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The PlaybookPromote and Sell ProductsUsing Social MediaJuly 2012
WhitepaperThe PlaybookPromote and Sell Products Using Social MediaTable of Contents1. Introduction2. The Challenge: The Pu...
WhitepaperThe PlaybookPromote and Sell Products Using Social MediaIntroductionEveryone needs to deliver social ROI, but th...
The Challenge: The Purchase GapMoving social customers from                                               The Purchase Gap...
products into our social strategies will require a more disciplined and focused set of resources and tools.Tools and Exper...
When your product experiences become this rich            essential. +40% of users on Facebook and Twitter areand integrat...
How To: Building and Executing Your StrategyNow that we’ve established thatyou must integrate a product           Product ...
Product Launches                                          videos and Tweets about your product. You’re able toProduct laun...
Build ExperiencesThere are two key areas where social productpromotions fit into your marketing mix.Product CampaignsWhen ...
experience and path to purchase must be compelling         your products by staff, celebrities or other influencersand eff...
ConclusionWe are tremendously excited and optimistic about the discipline of promoting and selling product usingsocial. We...
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Shop igniter theplaybook_productssocial

  1. 1. The PlaybookPromote and Sell ProductsUsing Social MediaJuly 2012
  2. 2. WhitepaperThe PlaybookPromote and Sell Products Using Social MediaTable of Contents1. Introduction2. The Challenge: The Purchase Gap3. The Solution: Promoting and Selling Products in Social Media4. How To: Building and Executing Your Strategy 1. Define Goals + Segments 2. Choose Products 3. Choose Experiences 4. Build Experiences 5. Promote Experiences 6. Learn + Optimize5. Conclusion
  3. 3. WhitepaperThe PlaybookPromote and Sell Products Using Social MediaIntroductionEveryone needs to deliver social ROI, but there’s agap between discovery and purchaseIt was only late September 2006 that Facebook first allowedthe general public to create profiles. Twitter didn’t hit criticalmass until SXSW in Spring 2007. Pinterest and Instagram,while skyrocketing, are even younger. Social media, as weknow it, has just started elementary school.But, we’ve learned a ton in a very short time and havechanged our organizations in the process. As social hasgrown in popularity and become a Marketing tool to reachand engage customers, we’ve quickly applied our digitalmarketing skills and creativity. In this early phase we’veprimarily focused on growing fan counts and engaging themusing a mix of “content and conversation”, and it’s beenreally fun.However, while content and conversation are great forbuilding loyalty and mind share, they are not great forincreasing revenue and market share.Many of us have invested in dedicated resources and tools tohelp us manage our social efforts. But as investments havegrown, inevitable questions about returns have arisen, andfor many, quantifying value has been elusive.As sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are enablingand a number of innovative brands have shown, promotingand selling products using social media can activate loyalfans, drive acquisition of new customers, generate andamplify brand momentum and refer purchase-ready socialcustomers to retail -- online and off.To generate business returns brands must betterintegrate products into their social efforts 503.232.2021
  4. 4. The Challenge: The Purchase GapMoving social customers from The Purchase Gapdiscovery to consideration is asignificant challenge requiring Path to Purchase Content & Conversation Product Promotiontools and expertise Brand Posts Product Posts AwarenessThere are 3 major challenges thatdigital marketing departments facewhen considering a strategic approach Discoveryto promoting and selling productsusing social media.The Purchase Gap Participation Engagement Apps Social ProductWe’re doing a great job at the top of Experiencesthe “funnel” where awareness and Considerationbrand engagement are the objectives.Content and conversation posts workvery well up there. When we use moreadvanced tactics like engagement apps Decision Detail Cartwe’re going a bit further down the Checkoutpath to purchase but because we’renot integrating products we’re unable Purchase Retailto drive discovery or progress furthertowards consideration and purchase.It’s not that we don’t think brandwork isn’t important, far from it, we’resuggesting only that there’s an essential piece missing to most social media marketing strategies today.In traditional digital marketing we used ad banners, search and email to drive customers to our eCommercestores. Over time we realized that context mattered and so we began to focus on landing pages andoptimization. We learned that customers need a “transitional experience” between an ad and a purchaseand that driving directly to standard detail pages, for example, wasn’t as effective. Working with some of theworld’s largest retailers and brands we’ve discovered this framework is even more important in social.When we implement a strategy focused on our products we see a different set of steps than we’re used to.Starting with rich posts across social networks meant to drive sharing/discovery we drive traffic to brandedproduct experiences that drive participation, amplification and ultimately consideration and enable socialcustomers to easily move to points within the eCommerce purchase flow or to retail.Social Media ManagementThe job of Social Media Manager has now become widespread and for some brands we’re starting to seededicated social teams and even some social executives, this is really exciting.But, with new roles comes uncertainty and as many of us have found, it’s difficult to fit-in and growwithin changing organizations. For many, the job includes a wide spectrum of responsibilities rangingfrom customer support, community moderation and social media monitoring to social marketing andoptimization. On top of all that, we’re expected to integrate complex marketing programs “into” social,post to every social network on the planet, create content and gather and report results. Today, the peopleresponsible for promoting and selling products using social media are spread very thin. The integration of 503.232.2021
