This is a guest post by Caleb Levell. Caleb is a Search Marketing Consultant at Hanapin Marketing. His interests include search and social marketing, online collaboration, and social media for business and non-profit organizations. He blogs at PPC Hero and SEO Boy.
Perfect, another conversion! By all means, be proud of the success and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
It isn’t easy setting up a successful PPC or SEO campaign. Timeliness, relevance, and quality all play a part in appealing to potential customers that are finding products or services through search engines. Even more challenging is these hard-to-get customers have the shortest of attention spans, fueled by the rapid and overwhelming availability of information to meet any buyer’s specific needs. So, like I said, consider this lead an accomplishment and give credit to your online marketing strategy, enticing PPC ads, and well-optimized landing pages for attracting another valuable customer.
And there’s that. After purchasing, signing up, or leaving you with their contact info, drop the customer off at your thank you/ confirmation page and tell them you will be in touch shortly. Sadly, it all just seems so cold.
Marrying Search and Social
That’s why at Hanapin Marketing, we are exploring life after conversion. We are so proud of our clients’ conversions that we not only want to keep these valuable customers around for the next purchase, but we want to hear their opinions on product, brand, and service. Fortunately, many of our clients are beginning to ask similar questions. For example: “How can we get more value out of our search leads” and “What should we do about Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
The truth of the matter is many small businesses are entering social media and separating social media marketing from their already established search engine marketing. While in some aspects this is necessary, the two marketing strategies can actually be integrated quite nicely.
One of the best places to begin integrating your social and search marketing strategy is on the thank you or confirmation page shown to the customer immediately after they have completed a goal from your search engine marketing (i.e. filling out a contact form, making a purchase, etc.).
Thank you and…
The thank you page is too often thought of as the end of the interaction between company and client in search marketing; however, as brands become more transparent online, the thank you page instead should be considered the beginning of a social marketing relationship.
My recommendation: Promote your company’s digital personality by inviting your most recent customers to “Join in on the conversation at Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter for exclusive deals.” Most likely, these will be some of the easiest fans and followers to obtain and more importantly, these recent customers should have a high potential for reflecting positive sentiment on your social media profiles.
Best Case Scenario
Imagine a searcher enters a luxury resort website via PPC advertising and books a room for Labor Day weekend. Upon booking the room, they are sent to a thank you and confirmation page that not only relays the traditional static response:
“Thank you for booking a stay with us. A confirmation email has been sent to your provided email address.”
But also includes a simple call to action that says:
“Find us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter”
It doesn’t have to be much, but there is great value in this opportunity, especially if the customer has had a satisfactory booking experience. What follows is a chain of events very favorable to the company.
Perhaps the customer “likes” the luxury resort fan page on Facebook. Then, she posts a comment on the wall and thanks the resort for having such an easy process for online booking. The same customer revisits the page a couple weeks before her family’s stay and asks other people who “like” the page for suggestions on the best places to eat at the resort or other family restaurants around the resort hotel. Finally, after her stay, she posts a review of her experiences at the hotel and provides a few pictures of her and her family enjoying the resort pool.
Obviously, my example above is an extremely optimistic prediction of what could happen. However, I hope that it highlights a kind of interaction that is not highly unlikely, especially when reaching out to recently converting search engine traffic.
Thus, let this be inspiration for ways to creatively integrate your search and social marketing strategies. If nothing else, I hope that you take some time to optimize your confirmation and thank you pages to better meet the needs of your social campaigns.
I’d also love to know: Is anyone else getting creative in integrating social and search marketing? What are some of your strategies and optimizations?