Driving quality engagement with your social audience increases loyalty and more effectively guides consumers down the path to purchase.
As such, marketers must place a premium on fostering social relationships that add tangible value and incentives to the customer experience.
But how can marketers identify the most effective ways to break through the flood of status updates, tweets, pins, and posts?
Read on for four strategies that marketers can integrate in 2014 to make sure social conversations with your audience hit the mark.
Segmentation is one of the key weapons of the success marketer.
It's allowed them to get the right messages and products to the right people. It's a core part of the marketer’s tool kit.
So what can marketers learn from segmenting their social audiences?
If I had to sum up my year in 140 characters it would read: during 2013 I’ve been having a lot of problems writing snappy, concise and appropriate sub-headlines in my articles for the Econsultancy blog.
There are people out there who are much better at this sort of thing than I am, and to celebrate those experts, Twitter has released an interactive widget that lets you explore the past year’s key trends on Twitter, month-by-month and within various different topics such as news, sport and entertainment.
Click on the image below to see for yourself.
The customer service industry was created by mistake.
It’s been effectively outsourced by many companies (intent only on cost containment) for the past decades, and since the advent of the consumer internet has often been woefully ill-suited to meeting customer needs.
In the recent past we’ve heard plenty about the importance of 'creating a consistent customer experience across multiple channels'.
While that phrase is horrendously buzz-wordy, it’s still undeniably important.
Multiscreen, multi-device customers check and compare prices in store, buy online and talk about their purchases via social media, so making sure each touchpoint effectively serves the user is essential.
But... what happens if a customer only wants to use one channel?
Amazon has yet again come out on top in a customer satisfaction survey, proving that is remains the company to beat when it comes to ecommerce.
And as if to underline just how successful Amazon is at creating an excellent customer experience, it actually came joint first and second in the Foresee study thanks to its .com and .co.uk domains.
It’s not all good news for the ecommerce giant however, as Amazon.co.uk actually saw a two-point decline compared to last year, down from 86 to 84.
John Lewis came third in the study with 79, followed by Apple on 78 and M&S on 77. Unsurprisingly Ryanair came bottom of the pile with just 60 points.
As we're fast approaching the end of the year it's time to round up some of the most interesting stats from Econsultancy's Q4 reports.
In the past few months we've published surveys on customer experience, mobile marketing, and conversion rate optimisation, as well as best practice reports on marketing automation and digital transformation.
To find out more tasty insights from our 2013 reports, check out my round ups of stats from Q1, Q2 and Q3.
And to really indulge yourself in a statistical feast, download our Internet Statistics Compendium...
For anyone thinking of buying online between now and Christmas Eve, one of the biggest questions will be 'can this retailer deliver in time for Christmas?'.
However, many ecommerce sites are still way too vague about this information. This means that people will either decide not to order, or will press ahead and risk disappointment.
With the example of children's onesies (which seem to be like hen's teeth this year), I'll be looking at the approaches of different sites.
Let’s face it, in 2013 Gov.uk has featured in the forefront of many people’s minds as a flag bearer for great design and digital change. Continuing this trend, Thursday last week saw Gov.uk release the next section of its alpha style guide.
If you don’t have a style guide, or you have a fusty old copy in a shared folder no longer in use, or even worse, just a printed copy in a folder, well now is the time to update it and watch standards soar.
This style guide (part of GDS's seven wider design principles) is still being optimised but now includes sections on ‘writing for Gov.uk’, ‘writing for the web’, ‘style points for various content types’ and a ‘transactions style guide’.
It's interesting that Gov.uk realises the style of the guide itself is important. Continuous work on improving navigation and keeping content up to date is as important for the style guide as for the wider site.
If information and guidance isn’t up to date, or the guide is not easily engaged with, errors carried forward will persist.
Let’s take a look at the new style guide and see why it stands out, as well as what you can appropriate for your own organisation’s style guide. I hope you'll agree with me, that when a style guide is done well, it's actually a lot of fun to use, with more prescriptive advice on grammar reading as dead pan as a Stewart Lee gag.
It was a great year for ecommerce and all signs point to an even bigger, even better year come January 1. What’s on the docket? Plenty.
Building on the success of the last 12 months, 2014 will likely signal a comprehensive integration of mobile with traditional brick-and-mortar along with a boom in gamification, personalization and more comprehensive and accessible methods to test and track.
It’s time to raise a glass to what’s going to be a game-changing year.