Monetizing social media matters.  How can retailers, advertisers and tech companies turn social media into social sales?

You could hire a head of social commerce, just as Twitter has done this week, appointing former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to turn Twitter into an online platform for impulse purchases (smart).

Or you could read this speed summary of McGraw Hill’s - The Social Commerce Handbook: 20 Rules for Turning Social Media into Social Sales (disclosure we wrote it!), a case-study driven distillation by Paul Marsden and Paul Chaney of the top insights from our former incarnation as Social Commerce Today. Whilst we can’t be objective about the merits of our own work, the latest verified Amazon review – this week – from a wonderful LauraK gave the book another five stars – and a blush-worthy “This book is freaking fantastic” endorsement (thanks Laura!).

The big idea in the The Social Commerce Handbook is that to be successful in social commerce, you need to offer people ‘social utility’ – helping them solve shopping problems socially (like learning from the experience of others) or helping them solve their social problems through shopping (the need for social status and social bonding).

We’ve put together a presentation on social utility should you be interested (and we think you should), but let’s summarise the 20 Rules for Turning Social Media into Social Sales

  1. Play the Impulse Game: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to sell impulse products—unplanned purchases that offer instant gratification and make people either feel good, look good, or get good value.
  2. Involve them: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to involve your customers as advisors or contributors with simple, easy, one-click “add-an-egg” social media initiatives.
  3. The Experiential Imperative: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to use social media to run online experiential retail events worth talking about.
  4. Incentivize Intelligently: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to offer social incentives that reward people for shopping together.
  5. Sell with Scarcity: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to offer your customers enhanced social status with social media limited editions and early access to new products.
  6. Build Consistency: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is through progressive and public upselling that takes customers from “Like” to “Loyalty.”
  7. Reciprocity Rules: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is gifting, either offering free samples yourself, or encouraging gifting between customers.
  8. Social Validation: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is sell with “social proof,” allowing customers to shop smart with their social intelligence by learning from the shared experiences of others.
  9. Arm Yourself with Authority: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to use the voice of borrowed authority when selling: expert picks, endorsements, and testimonials.
  10. Like and be Loved: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to sell through affinity networks, helping friends help their friends with your products and services.
  11. Drive Discovery: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to drive product discovery through a fusion of the “social graph” and the “interest graph”—where personal connections meet shared interests.
  12. Be Purpose-Driven: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to start with a purpose and be people-focused and not product focused. Stand for something and your customers will stand together for you.
  13. Deliver ZMots: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to reinforce advertising messages with a “zero moment of truth” (ZMOT)—a shared word-of-mouth experience.
  14. Flip the Funnel: The secret to unlocking sales with social media xxi is to harness your happy customers as a volunteer sales force, deploying them as your premier new customer acquisition team. Retention is the new acquisition.
  15. Interest Pays: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to sell to peoples’ passions and interests—a key motivator for sharing.
  16. Sell Shovels: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is marketplace thinking—create a social space for buyers and sellers to interact and transact with each other.
  17. Shopping First, Social Second: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to deploy social technology to help people solve shopping problems—finding, researching, deciding, buying, and enjoying.
  18. Sell to Niche Markets: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to sell to market niches—and build loyalty among people with a passion for what you sell.
  19. Get Rated. Get Reviewed: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to enable customers to share ratings and reviews about you and what you sell.
  20. Go Mobile: The secret to unlocking sales with social media is to offer social utility with mobile technology—helping people shop smarter together wherever they are.

 

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