Just as ecommerce is becoming more social — social is becoming more sales centric. We’re seeing social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook add “Buy” buttons that allow users to purchase products without having to leave their sites. We’re also seeing top companies like Coach, One Kings Lane, and Charlotte Russe encourage more social participation from their customers.
The trend is clear– brands are trying to figure out how to integrate social media and ecommerce. Marketers know that social media can’t operate in a silo—and that it has to be a part of the overall brand strategy.
As a result, we see consumer brands turning to user generated content: the photos and videos that customers are posting about a brand’s products on social media.
Brands are running social marketing hashtag campaigns that incentivize customers to share on social, and then collecting this user generated content and displaying it on their points of purchase (i.e, mobile shopping apps, product pages, etc.) Why? The shoppers that interact with a customer photo of a product on a brand’s webpage (in addition to a stock photo) are 2x more likely to purchase.
But it isn’t just about sales—it’s also about relationships. By incorporating user generated content into the marketing mix, brands can facilitate social listening and conversation with their customers. They can track their message and discover the brand influencers already advocating for their products. By using visual customer content to bridge the gap between social media and commerce, brands are able to simultaneously increase awareness and sales.