Integrating social media outlets with an e-commerce website

We’ve all seen the famous TNT channel adverts that pitted unsuspecting Belgians against a bout of pure, unadulterated and magnificently choreographed drama in the heart of their sleepy town. We’ve all seen those intriguing European travel agency ads that placed webcam links across the continent and opened windows to cities exotic and far away. Perhaps most of all, we’ve all seen those Cola and Mentos fountains; one of YouTube’s most prolifically viewed videos and a legend of the marketing world.
These are all classic examples of the viral ad; the veritable holy grail of the marketing in the modern age. Today, PR directors the world over now sit twiddling their thumbs while trying to think of the next ‘big thing,’ or some glorious idea that will take the world by storm.

But, for all the example advertisements above and hundreds more like them, it’s the phenomenon of social media that has proved the greatest tool. Today it’s like the Sancho Panza of online marketing; a place where the wacky and wonderful ideas of creative PR-sters find their feet and go viral. Consequently, for online businesses looking to expand their hold over the internet market the proper integration of social media and an ecommerce website is one of the most crucial steps to make.

For most businesses and developers it’s a job that can be done quite easily, and most of the major online ecommerce website systems have well-developed plugins, scripts or integrated utilities to ensure social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest can be properly joined to their homepage with ease. These have helped website content managers to automate their sales pitches and offers, or have websites remotely communicate with social channels in order to post relevant information about products or point of sale (POS).

However, perhaps just as important as the communication of sales messages and POS is the added utility of user-based sharing and endorsement. This has come into play with the addition of third-party plugins that are now available on most of the major open source systems, allowing website users to ‘Like’, ‘Share’, ‘Tweet’ and ‘Pin’ various products, pictures and details directly onto their personal wall, board or feed.

In short, the proper and effective integration of social media and ecommerce website systems can fairly be seen as central to the continued success of online sales and conversion. Not only does it allow webmasters and content managers a direct line to their specific customer base, but also an outlet for the hibernation of their more quirky and viral-worthy marketing ideas; the place where the cream of modern adverts are born and bred!