Chamber Matters: Social Commerce for Online Marketing
Published 29 Nov 2013Peter Body, Chamber board member and chairman of Navertech in Thurso, highlights the importance of social commerce as an online marketing tool.
Believe it or not there are still businesses who don’t have a website. Usually, the reason for this is a mistaken belief that the business doesn’t need one. But, any business without a website is likely to see their sales decline to the point of possible closure.
85% of the population has internet access with 50% of these accessing it via mobile devices. Customer loyalty is quickly becoming a thing of the past due to the ease with which people can access products and services online. E-commerce accounts for 20% of all retail sales and this figure is rising rapidly.
Social commerce is the growing practice of shopping, recommending, reviewing, and selling via social media. As a business owner, tapping into this behavioural trend can help you grow your business. But, remember it’s a two-way, interactive process, which requires an investment in your time.
These activities take place via social sharing, user-generated content, social media advertising, blogging and the like. You get onsite social commerce by adding share buttons to your website and offsite social commerce that takes place on the social media networks.
If not doing so already, start writing blog posts which include engaging content that speaks to your target audience. Importantly, it needs to include a call to action of some kind and a share button. If you don't include a call to action, your audience won't do anything at all. Ask them to "like" your blog post, product or service.
When a customer purchases a product or service ask for a testimonial. Add this to your website and post it to social media sites. This provides the social proof and authority needed to move people to buy your products and services, gained by participation in social media networks.
Social media helps consumers choose products and services more wisely. It allows the business owner to truly listen to their customers, so that you can provide exactly what they need, when they need it. It's the ultimate connection to your audience because you're right there with them every step of the way.
Choosing your social commerce tools will depend entirely on your target audience and where they like to "hang out" online. It's clear that the top choices are Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, not necessarily in that order.
Like any business trend or strategy it is both helpful and important to approach it with logic and caution. Diving right into a trend without considering your niche, business model and audience as well as your resources and assets can cause problems down the road. Once you’ve identified an approach that seems to best fit your business needs and model, create a strategy to support it.
Social commerce is becoming more popular because it serves the customer well. They’re able to share, to learn and to communicate their preferences. Tapping into this need can help you strengthen the bond with your customer and ultimately increase your bottom line.
Navertech has gained considerable knowledge and experience of all aspects of digital marketing, over many years. If you want to learn more visit its website at: www.navertech.com.