What do we mean when we use the phrase ‘social media’? Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content”. Confused? You would not be the only one! Social Media in the simplest definition means websites and other online applications that allow internet users to create content and interact with each other around the content.
In today’s online world, email marketing and ‘social media’ have emerged as the two tools wielding considerable power and influence over customers. Then comes the question, are social media and ecommerce inseparable? One would say yes, because if you don’t engage with your customers online, your ecommerce business wouldn’t be successful. At the DCOM Summit 2013 Oliver Segovia of Ava.ph commented that ecommerce is inherently social since people love talking about their purchases among their friends.
How Social Media is important for your Businesses?
Helps your business find a place and position on the web, opening up to literally millions of users across the globe
Tools such as analytics helps you understand where your business stands
Search engine optimization (SEO) – helps take your site to the top of search engine rankings
Target – Social media lets you target specific demographics or cultures to get your name in front of the exact group of people you want to see your products.
Engage – Social media helps engage your customers, receive feedback, acknowledge problems and provides general involvement with your customers.
Mobile is a critical channel for social media marketing. This entails using location and time sensitivity aspects in order to engage into marketing research, communication, sales, promotions, discounts, loyalty programs. Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook Check In can be considered as examples of this.
Popular Social Media Channels Available to the Ecommerce Marketer:
Facebook: With over 1 billion users, Facebook is the biggest and most popular social media channel in the world. Taking an example of a popular Indian ecommerce company, we have Myntra.com which uses its Facebook page as a marketing channel while its uses Facebook Ads to target the exact demographic for their products. In the last six months there has been a 120% increase in transactions originating from Facebook and a 75% increase in the total website traffic from Facebook.
Twitter: Dell especially, has been highly successful – one twitter campaign produced 3 million dollars in sales. Coca Cola is only the second brand to sponsor a trending topic on Twitter’s promoted tweets section (a World Cup promotion). This social media tactic resulted in 86 million impressions (views) of the ad in 24 hours.
LinkedIn: is considered the most important platform if you are selling products and services to other businesses.Take an example of Standard Life which created a private LinkedIn group that targeted financial advisors based in Ireland. Using Salesforce it discovered that the top 100 advisors in Ireland used the social network and invited them to join the group. The draw of exclusivity helped it to achieve full take-up and word-of-mouth meant other advisors soon began to ask if they could join
Pinterest: is the new flavor of social media marketers and a great way to get more traffic. This media worked wonders for Sony Electronics who saw an 800% increase in traffic from Pinterest to the Sony store website after applying this strategy.
It is a no brainer that social media sites are excellent marketing tools for all kinds of businesses. Let’s just face it, if you are an online based business and not using social media, you are already behind competition.