Your Product Catalog Just Got Social
Most retail marketers have watched the proliferation of tools to bring product catalogs onto Facebook that has taken place in the last year. The problem has been that the vast majority of these applications don’t actually address what consumers want from brands on social. Many of them don’t tie in well with existing platforms and few are flexible enough to allow brands to make them feel unique and on brand. At Involver, we’ve been watching too and are launching a better solution.
To date, Involver’s approach has been to provide brands with flexible tools so that they can experiment and quickly iterate on what their community wants, I’m referring to our Social Markup Language (SML™). Today, we’re announcing some improvements to our SML™ infrastructure as well as a turnkey Social Catalog Application that integrates much of what we’ve learned in the last year.
- Social First – Perhaps the most important and obvious piece of what makes a social catalog effective is the placement and ease of use of the social hooks. We’ve followed best practices based on platform-wide user data to optimize the layout of our turnkey application layout. Along with this comes that realization that sharing content, offers and promotions is more important than completing the transaction on social. When customers are ready to buy, the best practice is to drive them as deeply as possible into your existing purchase funnel where they feel safe and secure.
- Context Relevance – Success on Facebook with a catalog can’t be about recreating your traditional catalog offering. This is a mistake we see over and over which betrays a failure to understand the importance of social context. A catalog offering on Facebook should focus on a limited sub-set of offerings that are associated with a promotion or which are being made available as part of exclusive offering or early access.
- On-Brand – Reinforcing brand identity is a key element of success of social because it helps serve as connective tissue for consumers. Note, the browsing/interaction experience on social will not be the same as on your main website, so look and feel goes a long way to connect the experiences.
- Easy Management – Making the management experience easy for marketing managers is essential to getting the most value from a social catalog. This means making it easy to import product feeds, manage products, schedule changes, adjust layouts and more.
As you would expect, the new offering is fully integrated into the Audience Management Platform (AMP), so it’s possible to manage this app in the same place that you publish and monitor your channels and where you review the analytics associated with your efforts. If you’re a Social Markup Language customer it’s possible to use the functionality associated with this application even more broadly.
Here’s a demo video that shows off how the application works:
You want your stuff on social. There are a ton of options out there. It’s hard to make sense of what’s going to work. Our SML™ customers have built custom solutions for some time now, but they’ve been asking for new features that will allow them to really succeed.
We’ve taken that feedback to make Social Catalog even better with SML™, and we’ve also created a turnkey application for small and medium-sized brands that are just starting to bring their wares onto Facebook.