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Ecommerce Marketing: Social Media Motivation
7/28/2009 11:45:00 AM
Social media marketing has become increasingly critical for online merchants in recent months. In fact, sharing links and prompting user generated content has become ubiquitous to the point of annoyance in some sites where the host does not even care whether or not a user is meaningfully suggesting a page or product. With the eruption of networks like FaceBook and Twitter, many Ecommerce merchants have jumped on the social media bandwagon without even knowing why...

This leads us to an interesting read by Sam Cece of the E-Commerce Times, entitled "The 4 Biggest Motivators for Social Media Marketing." In the piece Cece notes that "marketers are scrambling to find ways to leverage the various online communities to push their brands and make some money...[marketers] need to take a step back and take a broader look at what motivates their consumers and the various ways that social media can be leveraged to meet their marketing objectives."

Four Social Media Motivating Factors for Ecommerce Marketers:

Self-Service: Sam Cece notes that self-serving motivations function more persuasively in the brick and mortar store than in that of online retail. This entails tangible motivators such as product disocunts and coupons. Likewise, one key example here is when an online shopper is rewarded by the merchant for suggesting the vendor to friends; when the newly subscribed friend makes a purchase, the inviter will then get a bonus $10 off coupon on their next order.

Self-Expression: Typically in the realm of direct marketing, "people are motivated by cash--or saving it in the form of coupons, discounts etc. Within social media, "states Cece, "the biggest motivator is often self-expression." For example, after I created a new stunning pair of self-designed Nike 1990 Air Maxes, I promoted the link and image onto my FaceBook account. Here there was no discount prompt or promo offered for sharing the link; instead, I thought I created a cool pair of sneakers and felt like showing em' off to my pals online...

Status Achievement: A major factor that inspired online retail's growth was bargain hunting and comparison shopping. Cece says "most people like to brag, and that tendency is multiplied by the Web." By being the first to know about a site or the first to buy a newly released or discounted item, people feel special, privledged and unique. The author of the E-Commerce Times article cites an Amazon promotion in which the e-tailing giant "might reward loyal shoppers with early access to a new product release, and then encourage them to share this advanced access with their friends..." Clearly, finding the best deals, quickest shipping, and highest level of support related to customer service is crucial online and when addressing marketing aims, should be a primary element of the discourse.

Altruistic Behavior: Here we are not talking about saving the world...Instead, as the cited author shows, we are addressing that some folks online like to make a positive difference. What if you noted during the checkout process that a consumer could pay an extra dollar to benefit a respected charity? Maybe an online retailer could even opt to offer a free shipping promo it the user checked out with a recycled box or waited for less expedient shipping if the customer preferred not to use a mass shipper but rather a smaller and "greener" one...These are just ideas but when marketers discuss aims and results, they do need to delve into their motivations versus that of their online market.

ShopVisible is an Atlanta, GA. based Ecommerce solution and SEO software provider.

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Tags: ShopVisible, Ecommerce solution, Ecommerce software, social network marketing, facebook, twitter, Ecommerce Times
Categories: SEO, RSS, User Generated Content, Commerce Insights Blog
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