Each Thursday at 11am EST, marketers from around the world join the ExactTarget user community on Twitter for a conversation about trends and campaign ideas across the interactive marketing industry. We call the virtual coffee chat the ExactTarget Café.
Our guest for a recent #ETcafe chat was Tim Putnam (@thetcp), VP of client services at Moontoast (@moontoast), a SaaS platform that lets brands create exciting social marketing and social commerce experiences on Facebook. In addition, Moontoast is now a featured Partner Gear within SocialPages.
Here's a recap of the discussion:
@ExactTarget Q1: What is social commerce?
@thetcp Social is all about relationship building. Your social audience has people at all phases of the social activation lifecycle. #ETCafe
@StudioKandM A1: social commerce is the relationship between ecommerce and social media. Sharing your purchases on FB, posting yelp reviews, etc. #Etcafe
@amandaberkey A1: Social commerce is big in the mommy circles for insights and promo codes for great deals for small mom-run businesses. #ETcafe
@thetcp It's not putting your catalog on social networks, but curating an offer to treat your social channels like loyalty channels. #ETCafe
@ExactTarget Q2: How are brands getting their social strategies right?
@tlsylvan Brands need to engage with consumers and tell a story, not just push a product. #ETcafe
@thetcp 2. Brands are including fans as part of the conversation on social. Rather than talking at them, they are talking with them. #ETCafe
@coskier I think @Ticketmaster has social selling down well - each time someone tweets what seat they bought, it's worth $18 more in sales. #etcafe
@thetcp You have to provide different types of content that appeals to people who are at different phases of the fan-brand relationship. #ETCafe
@StudioKandM A2: brands get it right when they build relationships and offer value, not just "talk at" the consumer. Warby Parker does it well. #Etcafe
@thetcp Keith Urban just ran a campaign where he selected a t-shirt design from a contest and sold it for $12 on 12/12/12. It was an event. #ETCafe
@thetcp The campaign included video and multiple posts. They made that 24 hour period all about the t-shirt. Conversion was over 14% on FB! #ETCafe
@tlsylvan One of my favorites is @nikerunning. They offer encouragement, tech support, and personal interactions. Deepens brand loyalty. #ETcafe
@StudioKandM This is an example of Nike using social to really connect with it's customers. "pay with sweat not money" http://t.co/dMng5tsc #Etcafe
@ExactTarget Q3: What can brands do to prepare their social audience to buy on social networks?
@tlsylvan Putting a lot of research into who your consumers are allows for more valuable and personal engagement. #ETcafe
@thetcp Some fans are new and want to know more about the brand personality and products. Some are ready to take the relationship deeper. #ETCafe
@thetcp 3. The first step to prepare a social audience to buy on social is to develop an active community by talking with fans. #ETCafe
@tlsylvan A3 - Brands that show value of their products and answer all questions honestly. Trust = sales in my book. #ETcafe
@StudioKandM A3: Make sure to have social plug-ins when people buy or like a product, maybe directing friends to a Facebook store front. #Etcafe
@thetcp You have to make commerce an event. Why would someone buy on social instead of going to a store later? What's in it for the fan? #ETCafe
@tlsylvan Also building a large fan base that is willing to talk about the brand's products without being prompted/compensated. #ETcafe
@coskier A3: Wrong question. Companies should be prepared for consumers to buy on the channels THEY want to, not what the company dictates. #etcafe
@tlsylvan Brands should also make enough of an impact for consumers to share their products experiences via blog posts, word of mouth (WOM), etc. #ETcafe
@Jfalkenthal Do u have suggestions for selling 1-time products on social which don't have returning customers? I recruit students 4 online MBAs. #etcafe
@tlsylvan @Jfalkenthal What about setting up chats with online MBA graduates? They can answer questions/address concerns. #ETcafe
@ExactTarget Q4: How do you set up a successful social campaign?
@tlsylvan A4 - RESEARCH! Don't go in blindly, see what has worked in the past and what hasn't. That being said, don't copy ideas. #ETcafe
@StudioKandM A4: set clear goals and make sure you're where your customers are. They might be on pinterest and not twitter. #Etcafe
@thetcp 4. Determine your goals - do you want to create brand awareness? Grow your email database? Create a sell-out story? #ETCafe
@thetcp Once you know your goals, create a campaign to support that initiative. It could be a 24 hour sale or a month long sweepstake. #ETCafe
@ExactTarget Q5: What is different about commerce on social networks than traditional web sites?
