Useful posts about social media branding for b2c brands

In last week’s post we covered the challenges that brands face in making the transition from Fan to Buyer and how fashion retailers in particular, struggle with these conversions.  Our post finished off with a note on how many of us social media marketers and e-commerce specialists struggle to create/mould the consumer buyer behaviour to shift from using Facebook for not just socializing but also for shopping.

With social commerce expected to reach $30 billion in revenue by 2017, brands need to find innovate ways to create that push from Fan to Consumer.   It is also becoming increasingly hard for brands to ignore that there is also a growing market of Facebook users [approximately 20% from a recent study] who would feel comfortable shopping directly on social media sites, as opposed to the brands’ websites.

So how do some of the biggest brands embrace social commerce today?  The following are some examples of brands doing a successful job in bridging the gap in Facebook Fan engagement and Social Commerce.

Oscar de la Renta

Fashion brand Oscar de la Renta, has done an excellent job of creating incentive for Fans to connect, engage and shop on their Facebook Timeline Page.  The brand offers exclusive “Facebook-Only” products direct from the runway that are available through purchase nowhere else and they are the first fashion brand to successfully create a unique shopping experience that does not leave FacebookWhy this works: Oscar de la Renta is tapping into their top 1% fan base by creating exclusivity through these Facebook-only shopping experiences, which in the end drive sales.


Canadian Tire

 Mass retailer, Canadian Tire, has developed an app on their Timeline Page which enables Fans to get their weekly Canadian Tire flyer and weekly coupons.  What will make this online flyer even more interesting, after hearing Duncan Fulton, CMO of Forzani Group present in January’s Dx3 Conference in Toronto, is that in the app’s second phase, Fans will be able to get custom recommendations based on locality and the current weather, so for example if it’s raining in Vancouver, the Canadian Tire flyer will recommend rain jackets but if it’s sunny in Toronto, my recommendations might be for rollerblades and Spring jackets. Why this works: The flyer provides die-hard Canadian Tire fans (yes they exist), with the opportunity to get deals and then click-through to learn more about the product on the company website.  It enables the consumer to do their research pre-purchase and provides an opportunity for the brand to push the consumer closer to the purchase.

Unilever for its Brands

CPG marketing giant, Unilever, is using Facebook to drive hype and buyer behaviour by gamifying the Facebook experience for some of their brands.  Looking at the Lynx for Her example, Unilever’s team created a countdown by offering special edition cans of their Lynx deodorant spray to the first 100 Fans who purchased the product online.  Why this works:  Creative campaigns in linking engagement and exclusivity, with shopping helps to drive the essential shift that needs to take place for social commerce to work.


Walmartlabs with Shopycat

A Walmartlabs creation, Shopycat uses Facebook data to recommend gifts to consumers on the company’s Facebook page.  This app uses data from Facebook pages to estimate a person’s top 10 friends. It then recommends suitable gifts for those friends, based on their interests pulled from information shared via Facebook.  Consumers also have the ability to search for a topic or theme and Shopycat will show which Facebook friends are interested in those things, along with related gifts.  Why it works:  Shopycat is introducing intelligent social commerce technology and is creating a customized social shopping experience for consumers.  These features are effectively bridging the gap between brand and consumer and helping drive purchases either online or in-store.

Concluding Thoughts

In all examples of brands using social commerce successfully there are three common themes / questions that need to be answered by the marketing team before running a successful F-comm or So-Comm campaign and they are all based on the key fundamental in driving engagement and consumerism “What’s in it for the consumer?”.  Your campaign should consider the following to help drive engagement:

  1. Perceived Social Value- For social commerce, especially in Facebook, the benefit to your Fans’ social status needs to be clear
  2. Exclusivity – Can only a certain number of Fans get the offer
  3. Discounts / Promotion– Is your F-comm initiative offering a discount to your fans for engaging.
  4. Gamification – Will our campaign gamify the social experience and make it fun for Fans to interact with my brand in order to get a special offer

Without at least one of these three key fundamentals, I don’t believe a brand can successfully run a Social-Commerce campaign.  It’s always about the buyer behaviour and most importantly, “what is in it for the consumer”, so the next time your brand is looking to create an engaging social commerce campaign, be sure to consider the three key points.

Do you have experience running a social commerce campaign?  Share your experiences with our team, we’d love to hear about it!

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