Oct 13, 2010
Cece Salomon-Lee

Rise of Social Commerce – Nielsen and Hallmark Summaries

I attended the second day of the Altimeter Group’s Rise of Social Commerce conference last week. This is the second post summarizing the sessions at the conference. The first highlighted Charlene Li’s Open Leadership presentation.

Nielsen – Social Media Does Correlate to Sales

Pete Blackshaw of Nielsen provided some stats and insight into the role of mobile and social media on commerce.  The key message is that social media does correlate to sales. Whether it’s the trigger for the sale or the function of the echo chamber, Pete’s message is that it still correlates to sales.

Of the stats that he presented, these caught my eye:
* mobile phones will overtake PCs by 2015
* main ways to discover is through search and Word of Mouth

Implications for Marketing and PR

These stats demonstrates the importance of evaluating the ways we reach and connect with audience through our marketing and public relations efforts. Understanding the trends that trigger word of mouth are more important than ever to determine what will drive business forward. As Pete stated, “Many social conversations begin offline.”

Being able to tap both online and offline conversations, while helping your clients be found in the way that audiences want to find you, will become a more integral part of our jobs.

Hallmark – Blazing the Trail

Camille Lauer of Hallmark provided a different perspective – how a traditional card company is moving into the social arena. the company’s goal is to have people consider Hallmark beyond major holidays to every day moment. The challenge, according to Camille, Hallmark, is being sensitive to their physical, retail business and franchises.

Creating an Authentic Voice

Camille was very forthright on what worked and didn’t work as they cautiously moved into the social arena. Their goal was creating a more authentic voice that resonated with their audience. As part of this effort, they launched card contests, inviting their audience to submit unique cards. One winner would then be selected to have his/her card produced for the Shoebox line.

While the card contests were a hit, they quickly realized that their community wanted to hear from Hallmark. The Hallmark team began filming behind-the-scenes videos to share the card selection and judging process with their audience. This allowed their audience to connect more with the company and engage in an ongoing conversation.

Keeping It Simple – Facebook App

Yes, the physical card company does have a Facebook App – the Hallmark Social Calendar. For Hallmark, the goal is to translate emotions into bite-sized goods and virtual gifts. At first, the company added a lot of bells and whistles and realized that people only wanted a simple calendar.

The company also learned to encourage engagement with the audience (earn points through activity with the application) and how people wanted to pay for the virtual gifts.

Conclusion

Pete’s presentation provided great insight into how consumers are discovering and purchasing goods, while Camille highlighted how a 100 year-old company is moving into the digital arena. In the end, no matter what you do or create, you have to keep the customer center throughout. It’s amazing how often we forget that as marketers and PR professionals.

Are you currently implementing a mobile marketing strategy or have used the Hallmark Social Calendar? If so, share your experiences below.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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