Two friends happen to cross paths after several years, after a short conversation, they go their ways, promising to find each other on Facebook. Social media has pervaded every aspect of contemporary life. From catching up with friends to choosing a restaurant for that all important second date or a product that one would consider buying; small and big decisions are increasingly dependent on social media advice. People are reaching out to their friends and also to their favorite brands. They follow trends on social commerce and check out businesses that are making a difference to the community.
Social Commerce Trends to Like
Whether it is a child or an adult, everybody loves a good story. And the secret to telling a good story lies in relating it to the target audience. As social media and commerce mature, it is apparent that customers trust brands that they see as authentic. They look forward to non-invasive content that makes a personal connection. They like hearing from these brands and enjoy their posts immensely.
A Sharethrough and IPG Media Lab study reveals that customers show a preference for native ads as compared to display ones. In fact they look at the former 53% more frequently than the latter. They are also 18% more likely to buy products that they see on native ads as compared with display ads. Brands are choosing to tell their stories, and are using versatile mediums to do so. These include videos, blogs and communities that encourage customers to share their stories with the brand.
Some brands that display innovative story telling include Dove. The brand is well known for its campaigns that focus on empowering women and encouraging them to look at themselves in a more positive light.
Adidas started its ‘all in for #mygirls’ campaign on International Women’s Day. On the surface of it the campaign focused on girls and women who play sports. The brand also includes an online magazine in its #mygirls campaign. With time, it has placed attention on important health issues and has become one of Adidas’ best campaigns ever. The brand tells its stories well and connects with its target audiences. It takes note of issues that are relevant and important to its customers. This is the essence of good story telling.
There are some brands that believe that a picture can tell a story and communicate more than a paragraph of words could. This is true of American Express. Sometimes in subtle ways and at other times in fun and obvious ways they include their brand in the pictures. Starbucks is another business that believes in speaking to its customers through its well chosen pictures and posts. In many ways a business’ Facebook timeline picture can tell a story all by itself. As it dominates the page visually, when facebook users visits the page, it garners the maximum attention.
Fan Generated Content
There is nothing more trusted than the word of a friend or a fellow social commerce customer. This is why many brands are encouraging customers to have their say on their Facebook pages and online communities. A customer review is considered by fellow shoppers to be more valuable than a well worded and detailed product description.
Starbucks encourages customers to share pictures that connect them with the brand. This gives the business’ Facebook page a warm feel and encourages others to share. Shinola encourages customers to share pictures on #MyShinola. This has helped the business create an amazing digital library of pictures that connect it to its customers.
The Numbers, They’re Always Changing
The only thing predictable about the behavior of online users is that it is unpredictable. This year Facebook lost some of its teen audience, but it has gained in all the other age groups. Businesses need to ensure that their content is developed based on the demographic profile of its target audiences and addressed effectively. They need to analyze the large amounts of data that their Facebook page offers, in order to understand their customers better.
Sell On the Network
The surge in Mompreneurs who are choosing to sell on social media sites such as Facebook is a trend that is noteworthy. On many Facebook pages customers can buy products simply by commenting on a picture. Thereafter, the brand follows up with an invoice and processes the order. Lolly Wolly Doodle is making waves in social commerce and with good reason.
It is vital that businesses offer their customers a Facebook store to shop at while they are on the social media site. This enables them to complete a purchase while they are interested in it. It also allows them to benefit from exclusive Facebook offers, thereby improving customer loyalty too.