@thetcp Since only 10-15% of your audience see your posts, post multiple times at different times of day and supplement with ad buys. #ETCafe
@tlsylvan A5 - Web sites are more of a hard sell. Consumers may question motives, and completely impersonal. #ETcafe
@thetcp 5. The difference in social overall is browsing behavior. Once people Like a page, they receive updates in the Newsfeed. #ETCafe
@thetcp So first, TARGET THE NEWSFEED. @moontoast apps load and transact in the Newsfeed, whether it's a Sweepstakes or Social Store. #ETCafe
@StudioKandM A5: the difference? It's social! :) you have the opportunity to build a real 2-way relationship with fans and to create advocates. #Etcafe
@amandaberkey @thetcp Do you recommend thought leadership/lifestyle posts to drive sales instead of just promo content? #ETcafe
@thetcp @amandaberkey Lifestyle posts are great! So are promo posts - but involve the community. Ask questions, take polls. #ETCafe
@amandaberkey The newsfeed is good, but to keep yourself "in" the newsfeed is even better. I think marketers have be strong with lifestyle content. #ETcafe
@SusanPrater @exacttarget A5. For me, it's more spur of the moment response in social since I'm always connected "on" in the social space. #etcafe
@StudioKandM A5: social commerce really facilitates word of mouth. People tell their friends what they like and what they buy. #Etcafe
@thetcp And realize that people aren't on Facebook or Twitter to shop. So commerce offer has to be an event…you have to make it exciting. #ETCafe
@thetcp Reserve direct selling for those offers that are going to be a hit. Focus on relationship-building. Commerce should reward fans. #ETCafe
@ExactTarget Q6: How are social campaigns measured differently than traditional sales?
@StudioKandM A6: social isn't just about sales. Measuring engagement, customer satisfaction, etc. depending on your goals are also important. #Etcafe
@tlsylvan A6 - Apples and oranges. Social is about creating lasting relationships that will evolve into sales and brand loyalty. #ETcafe
@amandaberkey Which type of businesses are more successful with social selling than others? SMB, Micro? Large retail? #ETcafe
@tlsylvan @amandaberkey I think it depends on the SM team honestly. I've seen big brands with great success and small brands who drop the ball #ETcafe
@thetcp @amandaberkey It depends on the offer. We've seen success and failure from large and small companies. A good offer trumps size. #ETCafe
@coskier @amandaberkey Businesses with good features and a social component. The Interactive Seat Map we have for example. #etcafe
@helloitsjess @StudioKandM @amandaberkey BUT big brands, if they have the right resources can have a quick response time also #etcafe
@thetcp 6. There is so much more that happens on social than on a traditional website. We created a measurement methodology called DITE. #ETCafe
@thetcp DITE stands for Discovery, Interaction, Transaction, and Endorsement. These are the four phases of the social activation lifecycle. #ETCafe
@thetcp Discovery is when someone dives deeper than an impression. Interaction is what they play with. #ETCafe
@thetcp Transaction is a sale or email capture. Endorsement is the unique social capability to share, like comment, etc. #ETCafe
@thetcp We not only look at revenue, orders and conversion like a traditional funnel, but the circular journey of social fans who share. #ETCafe
@thetcp There are all of these off-shoots of attribution when people find a post and then come back to the brand later to Like or buy. #ETCafe
@ExactTarget Q7: How do you create a social strategy that includes commerce?
@thetcp 7. Buying is one phase of the consumer journey. A solid social strategy should focus on providing an excellent brand experience. #ETCafe
@StudioKandM A7: build the relationship and reward customers for being there. Discounts, rewards programs, referral programs, etc. #Etcafe
@tlsylvan A7 - Don't make it obvious that you're out to increase commerce. Huge mistake that consumers will see right through. #ETcafe
@tlsylvan A brand's social strategy should be about consumer engagement, experience, and loyalty. Commerce will come naturally after. #ETcafe
@helloitsjess A7. Apps - bringing as much of the website into a FB app can help the customer journey enormously. #etcafe
@SusanPrater A7. What everyone said...plus focus on lifetime relationships - not just the here and now/short term. #Etcafe
@thetcp A strong social strategy should include ways for people to Discover, Interact, Transact (monetary or non-monetary) and Endorse. #ETCafe
We’ll be back with a chat next Thursday. Hope you can join us!