In the context of social media, social commerce is defined as ‘e-commerce transactions’, this gives brands the opportunity to sell products and services through online social networking sites. Is this a good idea and does this work for some industries and not so much for others…? This is questionable for music store HVM as they launch their Facebook Store.
Should social media and in particular, social networking sites be used as a selling platform? A recent Marketing Week article expresses concern about using Facebook as a form of social commerce rather than using the networking site for what it was meant for, networking conversations around products. With applications such as blogs, micro-blogs, social networking and media-sharing, there is too much happening under one heading – social media! As a result of this there are concerns that HMV are wasting their time and distracting from where their real problems are.
It is important to remember that HMV have been very cautious when launching their Facebook Store…according to a research study the brand is currently redirecting consumers to the website to purchase products so they can view the music they are passionate about on Facebook initially. HMV are testing the water before completely committing to Facebook as an online shop. Does this work for some industries and not for others, will this work for academic publishing for example?
The Burger King Facebook viral campaign, featured in Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach, is an example of what brands, in the past, are using Facebook for, media attention! Maybe this is as far as social media investment should go for many brands (see chapter 13, page 355 for case study).