How To Leverage Social Commerce To Energy Buyer Loyalty Packages | Social Media Advertising and marketing

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The term “social commerce” is the trend du jour for marketers, but there is confusion in many circles about what that really means. At its core, social commerce is about turning customers into advocates.

Social commerce means a lot to many people. Some equate social commerce with Kapital-I “influencer” marketing. Others see social commerce as the process by which marketers reach consumers directly through social media platforms.

To be honest, the original and most powerful form of social commerce is embodied in everyday word of mouth. That means social sharing, where people recommend their favorite things to their family and friends and are rewarded with a purchase.

Marketers put energy and money into the first two, but the third has the greatest impact. However, this tactic has proven to be the most difficult thing to pin down for marketers to use.

The brass ring for advertisers

The power of word of mouth marketing is the elephant in the room for dealers and brands. They understand the power of personal recommendations. However, they didn’t know how to motivate and reward their customers to get the word out there on a large scale.


People directly recommend products and services billions of times a day, resulting in an estimated annual global trade of $ 3 trillion.

Personal recommendations are undoubtedly the strongest influencing factor in the purchase decision. According to Nielsen, 84 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products and services, either in whole or in part.

In other words, you don’t have to be an “influencer” to be an influence.

Word of mouth recommendations from consumers, while multichannel, come in two main formats:

  • People share links to products; or
  • They mention products in the body of their message.

Shared links

Most often, when consumers share links to products or services, it relates to a specific item, for example:

KitchenAid Coffee Grat Grinder recommendation

Mentions of the product or dealer

Alternatively, consumers often skip the step of inserting a link and simply mention the product or retailer in their message:

Marriott recommendation

Context relevant recommendations

The reasons retailers and brands fall short in motivating and rewarding these personal referrals are driven by two factors:

  • Personal recommendations are by their nature ad-hoc and distributed over the many communication channels and channels; and
  • Advertisers fear disrupting the strongest aspect of a personal recommendation, its authenticity.

Platforms are emerging that address both concerns and enable advertisers to run multichannel programs that use authenticity instead of disrupting it.

The most authentic recommendations are those that are contextually relevant to a conversation and included in one-on-one conversations, such as DMs and text messages as in the examples above.

According to our research, 99 percent of respondents trust recommendations from friends or family more than advertising, and 96 percent of respondents made a purchase over their phone based on a direct recommendation they received via text message.

The biggest challenge for advertisers has been the historic lack of technology that allows them to fit into the conversation in an authentic and unobtrusive way.

Keys to Successful Social Commerce Loyalty Programs

The next challenge for marketers is to make the most of the untapped potential of social commerce, literally, to make the most of the untapped potential of social commerce: motivating and rewarding referrers in a contextual and natural way, while casually recommending products, services, and brands to which they are personally loyal to messages .

Four principles come into play for marketers to motivate and reward people for recommending their products through digital word of mouth:

  1. Effortlessly: Successful efforts and technologies fit naturally into social dialogue, leverage existing user behavior, and require no additional steps on the part of the recommender.
  2. Omnichannel: Since digital word of mouth occurs wherever people chat and exchange ideas, successful programs and technologies need to hit consumers where they already are – by communicating across all platforms (mobile, desktop) and all communication channels (text, apps, social media, etc.) .) function .).
  3. Unobtrusive: It is important to use the authentic conversations between people and to fit naturally and unobtrusively into the context of the conversation.
  4. Rewarding: It’s important to have accurate tracking and attribution for social sharing so that the person making referrals is rewarded if their suggestions lead to purchases.

To build a successful social commerce-powered loyalty program and harness the power of unrealized $ 3 trillion in transactions from personal referrals, brands need to make sure their programs meet these criteria.

When these key elements are in place, programs are more likely to sound authentic and successfully increase results for brands.

Word of mouth no longer has to be an elusive source of revenue growth for the brands that are successful in turning customers into loyal advocates who are rewarded for organically sharing their recommendations.

powerJordan Glaser is the founder and CEO of Wildfire Systems. He is a former eBay executive who ran the e-commerce pioneer’s three largest marketplaces. Jordan was also previously CEO of Eventful, a digital service connecting consumers to entertainment and local events that was acquired by CBS in 2014.

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