Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Twitter and eCommerce - tread carefully

The worlds of Social Media and eCommerce are moving closer and closer all the time. The combination of these two into Social Commerce, as it is now known, is the next ‘big thing’ to happen to both.

eCommerce is all about selling your products and services online. Social Media, via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, allows companies to engage with an online audience to create a dialogue (which builds an attachment to brands, hopefully creating more loyal customers). You can therefore see that combining these two could have a positive effect.... but just how?

Twitter, the 140 character micro-blogging platform is now well known as a mini broadcast & listening channel. It has seen terrific growth in the last few years, boosted in its adoption by PR & Marketing types for business-to-consumer (B2C) as well as business to business (B2B) communications. I think it can legitimately claim to be a mainstream comms channel as 65% of the largest international companies now have active Twitter accounts.

If your organisation hasn’t already set up an account, then you should do this immediately (at least to protect yourself from Social Media Brandjacking). And if you have not started to issue your news and press releases to your online followers, then you are still way behind the adoption curve on this one. Twitter in now also used by more and more companies as a platform for: customer service, research & development (crowdsourcing), recruitment and many other things.

However let me be clear…. most companies should never set-up a Twitter account thinking it will directly increase sales revenue. And if you are building a Social Media Return-on-investment (ROI) model purely on this premise, then you need all the luck you can get!
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