Social commerce success has come on massively in the last few years. Millions of people purchase items directly from social media posts. For instance, a new report by e-Marketer shows that nearly half of US consumers bought a product on Facebook or Instagram in the past 12 months.
As a result, more businesses are putting more money into social commerce investments. For instance, 83% of US brands already have one or more social shops.
Emplofi.io has gathered valuable statistics and industry insights to help you take greater control of your social commerce campaign to drive greater value.
Stats on Social Commerce Success
Only 30% of brands have the tools to optimize social commerce across key social media networks. Even worse, only 26% have the tools to capture the next generation of customers.
The two biggest challenges for brands getting into social commerce are inventory and engagement. At least 52% of brands cannot manage/optimize their inventories across social channels, while 47% struggle to convert followers into customers.
About 57% believe that better customer service/support is the key to better social commerce outcomes. Meanwhile, 59% believe the solution lies in better visibility across social shops.
Check out the rest of the Emplifi.io report to learn other key challenges for brands rolling out social commerce and how to overcome these challenges.
Popular social media platforms focus on usability and making their apps pleasing to the eye. Every major platform makes use of specific color and font combinations to make their apps appealing and unique. Here is a brief overview of the color and font combinations used by two of the internet’s most popular platforms Facebook and Youtube.
Facebook’s color scheme focuses on various shades of blue and various shades of greyish blue. It’s color codes are RGB (66, 103, 178) and RGB (54, 88, 153) for its blues and RGB (233, 235, 238) and RGB (246, 247, 249) for its grey shades. For fonts, Facebook uses Segoe UI on the Windows platform, Roboto on Android, and San Francisco on Apple platforms (iOS and MacOS). While Facebook is consistent in its design, there is some variety in layouts and fonts used depending on platform.
Youtube makes use of basic colors for its layout that are easy to view and without much color blending. Youtube’s primary color is red with an RGB mix (255, 0, 0). It’s highlight colors are black RGB (40, 40, 40) and white with an RGB of (255, 255, 255). Fonts are also uniform with Roboto used on Windows, Android, iOS, and MacOS platforms. Design wise, Youtube focuses on traditional colors and a uniform font no matter the platform.
The time has finally come. You have your plans, objectives, budget and even a social media manager to help you. Social media is your name and your game, with a goal of integration and pastures of happy Twitter followers and Facebook fans. If you are lucky you might even end up with a happy boss and delighted shareholders.
However, there is one thing keeping you up at night. You can’t quit thinking “how the heck is anyone going to know I exist? How will I stand above the crowd, the millions of other Twitter followers and Facebookers?”
First of all, you don’t need to stand above the millions. What’s more important is that you are relevant and able to connect with the right people who will help you zoom your business and your life.
For the sake of this post we are assuming your social media plan is integrated and a supporting part of your overall business and marketing plan. If not, I have several planning articles on my blog to help you with such.
10 tips to stand above the crowd & become more relevant!
1. Be Consistent. Consistency is often overlooked in social media. People think they can be different people on Facebook than they can on Twitter for example. There is only one you, one brand be that person. Yes, you may have different tones, different emotions and different ways you connect with people. However, at the core your brand identity should be the same. From how you speak, engage, follow-up, answer the phone to the colors on your website, Facebook page and Twitter background.
2. Be relevant. Nobody is going to listen to you nor care what you have to say if what you talk about doesn’t matter to them. It’s no different than a face to face networking party. Would you stand and talk with a boring, self centered and self promoting individual the entire hour of a networking party? Nope! Your Facebook fans, Twitter followers and other social network friends will feel the same way.
3. Engage. Don’t just send auto tweets and auto Facebook posts with boring links back to your website. Engage in educational, fun, inspirational and real conversations. This means you do more than listen. You need to comment, tweet, respond, and post. Bottom line, engage in a conversation with a real person. “Engage or Die” are the words of one of my favorite business and marketing thought leaders, Brian Solis. Check out his book, Engage if you are feeling left out of the engaging world!
4. Invest in people, not just promotion. Take the time to get to know the people in your online and offline communities. Truly invest your mind, your heart and yourself in the lives of others. Get to know the people behind the avatar profile pictures. Make it a goal to learn what makes them tick. What keeps them up at night? How can you help them professionally and personally? How does your service or product make them feel? Get in their head and heart and they’ll want to know more about you too.
5. Your brand matters. You have one time to make a first impression. Don’t send everyone you know to your Facebook page before you have a profile badge loaded. Yes, invite your warm circle of family and close friends. However, don’t invite the world as the missed opportunity of grabbing their hearts and minds with a first impression is greater than losing a couple days. I see many business leaders send out Facebook invites prematurely to wider audiences than I would recommend. Usually they do such so they can get to the magic 25 fans and pick a vanity name for their business page. I highly recommend not doing such too soon.
6. You need visibility. If all you do is post to your own Facebook page, Twitter profile & LinkedIn and nobody is part of your community yet you are not going to be very visible. You need to first invest in the lives of others. You need to spend time in the communities where your customers, partners, prospects and friend have conversation online. The more you can be part of the conversation, share yourself and knowledge the more visible you are going to be.
