by Neil Jones
Social commerce falls under the domain of electronic commerce, more popularly referred to as e-commerce, and involves using social and online media that support social interaction. It basically promotes online buying and selling of goods and services through social networks like Facebook, Twitter and others. Thus a business can become a member of Facebook and sell its merchandise through it, and also passing on information about the business to their circle of friends, who in turn share with their friends, and thereby creating a never ending chain of potential customers.
Getting started with social commerce may sound complicated, but it is quite easy for anyone to accomplish. By combining eCommerce and social networking through Facebook for example, the results for businesses will multiply. For those who are already using websites for online sales, it becomes even easier since all that they have to do is add a couple of their most popularly sold products to Facebook to test the market. Incentives like a coupon for the day or an item of the week can bring quick results. This is more in line with GroupOn which has been an online success with its coupons of the day.
Service businesses also stand to gain tremendously by setting up podcasts, eBooks, webinars and videos for sale. It helps to have a PayPal account since this facilitates payments across the globe. The PayPal starter package called PayLoadz comes free of cost. Once it has been tried out and rising sales are seen the monthly package of $14.95 can be upgraded to. PayLoadz comes with a host of benefits like uploading coupons, links and PDFs, automatically generating discount codes and much more.
Getting the products on Facebook is also easy since it entails only the following steps:
1. Search for FBML on the Facbook home page
2. Clicking on Static FBML takes you to the applications page
3. Click on ‘add to my page’, and see the list of pages for you to choose which page you wish to add
4. You can edit the page by clicking on the pencil icon after having clicked on the FBML area at the top of the page
5. Give a title to the box and add the content you want
6. Back on the Facebook page, just click on the plus sign and click on the page edited
7. The page gets added automatically
8. Now it is time to just add the HTML code from the PayPal page to facilitate payments.
This will soon begin to show results in terms of actual sales. If you have tested it out with just one or two products, it is time to add more to your list and see your business grow thanks to social networks and prove that social commerce is the way ahead even in business.
As you can see setting up a shop on Facebook really couldn’t be much easier, the difficult part may in fact be building a large enough awareness of your new Facebook store. If you haven’t already begun to build your fan base then launching a Facebook ads campaign is one of the best ways to get the ball rolling and even if it doesn’t help to drive immediate sales it will help to increase awareness and recognition of your products.