The majority of business initiatives in social media networks fail to reach their objectives.
We all know it’s important, but not too many of us understand how value is created, supplied, transformed and consumed within social networks. Because in the main, these networks comprise dynamic processes that cascade through social networks @ NetSpeed rates.
Social media is rapidly redefining the way consumers research and buy products and services online. It is vital that companies connect with consumers where they’re at; and that is social networks.
Of the billions of minutes consumers spend on the internet, it is estimated that 22% of their time is spent on social media sites. To effectively engage consumers, retailers need to reach beyond traditional marketing and communications methods.
Moving Beyond the Traditional Approach
To do that retailers are going to have to learn where the cultures of social media, technology, and retail products intersect.
This will involve uncovering opportunities, highlighting the pitfalls and making strategic initiatives on how stakeholders within the retail industry can collaborate, cooperate and compete in this new networked world.
The ticket to ride will be effectively engaging consumers with the retailer’s message. As well as the understanding that control of the retail experience has been wrested from the retailer by the consumer. The retailer can only hope to influence the path to self discovery for the consumer in this fast-paced, ever-evolving digital world.
The Three Streams
Areas of knowledge to be gained fall under three broad categories of social media and technology:
- Rapidly learn, recommend, comment, decide, try – succeed / fail; select and execute
- products, channels, brands, stores, outlets
- multiple media platforms (online, mobile, social, video), devices, protocols
Retailers will need to study the distinctions between dynamic, in-the-moment behaviors and at-home leisure times, as well as at work social media and technology behaviors.
The questions for retailers now evolve around
- Achieving Social network connectivity: engaging network participants vs. passive observers; product influencers, innovators vs followers
- Attaining Brand loyalty: examine the “Facebook and Twitter” effect of social media on your distribution channels, brands and products (how likely consumers are to talk about your channel, brands and products and make recommendations, and so make purchases based on other consumers recommendations)
The velocity of information has surpassed any companies ability to control it. No longer can retailers or suppliers control their brand, the release of information – their only hope is to remain an influence!