When marketers develop their social media strategies, their focus is typically on a tier-one, revenue-driving campaign. To drive sales however, an emphasis must be placed on the overall brand narrative, as users seek out authentic and timely interactions.
As Gary Vaynerchuck might say, ‘right hooks’ convert traffic to sales, but your social media ROI is dependent on the quality and context of your content1. Timing is everything.
Google believes so as well. According to ThinkWithGoogle’s recent report on Micro-Moments:
This report is more than just a push for the Nexus 6. They’re putting their money where their mouth is. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, Google will compete with Amazon and eBay by showing buy buttons when users search for products on mobile devices, providing relevant transactional opportunities.
Here’s what we know:
People are becoming increasingly mobile and have a clear need for immediacy. These digital reflexes, as Google has stated, suggest that people are receptive to having their preferences shaped via relevant, high-quality recommendations.
In this regard, Google is not alone. Social networks are beginning to implement platforms by which their brand partners can drive revenue through social context.
The key questions remain:
Shopify, an eCommerce platform that powers over 165,000 businesses, recently analyzed over 37 million social media visits and 529,000 orders to better understand how social media is impacting the commerce industry.
Here are some of their key findings:
It’s no secret that Shopify has a tight-knit relationship with Facebook (they created an app to support a Facebook store), so take the numbers with a grain of salt.
I speculate that outside of Facebook, social channels enjoying eCommerce growth based on the principle of community curation — or recommendations based on the input of the community at large.
So when contrasting search and social, it’s clear that they can shape purchase preferences in two unique ways:
The power of social influence and brand advocates is no secret. What does remain a challenge is the methods by which social networks monetize their platforms and allow brands to advertise (and sell) products. This of course is the fine line between positive user experiences and branded investment.
So how are networks providing contextually relevant advertising services? Here’s the latest:
In summary, timing and relevance are everything. Address how you’re identifying your customers’ key moments and provide them with value-adding content that shapes their decision making.
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