  5. 5. products into our social strategies will require a more disciplined and focused set of resources and tools.Tools and ExpertiseLastly, as content and conversation became our primary focus, an ecosystem of tools and expertise emerged.These solutions have grown-up incredibly fast and there are now great options for page, messaging andcampaign management and measurement. This too is exciting as it illustrates how important social hasbecome for business. As our efforts expand, a similar toolset and expertise that are purpose-built aroundpromoting and selling products is required. This is our mission at ShopIgniter.The Solution: Promote and Sell Products Using Social MediaSocial product experiences arerequired elements of your social The Social Product Ecosystemstrategy, they should also replace Networksyour traditional product microsites Tw Pi Fb In YtThere are 3 elements to product Twitter Pinterest Facebook Instagram YouTubestrategies – rich posts, productexperiences and seamless integration topurchase. ! Experiences“Social product experiences” are theheart of your strategy as they are what Fbdraw people through your rich posts,engages them and ideally puts them Web Facebook Mobileon a path to purchase. Social productexperiences can live as microsites,Timeline apps within facebook or as $$ Retailmobile websites.Social product experiences must fuse eCommerce Storethe best of microsites, eCommerce andsocial and sit directly behind rich postson your chosen social sites.MicrositesRich and immersive product imageryintegrated with compelling content and storytellingeCommerceDescriptive product info, reviews and convenient and trusted purchase optionsSocial MediaEnable easy sharing and conversation, integrate view into customer’s social graph and provide exclusiveaccess to product and offers 503.232.2021
  6. 6. When your product experiences become this rich essential. +40% of users on Facebook and Twitter areand integrated you gain benefits in all phases of the on mobile devices and this trend is increasing. All ofMarketing cycle. your social experiences need be optimized for mobile or you risk losing a prospective customer or worse,Earned Impressions + New Customer Acquisition eroding existing loyalty. When designs are responsiveThese experiences generate earned impressions and experiences context-aware, engagement andfrom customer’s liking, commenting and sharing. sharing rates increase.Not only earned but personal referral impressionsfrom friend to friend which are far more valuable. To maximize returns you must minimizeThese impressions often bring new customers to the investmentsbrand. Purchased media is supplemental and used toaccelerate momentum and sharing. If you’re active in social you’re probably paying for management tools and campaign apps. You’reEngagement + Conversion probably also paying for social media strategistsWhen done right, many customers will engage with to create custom microsites or apps and to buyyour products and content by exploring, commenting media to drive traffic and awareness. This modeland sharing. Also, due to the mechanics of Facebook, isn’t sustainable or cost effective when promotingsome features require opt-in that allow you to products.capture demographic information and enable you toconnect Facebook and Twitter fans to your customer You need solutions that allow you to create anddatabases and into ongoing retention efforts. Since manage remarkable social product experiencesengagement drives amplification, loyalty and across your brand and seasonal calendars andpurchase, these returns cannot be understated. easily promote those experiences across all your social networks – in a repeatable way and withoutPath To Purchase prohibitive costs. You also need a partner who isWe recommend driving purchase-ready customers solely focused on tools for product your existing eCom store to start as the integration Expertise easiest and the experience good enough. Overtime or depending on technical integration options,extending your existing shopping cart to your socialproduct experiences is worth consideration. We seeconsistently higher referral rates from social productexperiences than directly from posts, tweet and pins.When commerce is enabled we see higher add-to-cartrates (+15%), cart conversion rates (+50%) and visitorconversion rates (+5%) than traditional eCommerce.Actionable InsightsWhen you drive a social customer directly to youreCom store and they don’t buy (likely 97% of them),you learned very little. When you drive them througha social product experience you capture behavioraland demographic insights and often the covetedopt-in to future communications. By integratingposting, experiences and purchase, you’re able toclose the loop on social-driven commerce and betterunderstand your most influential fans.Additionally, managing the customer experienceacross social and mobile platforms is difficult but 503.232.2021
