Using Social Data to Attract more Customers

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“Social data is an important tool for driving brand awareness and for creating customer acquisition strategies. Businesses can find new customers by focusing on audiences that are engaging with the competition,” – Mashable.com

Modern business enterprises leverage multiple technologies and technology platforms in the commercial pursuit of attracting new customers. The use of social data is considered crucial because it enables businesses to gather detailed information about modern customers. Social data can emerge in the form of website visits, event registrations, online reviews, social media posts, answered questions, etc. The importance of such information stems from the fact that social data allows companies to generate specific content, personalized marketing campaigns, and targeted messaging. In the following paragraphs, we will examine some of the uses of social data in the expansion of a company’s customer base.

Brands and businesses can choose to ally with their customers on social media platforms in an effort to generate social data. We note that this technique essentially empowers brands to widen their customer base by staying in touch with existing customers and being responsive to customer inputs. For instance, a quick service restaurant brand can activate said strategy on multiple social media platforms. This enables the business to create and sustain a vibrant brand image, while staying connected to customer trends and views. Brand managers at said business can monitor and decipher customer requirements and subsequently engage in online conversations. A plethora of such social activities may win the business online referrals and help it to attract new customers.

Commercial operators can use landing pages and information nuggets collected by their websites in a bid to generate social data. For instance, an apparel business can track the habits of its online visitors and compile the information in its bid to drive business insights. The social data may reveal that most customer browse through the website but a majority of visitors frequent the discounted good sections. This information indicates important trends in customer behaviour. Subsequently, the business may choose to expand the said sections on its website in a bid to drive sales and to attract additional customers to the website. Further, business managers may elect to deploy such business insights to refine and reinforce future marketing strategies. In addition, the business may choose to use such social data to clear its inventory of merchandise.

Social media is a modern enabler that can enable brands to generate fresh and consistent volumes of social data. This technique hinges on the fact that most modern customers operate a presence in multiple social media platforms. Therefore, brands and businesses should exert themselves to create an emphatic social media presence. Brand managers can embark on the next step by organizing contests for the benefit of social media followers. We note that such devices can create substantial marketing ‘buzz’ and attract the attentions of fans and random social media entities. The frenzy of online participation enables sponsors to gain valuable online mileage and harvest large volumes of social data. In addition, the widespread participation from online audiences drives higher numbers of new customers. That said, we note that brands and businesses may assign a timetable to such online activities in a bid to boost their brand presence in social media.

Inviting audience participation spotlights another effective strategy of harvesting social data in the pursuit of a larger number of customers. For instance, brands and businesses can invite members of online audiences to help develop a new business logo. This strategy hinges on audience participation and therefore, brands and businesses can drive audience awareness and excitement by creating marketing campaigns for both online and offline markets. Websites and social media handles can be deployed to collect the artistic efforts from a variety of audiences. The outcomes of such campaigns can be widely publicised in an effort to boost brand mileage and to absorb the customer dollars of new customers.

Trade shows, marketing events, and concerts attract massive online audiences throughout the calendar year. Therefore, brands and businesses can target these commercially relevant events with a certain amount of brand participation. Event visitors and guests can offer ‘sound bites’ and brief interactions in a bid to generate live electronic content. The said content can be live cast on social media handles, brand websites, and on television – thereby generating significant marketing momentum for said brands and businesses. We note that these activities help to generate a certain amount of capital in the form of social data, thereby creating grounds for new customers to gravitate towards these brands and businesses. A variant of this strategy can be activated when a brand chooses to so-host or so-sponsor certain events in trade shows and marketing events in a bid to raise its commercial profile.

Modern business enterprises can generate and deploy personalized emails that are mated to publicly available social data in a bid to generate business from new customers. For instance, a brand can leverage customers’ location data to fashion marketing materials and deliver them via email in a bid to discover new customers and new customer segments. We note that this strategy may require inputs from a variety of market and electronic sources. However, it can be expertly crafted to deliver the desired outcomes. Further, these campaigns can be refined with time in a bid to boost the discovery of new customers, thereby catering to primary business requirements.

Brands and businesses can choose to humanize their business image in a bid to pursue long-term and overarching business goals. To that end, a brand can choose to gather and compile legitimate social data from a variety of online resources such as search engines, blogs, social media, website landing pages, online surveys, etc. This surfeit of information can be used to construct a distinct customer persona for the benefit of marketing machines. We note that such persona compilations can be a perpetual activity, given the incremental volumes of information available on the open Internet. The net outcomes of such highly targeted marketing campaigns can empower the business to boost sales and profit margins, while significantly boosting the chances of attracting new customers.

A close examination of competitors’ followers can enable a brand or business to expand its customer base. For instance, a cookie manufacturer can choose to court its competitors’ followers on social media and offer them trial offers of high-value merchandise. We note that this strategy indicates a direct communication with certain customers, but it can enable a business to expand its customer following. Social data can be harnessed to achieve direct business outcomes for brands that adopt such a strategy. In addition, the said cookie manufacturer can elect to upsell to the prospective customers referred to above.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of customer acquisition strategies that hinge on social data. We note that these strategies can be refined with time and firms can expand their ambit to include new, evolving streams of social information. That said, we underline the fact that brand managers must gain skill sets that make them adept at mining and deploying social information in the pursuit of corporate objectives. The future of the online medium and the digital domain is enmeshed and therefore, brands and businesses must gear themselves to extract the maximum mileage from these entities.

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