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Twitter’s tips for converting social shoppers

In the never-slowing world of social media, there are thousands of interaction opportunities being created for retailers and brands on a minute-by-minute basis. However, its fast pace also means that social commerce strategies can be thrown out the window pretty much as soon as the ink is dry.

How can retail organisations tap into what’s hot on social media right now, to gain traction with online shoppers? Speaking at Retail Week Live 2016, Bruce Paisley, VP Europe for Twitter, shared some of his insights.

Video is very much king on social networks. The volume of videos posted online has grown 220 x over the past 12 months, and it’s driving social media users to consume a lot more vertically orientated content. This is only going to proliferate further, as last week Twitter announced a new integration with GoPro.

In fact, all content is becoming more visual. Tesco personified this with the launch of its recent #FeelGoodCookbook campaign on Twitter, which features tantalising short videos and ‘swipeable’ recipes, to create a really immersive online experience.

So a picture (or a video) really does tell a thousand words online, but getting the format right is only part of the story. The success of a campaign also depends on releasing that content at the right moment.

Bruce recommends tracking conversations online, to see when consumers are most receptive to social media messages. Going back to the example of Tesco’s cookbook, an analysis of Twitter activity shows there are 550,000 tweets mentioning healthy living words each week, versus 1 million ‘indulgent’ word posts.

These are inversely proportional as well; ‘good’ tweets peak on a Monday and decline, while indulgence posts gain momentum towards the weekend. Based on this, Tesco is best off promoting its wellbeing recipes at the start of the week.

Knowing your audience doesn’t just apply to timing, either. Twitter has an armoury of marketing tools that can help retailers and brands create relevant interactions – such as dynamic tweets, which target a company’s previous purchasers with customised special offers. These appear in their timeline, and only incur a charge if the social media user engages with the tweet.

Equally, Twitter has the capability to hyperlocalise messaging, tailoring campaigns around a specific audience based on their location.

Keeping up with social media users means being agile and relevant, testing and learning continuously, and seizing the opportunity to make ‘soft interactions’ that nurture retailer/consumer relationships, as well as striving for direct sales opportunities.

The social networks themselves are always updating functionality to meet evolving consumer needs, so it’s important to keep abreast of new layouts, features and functionalities. Just this month, Twitter has released 3 new updates – read our article, keeping up with the latest Twitter features – to find out more.


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