Welcome back to our Social Commerce discussion. We’ve covered the where and the when, so now it’s time for the what: what content best fits social commerce?

Content that Starts or Joins the Conversation

The fast pace of social media conversations can give a company the sense that it had better get in fast. But planning for social commerce takes time like any other ad campaign. Slow down for a second, and think about the root of what makes social commerce addictive and effective: it’s about putting users first. It’s about giving them the opportunity to interact, to give content it’s own life, and to hear from one another.

When creating your social commerce plan, think about using a mix of the following:

1.  Interactive Content—Create media that potential customers can engage with, whether it’s through comments and shares or follow-up posts inspired by your company’s content. This might be an interesting social media feed that poses engaging questions to viewers, or a useful blog series with follow-up Q&As from readers.

Large-scale campaign example: Reebok’s Be More Human site, that allows users to interact with tools like its “human score” tool and its “fitness & the brain” tool. The campaign connects users with interesting, interactive information and puts Reebok’s fitness vision at the center.

2.  Reviews and Ratings—One of the easiest ways to get people talking about your product is to make it easy to share thoughts and reviews. Customers place a lot of trust in consumer reviews and the vast majority of consumers refer to consumer reviews when making a purchase decision.

Example: Rent the Runway makes sharing reviews easy, by letting customers upload images of themselves in the store’s clothing. Those images are placed centrally in the store’s browsing feature, highlighting user opinions and content for future shoppers.

3.  User-Generated Content (UGC)—The best way to let content take on its own life? Let the users be in charge of creating it. Think about a simple hashtag that asks users to come up with a funny one-liner, or start a conversation that ask users to post creative images.

Example: Starbucks white cup decorating contest invited customers to decorate their own holiday Starbucks cup and share images via social media. This generated a ton of chatter and content that Starbucks could repurpose on various platforms.

Hopefully the vision of your social commerce plan is coming along. Come back for Part IV of our Social Commerce talks and we’ll look at software that helps you integrate a sustainable social commerce approach into your e-commerce site.