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Social Commerce: How to Effectively Monetize Social Media

Mary Clare Riordan • April 13, 2015

Blog authored by Sarah Griffis and Jess Jenkins

Have you checked your Facebook today? Tweeted at your best friend? Pinned your favorite summer outfit? Chances are you have done one of these things, or at least visited one of the many other social platforms out there in the last 24 hours (after all, Americans do spend 25% of their work days browsing social media for non-work related activities…but we won’t tell.)[1]

Over a quarter of the world are active social media users. That’s 2.03 billion people![2] Do you know what that means? You as a retailer have a huge opportunity to reach a large number of consumers simply by posting to such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Consider this: users who come to a site through social or shared content spend an average $126.12 versus $116.55 for users who don’t engage via social.[3] You could be making almost ten dollars more for each customer that interacts with you through social media if you approach it the right way!

However, historically, online businesses have not capitalized on making social media a part of their business plans. To move the needle on this medium, retailers need to learn how to connect with users in engaging ways and reexamine attribution modeling for social conversions. There are three key things to remember for monetization of social media: match your message to your platform, know your desired outcome, and support with the right technology and marketing dollars.

Match Your Message to Your Platform:

Replicating the same message across all platforms will get you nowhere (e.g. posting, tweeting and pinning the same marketing message). Your customers engage with different social platforms for different reasons. For instance, Facebook users tend to seek promotions and will convert or respond on exclusive coupons while Pinterest users search for inspiration or ideas and would respond better to aspirational imagery, gift guides, or tutorials. This may seem basic but many retailers miss this point and often blanket blast social posts.



Know Your Desired Outcome:

 Is your goal to drive interest in an upcoming sale, gain new customers for your file, or “seal the deal” with customers who are mid funnel? If you answered ‘Yes’ to all of the above, then there’s your problem. Having a specific goal in mind will drive you to create a more tailored social campaign that will ultimately be more successful. For instance, if you are looking to drive interest in an upcoming sale, you should start to run teaser campaigns and drop hints to your followers. Have users who share with their networks gain early access or leverage a gamification platform like Quikly. To “seal the deal” on mid funnel users, plan on running remarketing campaigns through Facebook to showcase recently viewed purchases.

quiklyQuikly campaign example

Support with the Right Technology and Marketing Dollars:

To monetize social media, most brands will need to invest in paid promotion and supportive technologies in order to get the most out of their organic social efforts (e.g. user comments and brand posts).

Accurate tracking and optimization tools are key. Before you launch your paid campaign, configure a conversion tracking pixel on your website to properly track and attribute traffic pathing through your social campaign. This tracking pixel sets a great foundation for all future successful social media campaigns and can help you target, test, and correct.

Test before you spend. Understand your brands targeting parameters and creative performance before you launch with a test spend. Social media audiences are nuanced; it is important to get to know your following before you sell to them. This will help you determine the right budget and anticipate your ROAS – big wins in the world of social commerce.

New ad formats on Facebook and Instagram are a great way to put your product directly in your customer’s feed.  Olapic has an ad format that includes images pulled from Instagram, Twitter, Vine or YouTube. Called Predictive Consumer Generated Ads, their program uses an algorithm that enables brands to choose user generated images that are most likely to get clicks to include in retargeted ads. Tried and tested targeting and best practice creative is essential to making these ads work. Explore other options like Shopseen, Soldsie or Like2Buy to make your engaging visual content on Instagram shoppable.

Make a game of it. Explore technology that capitalizes on virality and gamification to promote acquisition strategies. Programs like Quikly can rapidly increase engagement and build buzz around a new product launch, seasonal shift or promotion.



So if you weren’t convinced before, we hope you can see now the value in social media for your eCommerce business. Want to learn more about the eCommerce solutions and social media strategies LYONSCG can create for you? Contact us.





Mary Clare Riordan

About the author

Mary Clare Riordan

Mary Clare Riordan is the Marketing Programs Manager at LYONSCG. When she's not running creative demand generation campaigns, you can find her cheering on Boston sports and Marquette basketball, running along the Chicago lakefront, or spending time with family and friends.

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