Social media was once best known for its ability to build awareness and foster positive customer sentiment. Transactional advertising has turned it into a way to also generate real revenue by sharing attractive offers, at the right time, with the people mostly likely to buy your products. The downside: Fewer repeat purchases due to a lack of brand loyalty. Customers simply go somewhere else when they see a more attractive offer.

However, the goals of generating revenue and building brand loyalty need not work at cross-purposes. Here are some tips that could help you achieve the best of both worlds.

Keep your branding clear.

Running a transactional ad does not mean throwing out your brand playbook. In fact, customers are more likely to respond to an ad from a company they know. You can maintain a strong connection to the deeper benefits communicated in your larger branding efforts by using consistent images, colors and copy tone.

Have an organic presence.

Believe it or not, people do visit the profile pages of advertisers and look at other content they share. Give customers the chance to find out more about you by including content on your page that speaks to your larger brand. It also helps to have posts about your most exciting or popular products, along with images of happy customers.  

Put your best products forward.

Rather than using transactional ads to clear out inventory of less successful products, try also offering a discount on something that represents the best attributes of your brand. For example, companies have used transactional ads for product launches—getting the hot new thing in the hands of as many people as possible.

Connect through comments.

Brand loyalty is built through excellent customer service. For people who shop on social, not getting responses to comments feels like going to a store where the sales person ignores you. Having a team available to respond to comments and provide real-time product information can go a long way toward helping customers feel connected to your brand.

Don’t forget about email.

While streamlining the checkout process is always a good thing, it’s worth the extra step to ask customers for their email. Offer an additional incentive at checkout for people who submit their address. Then stay connected with them by offering regular loyalty exclusives, like early access to products and special promo codes.

— Daniel Quentin Zuber

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