40.7% of all sales were made online this holiday weekend, not including Cyber Monday (NRF). Social Media has made its presence known as a forerunner in this new age of advertising and marketing, proving that it can produce ROI.

As omni-channel retailers and eCommerce giants make the move into social commerce, they tend to focus on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. But social media is an ever changing landscape, in 2014, we expect to see a huge surge of User Generated Content and an increasing move towards mobile and tablet friendly social platforms.  Here are some social sites that are centered on user generated content and can help you one-up the competition as more and more consumers rely on their mobiles and second screen.

1. Polyvore

This darkhorse is the fashion mecca for apparel and home decor retailers. It is visually similar to Pinterest, allowing users to create inspirational head to toe outfits, as well as home decor, with one huge difference. Every item includes a direct link to purchase on site and suggests similar items as well. Users on Polyvore are foremost shoppers first.

Popularity

  • Over 20 million users

  • 20 million products uploaded a month

  • Sets are viewed 1 billion times a month

  • Drives $6.34 million in social sales.

Case Study: Old Navy’s “Move to the Beat of Your Own Skinnies” Polyvore contest generated over 3,000 sets from over 2,000 members.

Bottom Line: Polyvore generates an Average Order Value of $383, more than Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest combined.

2. Foursquare

Although this site has stalled in growth since 2009, it still has a large active user base that should not be ignored. This geo-location social app, allows users to check in, collect deals and promotions, leave reviews and recommendations. For brick and mortar shops, this is a great way to drive user engagement in-store. By providing simple deals and promotions online, visitors are more likely to visit in person.

Popularity

  • Over 40 million users worldwide

  • Over 4.5 billion check ins

Case Study: Sports Authority ran a contest at specific locations, asking users to check in and share on Twitter for a chance to win a $500 gift card. This drove social engagement in-store and generated 4,000 new Foursquare followers.

Bottom Line: Capitalize on the “Shop Local” and engage users in store and online.

 

3. Vine

A social video platform, owned by Twitter, that allows users to create and share short 6 second videos. Videos are becoming more of an important medium for User Generated Content, with Instagram adding video capabilities earlier this year as well. Brands can further engage users and cross promote, sharing the video on Twitter as well.

Popularity

  • 5 tweets per second contain a Vine link

  • 40 million active users

Case Study: The first day of Honda’s #WantNewCar Vine campaign brought the car brand 1,020 new followers (compared to its six-month average of 242 new followers) and 2,292 mentions. (Socialbakers)

Bottom Line: A branded Vine is 4x more likely to be seen than a regular branded video.

 

4. Snapchat

This new mobile social platform exploded this year and is quickly growing. Users are able to share photos and videos with each other that automatically delete after 10 seconds. This is ideal for sharing secret coupon codes or deals. With the rollout of Snap Stories earlier this year, brands can now interact with users over a 24 hour period of time – great for flash sales, events and limited time promotions.

Popularity

  • 33 million daily active users

  • 350 million photos shared per day

Case Study: Karmaloop, a clothing e-tailer, attracted more than 2,000 Snapchat followers after two weeks (Adweek).

Bottom Line: If your target audience is age 15-25, there is no better way to reach them than with a Snap

 

5. Instagram

Best of both worlds, Instagram has both photo and video sharing qualities. Perfect for photo contests and collecting user generated content. Urban Outfitters has taken the lead in this field, collecting photos with #UOonYou and then featuring those photos its own social accounts (Bloomingdales also ran a #BloomieSelfie contest, balancing selfies with beauty tips). With Ads introduced earlier this year, the possibilities are endless for this platform.

Popularity

  • 130 million users

  • 55 million photos shared per day

  • Two-thirds of the world’s top 100 brands are on Instagram. (Simply Measured)

Case Study: Michael Kors was the first to test out Instagram’s Ads which received impressive results. The ad received 218,000 likes in 18 hours, a 370 percent increase over the average 46,000 likes the brand receives in its regular feed (Nitrogram). Within the 18 hours following the ad, the brand got 33,000 new followers, 16 times more than usual.

Bottom Line: Users are moving towards something more relevant, viral and visual, and more often than not that something is Instagram.

Will these social platforms make it into your marketing strategy for 2014?

 

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