Engaging your customers Article 1: Manage your social network pages and integrate social sharing tools in your site

In this series of articles on how to better engage your customers, the first topic that I am going to cover is that of managing your social network pages and encouraging your customers to interact with their contacts directly on your website.

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The first topic that I am going to cover is that of managing your Social Network pages and encouraging your customers to interact with their contacts directly on your website.

Having an online presence on major social media sites helps to improve your website’s experience as it provides a social link between your organisation and the general public      Lady-Gaga-image-ecommerce-blogand between your website’s visitors and their own contacts. However do not forget that your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages are there to compliment your eCommerce website and not vice versa. If you have an eCommerce site your social network page should as much as possible encourage your visitors to visit the actual eCommerce website and focus on providing a clear and attractive company image. For example on Lady Gaga’s Facebook page one can immediately notice a banner that links to her online store. Visitors will then be able to purchase merchandise directly from that eCommerce site. At the same time she still manages to be social on Facebook by embedding YouTube videos to promote her recent album and posting regular updates on her Facebook wall.

skittles-image-ecommerce-blogIf on the other hand you use Facebook as your only online presence or to compliment your existent CMS website then it might make sense to invest in some cool widgets that encourage your contacts to spend more time on your Facebook page. For Instance Skittles have some cool games on their Facebook page whilst Starbucks hold photo competitions based on specific themes.

Tip: Check out your competitor’s Facebook pages and gain interesting ideas from other popular Facebook pages.

However if you have an eCommerce site you should always focus on improving customers’ social experience on your site first and then invest in developing custom features on your Facebook page.

Use popular social plugins in your website

  • Find us on Facebook box

This section should be displayed on Home page and main pages of your site. This will inform your website visitors that you have a Facebook presence. It may also encourage them to follow you  and become one of your network members.

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Figure 1: find us on facebook plugin

  • Send Button

Customers like to ask for their friends’ and contacts’ opinion on products that they are interested to purchase. Therefore having social sharing features directly on the product detail page of your site will facilitate this process.

Do not forget that according to the Wired Magazine (2011) in the UK 90% of all purchases are subject to Social influence and 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites each month (Facebook, 2011)

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Figure 2: social sharing tools used by asos.com on its product details pages

  • Facebook Live Stream Plug-in

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  • Facebook Registration Plug-in

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With this plug-in your users will be able to register to your website using their own Facebook Registration details. This tool has become quite popular and is used by companies such as Kodak, National Geographic Channel, PayPal and Diesel

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Figure 3: National Geographic use social network registration plugins

  • Facebook Like Button

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Once The user likes your product or your page the following message will be posted on their Facebook page and they will be able to comment or receive likes and comments from their own contacts. Their contacts will also be able to link to the product detail page and purchase the product themselves.

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Figure 4: like plugin on facebook

  • Facebook Comments plug-in

his plug-in is ideal if you have a site blog or articles on your site. It will allow your website’s visitors to comment on your content by using their Facebook account. Each time a user comments on your content a link to your page will appear on his Facebook profile. This link and comment will be visible by all his contacts and this can encourage other users to visit your website.

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Facebook provides valuable information on how to integrate these tools in your website. Moreover various Facebook and Twitter sharing extensions are already available for Magento eCommerce websites. Just search on the Magento Connect site or contact us for more information.