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4 Ways to Take Advantage of the Social Commerce Opportunity This Holiday Season

For digital marketers, this last quarter of 2012 brings a new social commerce flavor. Social media will take a more central role in the brand marketing arsenal, with 90% of marketers planning to maintain or increase holiday campaign investments in social channels like Facebook, as reported by Experian. It also seems 2012 may accelerate Gartner's prediction that half of all online sales will come from social and mobile channels by 2015.

4 ways to take advantage of social commerce this holiday season

Make use of flash deals for impulse buys

Flash deals target consumers at the right time, in the right way and in the right place – on Facebook. People searching for gifts are the perfect target for impulse sales through flash deals because they’re already in “buying mode” but often don’t have a set target. The POPAI reported that 55% of all retail sales in 2011 were impulse buys, and this number is poised to increase during social gift-shopping this holiday season.

Use embedded social stores to offer your Fans catchy offers and specials in the newsfeed, provide a great price, and instigate an impulse buy within the newsfeed itself! Lady Antebellum used this exact tactic to sell out an exclusive offer in one hour, with the increased reach of the Facebook newsfeed driving 85% of sales from new buyers not yet part of her fan base.

Image 1: Lady antebellum succeeded by facilitating impulse buys within the Facebook newsfeedImage

Spread your deals out over the holiday season

Amazon marks one of many retailers and e-commerce vendors starting Black Friday deals early this year, with Amazon posting deals three weeks early and brick-and-mortar stores like Target opening before midnight on Black Friday to attract customers earlier.

To take advantage of purchase-ready consumers, offer a trickle of goods all season long, with surges of special deals on the traditional days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Use social media for initiatives such as hinting at fantastic deals on certain days, or conducting flash or special deals that can only be unlocked when a certain number of people ‘Like’ the deal. This will encourage customers to share with their social graphs and ensures that the deal has a suitable amount of interest.

Choose the right channel

Brands engaged in social tend to maintain a presence on the big three – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – with newcomers like Pinterest rapidly catching up. Before planning resource expenditure for all these channels, consider what metrics you value. Rich Relevance found that click-through rates from Facebook make up the majority of shopping sessions at almost 86%, with Pinterest (11.3%) and Twitter (2.9%) lagging by a substantial margin. Also consider the latest findings from Eventbrite that announced their average value from a Facebook ‘Share’ is $4.15, over double the value of shares on the next highest platform, Twitter. For social commerce, Facebook remains king.

Image 2: Facebook still reigns supreme over other social networks for social commerce referralsImage

Give yourself a holiday gift: Social ROI

IBM reported that social commerce grew by almost 70% last summer, and this growth is expected to continue throughout the holiday season. Social commerce and social media marketing are real opportunities brands can only ignore at their peril. Take advantage of the tips and tactics from this complimentary white paper, 6 Best Practices to Get the most From your Facebook Presence, to plan your best holiday sales season yet.


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