Social media must be constantly moving forward, in both content and innovation, to meet the increasing demands from users. Businesses and consumers are looking towards companies like Facebook and Twitter to develop the next step in the way people engage with new media.
Currently new media and social media sites have become deeply invested in the concept of social commerce. As users develop richer and denser networks of connections, social media companies have responded with a system of commerce designed around digital social interactions.
Facebook members can already see the effects of social commerce through sales and promotions that have been tailored for a Facebook specific audience.
To completely understand how social commerce will change social media, social commerce must be defined within the structure of new media.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce can be defined as both a large and small concept that can exist individually and globally.
To understand social commerce on a wide spread scale, in a quote to Heidi Cohen, David Berkowitz of 360i defines social commerce as, “how marketers leverage social media to influence consumers’ shopping behavior, spanning product consideration, purchase intent, the transaction itself, and post-transaction advocacy and retention.”
Essentially social commerce will allow companies to market to new media users using data collected from e commerce purchases and discussions. If a Facebook member posts, likes or clicks a certain product, data will be recorded to market similar items to the same user later on.
Julie Barile of Fairway Market best describes social commerce on an individual scale.
“Social Commerce is the act of consumers with similar interests, passions and needs collectively engaging in conversations related to products and services that satisfy those interests, passions and needs. Those conversations usually segue into several types of actions, such as recommending the products and services to more of their peers, and ultimately the purchase of those products and services,” Barile told marketing expert Heidi Cohen.
Social commerce for new media users is created through word of mouth (links, posts, wall sharing) and the countless reviews posted on sites like Amazon and Yelp. Individual social commerce will allow users to make informed decision about the products the purchase through reviews and analysis.
How will social commerce change Facebook?
Facebook has already taken steps to market its 750 million active users with personalized shopping advertisements and a proprietary system for making purchases straight through Facebook.
As of right now, Facebook has been the largest adopter of social commerce with various companies already achieving success through the site.
According to an info-graphic by Spinback, Pampers recently set up a Facebook store that awarded social sharing and interactions selling 1,000 diapers within one hour. Ticketfly averages 3.25 sales per Facebook share, while companies like Baby & Me contribute 50 percent of sales to Facebook.
These sales are a clear sign that social commerce has been successful in targeting very specific demographics. At this point, Facebook can only continue to open their doors to companies looking to market through social commerce.
Be on the look out for more sponsored posts and marketing showing up around Facebook in the coming year.
How will social commerce change Twitter?
Twitter has not embraced social commerce to the level that Facebook has, however, the new media giant is taking the necessary steps.
At the beginning of the year The Cheesecake Factory created a marketing campaign which rewarded users to tweet new years resolutions with the hashtag, “#SKINNYLICOUS.”
The Cheesecake Factory did this in conjunction with the release of their new “Skinnylicious” menu. People who tweeted new years’ resolutions to the companies Twitter had a chance of winning gift cards from The Cheesecake Factory.
This is a perfect example of how companies can and will use social commerce to promote new releases and sales. Companies can receive free promotion from thousands of users simply by asking people to broadcast the latest news in exchange for giveaways.
For users who will be on Facebook and Twitter anyway, sending a tweet or post for prizes, is minimum effort for the possibility of maximum results.
What’s next for social commerce?
Companies like Givvy are developing new ways to associate themselves with social commerce through Facebook and Twitter. Givvy provides Facebook users recommendations based on product recommendations, and then populates an online shop specifically tailored to that users taste.
Companies like Groupon and Jack Threads also send sale announcements via Twitter, Facebook and mobile applications that encourage users with sharing through those social sites.
New media users can expect to see a completely unique shopping experience based on their preferences that rewards them for social sharing on a grand scale. As social commerce grows in popularity among individuals and marketing professionals, it will continue to shape new media and commerce forever.