You’re up early, it’s a beautiful, balmy summer’s day and you’re headed to the beach with your gang, later you’re going for a hike, then sundowners, dinner, and for the revelers, a night on the tiles.
All of these activities are social and you are likely making plans, making choices and communicating through a number of social networks, liking, posting, uploading, sharing, commenting, tweeting, and retweeting as you go. In essence your online activities are social and mobile. Your laptop remains firmly in your bag – that’s work right – and your comms time is spent on your phone and on your tablet or iPad.
Summer is just around the corner, and with that the holidays, where our behaviour becomes more socially driven. With this comes the opportunity for brands to deliver marketing campaigns that will capture some of the increased spending and brand interaction during the holiday season – and if they are clever they will have directed it to social and mobile ad spend.
You might trick yourself that you’ll have a ‘digital detox’ once you leave the office for vacation but “relapse” to Internet usage is unavoidable. While you may be physically away from your computer, it’s hard to stay away from surfing the web on your mobile – whether it be sharing holiday photos, checking where your friends are hanging out, or looking for shopping discounts. South Africans are never truly offline, with nearly eight million of us accessing the Internet through our mobile phones.
For social media in particular, there is a vast percentage (13% penetration of population. Ref Social Bakers) of the population using Facebook with approximately six million Facebook users in South Africa (ref World Wide Worx). Facebook presents a mechanism for companies to have a dialogue with their customers and market their products.
Furthermore, in general, 65% of Facebook users only use the site when they’re not at school or work. The extra hours of summer playtime leads to increased time spent by people on social media, providing businesses with the timely opportunity to engage and attract these potential customers.
There are many ways to sincerely incorporate your brand into your customers’ conversations on Facebook. Here are some practical steps to optimise your brand’s social marketing this holiday season.
Establish integrated Brand Awareness: Start creating a context for engagement before the height of the buying season to generate demand for your products. Spread information about your specific offers or products across all your media channels to ensure that your customers are exposed to your message consistently. The customers that were initially engaged will help spread the momentum and encourage others to purchase too.
Utilise Promotions: After you have the initial awareness of your offering, it is time to get your customers to act. While customers are aware of your product, promotions provide a heightened incentive for them to interact. A specific campaign over this period that is incentivized with prizes provides customers more reason to buy now and generate real sales rather than just the awareness (which you should have already built on).
Activate the Last-Minute Shoppers: The value of last-minute impulsive shoppers should not be overlooked. These shoppers are reached more easily through mobile and social where they can receive and process information on-the-go and make decisions, which are endorsed and referred to by their friends.
Facebook pages for companies, at the most basic level, can provide brand details and act as an informational resource for customers. Applications, such as promotions and idea generation, take this interaction to the next level to generate engagement and activation of customers. The majority of Facebook applications are not fully optimised for mobile, but the local social marketing solution evly provides a range of off-the-shelf and customisable apps optimized for effective use on any device.
David Allardice is marketing director of evly.