Category > Social Media

The Rise Of Social Commerce: How Tweets, Pins And Likes Can Turn Into Sales

admin » 21 June 2013 » In Social Media » No Comments

Overall usage on social media platforms is exploding. Millions and millions of consumers are expressing likes on Facebook, tweeting about products on Twitter, and pinning on Pinterest every single day.

Retailers and brands are therefore increasingly focusing their attention on social commerce.

But, many struggle with the question: how do you convert a “like,” a “tweet,” or “pin” into a sale?

social-commerce-revenue-share-1

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we look at successful examples of businesses and business models for generating commerce via social media-based strategies, analyze Pinterest’s success as a social commerce platform, look at Facebook’s potential as a social commerce contender, and examine the e-commerce conversion and order value gap.

Here’s an overview of the converging trends that promise to transform social media into a viable commerce platform:

The rise of mobile: The rise of mobile, which means shoppers can price-compare and solicit advice from friends wherever they are. Overall, mobile accounts for just under 40% of time spent on social media. Facebook has passed the 50% mobile usage mark and Pinterest is at 48%. Together, they combine for over 56% of social generated e-commerce at the moment, according to social commerce platform, Addshoppers. Given the continued growth of mobile devices, it will only rise. Brands’ desire for guaranteed attention in the medium, coupled with this explosion, helps to explain social media’s move away from traditional display ads – like Facebook’s right-rail ads – and into the realm of social commerce.

The rise of the visual Web: Sites like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and Wanelo are becoming repositories for shopping ideas, fashion tips, and wish lists — in essence user-generated catalogs. For example, in a recent survey by Zmags (a mobile catalog company), 63% of online shoppers said they plan to use online catalogs. And 35% said they plan to use Pinterest to make purchases.

Demographics: Today’s mobile-savvy consumers in their teens and early twenties are accustomed to shopping online and tend to see their smartphones and tablets as their main computing device, and an important shopping tool. Pinterest’s average user is between the ages of 30 and 49, which is an age bracket with considerable disposable income. Also, Pinterest users tend to be women (anywhere from 80 to 85% of its user base is female). Marketers know that it is women who usually control the purse strings for household purchases related to clothes, home decoration, and gifts — three strong areas for Pinterest.

Significant challenges remain: Social commerce — whatever the model — needs to better reflect the fundamental rule of e-commerce, which Amazon has always championed: Consumers will click to buy when it’s relatively effortless. That’s even more true of a casual shopper who ends up on a retailer’s site because of a social recommendation. That intent to buy is fragile and can quickly evaporate. Currently, social commerce strategies involve too many intermediate steps before a user ends up in front of the crucial “buy” button.

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Facebook Doubles Release Speed, Will Roll New Code Twice A Day

admin » 03 August 2012 » In Internet, Marketing, Social Media » No Comments

Facebook Doubles Release Speed

Facebook announced in a blog post today that they are doubling the site’s release speed, rolling Facebook onto new code twice per day.

“Last week, in conjunction with the opening of our engineering office in London, we decided to double the release speed of facebook.com and indeed “ship often,” release engineering manager Chuck Rossi writes.

First, there will be a push driven by Facebook’s New York office, followed by the social network’s regular daily push from the California team. Rossi says the developers are producing six times the amount of code per week as Facebook was in 2008, when he joined.

“It’s exciting and I think it crushes what anyone else of our size and impact is doing. Ship early and ship twice as often,” Rossi writes to close the post, firing a shot at Facebook’s competitors.

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10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips

admin » 11 April 2012 » In Google, Marketing, Search Engines, Social Media » No Comments

10 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips

Capacity – especially to plan and execute effective marketing strategies – is a big challenge for every small business. In this post, I’ll offer 10 suggestions for how small businesses can supercharge their marketing efforts by leveraging social media. For each suggestion, I will discuss a basic strategy – for those who simply want to get their toes wet, as well as an advanced strategy – for those who want to spend a bit more time and go a bit deeper in their social media marketing efforts. These tips are based on my experience leveraging social media marketing for my company, crowdSPRING.

I suggest you begin by outlining clear goals for your social media marketing efforts and figuring out how you’ll measure success. Once you’ve outlined your goals, let’s look at 10 great ways you can begin to leverage social media for your marketing efforts.

1. Facebook

facebook1

Facebook offers exceptional, low cost marketing opportunities for small business. Facebook now has over 300 million users, and while that seems like an outrageous number for small businesses to be targeting, Facebook offers a very powerful platform on which to build a presence. If you’re not already active on Facebook; you should get started right away.

