The Social Commerce Journey

Published 22nd of April 2014 ,

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The time has come for us to have a chat about selling via social. For years it’s been a taboo topic with the leading experts shouting, “social isn’t for selling, it’s for brand building and communication.” They were right. Kinda.

As social media communities have matured over the years, both the brands that drive the communication and the communities who receive and engage have evolved to a point where conversations around selling are not just permissible, but encouraged. Social commerce is a reality and brands are starting to ask the tough questions of their social media teams. 

Can we convert some of our investment into these communities into revenue? It’s a fair question and one that can’t be dismissed with the flippant, “social isn’t for selling” response. It is possible to commercialise your social media platforms but, as always, it needs to be done correctly. The starting point for doing it correctly is to understand what is meant by social commerce.

Social commerce is a catch-all phrase that describes any kind of commercial activities conducted on and via social media channels and platforms. The phrase casts a wide net. Almost too wide to be helpful.

Based on almost a decade’s experience building social strategies for some of South Africa’s top brands, Cerebra developed the Social Commerce Journey, a paper detailing the six levels of social commerce. Our aim with this paper was to help businesses take the first critical step in developing social commerce strategy: understand what you’re dealing with.