Turning Social Marketing into Social Commerce

The marriage of social media and e-commerce promises fast sales, direct to your target audience, but the actual practice of so-called “social commerce” often falls short of being effective.

Sponsored Facebook posts or tweets, viral marketing, photo sharing and contests, or user reviews of products or services are not social commerce in and of themselves.

They are social media marketing, but fall short of turning social media into a true sales channel.

Rather than focusing on creating new social media tools, making a successful social commerce sales stream can be as simple as re-thinking how the current social media tools are being used.

Open your social media tool kit

User reviews, rather being an afterthought tacked on at the bottom of a product page, could instead be the entire product page.

According to E-consultancy’s website, 88% of users read product reviews before they make a purchase.

Social commerce is about emphasizing the “social” aspect of e-commerce. Perhaps no retailer does this as well as Fashion ID, the retail website for the German department store Peek & Cloppenburg KG.

Photo courtesy practicology.com

Photo courtesy practicology.com

Like Regis Philbin on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Fashion ID let’s you “Phone a Friend” or in this case “Facebook a Friend” when you are thinking about buying one of their products.

The feature lets you connect to your Facebook account through the Fashion ID website and chat with friends about the product you’re looking at.

Re-thinking the way your e-commerce website uses its standard social sharing buttons can help promote social commerce as well. Harvey’s Furniture store has taken the relatively simple step of inserting Twitter’s product cards into its source code. What does that mean? It means that every time someone clicks the Twitter widget on one of their product pages and shares it via Twitter, the product name, image, price, rating and a short description are shared in the tweet.

Don’t re-invent the wheel

Social commerce is about taking social media marketing to the next level. It doesn’t necessarily require re-inventing the wheel, but rather looking at the tools you already have in a new light to blend social media and e-commerce together.

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Nick Seebruch

I am an External writer at ShoutEx. My interest lie in marketing, communications and journalism

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