The Rise of Social Commerce

Last week I had the pleasure of attending The Altimeter Group’s first conference, The Rise of Social Commerce, in Palo Alto, California. This was an amazing event with an outstanding line up of industry leaders and innovators who are changing the way we make buying decisions online.

As I developed and continually updated the conference’s website leading up to the event, I knew it would be a heck of a time, and it did not disappoint. Over on the Proof Branding blog I shared daily video recaps with key-takeaways and actionable items, Below is a summary of what I took away from my adventure on the west coast…

Episode 1: Power to the Consumer

In the video below, I introduce The Rise of Social Commerce and pose the following three questions:

1) How are big businesses using social media to their advantage?

2) How does social media redefine “marketing”?

3) How does social media change (and improve) the customer “experience”?

Episode 2: Are You Enhancing the Customer Experience?

In the video below I summarize three key takeaways from day one of The Rise of Social Commerce.

1) Social media allows businesses to not only provide GOOD customer service, but to DELIGHT customers and create life-long relationships. Use the tools in front of you to your advantage, and focus first on building trust and earning respect well before ever trying to push a sale.

2) Go where your customers are. It seems self explanatory but it is often forgotten. Don’t walk into the board room and say “We need to be on Twitter” – instead, think about where your customers are, listen to them, THEN plan a strategy that takes you where you’re customers live online.

3) Dell is introducing a ‘Social Media Command Center‘ which will essentially act as a 24/7 outbound call center – a force of people who are 100% committed to genuine (proactive) social media engagement. This is a trend I believe will really catch on in the next 1-2 years as companies realize that to be most effective, social media marketing needs to be timely and engaging.

Episode 3: Think Big. Start Small. Grow Fast.

In this video I wrap up the second and final day of The Rise of Social Commerce with four takeaways.

1) Less is more. Self explanatory but again, often neglected. Don’t make it complicated for your customers to navigate your site and complete transactions. Simple and clear navigation with obvious calls to action is the way to go. Look at your own website and count the number of clicks it takes for people to get in touch with you, to see your work, to get back to the home page. For us at Proof, everything is one (maybe two) clicks away.

2) Embrace (and use) negative feedback. Negative feedback can actually be a very positive thing. It shows that you, as a company, are willing to accept now only the love and praise, but the constructive criticism of your products and services. All of this adds to the credibility that you aren’t “afraid” to put your product out there – because you believe in it. Also, when faced with negative feedback, think about how you can spin it and transform the negative into a positive experience for your customer.

3) Pay attention to the customer’s EMOTIONAL experience when they visit your website. Think about how you can create and tap into the feeling a customer and site visitor should get when clicking through the pages of their site. Create calls to action that catch them during those ‘emotional’ moments that can lead to profitable transactions.

4) Think big. Start small. Grow fast. Just ask Nicole Crimaldi, this is something I’ve talked about with her time and time again – and it’s important to remember for us idea-crazy, career ADD people. Big ideas are great, but don’t start huge – think realistically and start small, but most importantly, don’t hesitate to hit the ground running and grow rapidly.

These posts can be seen in their original entirety over on the Proof Branding blog with the following links: