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Six Social Behavior Tenets to Make or Break Your Social Marketing Strategy: Interview with Errol

Six Social Behavior Tenets to Make or Break Your Social Marketing Strategy: Interview with Errol

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Oct 03, 2011
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9/29/2011 by Mike Lewis  One of the aspects I enjoy most about my job atAwareness is the ability to hear and shareinsights about the future of social marketingand to connect with inspiring thought leaderssuch as Errol Apostolopoulos, head of innovation atOptaros,an e-commerce solution provider focused on innovated experiences forleading retailers and brands such as Rue La La,  Puma,and Macy's.Optaros is focused on social commerce innovations that create new closed-loop experience for increased revenues, along with back-office enablement of services to improve product information and management efficiencies.On the social innovation front, Errol and his team spend a lot of time helpingleading brands and retailers tap into social connections to drive new business. Ichatted with Errol on the lessons learned from his work and the emerging bestpractices in social commerce that transcend the boundaries of commerce and canbe applied to all social marketing efforts and industries.
The Three Pillars
 Errol started by sharing his philosophy on what makes social marketing successful.In his view, there are three pillars to a full social strategy:1. Social marketing activities that drive product awareness and traffic;2. Conversion best practices using tools and tactics along your product catalogexperience, such as rating and reviews, that support the consideration stage duringthe buying cycle; and3. Social commerce, which is a new way of shopping that takes the social contextinto account from the get-go. "Private sales have no search button; it's a browsing
experience that's built on a time-based group behavior, exclusive to a shoppingclub," explains Errol.
Social Commerce and the Social Internet
 This entirely new buying experience isbuilt on a social business model."There is no SEO, there is not thetraditional customer acquisitionstrategy," he said. It's all done throughviral advocacy and incentives that aredriven by the customer membership.Enter the age of the "Second internet,or the social internet." What Errol isreferring to is the "evolution of the awareness that people are interconnected now."This power can be utilized to do many things. It's no longer an individual browsingor shopping experience. At first, the Internet gave us the power to research, whereGoogle was the prominent player. It was about the individual researching andgetting information, the individual finding out what to buy. To a certain degree,this first push was
driven by "the convenience and wealth of information that I nowhave access to." This new social movement, with its leader being Facebook, is allabout the fact that "we're connected and aware of each other. It's not a one-to-onerelationship between me and the brand; it's a whole interconnected group, and ournature to be socially connected now is an experience that drives new ways of behaving," continued Errol.
The Six Tenats the Drive Social Behavior
 Six tenets drive social behavior and social psychology[1],Errol said, and these tenets come into play in varying degrees when people make decisions. These tenetsare not only the drivers of social behavior, but, in Errol's view, also the recipe forsuccess for any social marketing strategy or campaign.
1. Social Proof 
: We as individuals tend to follow the crowd. Crowd-sourcingbusinesses that have successful used this principle abound
from music discoveryplatforms like OurStage to fashion prediction communities such as Krush. 
2. Authority
: People want to follow an authority, such as a brand, retailer, or anexpert. For example, when a well-known designer like Naeem Khan, who hastwice dressed Michelle Obama for black-tie state dinners, says feathers are going
to be the next new fashion trend, people would have a desire to buy apparel andaccessories with feathers.
3. Liking
: We're willing to follow people we like, admire, or find attractive. Look no further thanKim Kardashian's Twitter followers which are approaching 10million.
4. Interest
: People tend to make decisions that are aligned with their particularself-selection, interest group, or passion point. "If I'm a golf enthusiast, I want tohave the latest equipment or the latest gear, because I want the world to know thatI'm a golf enthusiast," explained Errol.
5. Scarcity
: Things that are rare have higher value. If there are only five left of aproduct, "there's this indication that other people all found it valuable, so it mustbe." This is what private sales experiences tap into, said Errol, where "there'slimited inventory and you have to get there quickly or else it's going to go, becausewhen you arrive there are all these other items that are sold out."
6. Reciprocity
: We have an innate desire to pay it forward, or share and makedecisions based on a service, incentive or a group reward provided to us. We aremore likely to want to repay that reward. This is the basis of viral advocacy andviral customer acquisition. If people receive great customer service, they willlikely become an advocate of the service. "Zappos is a great example of greatcustomer service," shared Errol.Equipped with these six great social behavior insights, I asked Errol how socialcommerce leaders measure the return on their efforts. "It's ultimately the same aswith any other initiative
it is about revenue, membership, repeat business, andcost of customer acquisition." Additionally, he recommended connecting andengaging with key influencers, those most likely to influence their group to buy acertain product or service. "Look for the people who are your best brand advocates;measure their ability to spread the word and impact buying behavior with theircircle of influence."To see the six social behavior tenets at play, look no further than the current twoleaders
the private sale and the group buying industries. "The private sale was a$0 industry in 2007 and is now over $3 billion.Rue La La was bought byGSI Commerce within two years for $250 million;Gilt has only been around for four years and has over a billion-dollar valuation," he said. Group buying players, ledbyGroupon and LivingSocial, have all been focused on marketing for local businesses, but ultimately, Errol believes, that the experience is going to evolve

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