What Does The Future Hold For Social Commerce?

| June 19, 2013

Commerce is a blanket term that can be used to any activity that results in revenue being generated. If you were to offer some services, like providing house hold repair services that are charged on an hourly basis, an instance of commercial activity has taken place. Folks and businesses invest a substantial amount of human as well as financial resources to setup shop. As a consequence of that, they try to get as many customers they can handle to know about their product and use it. This results in revenue being generated and that way the business can sustain.

The Old Way Of Acquiring Customers

Previously, the preferred way of acquiring customers was through advertising, referrals, repeat customers and such. Advertising is like a constantly evolving beast and only those who can evolve and achieve success in taming this animal emerge victorious. The constantly evolving nature of advertising is because of the underlying communication method that keeps changing every so often.

Take social media, for instance. In the past decade, no other technology has changed communication at the most basic level. The internet rose to prominence roughly about two decades ago and that in itself changed the way people interact with each other and with businesses. Now, a few years ago, social media in the form of social networks of varying types have started doing the same.

Experts talk on Social Commerce

Combine commercial activity that people indulge in with that of social media, and we have social commerce. The way it works can be illustrated with a simple example. One of the most popular social networks in existence ever, is Facebook. Facebook allows people to maintain a network of friends. On this network people share what they like by way of comments, likes and pictures. Let us say that there is a business that is selling movie posters and has an advertising arrangement with this network.

Every now and then, a group of friends might start a discussion about movies. The social network, Facebook will sense this ad start displaying movie poster ads, given that they are related. The people who are discussing movies might like this and click on these ads. Even if they are not ready to shop at that instant, they may decide explore this poster provider further by ‘liking’ that particular poster selling company.

Companies Achieved Something Through Social Commerce

Further, the business selling posters may maintain its own Facebook page. This page will contain additional trivia, information, offers as such. A user may choose to subscribe to this page so as to be in touch with the latest developments. The page also makes interaction easier. An interested user can directly post questions on this page and the owner of the business can respond to the poster right away.

Some businesses have taken this benefit of one to one interaction to the next level. Almost all companies will have a dedicated department to handle post sales enquiries. Customers who have adopted social network sites in a big way into their lives, may find it almost natural and easier to have their issues clarified through these sites. Many companies have decided to complement their standard phone based sales support with social support as well.

Examples abound as to how companies are leveraging on social commerce. Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software companies, maintains a huge presence on Facebook. Folks who use variety of Microsoft products can ‘Like’ and hence subscribe to its many product pages. The company uses these Pages to keep its followers informed about product discounts, release information. Another social network, twitter is actually used by Microsoft to provide technical support for its products such as windows phone.

Other companies who use Facebook and twitter include multinational companies such as Nokia and Electronic Arts.

The Benefits Of Asynchronous Communication

With social networks, everything is asynchronous. You post a question and then let it be. Answer is posted at a later point of time and you get to read it at your own time. Making this a whole lot more convenient is how integrated this is with every day devices. With the most basic feature phones to the top end smart phones and tablets, social media integration is omnipresent. You are not tied to your home or office computer. You get information on the movie and social networks have made it easy.

Going forward, the level of integration between our real lives and virtual social life will only increase. We are already seeing such sweeping changes. It is now possible for people to organize virtual conferences through social networks. Some businesses are abandoning conventional support systems in favour of social network based setups. Folks are even using it to acquire new work assignments. Soon, the line between our real lives and virtual lives will be blurred, become one and the same.

 

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Category: Recruit 101, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Special Agent Intermediate, tmmBosley, tmmCharlie, tmmJill, tmmKelly, Veteran Advanced

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Brian Taylor Recruit 101Social MediaSocial Media MarketingSpecial Agent IntermediatetmmBosleytmmCharlietmmJilltmmKellyVeteran Advanced ,,

Commerce is a blanket term that can be used to any activity that results in revenue being generated. If you were to offer some services, like providing house hold repair services that are charged on an hourly basis, an instance of commercial activity has taken place. Folks and businesses invest a substantial amount of human as well as financial resources to setup shop. As a consequence of that, they try to get as many customers they can handle to know about their product and use it. This results in revenue being generated and that way the business can sustain.

The Old Way Of Acquiring Customers

Previously, the preferred way of acquiring customers was through advertising, referrals, repeat customers and such. Advertising is like a constantly evolving beast and only those who can evolve and achieve success in taming this animal emerge victorious. The constantly evolving nature of advertising is because of the underlying communication method that keeps changing every so often.

Take social media, for instance. In the past decade, no other technology has changed communication at the most basic level. The internet rose to prominence roughly about two decades ago and that in itself changed the way people interact with each other and with businesses. Now, a few years ago, social media in the form of social networks of varying types have started doing the same.

Experts talk on Social Commerce

Combine commercial activity that people indulge in with that of social media, and we have social commerce. The way it works can be illustrated with a simple example. One of the most popular social networks in existence ever, is Facebook. Facebook allows people to maintain a network of friends. On this network people share what they like by way of comments, likes and pictures. Let us say that there is a business that is selling movie posters and has an advertising arrangement with this network.

Every now and then, a group of friends might start a discussion about movies. The social network, Facebook will sense this ad start displaying movie poster ads, given that they are related. The people who are discussing movies might like this and click on these ads. Even if they are not ready to shop at that instant, they may decide explore this poster provider further by ‘liking’ that particular poster selling company.

Companies Achieved Something Through Social Commerce

Further, the business selling posters may maintain its own Facebook page. This page will contain additional trivia, information, offers as such. A user may choose to subscribe to this page so as to be in touch with the latest developments. The page also makes interaction easier. An interested user can directly post questions on this page and the owner of the business can respond to the poster right away.

Some businesses have taken this benefit of one to one interaction to the next level. Almost all companies will have a dedicated department to handle post sales enquiries. Customers who have adopted social network sites in a big way into their lives, may find it almost natural and easier to have their issues clarified through these sites. Many companies have decided to complement their standard phone based sales support with social support as well.

Examples abound as to how companies are leveraging on social commerce. Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software companies, maintains a huge presence on Facebook. Folks who use variety of Microsoft products can ‘Like’ and hence subscribe to its many product pages. The company uses these Pages to keep its followers informed about product discounts, release information. Another social network, twitter is actually used by Microsoft to provide technical support for its products such as windows phone.

Other companies who use Facebook and twitter include multinational companies such as Nokia and Electronic Arts.

The Benefits Of Asynchronous Communication

With social networks, everything is asynchronous. You post a question and then let it be. Answer is posted at a later point of time and you get to read it at your own time. Making this a whole lot more convenient is how integrated this is with every day devices. With the most basic feature phones to the top end smart phones and tablets, social media integration is omnipresent. You are not tied to your home or office computer. You get information on the movie and social networks have made it easy.

Going forward, the level of integration between our real lives and virtual social life will only increase. We are already seeing such sweeping changes. It is now possible for people to organize virtual conferences through social networks. Some businesses are abandoning conventional support systems in favour of social network based setups. Folks are even using it to acquire new work assignments. Soon, the line between our real lives and virtual lives will be blurred, become one and the same.