7. Engage at home base. Your home base platform of choice such as a website or blog must not be stuck in the 1990’s. This is where many businesses fall down in regard to consistency. Don’t build out a rockin’ social platform on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. and forget your own real estate at home base. Look behind the black curtain of any agency, consultant or person you hire to help you with digital assets. Check if they’re engaging effectively online themselves. Do they have conversation happening on their own Facebook page and Twitter streams? If they can’t make it work for themselves chances are slim to none they’ll how to help you when the rubber engages at zoom speed with the social road.
8. Integrate or resuscitate. It’s your choice. You can choose to integrate or pay the price later. I have seen numerous businesses jump on the social train with no plan thinking they can Facebook and Twitter their way to social media success. Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen. The only way you are going to stand above the crowd and become relevant with your audience is if you have something to offer them after the double click. It’s what happens after the like that matters most. Integrate your social media efforts with the goals and objectives of your business. If not, you are guaranteed to pay the price.
9. Strive for good, even real good, but not perfection. Perfection is the enemy of good. If you wait for perfection in the online world you will fail. Focus on being good, real good. Agility is the name of the social game. The better you can respond to changes in the ecosystem the more benefits you will see.
10. Be confident. Don’t hide behind the avatar. Be proud of your brand, your presence and yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself nobody else will either. Be the person you want to be tomorrow today! You can do it!
What are your thoughts? Do you feel like you are stuck in a sea of tweets, Facebook posts and nobody sees you? What attracts you to other brands? What tips can you offer others? What helped you when you were new to social media?
Get a Grip Series
This post is part of our Series titled, “Get a Grip.” This series dives into a number of items to help companies take stock of their Facebook pages (and other digital marketing) in key areas and make changes for the better. The series includes:
How do you build a brand that is a sweet orange in an online social world of bitter apples?
How do the brands that leave lasting imprints in your head do it? Why is that jingle you hear one time on the radio or TV in the morning stuck in your head all day? Why do you consistently buy one brand over another?
Standing out in a crowd of noise, confusion, spammers and fakes online is not easy. It takes hard work, research, knowledge of people, knowledge of tools, knowledge of best practices and more. There are some days you may just want to throw in the towel and go back to your old spammy ways? Don’t do it!
There is a reason that the brands, jingles are stuck in your head. They are compelling, the words resonate with you, they are easy to understand and they probably spark an emotion inside of you.
Good marketers know how to do these things with their eyes closed. Yet many business leaders and small or medium size business owners find themselves in an online world without a staff to help them or the knowledge themselves to guide their team in creating a compelling brand that people will remember and want to engage with.
I like to stick things in a nutshell and make it as easy as possible for you to understand. There is a way you can build a compelling brand without a million dollar budget. However, there are some strategic and tactical things you are going to need to do and focus on to achieve success. Below are a 23 tips to help you build a brand that will be remembered, sung, tweeted, and virally shared.
23 Tips to Build a Brand that is a Sweet Orange in a World of Bitter Apples
1. Know your goals! I’ll say it in one blog post and I’ll say it in 1,000,000 more! Know why you are doing what you do! What does success look like to you on Friday, Monday, next week? Next month? Next year? Five years from now? You must set goals and objectives for your business first. Who do you want to be when you grow up?
2. Know your audience. You should know what your audience likes, wants, needs, desires and wants to be when they grow up. How are you going to help them do all of the above? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, this better be your first and top priority (right after you write down your goals, objectives and build your plan!)
3. Know your value. What value do you offer your audience, partners, clients, employees? Why should anyone care you exist? Why should they talk to you, listen to you, tweet you, like your Facebook page, follow you or give a rip that your business exists on this planet?
4. A logo does not equal a brand. Many small business leaders think they are done with brand when they receive the logo and business card set from the local print shop designer. They think they’ve went all out if they have a website with two or three selected colors. Sorry folks, this is not brand. My first question to you will be why did you choose such colors? What do the colors say about you? What does your logo mean? Not just what does it look like.
5. Be your brand. Know your brand, share your brand, be your brand. Every employee in your organization is a representation of you and your brand. They better know the core brand attributes, brand promise, differentiators, value offered to your audiences. From the receptionist to the CEO to the tweet stream of your corporate Twitter account, each touch is a brand impression. Accept it, deal with it and make them count!
6. Brand development doesn’t happen in a day. If any agency or consultant tells you they can develop your brand in a couple days and after a one hour session with you, run the other direction. A good brand consultant or agency will want to spend time with you to understand your business. They will want to know what it is you do and why. What markets do you serve? How are you different? Why are you different? Do your customers think you’re different? How do you want to make anyone who comes into contact with your brand feel?
7. Align your social media and marketing efforts to your goals. Facebook should fit into your business. Do NOT spend the next year fitting your business into Facebook. You’d be surprised how many businesses are doing just this! Don’t be one of them!
