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Social media is driving a new world of marketing, according to a major report

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DUBAI: WARC, TikTok and advertising giant Publicis Groupe have jointly published a report examining the role social communities play in influencing purchasing decisions.

“As the popularity and influence of social media continues to grow, community commerce is rapidly evolving to provide brands and retailers with an innovative, effective, and fast way to sell directly to consumers,” said Alex Brownsell, managing editor at WARC.

The report, titled “From Discovery to Purchase: The Role of Community Commerce,” states that social commerce describes the growing retail opportunities and solutions presented through social media. Community commerce is a narrower subgroup that specifically refers to fun, compelling content that often comes from YouTubers and happens to be associated with brands.

As more people spend time on social media, community commerce is at the intersection of community, shopping, and entertainment. With an unobtrusive and authentic approach, brands can blend in seamlessly with this social environment and interact with audiences by connecting through specific interests or hashtags.

“The special thing about TikTok is the interface between community, shopping and entertainment. I can easily move from entertaining my favorite creators to a shopping moment – or telling my friends about it, or sharing it – said Amy Lanzi, EVP, North America Practice Lead, Publicis Commerce.

Social platforms have disrupted the buying journey by spontaneously inspiring users to shop when they discover new products. In fact, social platforms inspired 70 percent of consumers to shop even when they didn’t want to, the report said.

Additionally, an average of 85 percent bought a product or service after it was advertised or rated on social media, and 77 percent said social platforms helped them get ideas about brands and products they had never thought of before had.

“The funnel has collapsed and impulse buying is at an all-time high; People spend more time on social media, so why not go where the consumer is? ”Said Ryan Hartsfield, social media director at Monster Energy.

So far, beauty and fashion categories have been leaders in social media, said Daniela Mercado, head of mobile marketing, Samsung Electronics America. Because of their success, more expensive categories – such as luxury and automobile – are now following.

Because of this emerging consumer behavior, brands have the opportunity to connect with their audiences and make decisions on the ground in entirely new ways. An effective way to do this is to work with YouTubers who already have the followers and have the ability to inspire and influence them.

Content creators drive discovery (78 percent), educate and inform their audience (76 percent), and inspire their audience to try new products (73 percent). Creators and social communities are the new version of “word of mouth” and therefore a powerful medium for brands.

“Influencers really matter because they all have their own reasons for loving our brands. It’s fun discovering why someone is using our products and we want to highlight and share those voices of discoveries because they are authentic and true, ”said Kevin Shapiro, SVP, US Marketing in Consumer Beauty, Coty.

The report also found that the buying funnel has collapsed, increasingly blurring the line between content and trade. On average, only 14 percent of purchases were planned across social media platforms.

It is obvious that the rise of community commerce holds great potential for brands. However, it’s important for brands to stay true to the platform they choose and the YouTubers they work with.

“We need to remember that instead of shopping on social media, people are interacting, checking out their friends and favorite stars, engaging with content and following their interests,” said Krinio Christaras, Head of Media and Consumer Experience MENAP, Mondelēz International.

She added, “With great content – be it user-generated content, the use of influencers, or branded content – that is appropriate for the platform, you are giving them a great experience and thereby giving them the opportunity to buy.”

BRIEF INFORMATION

On average, 77 percent say social platforms help them get ideas about brands and products they had never thought of before.

85 percent bought a product or service after it was advertised or rated on social media.

Social platforms inspire 70 percent of consumers to shop.

On average, only 14 percent of purchases were planned across social media platforms.

Content creators drive discovery (78 percent), educate and inform their audience (76 percent), and inspire their audience to try new products (73 percent).

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