social sampling

Make Your Customers Feel at Home

In the physical world, when our trusted and valued friends come to visit our house, we often welcome them by saying, “Come in…make yourselves at home!”   In the virtual world, do you do the same thing?  When customers and prospects visit your online site, do they feel at home there? Think about retailers that offer snacks, coffee, samples, valuable information, and sometimes even entertainment in their shops.  They create a welcoming atmosphere for their customers because they know it will encourage them to stay around the shop, browsing the products and learning more about the brand…and greatly increasing the chances of a sale.

Your online site needs to do the same thing.  What do you do to make your current and prospective customers feel comfortable?   What are you doing to add value to their day?  What experience are you giving them? In other words, how are you inspiring them to stick around now and return later...with their friends?

  • If you are selling clothes, maybe give your customers and prospects the latest fashion news.
  • If you are selling food, how about information on nutrition specialists or a free 1-minute video clip by a nutrition specialist?
  • Maybe get creative about sample give-aways by trying social sampling.
  • Invite them to do something:  respond to a poll, watch a video, play a game
  • Give them the “social” of “social media” with easy ways to connect to your brand through various social networks and to share those connections with their friends.
  • And most importantly, make sure they can reach a human being with their questions!

Why bother?  Because when your prospective and current customers feel at home at your site, they will feel at home with your brand in a way that builds trust --  a cornerstone for building relationships.  And the success of social media marketing really is all about relationships.

They say home is where your heart is -- make your site that place for your customers!

-Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategiest

Advocacy drives “Social Sampling”

Kleenex made waves with its recent "Softness Worth Sharing campaign," which encouraged people to have FREE Kleenex sample packs sent to friends and family.  Earlier this month, a reported 1 million Kleenex packs had been sent on behalf of Kleenex consumers! What made this innovative campaign so successful?  Kleenex gave consumers the chance to not only interact with their product, but to also easily give their friends/family the same experience. In other words, Kleenex identified Advocates, who in turn sent more samples and encouraged their networks to do the same… they were energized and mobilized.  Social sampling at its best!

One important part of this campaign was providing a way for people to track the campaign online – including their own “chain of sharing,”  where a consumer can see if their sample-sending inspired someone else to send sample(s).  When consumers can see the impact of their action, it can easily inspire them to act again and spread the word to their friends about this “cool thing you have to check out!”  Again, it energizes and mobilizes Advocates.

We know how important it is to give our Brand Advocates the tools to market our products for us, and now Kleenex has taken this concept one step further by giving consumers the tools AND THE PRODUCT (samples) to share with their networks.  They have made it easy and fun for Advocates to create a buzz around a specific product and to share the experience of the product.

Successful social sampling campaigns rely on consumer-to-consumer connection, and your Advocates are the most powerful way to create those ties.

-Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist