The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” – Malcolm X

Just as Malcom X the famous human rights activist spoke in the above quote of what we define as traditional media, he could just as easily have been talking about social media.

In fact, such is the power of social media, that a new condition is becoming prevalent in our developed human race known as ‘social habit’. That is a reliance on social media for all forms of human activity related to socialising, human opinion, advertising, buying, and selling products, and characterised by visiting  social media sites multiple times per day.

Did you know that currently more than 62 million US-based citizens use social media daily, while US-based engagement levels of  Twitter are now well in excess of 75 per cent?

There is a remarkably strong correlation between social media users and interest in brands. We see that social media users are more interested in brands than ever before. Now we begin to see the power of a powerful social media strategy to a retailer’s repertoire and this one vital spoke in the wheel of a retailer’s brand strategy takes its place.

Here in Australia the statistics and trends are just as consistent, such as:

– 53 per cent of people on Twitter recommend products in their tweets

– Each day 20 per cent of Google searches have never been searched before

– 92 per cent of children under the age of two have a digital shadow.

Facebook remains the dominant social network in Australia, with nearly half of the population using it. YouTube also remains very popular with about 11 million unique visitors each month.  (YouTube is actually the second largest search engine in the world after Google.)

In fact, if you have a spare 3.58 minutes from your busy pre-Xmas retail activities, watch this to grasp the speed change and influence of social media (s-commerce).

The social media revolution is unleashing a revolution in communication that is a tsunami altering every single tenant of human connection in some direct or indirect way.

So what does this mean for retailers? Well another principal conclusion for retailers is that every single touchpoint in the retail brand delivery can now position and sell product . So by way of example we have:

– Shop commerce

– E-commerce

– M-commerce (mobile)

– S-commerce  (social media)

In fact:

– By 2011 Dell outlets had sold in excess of $7 billion in products through its Twitter feed.

– Sales of products through social channels are predicted to hit $30 billion by 2015 (increase from $15 billion in 2011)

– Facebook selling gift cards/creation of Facebook stores is becoming common

Now we further see apps that synch between our website and social media sites allowing us to import our products from popular store platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, or WooCommerce, or if we don’t yet have a store on any of these platforms, we can use a CSV file to manually add products.

We also see the absolute power that the next generation of global retail juggernauts have and will have –

It used to be that we would go shopping for products and services (and realistically still is) one day, if not already, through social media these products and services will find us.

What do you think, as a retailer, do you have a social media strategy in place? Can you afford not to?

To grow your business fitness – contact Brian Walker (CEO: Retail Doctor Group) on (02) 9460 2882.

Happy fit retailing

 

First published 10th December, 2014 on Inside Retail