Basic Strategy: If you haven’t signed up for Facebook yet, you absolutely should as soon as possible. Once you’ve signed up, you should also consider securing your company’s username. Be aware, however, that if you reserve your company name for your personal account, you won’t be able to use it for your Business Fan Page (more on those in the Advanced Strategy), so you may want to create a Page before registering your company’s name. Fan Pages have special rules regarding usernames, which you can read here.

You should do one other thing: search for your competitors and evaluate their Facebook presence. What types of Pages have they built? How many fans or “friends” do they have? Spend 15 minutes (per competitor) looking at their posts, photos and/or videos to understand how they’re using Facebook.

Advanced Strategy: You may already have a personal Facebook account, but how do you extend that presence for your business? You have several options. You can register a Business Account – which is designed for a very simple presence on Facebook. There are many limitations on such accounts (read the FAQ here), however, so you’ll most likely prefer to have a Business Fan Page. A Business Fan Page lets you create a page where customers or fans of your business can register as a “fan” — expanding the presence of your business (because your updates will also flow to their pages). You might also want to consider running hyper-local ads on Facebook.

2. Twitter

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Twitter has grown tremendously over the past year. For some small businesses, it offers an incredible marketing platform. BusinessWeek’s recent profile of 20 ways businesses use Twitter might give you some ideas about how you can leverage Twitter for your business.

Basic Strategy: If you haven’t signed up on Twitter yet, you should sign up today and reserve an account in the name of your business. While you might ultimately tweet in your own name, you’ll want to have the option to tweet from a business account. More importantly, you don’t want your competitors to register your business name. Twitter has put together a simple guide to help you understand what Twitter can do for business. You can also check out Mashable’s Twitter Guide.

Next, you should spend 15-30 minutes on Twitter’s homepage, doing basic searches to become familiar with the type of content available on the service. For example, if you are operating a small gift basket business, do some searches for various terms and phrases such as “gift basket,” “gifts,” “gift basket business,” etc. You should also search for the names of your competitors to see whether they’re on Twitter and if they are, how they’re using it. And don’t forget to search for your small business name – your customers may already be talking about you! Once you become comfortable with the content that’s already available and how your competitors are using Twitter, you can begin thinking about a strategy for how you’ll leverage Twitter for your business.

Advanced Strategy: To truly leverage Twitter, you’ll want to learn and use a few more advanced tools. This includes desktop and mobile Twitter clients like TweetDeck, Seesmic, and Tweetie. Desktop clients give you more flexibility and more control over your Twitter strategy than you’ll have on the Twitter website. Among other things, you’ll be able to pre-define searches (so that you can monitor certain keywords, including your business name) and group people you follow so that you can minimize the noise and focus on the real content. You might also consider using a web tool like Twitterfall, which will allow you to define (and color-code) various custom searches that you can review from time to time, and also to follow trending topics. For example, I use Twitterfall to identify helpful graphic design and industrial design resources to share with the crowdSPRING community.

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Facebook Buys Instagram For $1 Billion

admin » 09 April 2012 » In Social Media, Tech News » No Comments

Facebook Buys Instagram For $1 Billion

Facebook just bought Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.

Instagram is a mobile-only photo-sharing app. It grew from 1 million users in January 2011 to 15 million in December 2011. It has 30 million users now.

What’s great about it is that it is very fast – especially compared to Facebook.

With the Facebook iPhone app, there are 6 screens a user has to go through before a user can actually take a picture. With Instagram, there is one.

In February, we described Instagram as the biggest threat to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg just announced the news on Facebook:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

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Facebook Denies Looking At Your Text Messages

admin » 27 February 2012 » In Internet, Social Media, Tech News » No Comments

Facebook Denies Looking At Your Text Messages

Facebook denied a report Monday from the Sunday Times in London that the company is reading text messages sent by users that have installed its popular app on their mobile phones.

“The Sunday Times has done some creative conspiracy theorizing but the suggestion that we’re secretly reading people’s texts is ridiculous,” said Iian Mackenzie, Facebook’s head of European communications in a post entitled “Today’s Bad Journalism.”

An earlier report in the Sunday Times suggested that Facebook was ogling users’ private texts based on the Facebook for Android app’s permissions. Those permissions seem to allow the Facebook app to view text messages stored on the installer’s phone.

However, Facebook has now strongly denied that it reads users’ text messages. Instead, Facebook says, the text-reading permission was put into place in anticipation of a text-integration feature currently being tested by the company.

“. . . the permission is clearly disclosed on the app page in the Android marketplace and is in anticipation of new features that enable users to integrate Facebook features with their texts,” said Mackenzie. “However, other than some very limited testing, we haven’t launched anything so we’re not using the permission. If we do, it will be obvious to users what’s happening. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.”

Mackenzie suggested that concerned users run a test to see exactly what data is being exchanged between a phone running the Facebook app and the company’s servers. He also made sure to tell readers that his post shouldn’t be interpreted as an announcement of a new messenger service.

