eIQ Insights: How SMEs Can Easily Apply the “Online Marketing Funnel” Using Social Channels

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It’s difficult to deny that digital behavior among Thais has changed drastically over the past few years. Research from various institutions agree that Thai people have become increasingly addicted to their screens, often seen with heads bent over smartphones on the public train or during meal times. The surge of mobile phone addiction means that we’re no longer glued to the television for news because a simple scroll through social media can provide us with instantaneous updates in real-time.

The population’s behavioral shift has given rise to a trend in the marketing and commerce sphere; the much talked about social commerce, a new way to shop through social media platforms. Online shopping is no longer restricted to websites – Thais are turning to Facebook, Instagram and LINE to buy clothing, cosmetics, mangos and much more.

Social media platforms are in turn being used by small businesses to boost sales, provide customer support and increase brand awareness. How are a few individuals able to handle it all?

There are no vast differences between marketing for social commerce channels to marketing for websites as both requires similar ‘brand health checks’ to ensure growth and a viable business. This means that the skills needed for website marketing is transferable to social commerce.

eIQ catches up with Vanitcha Wankawisant, Head of Social Media at aCommerce to learn more about the Online Marketing Funnel framework used to acquire new leads, maintain relationships with clients and how social channels now fit into the big picture.

Source: Social Commerce Workshop – aCommerce Academy

The Online Marketing Funnel can segregate a client’s decision process into 5 key funnels:

  1. Awareness
  2. Acquisition
  3. Activation
  4. Retention
  5. Referral

Each funnel requires their own strategy.

 Case Study: Online Marketing Funnel for a Thai cosmetics mobile marketplace

Stage 1: Awareness

The cosmetics marketplace, called Brand A due to confidentiality, created a “free sampling” campaign targeted to social media savvy women in their mid twenties to late thirties through Facebook. The goal was to sell more products and increase their customer base. They also implemented a hashtag (#) and encouraged users to comment and share their posts to boost engagement.

Stage 2: Acquisition

Aside from ongoing activity on the brand’s social media channels, Wankawisant also recommended Brand A to sign up for a LINE@ account for users to signup and receive notifications regarding exclusive giveaways and announcements.

Working with aCommerce, she revealed the cosmetics marketplace increased their followers by 100% within 1 month.

LINE@ is LINE’s newest platform for businesses that want a direct relationship with customers and more personalized channel to reach them. The business account onLINE@ can be customized for retail brands to bloggers from various sectors.

Through the platform, brands can push out a promotion through a mass group message or customers can contact an admin member directly to chat. LINE@ allows up to 100 admin members to ensure that customers will be given the attentive customer service that is needed.

Brand A decided to move onto the LINE@ platform because they found that other social media platforms had a low level of organic reach whereas LINE@ was able to capture a great portion of the already active 33 million LINE users in Thailand.

Brands can directly “activate” followers through rewards cards, coupon/voucher activation that users can click on to store in their coupon book function in the LINE app.

How coupons can be used in LINE@

Stage 3: Activation

During the time period between the social media campaign to the free sampling announcement day, the brand used the “Broadcast Message” feature on LINE@ to send regular updates and promotions to followers, including discounts for first time buys.

Brand A improved its blended conversion rate by 20%.

Stage 4: Retention

Aside from promotions through “Broadcast” in LINE@, the brand also introduced fun activities to followers such as games relating to the products online. The quickest respondents received free products.

These efforts allowed the brand to maintain their number of active and organic followers and a low block rate of 10%. The games also boosted sales during the campaign period by 15%, and retargeted customers through the Rich Message  feature in LINE@. This feature attracts followers through big banners and includes outbound links to the brand site. It’s also a good way for business owners to obtain organic consumer data.

LINE@ for fast fashion brand, Pomelo

Stage 5: Referral

For every referral that was made between an existing user and a friend, the brand would give discounts to both parties – win-win. The brand gains another potential customer to activate through other methods aside from Facebook or LINE@ such as through email direct marketing (EDM).

Although social commerce is still a new sector of its own, it is becoming a viable business model that is one to watch in Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia where social media usage is one of the highest globally.

Business owners in the ecommerce industry and offline stores are already capitalizing. What are you waiting for?