Retailers are collecting an amazing amount of priceless content from their customers comments on social networking sites like Facebook. Unfortunately, much of this great content only reaches a limited audience because of how social media works. For the most part, people only see what others are talking about right now. It is a fast flowing stream that is nearly impossible to keep up with. Without some way to pause the flow of content and capture it for later use, the value that this content can provide your business is dramatically reduced.
Although this situation sounds bleak, SLI Systems is providing a solution for many retailers that extends the life of their Facebook and social media content by allowing it to be discovered through their site’s search results. I think the best way to illustrate the benefits of this is to provide some use case examples.
Let’s start with an example from 24 Hour Fitness. If you are looking for a fun way to shed a few extra holiday pounds you might be searching for “exercise class ideas.” As a 24 Hour Fitness member, or someone who just happens to come across their site, if you searched for that phrase you would find a wide assortment of results including pages, videos, products, social networks, and their blog and forum. With a social networks tab showing 78 results that would be a good place to start for find unbiased advice.
The top result is from a Facebook post that asks, “What Group Exercise class best compliments your personal training routine and why?” Clicking this takes you a 24 Hour Fitness Facebook page showing the 50 most recent comments out of a total of 169 that they received. The comments provide an incredible list of recommendations and endorsements from existing customers about all types of exercise classes such as Body Pump, Turbo Kick, Yoga and Zumba. What’s great about this is that all of this content was created after 24 Hour Fitness posted the question back on November 18th of 2011 and now it’s all easily accessible everyday to customers searching their site for this information.
In another example, let’s say you just saw a TV commercial for the new Smart Touch gloves from Totes Isotoner and you want to find out what their people are saying about these gloves. A good place to start would be the Totes Isotoner site with a search for “Smart Touch Gloves.” This search would present you with a Social Media tab that had six results.
Under the Social Media tab, you would learn about the gloves being featured on the Today Show and discover this great product endorsement posted as a comment on their Facebook wall back on January 10th.
Finally, if you are an aspiring fashion jewelry designer, one of your biggest challenges is coming up with a color scheme for your next jewelry design. At Artbeads.com, if you searched for “color scheme” you would find five results under their community tab.
The top result from Facebook calls your attention to a free online tool called the Color Scheme Designer. Click the link and you’ll see a screen shot of the designer posted on January 2nd. You’ll also be able to read the many comments from other jewelry designers expressing their challenges about picking colors. Seeing this sort of content from people just like you will help you feel more a part of the community and give you a good reason to “Like” Artbeads.com on Facebook.
With the ability to include content from your Facebook wall and other social media sites in site search results, retailers can get much more mileage from their social media content. And, more importantly, they will be better able to harness the power of their customers for creating content. One way to do this is to look through your sites search phrases for questions customers are asking. Then, turn these questions into Facebook posts and let your community provide the answers. This strategy would be especially useful if your site was lacking content in these areas.
What other ideas do you have for Facebook posts that would engage your customers and inspire them to create quality content for your store? Post your ideas in the comments below.