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State of Internet Marketing: 16 Predictions for 2012 by Bruce Clay

admin » 27 January 2012 » In Internet, Social Media, Tech News » No Comments

State of Internet Marketing: 16 Predictions for 2012 by Bruce Clay

Another whirlwind year in Web marketing is behind us, and the one ahead seems just as exciting. The big news of 2011 emerged as Google worked to make results even more relevant and useful to users, which eventually led to the Panda algorithm update that targeted low-quality sites in the results pages. Then of course, big strides were made by major search engines like Bing and Google to make social search more of the norm leading to perhaps the biggest news in social and personalized search, just announced this month by Google with its Search plus Your World feature.

In keeping with our annual tradition here at Bruce Clay, Inc., I’d like to share with you my forecast of the search climate in 2012:

1. Budgets will be larger than expected, although not crazy, and spending will be rapid. I expect that spending will ramp quickly early in 2012, then flatten during the middle of the year, then grow in the fourth quarter for a yearly growth of 13.73194 percent. Top firms will be busy and by mid-year many will stop accepting clients. There will be significant early excitement as online leads grow significantly.

2. Internet marketing optimization (IMO, the umbrella for SEO, PPC, analytics, social, conversion and information architecture) is finally recognized as the new online marketing battleground. Specialists such as SEOs are forced to learn about all other disciplines as projects require participants to know more about more about the other IMO disciplines.

3. Conferences see massive popularity as companies fight to learn the Internet marketing optimization disciplines. As the IMO disciplines become more competitive, training will become a significant factor in businesses wanting a slice of the online pie. Training demand grows rapidly, and the best online and classroom courses will be exceptionally popular. Training classes at conferences will fill early and will often be the justification for the conference.

4. Google+ will collect data that assists Google search in providing unique and exceptionally targeted results. Personalization of search results (ads, organic and local) is essentially accomplished.

5. The cost of AdWords ads doubles, but the ROI resulting from personalization targeting justifies it. Personalization makes it work. Google releases a new version of AdWords management tools combining demographic targeting to compete with that found in Facebook.

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Welcome To The Future Of Media – Online Growing

admin » 13 January 2012 » In Internet, Social Media, Tech News » No Comments

Welcome To The Future Of Media – Online Growing

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Welcome To The Future Of Media – “Distribution” is bigger…

admin » 04 January 2012 » In Internet, Marketing, Social Media, Tech News, Uncategorized » No Comments

Welcome To The Future Of Media – “Distribution” is bigger…

Welcome To The Future Of Media - Distribution is bigger...

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Facebook VS Google

admin » 31 December 2011 » In Google, Internet, Search Engines, Social Media, Tech News » No Comments

Facebook VS Google

facebook vs google

For the past couple of years, one meme has grown ever louder:

Facebook is killing Google.

Facebook is taking over the Internet, this story goes. Facebook now has ~800 million global users, half of whom log in every day. Facebook now accounts for something like a third of all pageviews in the U.S. Google is miles behind in social, despite the huge numbers for Google +. Facebook consumes an astonishing percentage of time spent online.

And so on.

And most importantly for the Facebook-is-killing-Google meme:

Facebook (and Twitter) are now the means by which many people share content online.

And all of that is true.

But none of it means that Facebook is killing Google.

To get a quick reality check on whether Facebook is killing Google, all you need to do is glance at these two numbers:

$40 Billion
$4 Billion

What are those two numbers?

Those are the approximate revenue numbers for 2011 for Google and Facebook respectively.

Google’s 2011 revenue will be about $40 billion, Facebook’s will be about $4 billion. Google, in other words, is 10-times Facebook’s size.

But, but, but, you say…

Google is still 10-times Facebook’s size because Facebook is just in the early stages of generating revenue. When Facebook gets its revenue engines really cranking, it will blow past Google in no time.

No, it won’t. Not unless it figures out a way to insert itself between consumers who want to buy specific products and companies that make and sell those specific products, the way Google has.

If Facebook builds a products and services search engine, for example, and somehow captures a huge amount of Google’s global search share then, yes, Facebook will in fact be “killing” Google.

Until then, all the “time spent” and “pageviews” and “users” metrics are pretty much irrelevant.

Why?

Because as the current revenue levels for both companies are demonstrating, search is a vastly better advertising product than social networking.

Vastly better.

So much better, in fact, that, when it comes to head-to-head business competition, the two companies aren’t yet even in the same league.

And why is search such a better business than social networking?

Because search is the best advertising product in the history of the world.

Social networking, meanwhile, is a relatively lousy advertising product (relatively).

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Social Media Revolution

admin » 01 July 2011 » In Google, Internet, Social Media » No Comments

Social Media Revolution

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