A social network can offer an ecommerce merchant the opportunity to promote a business and even sell some products. Explore new and emerging social networks, along with new features on established networks, to find opportunities for your business.
Here is a list of social networks for merchants to consider in 2016. There are new social networks that feature live video-chat, instant messaging, radio, Q&As with experts, professional networking, and a place for authentic conversation. There are also updated features on established networks, including a variety of “buy” buttons for social commerce.
New and Emerging Networks
Peach. Debuting at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Peach is an instant-messaging app that uses contextual “magic words” to add drawings, pictures, and songs to conversation. Post to your profile or chat with your friends privately, Peach is designed for personal social networking. Peach is from Dom Hoffman, co-founder of Vine.
Blab. Blab is a live video-chat app. Have up to four people talking live on-air at once. Host interviews, discussions, live workshops, or product videos. Watch live, or tune in for a replay later.
Yubl. Yubl is a social app for dynamic messaging. Pick a background color, select a photo or video from your library, or snap and edit one on the fly. Add overlays, filters, text, graphics, and stickers. Include interactive Yubl “buttons” to take a vote, show your location, or organize meetups.
Anchor. Anchor is a free iPhone app to record and broadcast short audio clips to a global audience in seconds. Your listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations. Once published, conversations can be shared as podcasts.
Slyce. Slyce is an app for live Q&As. As Slyce was co-founded by NBA star Steph Curry, it has primarily been a tool to follow popular athletes. However, Slyce is also for influencers to connect with followers, which could help broaden its reach.
Hyper. Hyper is an app to share images and chat about what you love most with like-minded people. Make posts directly to the areas that interest you. Everyone in the area is notified of your post. Instant feedback and votes on what you share increase the visibility of popular posts.
beBee. beBee is an affinity-networking app to connect with like-minded people. Join or create your own affinity group. Stay in your hive — i.e., professional sector. Keep your CV updated online, ready to use anytime.
Weave. Weave is a platform for curated professional networking. Each week, Weave matches you with someone that aligns with your interests and preferences. Matches are curated by real people.
Willow. Willow is a network to chat and share with others through honest and interesting conversation. Ask and answer questions to start conversations. Build communities around topics that interest you.
Alignable. Alignable is a social network for local businesses. Meet other business owners to connect and collaborate. Join discussions to learn and share with peers.
Buy Buttons and Other New Features
Pinterest. In June 2015, Pinterest debuted “buyable pins” to enable purchasing items directly on the social network. As of December 2015, there were 60 million shoppable pins on the site. According to one ad study, 84 percent of customers from buyable pins are new. Buyable pins could be the transformational feature that turns Pinterest into the social commerce platform.
Twitter. Twitter recently rolled out its “buy” buttons for ecommerce platforms Shopify, Bigcommerce, Demandware, and Stripe, after testing the buttons with a group of big brands last year. Share your products with your followers or use Promoted Tweets to expand your reach.
Instagram. In mid-2015, Instagram launched a new API, adding direct-response functionality to advertisements. Buttons prompt users to “shop now,” “install now,” “sign up,” and “learn more.”
Facebook. Last year, Facebook and Shopify expanded beta testing for Facebook’s “buy” button, letting followers purchase products in a new feed or page without having to leave Facebook. Recently, Facebook unveiled Messenger for business, providing a new way for businesses to have real-time support conversations with their customers.