By Nick Johnson - November 15th, 2011

Infographic Timeline: A look at the history behind Social Commerce Social Commerce has been one of the hottest terms in social over the past year and it shows no sign of slowing. As corporations w...

Infographic Timeline: A look at the history behind Social Commerce

Social Commerce has been one of the hottest terms in social over the past year and it shows no sign of slowing. As corporations worldwide try to wrap their hands around social commerce, we here at Useful Social Media felt it would be useful to create an infographic timeline detailing the very brief history of social commerce; as we have yet to see much content about its development through its early stages.

The growing importance of social commerce for digital savvy businesses cannot be questioned, Mark Zuckerberg has already expressed how much importance he thinks it will play going into 2012, stating "If I had to guess, social commerce is the next area to really blow up”. Created by our very own Brian Smith (@USMBSmith) click here to see the full infographic in all its glory.

And is if that was not enough, Brian had the chance to sit down with Sudha Jamthe, Social Media Strategist, Social Commerce at Ebay. Were they discussed Sudha’s views on social commerce from the perspective of a corporate practitioner. Click here to see the full story.

Who’s ignoring their customers? Conversocial’s look at how the largest US retailers are actually using social media practically

Customer service through social media is something that has really stepped up a gear in the last 12 months. Companies and customers alike both realise that social is the platform for an instant response. For the corporates there is a realisation that this has the potential to reduce the waiting times, improve customer satisfaction and ultimately reduce cost. To the customer, there is the dawning that social media isn’t just a place to get a free coupon or hear about the latest releases, but instead somewhere to be heard.

What Conversocial have done well here is look at those biggest brands where good customer service is less expected and more demanded. You can see how damaging it can be to a brand like Kmart of Costco when they ignore 100% of all enquiries thrown their way. Have a look at the full report here for all the facts and figures.

It goes to show that a well thought out social strategy starts with the customer and ends with the customer. If someone responds to your complaint, and quickly – does the customer really have any option but to become a brand ambassador?

Food for thought!

A look at Volkswagen’s Fanwagen campaign: The most social product out there?

We at USM always applaud social initiatives and Volkswagen may have taken it a step further with the recently launched Fanwagen. The campaign invites fans to vote between the classic Volkswagen Beetle or Bus, with one lucky voter wining the vehicle of their choice. Created by Dutch agency Achtung it looks to boost engagement on social platforms. Nothing new here I hear you saying…. but there is! It’s the product that is up for grabs.

The campaign runs with the tagline ‘Choose, Build, and drive away with it…’, and this is exactly what they mean. As a reward Volkswagen will rebuild this model in a one of a kind edition: the Fanwagen. Whether they vote for the Bus or the Beetle, the winning car will be equipped with a myriad of features that avid Facebook users will instantly recognize, making it the most social car ever.

For example, the Friend finder a map with all your friends hometowns plotted on it, the Feed-O-Matic that allows users to print their friends latest status updates and the gearstick that is shaped as the most recognizable Facebook icon: the Like, the list goes on…

So is this campaign a success? We think so. The success is in the interactivity. The campaign has 41,934 Facebook like’s and 18,781 people talking about it so far. Volkswagen has been able to harness that all important social feature – word of mouth marketing.

Is your ROI still guesswork?

Another busy week in the world of social media marketing, but the same hot topic of social still remains. As we see an increasing number of marketing campaigns using social media platforms the importance of showing the financial worth has never been so important.

It is clear many questions surround social media and companies are still asking themselves

- What the ROI of a social media campaigns is?

- What measurement tools should be used to track campaigns?

- What are the best opportunities for a brand and how can you take advantage of them?

Useful Social Media have released a report ‘How to measure social media impact and ROI’ with insights from Abobe, HP, Kodak, Whole Foods Market, Rainforest Alliance, Vodafone and many more. They have included case studies, best practice and practical advice and implementation in your own business.

You can get a selected findings document – which includes more info on the report itself, along with a 7-page sample, click here to grab the selected findings.

The Useful Social Media Team

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