  7. 7. How To: Building and Executing Your StrategyNow that we’ve established thatyou must integrate a product Product Promotion Workflowstrategy into your social efforts,let’s roll-up our sleeves and go 1. Define Goals + Segmentsthrough the development and What’s most important, amplification, engagement or conversion? What doexecution of a typical program. you know about your “real” fans? 5. Learn + Optimize Roll-out new productsDefine Goals + Segments and features, monitor andWhen setting goals, it’s essential test ideas, iterate andthat you simplify and focus. How increase returnsyou rank these goals will definewhat experiences you create and 2. Choose Productshow you promote them. What’s the best product or collection for social amplification?DiscoveryAre you focused on getting yourmost exciting products in front ofnew potential customers? 4. Build + PromoteParticipation + Amplification Experiences should be well-branded and repeatable. 3. Choose ExperiencesAre you focused on getting people Then promote across all your Are you promoting one or manyto learn about, talk about and social networks with rich products? Do you need to buildultimately consider your products? product posts buzz or does the product already have a lot? What additionalConsideration + Purchase content is available?Are you focused on selling orliquidating (moving dead stock)products?Many brands have now amassedmillions of fans. If you haven’t, don’t worry, what’s most important is getting your most engaged and rabidfans to participate and share.We’ve found that your efforts should be focused on the subset of your fan communities that are “real” fans,those that love your products. You may see less total engagement with product-specific posts and experiencesthan you do with more general polls and quizzes, for example, but this isn’t a problem. When customersengage with your products it’s more powerful to them and to their friends and is more likely to lead to realbusiness outcomes.As you develop and promote your experiences, always think about activating your most rabid fans.Choose ProductsMany of us have a mix of pre-planned seasonal and brand calendars and ongoing promotions we run insocial. This is great; the more integrated your messaging, experiences and offers are with the rest of yourmarketing mix, the better. That being said, we find that some products and collections perform better thanothers. Here are a few tips on how to choose. 503.232.2021
  8. 8. Product Launches videos and Tweets about your product. You’re able toProduct launches are made for social. When you have curate the content and customers are able to explore,a new product and the goal is to generate buzz and participate, share and click through to purchase.momentum at retail, social product experiences andoffers are essential. “Showcase” Experiences Best for a collection of products tied to a seasonal orSocial Products brand campaign, these are rich product experiencesSome products are inherently social. Jawbone’s that fuse imagery, copy and video and are designedJambox, any Apple product, Nike’s Air Jordan’s…if for participation and amplification. You chooseyou’re lucky enough to have a “high-passion” product products and guide look and feel and customersthat makes fans rabid you’d be insane not to get explore, participate, share and click through tosmart about using social to amplify awareness and purchase.excitement. Social/Mobile StorefrontsCurated Collections Best for a collection of exclusive products, storefrontsGroups of products picked by celebrities, designers or must be optimized for social engagement and workexperts are great. These work well because they are great on mobile. When they are time-limited theyspecial, limited and appeal to both your fans and the work even better. These experiences can containfans of the celebrity/designer/expert. additional rich content like video and reviews but tend to be more focused on commerce.Event-Specific CollectionsTying a set of products to a specific event gives it Offers + Incentivesan exclusive/time-limited feel. From the Olympics While it’s best to keep it simple, sometimes you needto Fashion Week to Haley’s Comet, make your to integrate enhanced features into your productcollections time-limited. experiences. Here’s a short list we recommend,Building social experiences around your standard • Membership, Rewards + Badgingseasonal collections, Valentine’s Day for example,doesn’t seem to work very well. Making a few special • Votingitems in addition to your standard set is a better • Limited Time Offersapproach.  • Group UnlocksA product or collection that appeals to a segment ofyour audience is OK too. A special Yankees or Red Sox • Social “Verbs” (want, own, covet…)collection, for example. Rich Posting As streams across social networks get richer, you needChoose Experiences to be able to distribute rich posts to drive traffic toOnce you have goals, audience segments and product your social product experiences. With the right tools,ideas it’s time to decide what types of experiences are you can even sell products directly in a Facebook postbest. You need solutions that are flexible enough to or Tweet. Lastly, you also need the ability to measurecustomize but are quick to deploy and manage. Here’s post effectiveness and to think about social product experiences. Custom“Spotlight” Landing Pages Our customers have seen great success with ourBest for one product or a single brand, these “landing core offerings and we continue to improve and growpage” experiences amplify existing social momentum our toolkit, but sometimes you need a fully customand give prospective customers a rich view into solution. We have done big projects for Target, Levi’sthe excitement your product is generating. It brings and Nike, for example, and are able to do them fortogether your best imagery and content with a select you.set of Instagram and Pinterest photos, YouTube 503.232.2021
