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Social Media,The Taste Graph, and the Road to ROI

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Morpheus Media, the digital media agency, is a monthly contributor to The Makegood. This column was composed by Dave Surgan, Manager, Digital Media Communications.

One of the greatest challenges planning social media strategies has been tracking the investment to a direct ROI. Social is an element that permeates all aspects of the media mix and conversion funnel. Sometimes social is here for us to keep in touch with customers, other times it is here to share a piece of content, but it has rarely been there for the hard sale.

The emergence of services tailored towards the taste graph, a focus on what we like rather than whom we know, has provided marketers with a new opportunity to directly measure conversions from these platforms.

Pinterest has exploded over the past six months as users quickly learned how to bookmark and curate images around themes. Pinterest is absolutely wonderful but its open format can also present a lack of focus. Searching and sorting pin boards for specific products can be challenging and scrolling through the feed of “pinners you follow” can get messy.

It will likely make more sense for brands to focus on Pinterest for the spread of content (at least for now) and focus on other platforms for products and conversion. Three platforms have launched recently which focus on product search and discovery. These platforms have huge potential to help shoppers make better decisions and find what they want as they browse, save, and buy. Each platform has their own approach, but all roads here lead to the sale.

Here we go:

1. Lyst

Lyst is designed and curated for the luxury consumer. Select brands and retailers are scanned and indexed on Lyst to ensure a high quality experience. Users are able to quickly shop for a specific product or leisurely browse through their feed. One of the most intriguing aspects of Lyst for marketers is the product details. Lyst scans and updates every item on the site, with every product directly tied to a brand or retailer’s product page and updated with price or inventory changes.

2. Svpply

Svpply’s approach to product discovery has a key difference from Lyst, every product on the site has been added by a user from elsewhere on the web through a bookmarklet. Svpply has cultivated an amazing community of curators that help users quickly understand the value of joining the site. When I first decide that I need to make a purchase, I almost always start my product search with Svpply.

3. The Fancy

The Fancy takes yet another approach that combines some of the best attributes of Pinterest, Lyst and Svpply. A mesh of images and products, The Fancy has balanced the pleasure of curating a pin board with the joy of finding a product quickly. Recently The Fancy integrated e-commerce features to connect select products with retailers.

Stronger connections to retailers and real time product updates greatly benefit all of these platforms as they help shoppers find what they need with ease. Brands need to consider three things when joining and building with these services:

-Remember the basics! Determine your goals and strategy prior to joining new communities. Understand what value you can provide to users.

-Review the structure of your product pages to ensure that these services are pulling the correct details and images.

-Start thinking about APIs: How can your brand help feed product updates to these services? When these services launch their own APIs, how can your brand build new experiences with this source of content?

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