Social media marketing has evolved alongside a newly developing business model – social commerce. Social commerce (sCommerce) offers value to firms. Recent research has demonstrated a benefit developed for business operations from the mutual associations copied from the interactions with consumers provided by Web 2.0 technologies related to social channels. Many advantages possibly will be consequent from this paradigm. One example of how these gains may be effected includes customer service.
Customer service requires a timely response via SM channels. While Facebook and Twitter are most often utilized, other channels have also been exploited. The dependency lies within consumer attendance, and a readiness to be responsive with as much immediacy as can be rallied. It is therefore incumbent upon the firm to find creative ways of establishing dialogue within the applicable SNS. Trends in digital marketing today are centering on a more focused approach to customer-centric marketing tactics. Interaction is the cornerstone of social media communication, one which more and more marketers are embracing.
Collaboration between marketplace participants, i.e. sellers and buyers, collectively referred to as the “network,” engenders benefit in a cost-effective manner. Further advantage can be found through network appearance online, with vendors optimizing network accessibility in a user-friendly manner receiving the most value from the paradigm. Customer service optimally delivered across the network may then provide CRM efficacy with a possible outcome of enhanced brand loyalty secondary to the network effects typically associated with viral messaging amongst purchasers, additionally supplementing the numbers of brand evangelists. This is the very essence of social currency, which in its turn helps to define an amplified return on social media investment (social ROI) in online marketing campaigns. Enlargement of the brand’s virtual community, while increasing the value offered to the membership, can asymmetrically boost the firm’s financial bottom line.
The associated value to all stakeholders is well documented. The purchase process as well as the informational exchange that occur in or resulting from participation in social media channels have been ranked with top priority in sCommerce.
As such, customer service and concomitant CRM activities are endorsed as an optimal sCommerce strategy within an overarching social media marketing plan. Much of the groundwork for companies already vested in social media marketing has already been laid, with little more to do other than initiate the added approach already described.
Companies availing themselves of the attendant benefit of customer service in sCommerce will find the value of the social ROI to be well worth the time, effort and other resources expended. Further monetary gains may arise as a secondary outcome as well.
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