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Be a Social Media Commerce Early Bird with Twitter and Facebook
Lace Llanora is from The Wholesale Forums, the UK’s leading B2B networking community & advice forum for wholesalers, distributors, importers, dropshippers and retailers and today shares some social media tips and tricks to build your business. You can follow The Wholesale Forums on Twitter and on Facebook.
Are you talking to your customers yet?
People live in networks and look to others when making decisions. This is nothing new, but what is new is the super ability of people to reach and influence others via Facebook and Twitter – including on the things that they buy. Shoppers are discovering trusted recommendations and reviews, and joining in conversations by leaps and bounds.
Say hello to social commerce.
Social commerce is not back to the future stuff, in fact your business might already be participating whether you know it or not. “I will never sell on Facebook!” Did anyone else hear that? Hold your virtual horses because social commerce is not limited to making transactions happen on social networks.
Actually, social commerce can be summed up in one word – conversation. Getting your customers to talk, share, and interact via social media to influence a purchase. Your business gains leverage from these conversations and ultimately that improves your bottom line. This is actually not too far from eBay’s secret sauce – the feedback system. But with social commerce, feedback is distributed among the cloud and it’s up to you to blow it in your direction.
4 steps to get started with Social Media
- Make Facebook and Twitter the pillars of your social commerce Parthenon – the most basic way to prepare for the wave of social commerce is to build your presence in these social media pillars. People are increasingly talking about integrating or creating stores on Facebook but unless you’ve built a brand with customer affinity, it is unlikely your products will sell like hotcakes.
Certainly you’ve met people who have flat out refused adopting social media. Sad to say, they are missing the boat as we’re sailing into the next level without them. Shoppers already know that they’ll find brands on Facebook and are even less inclined to leave the site. Soon, they will not just expect your brand to be present but for a storefront to be there too.
- Give shoppers the microphone – and you gotta prep the stage. Provide a feedback facility on your website where buyers can leave positive reviews that can sell the product and where not-so good feedback will make your business look “real” and give space for “openness”.
The “stage” is where brands like yours can get creative. Some brands encourage their customers to make a guest post on their blog, a video review on their YouTube channel, or upload a photo on their Facebook wall. The possibilities are endless as the merger of social networks and e-commerce continues.
Social commerce is the offspring of multi-channel marketing so prepare to receive, curate, and give feedback on venues outside of your online store. Encourage your buyers to tweet, like, and share by utilising social buttons. Don’t forget to recognise or even reward them for doing so.
- Get the social shopping cart rolling – social graphs and APIs are terms that can make anyone’s nose bleed but unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed how websites display faces of your friends who’ve interacted with them. This could be as easy as installing a Facebook Like box on your page so your customers instantly feel closer to your brand (with a handful of their friends smiling on your homepage too).
Social commerce pioneers such as Levi’s have taken the shopping cart to the social level by showing products friends have bought or recommended. This is a growing trend now in many online shops that have started to lay down the Open Graph on their e-commerce sites and are asking customers to login using their Facebook accounts
- Shoppers can’t get enough of you, so give them more – there’s no time to eat humble pie because at this point, accept that your fans like you and realise you’ve captured an audience. It makes sense how successful brands go out of their way to produce how-to videos, podcasts, and blogs about their products among many other creative content initiatives. Shoppers – they just can’t get enough, and these social features (throw in promos, referrals, and coupons) keep the conversation and excitement flowing. This only grows the number of people who are influenced by you and are actively following your company’s products and services.
Social commerce is an exciting revolution and although it is too early to say just which works best for whom, the gap between those who get it and who don’t continues to widen.
Excellent post. Social media is still a bit of a puzzle to me as I’m doing all of this but I’m not really getting the results yet.
Thank you Warren :)Your FB shop looks fantastic by the way. Are you using free social media tools like Crowdbooster? We find it helpful to track tweets/fb posts and it even recommends what is the best time to push them.
Thank you for your facebook shop comments. My facebook shop is free from shopmania, I wrote a forum post about obtaining one earlier in the year http://tamebaynew.wpengine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4829
Thank you for the tip about Crowdboster, I’ve give them a whirl latter on tonight.
With the importance of social media, I would have hoped there would be more comments from Tamebays readers than this!
Thanks again for the Crowdbooster tip. My Facebook page has been lacking something for ages as I’m a little confused with what to do with my facebook page. So hopefully things will now start to improve a great deal.
You’re welcome Warren 🙂 For Twitter, HootSuite (also free) is fantastic for scheduling tweets, and interacting with customers or industry peers via their platform is much easier.
I agree with you on the importance of social media, exactly the reason why we developed this short guide.
Thank you for the advice. My Twitter is linked to my Facebook page so everything on Facebook is directed to Twitter. To tell you the truth I don’t get Twitter at all, it all looks like shortened urls to me?
Hi Lace is your forum good for getting tips and advice on Social Networking? I’m not really looking for B2B, I’m trying at the moment to spread my brand as far as I can take it with minimum costs. Social media has always been a bit of a mystery to me, some people seem to do it very well and I don’t seem to have the knack at the moment.
Hi Warren, I noticed you already joined our forums – welcome aboard 🙂 Our community has a section called Advertising & E-commerce where you should find topics on social media especially on Facebook.
Here is a short guide recently shared by our community member Vicky – http://www.thewholesaleforums.co.uk/forum/advertising-and-e-commerce-discussion/139862-guide-selling-facebook.html