8. Consistency. Did you know it takes 6-7 brand impressions for someone to remember your brand at all? Yup, so that means every impression must count. The more consistent you can be the more easily each and every brand impression is going to leave a memorable imprint in their brain. Even if budgets are tight, find a way to build consistency across the various platforms. Focus on consistent avatars, logo placement, colors, value proposition messages, company and product descriptions, bios, titles, fonts. Basically anything that is seen or heard should be consistent.
9. Know where and how you are positioned in the market. Be realistic. If you’re currently seen as the low dollar, bargain solution then you are not going to overnight turn into the midnight sensation worth premium membership. You can over time evolve your products, services and move the mindset perception of your audience. However, it is going to take focused time, effort and work.
10. Connect with your audience via emotions and feelings. Determine the feelings you want your audience to have when they come in contact with your brand. Write down the top 10 words that describe how you want them to feel as they come in contact with your brand. Do you want to be the family room, kitchen or sales floor? Choose colors, textures, words and engagement based on such. Then narrow it down to three words. Those three words should be the foundation for how your brand looks, smells and tastes to your audiences and community.
11. Be unique. Focus on compelling, relevant value and content thatinspires, enriches their life and makes them better. Say good-bye to status quo and dare to be different! Don’t build your brand and your content based upon your competition’s website and social presence. You have no idea what their goals are, what audiences they are really targeting. Their strategy could be completely different than yours and you may find yourself in a year further behind than where you started!
12. Create a quick message house. The longer term goal is to obviously create a comprehensive message house in coordination with your broader brand and identity development. However, for now at minimum create a one to two page document which at minimum includes your vision, mission, elevator pitch, description, value proposition, benefits, features and unique differentiators. This document will also be very useful if you hire a consultant or agency. It will provide them with something to start with and a better understanding of where your heart and head is in regard to your brand and identity.
13. Share yourself. The more you share of yourself the better your audience will connect with you.
14. Be you. There is only one you so be that person. Be that brand. Be who you are, what you are, period!
15. Use a variety of mediums. Everyone learns differently. Some people like written word. Some like audio. Some like video. Some need all three before it sinks in. Don’t be afraid to try something different you have never done before.
16. Engage your audience. Talk to them and inspire them after the Facebook like, not just before. Ask them questions. Speak in language they can understand to enable them to understand and connect with you.
17. Take your game up a level. Acknowledge you have competitors and simply doing what everyone else is doing is not going to be enough.
18. Humanize yourself and your brand. Treat your audience as humans. Let them know you are human too. Talk in words they understand and want to hear, not the corporate speak of your 1999 printed collateral.
19. Be relevant. If your audience doesn’t care what you have to say or do, it’s all for nothin’! Focus on developing content that enables you to have a conversation with your audience that they view as relevant and can resonate with their thinking and needs.
20. Integrate to reinvigorate! Integration is the key to success with successful social brands. The better you can integrate your efforts including marketing, social media, brand, and communications the more consistent, compelling and relevant your brand is going to be perceived by your audience. Integration doesn’t take necessarily more money or time. It takes more focus and usually a shift of focus from random acts of marketing to an integrated plan that requires accountability and measurable results.
21. Stop the Random Acts of Marketing! If it’s not in the plan, not in the budget or integrated, then chances are it is a Random Act of Marketing (RAM,) RAMs will eat your every last morsel of positive return on investment (ROI.) Don’t get stuck in the RAM rut. Instead focus on the list of tactics and approaches in this post and they will help you stay away from those nasty RAMs!
22. Ask your audience what they think. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients, partners, stakeholders, board members and employees what they think about you and your brand. Ask them to describe the three words they would use to describe you and your brand. You might be surprised to learn they are not the same as the three words you want them to think. The only way you can fix this is if you first know it’s a problem. Communication with your audiences will inspire them to talk with you, share their same issues, and you will as a result be better able to help them solve their problems as well!
23. Don’t give up! Even though this may seem like a lot of work (and it is), don’t give up. Develop a plan that enables you to bite it off piece by piece. You can’t build your brand or your business overnight. If you fall down, then just wipe off your knees, grab a friend and have them help you up. Learn from your mistakes and remember we all make them. Yesterday you probably worried about today. Today turned out alright. So why worry about tomorrow?
Bonus Tip: Inspire – Connect – Achieve!
Inspire your audience to connect with you. Help them achieve their goals. By focusing first on helping them achieve their goals, you will achieve yours. People want to laugh. They want to cry. They like when you pull an emotional string inside of them. That’s what makes a jingle a jingle. It’s more than a few words, notes or people dancing around your tv. Get in the heart of your customer, readers, partners and community and they may just see and hear you as a sweet orange they need to savor and remember!
Are You the Sweet Orange or the Bitter Apple?
Are you focusing more on selling your old, sour, worn out apples? Or are you inspiring your audiences to desire your sweet oranges? Are you giving them something to savor and cherish? Are you giving them something they like so much they sing all day or are compelled to share it with their friends? What tips can you offer others? What do you look for when looking for a business to help you with services? What is a sweet orange to you?