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Social media has increasingly become the driving force in connecting businesses with their customers without anyone in the middle. Succeed, and companies can generate fast returns. Make a mistake, and would-be customers will know about it quickly and risk a company’s long-term reputation. There are many things direct-to-consumer (D2C) retailers can do to find success through social media. Effective last-mile delivery wraps nicely into this strategy for those selling a physical product, as you’ll see below.
How Big is D2C?
It is predicted that, “US direct-to-consumer ecommerce sales will reach $151.20 billion in 2022”. And according to Falcon.io, 61% of D2C brands now use social media marketing to reach their audience. Those who have always lived in a world with technology are increasingly influential, which inevitably suggests D2C will get more significant in the coming years, as will social media. D2C brands that have found success on social media have primarily done so by staying distinctive and authentic with their targeted campaigns.
Four Ways D2C Find Success through social media
No matter what a company is selling, those on the top remain at the pinnacle by finding ways to stand out. D2C brands seem to understand that building thoughtful, intentional interactions with their customers will help them bring in even more buyers. Any brand can do the same by sticking with broad principles such as those mentioned below.
Stick With Your Targets
In a perfect world, everyone would want and pay for the same product. If that were the case, there would be one type of coffee or a single flavor of Coca-Cola. However, in reality, one size doesn’t fit all. D2C retailers who find success know this and are always in sync with their target audience by focusing on their behaviors and lifestyles when crafting campaigns. This goes beyond age, gender, and income bracket, however. It also means knowing the target audience’s hobbies, interests, and consumption patterns.
One of the best ways to tap into these audiences is to identify and nurture brand advocates and influencers. The company can do so by first creating a profile for the typical buyer of a product—also known as the “persona.” From there, it can make contact with social influencers that match that profile.
Interests, Not Products
The primary reason people visit social networks isn’t to shop, although that hasn’t stopped some organizations from creating in-network stores through services like Instagram. Instead, most social media visitors are online to connect with others who share similar views, follow the same topics, and embrace a like-minded lifestyle. Therefore, successful online D2C campaigns tap into this by creating content that a target audience finds compelling and relevant. Remember: the goal isn’t to blanket the target audience with product pitches. Content can come in many forms, including short video snippets, blog posts, instructional videos, and more.
Above all else, D2C brands understand the need to be authentic and genuine; and their social media campaigns reflect that. In fact, all social campaigns should feel natural and accessible. Social networks, by definition, encourage communication between the posters and readers. Because of this, D2C brands should respond to posted comments regularly in a conversational style that feels familiar. In time, this type of interaction builds long-term trust and success and can drive more customer purchases.
Don’t Get Stale
What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work next week or next year. Many D2C brands were created to help solve a particular problem that many people face and need a solution for. As those needs evolve, often new products are introduced to the market. Therefore, social media campaigns should also remain fresh. Achieving this could be as simple as not doing what a competitor does. Regardless, campaigns should always be in motion and generate discussion while staying true to the target audience.
Fresh content could come in the form of a contest or giveaway, a unique series with regular posts, repurposed content, teaming with another brand, and more.
Avoid Delivering Disaster
Even the best products and social media campaigns can quickly be foiled by poor delivery experiences. These negative stories can promptly appear in posts on the same social media platforms and tarnish the retailer’s brand and reputation. If delivery is an afterthought to the entire customer purchasing experience, that last piece can easily sour a customer on the brand and lead them to never want to purchase from that store again.
On the other hand, positive delivery experiences can have the opposite effect and go a long way in making a brand more successful and growing a target audience. A good delivery experience can make or break the customer experience, and go a long way to increasing sales, building loyal customers, and ensuring a brand has a positive impression.
Depending on your product, partnering with a delivery provider could be essential to finding even more success over the long term. D2C companies that sell big and bulky items, like custom furniture and mattresses, require more flexibility when it comes to delivery. White glove service, room of choice, assembly, and haul-away of old items are all services that traditional carriers may not offer.
A last-mile partner that taps into unique driver supply and has the capabilities to customize service for your particular brand that caters to your particular customer, like Dolly for instance, can lead to repeat business and positive social media reviews.
Social media isn’t going anywhere and is likely to get even more popular in the years ahead as an ever-increasing percentage of consumers get and stay online. D2C brands understand how to embrace social media marketing, which ultimately means success.
For information about how to effectively move large, bulky items (and to build up those customer plaudits on social media), visit Dolly.
Jay Sackos is an experienced supply chain sales professional dedicated to exchanging value through creative, client-centric solutions. Jay is a natural leader who empowers teammates through clear communication and collaborative objective setting while fostering accountability.