  9. 9. Build ExperiencesThere are two key areas where social productpromotions fit into your marketing mix.Product CampaignsWhen Marketing runs big product campaigns thatinclude media, PR, microsites, eCom and offlinetactics, social is usually seen as an additional digitalchannel for generating conversation and impressions.It’s usually left to Social Media Marketers to build andexecute a plan with a set of pre-determined objectives,ad creative and experiences.These type of projects are fun because they are bigand often rich, but social requires more than a simpleextension of provided assets.Executing a product campaign without anintegrated social product strategy is foolishWe must take control and accountability for the entiresocial strategy and must have the tools and partners todeliver both the brand experience and business resultsrequired.Ongoing Social Media MarketingMost of our time is consumed with the day-to-daymanagement and growth of our communities…andposting, tweeting and pinning.Product promotion needs to play a key role in ourongoing social efforts as well. This can be in the formof a series of fan-only exclusives, product participationprograms or a set of offers.Promote ExperiencesPromoting your social product experiences is anessential part of your strategy. We spend a lot of ourtime creating, managing and scheduling posts acrossour chosen social networks. While there are somegreat tools, none are easily integrated with our productexperiences which makes it difficult to manage postsand quantify end-to-end results.Think of wall posts, tweets and pins as a mix between banner ads and collection pages on your eComstore. When your posts present products a customer’s mindset is in the browse/discovery phase. In thesocial context, they may be interested but are not yet in a shopping frame of mind. As we’ve learned withsearch and email, the most effective path to purchase from the initial touch is an optimized landing pageor experience. Additionally, when your customer is on a mobile device it’s even more important that postsare descriptive and compelling and that users can begin the experience in-stream. Upon click, the product 503.232.2021
  10. 10. experience and path to purchase must be compelling your products by staff, celebrities or other influencersand effective in mobile too. with a bit of a story work great.We recommend that you integrate product promotion Lastly, do your research. Search for pins in yourposts into your existing schedules but that you most popular categories and find who are the keyconsider how you will build momentum over the life influencers and what types of pins are getting theof your program. most engagement, then do your version of what works.We see that multiple posts over time on a commontheme can be really effective. Just posting a picture ofyour most popular colorway one week and then the Learn + Optimizenew colorway the next isn’t as effective as posting a There is much (digital) ink about social media ROI,launch video and two product posts the first week analytics, dashboards, etc. This is important becauseand a new colorway announcement with an offer the so few marketers are experienced in this realm, butsecond week, for example. Now that you have a richer the most important thing to know is – focus on whatexperience to drive to, your posts can include richer needs to change.product assets and be more strategic as well. Marketing objectives are straight-forward but digitalDifferent social networks require slightly different is complicated. We have a tendency to wallow in thestrategies. Here are some insights for each site. nuances of digital measurement but quickly realize that we’ve either wasted a bunch of time and/orFacebook ended-up with more questions than answers. LeaveFacebook knows that the newsfeed is their most the data crunching and reporting to your analysts,important asset. They are constantly working to make Marketers must focus only on how they’re going tothe stream richer and more relevant. improve their efforts.Richer posts perform better – use Gallery posts and • What makes for an effective post on eachintegrate video, offers and polls for example. network? Can you repeat your success?Twitter • Are fans entering your experiences? How can theLike Facebook, Twitter too knows that the stream is landing page be improved to get more people in?essential and they too are working to make it richerand more relevant. • Once in, are fans engaging? Are they exploring the product, commenting, sharing, etc.? How can youMix it up, tweet the product launch video and a link increase engagement?to the experience, give away product to followers andretweet Instagram photos. Twitter is even more time- • Are you driving fans to retail? How can you drivesensitive than Facebook so tweeting about real time even more?events that integrate products is great too. Like all marketing, promoting and selling productsPinterest using social media needs to be iterative and in orderPinterest is about discovery, great photography and to quickly improve results you must focus on thenow video. Users tend to browse their own feeds and things that matter most - the things that drive yoursearch for brands and categories. business.While posting straight product photography to specificBoards can be an effective way to solidify yourpresence, the pins that get the most engagement,repins and clicks are the ones that are particularlystunning, provocative or unexpected. Authenticity iseven more important here so personal photographs of 503.232.2021
  11. 11. ConclusionWe are tremendously excited and optimistic about the discipline of promoting and selling product usingsocial. We feel very strongly that going beyond Like buttons and building purpose-built social productexperiences and posts that are both web and mobile optimized is the most urgent path forward for SocialMedia Marketers and their marketing organizations. We think the best way to realize returns across the entiremarketing cycle from discovery to revenue is to become expert at promoting products using social.We work with innovative brands like Target, Nike, Levi’s, Macy’s and others and are eager to work with you.Give us a call to discuss how we can help you get started. 503.232.2021About ShopIgniterWe enable innovative brands and retailers to promote and sell products using social media. We offer an end-to-end solution including tools and expertise around social product promotion strategy, rich posting acrosssocial networks, remarkable product experiences that live on the web, in Facebook and on mobile and secureintegrations into existing eCommerce systems.AttributionSome of the diagram art uses iconography from,• The Noun Project -• Pixeden - and adidas are not currently customers of ShopIgniter, Kaenon Polarized and Mia Shoes are. 503.232.2021