Creating a viral video is like “catching lighting in a bottle,” according to Aaron Strout, Managing Director of W20 Group, who shared 10 trends in social commerce at the April Social Media Club of Dallas event. Strout started the session off with a recent example from K-Mart, “Ship My Pants,” which had the audience in stitches.
In a very engaging session, Strout defined social commerce as the intersection of analytics, advocacy, content and education—with the purpose of narrowing the gap between customers and business transactions. In other words, social commerce is effectively sharing information people need to make purchase decisions.
That definition emphasizes that it’s really a buyer’s world, and that sellers need to think more like customers if they hope to thrive. When you build out your plans and models, think like a customer who sneaks into your company.
Top-down advertising becomes a supporting player for earned media. What’s effective in selling a product is “storytizing” or telling a compelling story in the voice of the customer without taking them outside the experience. Strout cited BMC Software as an example of a company that effectively uses knowledge sharing, education and videos to get their message across. Since 65% of people consider themselves to be visual learners, videos are critical.
Another trend Strout emphasized is that customer service will stop being seen as just a cost center, and will be recognized as a social commerce profit and knowledge center. Ironically, today many brands hide their 800 numbers to reduce costs, with the result being that customers gripe online and spread the negative sentiment.
Strout also discussed the importance of forensic analytics to help marketers think like detectives, find clues and follow their path to find solutions. Learn more about digital analytics by signing up for the SMC Dallas May 30th meeting, featuring Chuck Hemann of WCG speaking on “From Tools to Humans: Building Your Digital Analytics Capabilities.”
Strout’s presentation is available on Slideshare.