Businesses confronting social media disconnect

More than eight in 10 companies consider their social media efforts to be inadequate.

p>What is the online equivalent of going shopping at the mall with friends? Shopping online is generally a lonely task that does not allow the consumer to receive a stamp of approval from a trusted voice before making a purchase. Some companies hope social media can help bridge this gap.

Studies reinforce the generally accepted fact that consumers respond to product recommendations from friends, family, industry experts and celebrities. Social media and mobile devices provide a means for this exchange of information to occur.

One new venture, OpenSky, allows its 600,000 users to receive shopping recommendations from a growing list of celebrities, industry experts and other users. According to the company, these so-called “curators” regularly send out product recommendations to their followers, who then can purchase the products through the website.

“This feels like such a modern way to shop, compared to the search box,” OpenSky CEO John Caplan said. “Therersquo;s not a lot of soul in online shopping. We are putting the soul back into shopping.”

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accept credit cards online could learn from this business model, as it incorporates social media into e-commerce transactions. A recent survey by Weber Shandwick found that while nearly all companies have or use social media, a great majority of companies are not pleased by their social media platforms – 84 percent said their social media outreach was not up to the highest possible standard.

“There is a disconnect between theory and reality when it comes to socializing a brand,” Chris Perry, president of Digital Communications for Weber Shandwick, said in a press release.

As emerging e-commerce companies work through merchant account placement or existing companies conduct a payment processing review, the role of social media, and how it aligns with payment options, must be considered.