Even though I used to enjoy a little “Mischief Night” when I was much younger, I’ve decided to keep this article on the treat side. Social media can give you tons of treats and benefits if you know which pitfalls and tricks to avoid.
Funsherpa reports that only 50% of travel companies believe that direct bookings are generated from social media. It seems that social media still does not get as much credit as it deserves. Vision Critical is helping to change that as they report social media drives equal amounts of in-store and online purchases. Their findings also point out that 22% of Twitter users purchase a product after tweeting, retweeting or making it a favorite on Twitter. All of your tweeting has not been in vain as you continue to develop a relationship and build connections with your prospects. It is very likely that many folks not yet on the social media bandwagon are not able to properly measure all of the conversions involving social media. I also believe that some brands complaining about social media having poor results might not have the right social strategy in place to fully evaluate the true potential that blogging, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, Instagram and/or YouTube really bring to the table.
I can personally attest to this hunch as my social media at work regularly plucks consumers out of social media thin air, engages with them and helps actually book their reservation. I like to refer to this as social revenue management or social commerce. It has gotten easier to influence social users now that Twitter offers sponsored tweets much like Facebook has done sponsored stories. Datalogix released a study highlighting a 12% lift in sales from users that interacted with promoted tweets versus a control group. This is exciting as you have a chance to influence social users that otherwise might not have seen your promotion. Even regular, non-paid organic tweets saw a solid 8% lift in sales, which confirms that it pays to engage on Twitter.
Once you get to a certain larger volume of customer service issues that flood your Twitter account, I recommend keeping your customer service on a separate account from your marketing on Twitter. This allows you to deal with sometimes negative feedback using kit gloves in real time without having your regular followers bogged down. 30% of top brands have separate accounts according to Social Media Today, which shows that the separation concept is gaining in popularity. But we all can do better as Business Insider tells us that most brands respond to less than 40% of their customer inquiries. That seems embarrassing to me. Would you ever not return an email or phone call from a potential new client or existing customer? Not sure how you can afford to possibly lose a customer by ignoring them on Twitter or Facebook. Not the case for AA, who Social Bakers credits with an impressive 94% response rate on Twitter. The lovely statisticians from Sentiment Media inform us that one third of social media users would rather reach you via social outlets instead of calling your brand on the phone.
Even though from a tactical perspective separate accounts will allow you to deliver better and faster responses, it doesn’t mean that the two are not tied together. New research from Social Media Today shows that 71% of users would recommend your brand to friends after a positive customer service interaction. You can take advantage of excellent social media customer service and turn that into picking up more customers. The bar is currently not set too high since you would be ahead of the pack just by answering half of your social media inquiries!