Social networks were initially built to interact and communicate with people across borders, share ideas, locate old friends or generally, just to communicate with people. But as the network grew, businesses soon realized that it was a very powerful platform and that it can be used to market their products and services. Thus, social media networks were tapped by smart entrepreneurs and others, mainly SMBs to advertise and promote their products and services among their social circles.
The upside to social networks is that word gets around pretty fast and so works as an excellent internet marketing medium. Though networks like Facebook have come up with its indigenous online shopping facility (Facebook Shop), the network is mainly used as a marketing tool. Even if companies own separate ecommerce stores they always integrate it with social networks by adding networking badges so that shoppers can recommend, review and rate their products.
Statistics show that, in the year 2013, one in every thirteen people on the earth today is registered on Facebook and this number is continually growing. Also, one in three small businesses use FaceBook and by around 2015 social commerce sales is expected to touch $30 billion.
Social Commerce to Increase Business Revenue through Online Presence
Visibility: Since social media has an existing network of people and a solid fan following; it’s easy to give your brand excellent visibility and extend offers and hot deals through rigorous social networking.
Reputation: Since socializing is all about real people and real issues, it’s worth the effort to build a reputation and a steady customer base through networking. Entrepreneurs can directly communicate with their clients and hence build a personalized experience which is very important to brand recognition and reputation.
Proximity: Social networks help overcome geographic borders. It is a platform where ‘every-day people’ meet each other, share ideas and communicate information. Entrepreneurs directly communicate with their clients and embark on an engaging relationship in spite of physical distances.
Context: Choose a social platform that best suits your products; if you are selling something related to images and pics then I guess Flickr and Pinterest would be a better bet. It would help you target the right audience and also engage in better communication.
Recommendations: We are all highly social creatures and 90 percent of us would be influenced by other people’s recommendations. It’s always important to get as many reviews, ratings or recommendations for your products on social networks. They are very reassuring and encourage other shoppers to buy.
Customer care: Social networks are places were issues both good and bad are discussed, so be nice to your clients, and you could score on customer care as this would ascertain a strong base of repeat customers.
Internet marketing is all about making the right decisions and right choices at the right time-
- Stay audience oriented: Choosing the right Social network to market your products and services is valuable as user demographics differ on social networks. So choose a wider network that would cover your targeted audience
- Quality works better than Quantity: Pestering your audience with offers is a major put off. It’s always best to give out quality offers that are fewer in number and not a cartload of useless offers.
- Reflect on personality: Social media is where people would relate to you and what you say. It’s the perfect place to give a face to your products and build a personality for the same.
- Ace the service factor: Customer service is very important on social media, give your audience an impeccable customer care, and it will definitely reap good returns. On social networks whatever you do good or bad would go viral instantly.
- Consistency pays: Inconsistency just does not work on social networks. Your tone and style has to remain consistent across all the networking channels, it conveys your personality. Do not make the mistake of giving admin authority to multiple people to handle and manage your accounts.
- Inquisitive and interesting: Nothing works on social media liking piquing the curiosity of the audience and providing interesting information on the network. Different conversations, pictures and videos would help enhance engagement.
- Interactive and engaging: Communication should be interactive and engaging, focus on talking points that instill the audience to reply and interact. Try polls competitions and other means of interactive communication.
- Monitor and respond: The biggest mistake one can make on social media is to ignore and not respond. One has to regularly monitor all the profiles and responds to people on them. The whole idea of networking is to engage and interact
- Don’t be drab: Try and infuse some creativity while communicating with your circles. Product marketing with a twist is a great idea. Try speaking about the other profiles you have and maybe lead people to interesting pictures about your products or a good review someone has written for them.
- Be patient and realistic: Social media does not instantly give returns, it is a platform where you have to build a reputation, instill brand recognition and gain the trust of the people. This is a slow process, but once you do this you’ll have a very valuable and loyal customer base.
Leverage the most of Social media, by wisely using it as an efficient Internet marketing tool. Though a platform that requires considerable time and effort to maintain, the wait is thoroughly rewarding and helps build a loyal and steady customer base.