And the social networks are clearly in the game.
It's the shopping season for social commerce, and social networks are hustling their latest brand and business pages, promoting likes, pins, recommends, and shares. The marketer's multiplicity of digital channels for social commerce continues with Pinterest's new business tools, LinkedIn's revamped Company Pages, and most recently Amazon Pages.
Last week Amazon entered the pages game with a comprehensive web retail service called Amazon Pages. With Pages, retailers can make customized landing pages with the choice of three templates for presenting products at Amazon.com. Registered businesses with Amazon Pages will have access to Amazon Posts, a social media dashboard that lets the business publish content to both Amazon Pages and to Facebook simultaneously. Amazon Analytics, a web metrics tool, monitors Amazon Posts sales and helps inform marketing decisions by providing metrics such as reach, views, considerations, and purchase lift.
LinkedIn is clearly cornering the social business B2B market, with over 187 million members in over 200 countries and territories. This fall, LinkedIn revamped its Company Pages offering, and reported that there are more than 2.6 million companies with LinkedIn Company Pages. LinkedIn members are also sharing insights and knowledge in more than one million LinkedIn Groups.
One of the major updates on Company Pages is the Products & Services tab. Product recommendations are more prominently featured in the right sidebar. Any visitor to this area of a Company Page can see who in their network is endorsing the company's products or services. This will prove to be extremely valuable as we are easily influenced by what our peers and network connections recommend. LinkedIn has become an influential resource across the entire IT decision-making process according to recent research from Forrester, Research Now, and LinkedIn. The report explores the dramatic impact social networks have on the B2B IT purchase process.
When Hewlett-Packard launched its "Make It Matter" branding campaign in 2012, the target audience was enterprise technology decision-makers. HP used LinkedIn to reach a highly engaged and high-level professional audience and deepen engagement with IT decision-makers. HP has 878,000 followers on LinkedIn.
Pinterest officially introduced business accounts and new tools a few weeks ago. Though Pinterest pages themselves have not changed, the site launched Business Accounts, which lets marketers sign up using a business name rather than a first and last name. Pinterest also included a few new buttons and widgets for business websites to get more engagement from pinners and drive traffic back to the website. The buttons and widgets include the Pin It button, a Follow button, a Profile widget, and a Board widget.
In last month's ClickZ column I talked about how marketing must become agile to meet the ever-changing technology landscape. The latest new features from the social networks are leading the social commerce charge and being agile really is the new paradigm for marketing.
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Janice Diner is an award-winning creative director and technologist working in the area of social and emerging media technology and founding partner at Horizon Studios. Janice and her team built CATALYSTA, a sales force activation platform that engages, motivates, and rewards sales teams.
She is a pioneer brand builder in Facebook, serves as an advisor at the MaRS Discovery District, and was a judge at the Cannes Advertising Lions. Janice has a track record of accomplishment developing multiple social initiatives for global brands such as Motorola, LinkedIn Canada, TSN, Sony PlayStation, Hertz Car Rental, LexisNexis, to name a few.
Prior to starting Horizon Studios, Janice has held senior positions at Syncapse, Euro Havas, and Interpublic (Segal Communications).
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