Over the last 3 – 4 years, you simply can’t go a day without hearing the words Facebook or Twitter. Based on recent stats from these popular social networking sites, there are over 500 million active Facebook users and 175 million registered Twitter users who send 95 million tweets a day.
These huge numbers explain why retailers, businesses, educators, governments, and non-profits are all using these social networking tools and others (i.e. MySpace, YouTube, Skype, LinkedIn, blogs, text messaging, etc.) to build online communities of their own and establish high trust levels from outside their own walls. Indeed, this social media marketing phenomenon has taken on a life of its own, gaining ever-growing acceptance by marketers and consumers alike —regardless of gender, race, or age.
In fact, the Associated Press on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, reported that a centenarian from northwest Ohio received her 105th birthday greetings on Facebook, where she connects almost daily with family and friends. It’s pretty neat to think that this lady didn’t so-much-as have a radio or television during childhood, but now 100 years later she’s visiting loved ones in cyberspace. Who knows if she shops on Facebook, too.
It’s quite possible according to the Dec. 15, 2010, edition of the USA Today story about the surge in the number of older Americans engaged in social networking:
The older set has been slow to embrace the technology, but that is changing. Now the fastest-growing group of people using social networking is adults ages 65 and older, followed by those ages 50 to 64, according to a Pew Research Center report. (Aug. 27, 2010)
So, if sweet old ladies from nursing homes in the mid-west are going social, shouldn’t retailers?
“Absolutely, yes,” says Bill Heaven, Vice President of Operations at Phoenix Systems Group, Inc. He recommends that multi-channel merchants ask their eCommerce providers what tools are available to help them go social.
Heaven suggests that merchants get started by allowing website users to:
- “Post” a product page on their Facebook wall; and
- “Tweet” about your products to their Twitter followers
“A major benefit of social media marketing is increased website traffic as a result of your customers promoting your products to their friends and followers,” Heaven explained in a recent issue of The Cube newsletter.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be a wall flower. Get into the Social Marketing groove and watch your eCommerce revenue climb.
Editor’s Note: The BCF Commerce™ platform, by Phoenix Systems Group, Inc., offers social marketing integration features through its BCF Commerce™ Net Store.