Linking Impersonal Social Media to Face to Face Interactions

Jul 22, 2013

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Jonathan Rose

The habits of online customers vary widely from those of in-store shoppers. At home you can control your surroundings and perhaps be a tiny bit more rational with your purchasing. However, at-home purchasing is also so easy. All it takes is the click of the mouse before you realize you’re over spending. On the other hand, when you shop in-store you submit yourself to an atmosphere, sale representatives, and other influences that influence your purchases. I believe an argument can be made for both sides on the matter of which is better. But I believe that most of us are involved in both online and in-store shopping.

In addition, most consumers using both online and in-store shopping patterns, we all use social media. A challenge for businesses that use social media to promote and market their products is creating valuable connections with their consumer. Over social media alone the person-to-person connection is diminished and the attachment to the brand or business may be weak. One solution that is currently being implemented is connecting both social media and face-to-face relationships. Connecting their online relationship with their in person relationship gives the business a venue to know their customer better.

For Example

An example of such an experimental effort is headed by a company called Real Life Connect. Real Life Connect focuses their product on helping business link the social spaces, both online and offline, of customers together.

Real life connect is a system where customers of a business come to the store or an event and receive a near field communication (NFC) tag. This tag can come in the form of a card, keychain, badge, wristband, or other forms that will then transmit its ID if held to a NFC reader at the store or event. After participants receive their tag, they register the tag online in connection to their social media accounts. When these participants then shop at the store or check in at various events they can like items or share pictures and items in connections with the store/event via social media instantly.

For businesses, as customers check in using the NFC tag, they can instantly access social media account information that the customer has registered with the tag. The interactions of the business with the customer after that can then be more personable and direct as employees use the information in greeting and assisting customers. The social media world is then connected to the real world in the mind of the customer. As they check in at the location, their Facebook account can also check them in so their followers see their activities as well. The experience they have in person, which is immediately connected in their mind to their social media accounts, will then be forever related to the opinion they have of your business when they see your brand online.

What other ways have you tried connecting your online relationship with customers to your in-store relationships?

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