12 January 2011 20 Comments

Brand communications: Meeting the challenges in the rise of social commerce

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

social commerce and brand communicationssocial commerceMore than anything else, this new decade will witness unquantifiable level in the rise of social commerce. The gate of social entrepreneurship is now wide opened. It is certain many will take advantage of this new opportunity also. Many brands that exist before may need to learn the rudiments of this new trade and find meeting points that can be used to promote and position their brands better. Anyone who ignores the principles associated with social commerce today will lose its stakeholder in a large number. Like Guy Kawasaki maintains in his book ‘The Macintosh Way’ brand must learn to do things right and also adhere to doing things in the right way.

The essence of this is traceable to the fact that customers now own the absolute power(whether a brand will be successful or not). The use of social platforms to connect, relate will become a vital tool in gaining consumers’ help with regards to  brand unbeatable position among its competitors.

According to a report by Bazaarvoice, brands that will meet present challenges in social commerce need to come to term with the phases of social commerce. Bazaarvoice in this report pointed out that brand must know what will persuade internal people within the organization to play along and implement such. The second phase is the proper understanding of what content will appeal as well as how to acquire such content. The third stage itemized by this said report bothers on knowing how to amplify the user-generated content beyond the brand’s blog, platform etc. In addition to the above, the report went further to say brand need to know how to operationalize the content so much that customers’ opinion can impact the whole business. The fifth stage is analyses. This has to do with what counts in term of metrics or success of the activities.

Having achieved this, the last stage bothers on what next, starting the process again among other factors. Interestingly, it is popularly agreed that many brands will not initiate this process because of fear of negative feedback. Forgetting that negative feedbacks help to correct wrong impression or gain new perspective.

According to Guy, if we intend to do things right in the new social commerce (italics mine), there will be urgent need for evangelism. To Guy, evangelism is sales done right. It has a lot to do with sharing brand’s dream with the marketplace. It also has to do with making history with the customer. This will be sales done in its purest form

Another feature here is brand’s willingness to share information and giving support to user-group which will guarantee word of mouth advantage. Groups and platforms will become veritable tools in the hand of brands. Groups, tribes will gain status of advertising platforms but the danger here is that groups and tribes will not be available to hit and run brands. They will have to gain, earned the tribes’ confidence.

When the above are strictly adhere to and where necessary, the use and combination of other vital factors, any brand can excel by learning and applying basic social commerce principles that will work for its goal achievement. What other points do you still consider vital that have missed? Or do you have a case study? Share them.

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