How to Increase Sales on Social Media Using Sensory Marketing
Social commerce takes place when revenue is generated through a social media channel- even hotel, travel bookings!
The key piece of every social commerce definition that Google turns up is the revenue generation part, aka sales.
Ahhh, sales- the engine to our business
In the past years, social media’s role was once only brand building and customer engagement. It has now become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to driving hotel bookings all on its own.
As online travel sales continue to skyrocket, the sales landscape has visibly changed.
Now more than ever, sales are occurring directly through social media marketing.
How’s that for a new addition to your key business performance metrics?
For a long time, the question on every digital marketer’s mind has been “How do we create a sensory experiences in a social commerce world?”
Using Social Media for Sensory Marketing
Creating an experience online is dubbed “online sensory marketing” and it is vital to tapping into the emotions that many guests have before they even arrive at your hotel. According to U.S Travel, 4 out of 5 domestic trips taken are for leisure purposes (80%).
Face it, people love to travel and our efforts need to be on creating a sensory experience before they ever get to lay in the silk sheets!
Resorts such as, The Lake House Guest Cottages of the Berkshires, are utilizing social channels to captivate eager viewers that are craving a getaway.
With a simple leverage on Facebook’s call to action button- we are putting front and center- Book Now!
We want you to stay with us and will make it easy to do so- already you eliminate the stress they feel.
But it gets better:
There are a number of ecommerce platforms that automatically connect your booking abilities to your Facebook store.
So easy, right!
Guests are able to get right on to your booking page immediately. Let that sink in for a second.
Here is a quick step by step to customize your Facebook CTA
Facebook even provides insights on the button’s activity that point you in the right direction for upcoming strategies and campaigns. Plus, you can change it’s function along with your changing campaigns.
Leverage Messenger for Sensory Marketing
Guests deserve fast response times- think of messenger as your front desk concierge. Prospective guests can reach out through Facebook messenger and receive a personal note to answer their questions.
With the resourceful responses, you are further establishing an experience prior to them walking through the doors!
Using messenger to offer customer service, booking support, room service and guests requests is a game changer whether you are a large resort or an Airbnb!
Pinterest for Social Commerce
You can customize your guests booking experience the same way you would on your website by:
- Highlighting popular packages (Valentines Day anyone!)
- Featuring Events
- Showcasing Specials
We are driven by images- we want to travel based on a photograph and pose in front of beautiful landscapes to share with our following. Tapping into Pinterest and Instagram to allow imagery to resonate with your guests has been one of the fastest growth strategy of tourism boards.
Shared on National Geographic, the New Zealand tourism board invited influencers to post their adventures. The result was a 14% increase in tourism growth.
How to Leverage Sensory Marketing Online
1. The Power of Positive Reviews
Reviews have always been around, but the power of the social media review is undeniable.
Between the digital “word of mouth” impact and the organic SEO impact, reviews on social media are more important than ever.
A whopping 90% of consumers think reviews are more important than any information provided by a salesperson.
If that weren’t enough:
Most consumers say they trust these reviews as much as they do personal recommendations made by friends and family.
And check this out:
4 out of 5 consumers reverse their purchase decisions based on negative reviews.
Influencers to capture sensory marketing
Influencer campaigns done right are incredibly powerful.
Making them succeed relies on your willingness to:
- Do the legwork up front,
- Set clear partnership guidelines,
- Serve as a project manager,
- …and provide support.
3. Make Video Your Best Asset
Video has absolutely obliterated every other content type on social media when it comes to user engagement.
A HubSpot report showed that social media users say they pay closest attention to videos—more than images, games, articles and podcasts.
Cisco says that online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.
It’s important to note that social media users are consuming video, on average, for six seconds or less.
Therefore, you better be creating content that gets your whole point across real quick!
4. Retargeting for More Conversions
If I had a dollar for every time someone complained about being followed around the internet by a product they googled—I’d be retired.
That’s because retargeting data is more capable (aka annoyingly effective) than ever.
How is it a proven tactic that works? Take a quick look:
A potential guest visits your site but leaves without converting.
You create a retargeting campaign on social media to win them back.
As they later check their social media channels, you get their attention back with ads about the hotel they viewed before.
Boom! You convert a prospect into a guest.
Retargeting functionality is super robust and getting better every day.
Social commerce and retargeting are a match made in heaven.
You can significantly increase the ROI on your retargeted ads by A/B splitting them.
Social media is unlike any other medium.
It is the only B2C platform that truly allows businesses to nurture their relationship with guests 24/7.
Put simply, it’s those relationships that are leveraged into bookings.
The way brands engage with their community is the key to success with any of the social commerce trends.
In addition, smart brands know to maximize each platform’s capabilities based on their foundational function—their social function.
The very best brands on social media are adept at building customer loyalty (recurring bookings) through what feels like personal relationships.
Leveraging social media for maximum ROI will always come down to engagement.
Place great ads.
Run the most exciting specials.
Hire the best influencers.
…But here’s the kicker:
If you aren’t engaging with users (for example, replying to comments on your ads), you’re missing the mark.
Leveraging social media commerce trends to convert bookings can be done in a number of ways:
- Generating positive reviews for digital “word of mouth” and SEO purposes
- Building a strong influencer network and engaging with their communities
- Creating relevant video content with the important stuff at the beginning
- Utilizing retargeting capabilities so users never stop seeing you
- Streamlining the “Book-Now” experience via in-platform CTA
And while all of the above ways are relevant strategies, none will generate maximum ROI if you aren’t also engaging consistently with your community.
How will you leverage sensory marketing in a social commerce world with your marketing?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated for freshness,accuracy, and comprehensiveness.