Allow social commerce to prove itself

Your recent cover story on word-of-mouth marketing rightly puts the spotlight on the growing popularity of social commerce and how it is being adopted by brands.

All of the models mentioned in the article have merit but, perhaps with the exception of the Tesco scheme, suffer the same problem of scale, which is ultimately needed to normalise behaviour.

Achieving scale requires brands to focus on how quickly they can grow their user base or community and how quickly they can integrate their features into the sales process (at point of sale), consideration platforms (such as TV), purchasing platforms (such as websites), or the natural behaviour of the consumer (“I’ll share that…”).

It’s taken us a while to get used to ‘Liking’ this or ‘Googling’ that, and ‘Tweeting’, ‘Pinning’ and ‘+1ing’ is still new for most people. Adding a layer of social interaction might prove too much for many.

However, social commerce can demonstrate what marketers really need – sales and conversions.

So the bigger opportunity is in encouraging brands to develop or bundle products for the purpose of selling within specific communities.

We’ve seen products developed with the help of communities, but what about bespoke marketing efforts to achieving social sales?

Chris Buckley, director of social engagement, TMW

The key to successful engagement with consumers is the relevance of a brand. Offers and discounts on products and brands they want and need will increase the likelihood of the brand being shared and talked about both in person and via social networking.

This is particularly true as there seems to be a “bragging culture” developing on social networks from individuals boasting about the great deal or offer they achieved.

Brands that offer discounted holidays, savings on big ticket items and the weekly shop, which are hot topics among consumers in today’s economic climate, will succeed in engaging with the consumer for the long-term and will, in turn, reach potential customers via word of mouth.

Daniel Nugent, head of Entice

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