We have to accept that social networks are changing the way we shop. There are as many different networks as there are ways to influence some of your prospects and customers. A great number of people engage in several social channels increasing their sphere of influence as well as access to information. Technology combined with social media has allowed ecommerce sales to grow by double-digits in the past eleven months.
Social networks have created an eCommerce renaissance changing how brands market online. We can’t predict what social networks will be around in 2 years. I was at a seminar last Thursday where the speaker predicted Google+ will pass Facebook in influence and active users in the next year or two. MySpace had to change its format as it lost users to Facetbook. The young users have adopted SnapChat and Instagram reducing their time of Facebook. My teen claims it’s because of the increased use by older adults that moved them to use these other networks. I can understand that. As a teen I didn’t want to be like my parents.
But I digress. Let me return to the subject at hand. Typical shopping sites have search bar and thumbnail results. The new online model is being driven by social activity. Sites like Zulily and Fancy are using social to virally integrate web experiences through flash sales. Sites like these two display have a newsfeed showing trending products. Instagram and Pinterest are great examples of delivering trending information. Etsy and Storenvy cater to small and emerging brand. They are similar to Pinterest in layout and social discovery of products. They host millions of visitors though they cater to smaller brand and individuals.
I witness these strategies being considered and applied every day as CEO of web development and software solutions firm, Icreon Tech. I see firsthand how eCommerce clients are aiming to infuse social media tactics into their existing web strategy. This is just one of the ways you can see how social tactics are an economical impactful way to grow ecommerce sales and capture market share for both smaller brands and Fortune 500s.
Social delivers wide exposure on a budget
There are stories about companies having success using social marketing to grow brand presence and business. Lolly Waddle Doodle is one success story that found the secret to Facebook sales.
You just have to look at where you can best connect with your target audience and your ability to execute the social campaign. Twitter has over 230 million users and ecommerce with Chirpify. Custom Tweets can use #BuyNow to instantly conduct transactions. Social media referrals are expected to deliver accounted for over $30 billion worth of transactions by 2015.
Pinterest has 25 million users, majority being female with higher than average income. J. Crew’s confidence in Pinterest was proven when they posted their complete 2013 Fall catalog on Pinterest. As a small brand should you consider Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or other social networks?
With minimal spending small brands can use social networks to grow their brand awareness and compete with mega brands. Social should supplement your brand marketing strategy not be your sole effort. Don’t miss out on gaining knowledge about effectiveness of marketing and social efforts. Track results to know what is working and what to revise to improve results.