Interesting post by Jordan Julien urging brands not to try running before they can walk when trying to monetize social media.

The basic idea is that you need “social equity” (awareness, reputation, and engagement) to do social commerce.

Julien suggests that brands should first run social media marketing campaigns to build awareness and reputation (by offering something on the fun-value axis), and then to build engagement (user participation), before embracing social commerce (to drive sales).


Julien’s 3 phase approach – awareness-engagement-commerce – to monetizing social media is interesting, and makes sense for brands, especially those not selling online directly to the public yet.

But for for brands and retailers already selling online, we wonder if social media marketing campaigns are really a prerequisite to social commerce success; Amazon has never been big on social media marketing campaigns, but this hasn’t stopped it from become the grand dame of social commerce.

Moreover, people don’t expect social media marketing campaigns (yet at least), but they do increasingly expect social media tools on e-commerce platforms (e.g. reviews, user forums).  Social commerce tools are becoming a hygiene factor in e-commerce with or without associated social media marketing campaigns.

And given that it requires sophistication, creativity and skill (and a good agency) to run social media marketing campaigns that produce  reliable and measurable or ROI, we’d suggest an alternative view; brands and retailers should consider running social media marketing campaigns after they’ve implemented social commerce.

But whether you buy into Julien’s 3 phase approach to monetizing social media, his post is good-joined-up thinking, and finishes with a useful summary of the contents of the social commerce toolbox.

  • Reviews: User reviews, onsite and syndicated to user networks
  • Shopping: Storefronts or promotions in social media
  • Sharing: SWYN rules – share with your network (with a personal message) [also social shopping]
  • Pricing: Exclusive pricing for people coming from social media (deal feeds)
  • Registration: Speed: Let them log in fast with Facebook Connect, Twitter or OpenID and checkout fast with PayPal, Amazon, Google