How To: Encourage Your Customers to Share MORE This Holiday Season

By Gaby Piazza 'Tis the season for holiday shopping – and, of course, for holiday marketing!  The growth for sales driven by social media is increasing at a RAPID pace, and you need to make sure you’re your company has a piece of that pie.  In the next few weeks, packages are coming and going, online orders are being added to shopping carts faster than the blink of an eye, and customers are a completely captive audience, with your product in their hand. For most companies the ultimate goal is to acquire new customers – this will obviously increase the consumer base, drive awareness, and of course amplify sales. However, one thing to keep in mind is that retention is JUST as important as acquisition - the ability to turn one-time customers into lifelong purchasers is where social media marketing can show the most success. How do I know this?

67% of online shoppers spend more AFTER recommendations and "ok's" from their friends. (Internet Retailer, September) Have you ever gone to purchase a piece of clothing and asked your best friend whether or not you should?  If you haven’t, you're either unbelievably self-confident, or you have no friends (sorry). Social media takes friend approval to a whole new level when users share links, photos, videos, websites, etc. on their networks to get approval from their entire community. By making it easy users to share your products to get feedback, they’ll not only be more likely to purchase, but your product will get in front of that many more friends and followers.

83% percent of online shoppers said they are interested in sharing information about their purchases with people they know. People are excited to talk about what they are buying, so


you need to make sure that you encourage them to share their purchase.  This doesn't mean just slapping on a "Share" button on the confirmation page when they order online.  Incentivize them with a call to action to use a pre-designated hashtag for the chance to win a surprise and delight offering anytime they share their purchase. Make sure everytime you ask for something, you are giving them an added value to help your brand.

You also want to make sure you provide consumers with a tangible social call-to-action post-purchase. I recently bought a few bracelets from a brand called Pura Vida.  I have been shopping on their site for a while, but this time, when I received my amazing bracelets, I also received a social request.  The ask was simple and intriguing.  They told me share a picture on their Facebook wall of my bracelets along with the postcard and they would send me another bracelet for FREE!  I IMMEDIATELY shared my picture, wrote a recommendation, and shared it on every social channel that I could.  Pura Vida followed up with by liking my photo on Facebook, liking my Instagram picture, and sent me a confirmation that my free bracelet is on its way.  I personally know that my sharing of these bracelets encouraged THREE of my friends to reach out to me, and then make a purchase from Pura Vida.  If that isn't a fool-proof method to gain sales with extremely little output, then I don't know WHAT is!

What has your brand done to increase the share and post purchase conversation? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

If you're looking for methods to break through the social media clutter this holiday season, download our latest white paper here.