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Successful social media practices can drive sales

A new study shows a possible connection between social media channels and a firm's bottom line.

Social media has become a popular marketing tool for organizations, as it allows them to engage customers in a personalized and meaningful way. Now, a new study shows a possible connection between social media channels and a firm's bottom line.

Research by J.D. Power and Associates identified a correlation between the chances of potential customers making purchases and their overall satisfaction with companies' social marketing efforts. The more consumers enjoy online interactions with a particular firm, the more likely they are to buy from that organization. Among the individuals who were highly-satisfied consumers, 87 percent stated they were positively influenced by social interactions, which made them more likely to complete sales. However, many firms struggle to create a comprehensive social media strategy.

Running successful social media services requires everyone in the company to be committed to the process. Employee reward recognition programs can help organizations develop a culture focused on integrating new technology and online interactions into their daily operations. These tools could improve social media engagement strategies through more personalized communications.

Delivering personalized services to boost satisfaction
IMedia Connection reported that customized services and promotions allows content to stick with consumers. Personalized messages are more relevant and memorable, which increases brand awareness. The J.D. Power and Associates study found that quality content is an essential part of increasing satisfaction levels.

Content should extend beyond the promotion of  discounts, according to the study. Responsive customer service representatives are also an important aspect of customer satisfaction. Many firms are trying to use social media to improve client services, but this should not be done at the expense of solely using the channel as a marketing tool.  

"Companies that are focused only on promoting their brand and deals, or only servicing existing customers, are excluding major groups of their online community, negatively impacting their satisfaction and influencing their future purchasing decision," said Jacqueline Anderson, director of social media and text analytics at J.D. Power and Associates. "A one-pronged approach to social is no longer an option."

Employee reward programs can help organizations deliver professional service through any channel. Recognizing individuals who have successfully resolved problems and who created an engaging experience for customers provides clear examples about how to successfully use social media to boost client satisfaction. Acknowledging successful interactions could help establish guidelines that assist staff members in all of their online communications with customers.

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