a Twitter Engagement Score of 98 or above like the retailers on our list, it’s time to get talking—and gain a competitive advantage. Consider the following advice:

  • Listen for more than @mentions. Track keywords that alert your team of brand, product or service mentions—time is often of the essence this time of year.
  • Set clear customer expectations. State in your bio when your support team is active—whether that’s 9–5 CST or 24/7—as well as expected response times.
  • Establish short-term benchmarks. Determine reasonable (and unacceptable) response times; measure performance, and adjust staffing throughout the holidays.
  • Rise to specific occasions. Beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday, milestones like last day for promotional pricing and free shipping may result in increased chatter. Most Responsive Retail Brands on Twitter Infographic
    Embed This Infographic:
    <p><strong>”<a href=”http://sproutsocial.com/insights/cyber-monday/”>America’s Most Responsive Retailers on Twitter This Season</a>” by Sprout Social</strong><br /><br /><img src=”http://sproutsocial.com/insights/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Most-Responsive-Retail-Brands-on-Twitter-Infographic2.png” alt=”Most Responsive Retail Brands on Twitter Infographic” width=”640″ border=”0″ /></p>
    This post Cyber Monday: The Top Retailers Ready to Help Customers on Twitter originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers

It's plain to see that B2B marketers, at large, see the value in social media. The latest B2B benchmarking research from CMI and MarketingProfs found that nearly two out of three respondents (61%) increased their usage of social media for content marketing purposes in the previous year. Another new report shows that social content is atop the list of focal areas for B2B marketers in the coming year.

It’s also fair to say, based on various data points and conversations with folks in the biz, that most of us feel we could be doing better with social. The size of the audiences on these platforms make them essential to any digital strategy, but breaking through suppressive algorithms and showing clear ROI is a perpetual challenge for brands.

One pivotal key to excelling with social media marketing is understanding all the tools you have at your disposal. Each platform offers a number of capabilities that seem to be underutilized by marketers who either don’t know they exist, or don’t fully recognize their potential impact.

With this in mind, we’re setting out to highlight some of the most useful yet overlooked features for driving results on social media platforms. Today we're focusing on the channel most pertinent to B2B marketers: LinkedIn*, with its member base of more than half a billion professionals.

Take Notice of These 5 Marketing Tools & Features on LinkedIn

Whether your goal is building brand awareness, generating leads, or boosting conversions, these five fundamental functionalities can provide a big assist if you aren't taking advantage of them already.

#1: Robust (and Now Simplified) Audience Targeting

LinkedIn recently overhauled its Campaign Manager tool (the interface through which marketers build, manage, and measure ads) around an objective-based advertising framework. The basic purpose of this initiative was to make it easier for users to align every element of their campaigns with the overarching objective. One of the slickest improvements to come out of this is the audience setup experience, which is now simpler and more intuitive.

From a B2B marketing perspective, the depth of available professional targeting parameters is by far LinkedIn’s biggest relative advantage compared to other social platforms. Nowhere else can you accurately filter audiences based on facets such as Job Title and Job Seniority. This provides unparalleled ability to reach decision makers and purchase influencers directly.

The revamped interface makes it quicker and more straightforward to select a qualified audience in line with your campaign goals.

[embed]https://youtu.be/AAx60JxxWFg[/embed]

#2: Revamped LinkedIn Analytics

The latest Social Media Marketing Industry Report via Social Media Examiner found more than half of respondents (54%) either uncertain or disagreeing that they are “able to measure the return on investment (ROI) for my organic social media activities.”

This is another area of Campaign Manager that LinkedIn recently spruced up. Given that advertising on this platform tends to be more expensive than other social networks, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting return on that spend. The new reporting experience makes it easier to see results at a glance, and make optimization tweaks on the fly.

The underlying appeal of LinkedIn’s targeting facets also applies to its reporting mechanism; you can get an aggregated look at who is viewing and engaging with your content (i.e., which companies, which job titles, which experience levels). These insights can help you align your LinkedIn strategy and even your content marketing strategy more generally.

#3: Content Suggestions

Can’t figure out what to share on social media? That’s a common enough challenge. The Content Suggestions tab, found on the top nav bar within LinkedIn Page admin center, offers ample inspiration. It serves up a list of third-party articles your defined audience is engaging with — essentially a readily available stream of targeted, trending content.

Not only does this make it easy for marketers and social media managers to find share-worthy content that’s more likely to resonate with their followings, but it can also fuel employee advocacy efforts.

#4: Website Retargeting

Retargeting is a popular digital marketing tactic, which involves serving ads to people who’ve already encountered your brand. The element of familiarity, plus a concrete demonstration of past interest, tends to drive considerably higher clicks and conversions than standard ads.  

Through its Matched Audiences feature, LinkedIn allows you to place a pixel on your company’s website, then serve ads to people who’ve visited it before, while they’re on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to follow up with someone in a different context. One especially savvy approach is to create customized retargeting creative based on the specific section of your site a person visited (i.e., upper-funnel messaging for someone who went to your “About” page, and lower-funnel for someone who checked out a solution page.)

[embed]https://youtu.be/SgXlOH-1pPk[/embed]

#5: Lead Gen Forms

This might be my favorite marketing tool on LinkedIn, and it definitely seems like one that more B2B brands could be utilizing. Lead Gen Forms are leveraged in combination with various types of ads, enabling your company to collect valuable contact info (and additional data about a prospect) from an individual who downloads something of value with minimal friction.

Unlike most gated-asset forms, which require a user to tediously fill out multiple fields, Lead Gen Forms automatically populate based on the member’s LinkedIn profile data. As such, it takes only a couple of seconds to get through the process. Because you’re attaining a more comprehensive snapshot of people who download, you can better qualify them as leads in comparison with other form-fills that often procure only a name, phone number, and email.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Xe1E59N6A&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Step Up Your LinkedIn Marketing Game

LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable components of a holistic B2B marketing strategy. As mentioned earlier, there’s no denying it’s a pricier place to play than most other social networks, but you’re also paying for access to a higher-quality audience. Using the five features above can help you understand, segment, reach, and engage this audience efficiently while closely tracking the impact of your efforts.

Another underutilized tool on LinkedIn is video, which has been a key focus for the platform recently. Learn about all the metrics and specs for video on LinkedIn, as well as every other major social network!

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Social Media Secrets: 5 Under-the-Radar LinkedIn Features for Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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