New age client : I am told Social Media is the way forward, can you get me sales from Facebook?
Should we say NO! or is there a way to really sell volumes using social media. Or we sell the usual “Social Media is a great Influencer” Spiel?
Let’s pause and consider the state of social commerce (that’s ecommerce driven by social mediums or social platforms). It was among one of the top discussed growth avenues in the Digital Media for couple of years, had sort of vanished for a while and seems to be making a comeback this year. And why not, the opportunity is immense. The only hitch – the ability to encash this opportunity is lacking with many. In evolved markets brands have realised that adapting the online website experience to social media platforms is not leading to success.
To begin with Brands ready to adopt social media marketing need to change their view of social channels. These allow a unique opportunity to engage directly with a customer and therefore use consumer’s social network to expand. That unique opportunity becomes a Gold Mine when you add “reach a users social network supported by a real experience”. Some of key aspects of Social commerce are user recommendations, referrals, communities, reviews, social shopping tools, social media optimization, and social media advertising.
Now given that one does not go to twitter or facebook or pinterest or linkedin to actually buy any products, how on earth do you get your cash registers ringing from social media? The answers lies in understanding the online social space and adopting it as a channel to create happy customer experiences. Social is all about customization. Afterall the user is allowing you access to himself and that is a big deal and he must be treated as special.
Some thoughts that come to mind to ensure a lasting relationship with this user (the idea to drive sales remember)
- Reward loyal users
- Reward communities woven around your product / category with loyal users
- Think exclusive products (not offers) just for those who engage with you.
- Short term deals / offers on new products before launch
- How about some customized deals for referring people who share the same passions, likes, interests
The objective is to provide personalised memorable experiences which will lead to an increase in passion and loyalty that will show and rub off in the social sphere.
While the above sound interesting and is very much doable one must not forget that the challenge lies in analyzing and interpreting Data. The ability to mine data from online customer databases, offline databases to derive customer habits and then tying these with their social profiles and then offering a customized experience will be the ultimate high for a consumer. Using social media data to create personalized experiences coupled with engaging activities addressing the customers real requirements can definitely and drive more revenue from the social channels.
Btw some brands seem to have already got it going for them like Zappos on Facebook.
There is no doubt Social will be playing a critical role in products are sold in the future and will become increasingly important aspect of revenue generation and marketing budgets. It is how you approach it is going to define who gains.
Social commerce needs a strategic approach & a long term plan with clear milestones.
Happy Social Selling