5 Pillars for Your Social Shopping Plan

5 Pillars for Your Social Shopping Plan 890 500 C-Suite Network

We continue to experience ongoing real-time shifts in the way consumers engage with content and commerce. From a business opportunities perspective, none of these patterns is more electrifying than the amazing evolution of e-commerce.

While it is true that there was a time when, “If you built a website … they (customers) would come,” this is no longer the case. Websites are necessary and vital, and they are often the first impression of your organization, but your website is just one ingredient that today’s savvy consumer makes a purchase decision on.

The other significant and growing area is social media, which is exploding as the newest congregation point for consumers. According to HubSpot, 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Global social commerce revenue reached more than $40 billion last year.

It is irrefutable that your prospects and customers are spending more time today on a wide array of social media platforms, and as it evolves, they are doing much more than exchanging posts with friends and followers. Amid all this personal interactivity, they are very open and receptive to learning about new products and services. It appears that within the social community they are more interested in messages that inform and excite. In fact, Gartner reports that 84 percent of millennials say that user generated content from strangers has at least “some” influence on what they buy.

A real-time social media strategy is no longer an option, but a necessary ingredient in your marketing plan. These plans have become mission-critical to brands seeking ongoing engagement with customers today and in the years ahead.

It is also clear that this channel operates by an entirely different set of rules and methods. Those who carry legacy logic and performance metrics need to fully understand this medium in order to avoid missing a great opportunity. Do not apply “long-standing” strategies to this new medium, but approach it with a fresh, outside-the-box perspective in order to optimize the channel and ensure that the ideas and tactics that are implemented represent the best use of time and resources.

Here are five points to consider in mapping out your social shopping plan:

  1. Observe: You first need to know the social media patterns of your customers and prospects. Start with a survey or poll to find out where they are spending time within the social sphere. Look to…