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Leveraging Social Media to Influence Shoppers


Window shopping is a thing of the past. Instead of oogling over a dress or a pair of shoes in a store front, you’re staring down at your smart phone screen – on the train ride to work, at work, in bed, even in the bathroom.

Taking the place of a physical display in a fancy department store is your favorite brand’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest page. 78% of consumers follow brands on social media* for a number of reasons. From being the first source for new information, to their fun photos, giveaways and coupons – social has taken down the barriers to interacting with a product one on one.

Rather than becoming familiar with it through a 30 second TV spot or a half page magazine ad, consumers can now be friends with a brand. They talk to it, laugh about it, and engage with it on a whole new level.

But in order to create a healthy, long lasting relationship with a product or brand’s audience, there are numerous efforts that are constantly working together, executed by social marketers to successfully influence potential buyers.  Here I’ll discuss two key factors integral to winning over consumers.

Precise Advertising

Running a spot for a commercial about buying baseball equipment during a Phillies game is nothing compared to the targeting and data available through social advertising. Remember all of those accounts you follow or pages you’d liked? Advertisers know! And through those as well as interests, demographics,  locations and more – social marketers can hone in on a specific, relevant audience for their brand, blast users with ads, and get onto the feeds of the people who are the mostly likely to like, care, and buy.

A perfect way to do this is through Facebook Exchange Ads (FBX). FBX knows what you’re up to, what’s in your online shopping cart, and what you’re hunting for. These ads follow you from the moment you throw something in your cart until the the time you successfully check out, reminding you to make that purchase! Whatever product you viewed, or even products associated to what you were looking at, will pop up in your newsfeed numerous times over a specific time frame.

You may have decided to NOT buy the shoes because you have enough pairs already – but FBX knows to remind you that you can never have enough shoes! These ads are short, sweet, and custom-crafted to specifically serve you the item or similar products that you viewed but did not buy. The ads even follow you across devices, popping up no matter if you switch from your tablet to your desktop to your smart phone. Try dodging them – you can’t. And more likely than not, you’ll buy those shoes.

Ads are an effective way to influence shoppers, track growth amongst your platforms, drive visits to your website, and promote products to a precise audience – all while being able to prove a return on investment and attributed revenue.

Branding, Content & Talking the Talk

Social media allows fans to be up close and personal with a product. Marketers craft each social post carefully, with an incentive to buy through branded, tantalizing images, enticing copy, and inspiring, shareable content that reads loud and clear across all devices and platforms.

Social marketing forces brands to put all of their cards on the table through their platforms. If they’re saying that they’re a product for young people – their content, updates, and voice must be reflective of that, with messaging that caters to their tone.  Otherwise, they risk turning off an audience and in essence, turning away potential buyers. Whether consumers are there to comment, look for coupons, enter a giveaway, or just take a look at products – they should see loud and clear what the message, tone, and voice of a product is.

Think of it this way: Everything a brand makes, posts, says or shares is influencing shoppers to buy.  Every like, share, or comment is someone that could potentially make a purchase. Therefore, a relevant, highly specific advertising campaign, backed by a uniform, cohesive strategy and a loud & clear consistent social presence is crucial, and speaks volumes to consumers. It shows them that a brand has got it together – and presents their best side to fans that can quickly turn into loyal consumers.

Take your business’s social media strategy to the next level by downloading this complimentary checklist, 15 Steps to Social Success.


All the best,

Julia Giacoboni is a Social Media Team Leader at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.