Many hosting users who are new to e-commerce often approach it with the mistaken belief that launching a website will automatically draw in customers. Perhaps they heard a voice calling them in the night, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, it is not quite that easy, and in recent years, even advertising may not be enough. Social media has become such a crucial part of the web that it is imperative for businesses to have some level of interaction with customers.
There are different levels of social media inclusion that e-commerce websites can have to leverage the power of the social web.
1. The lowest level is to simply have a presence on social media sites. You might create a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. account for your business. This is only a first step and is not much different than creating a website and expecting people to show up.
2. The next level is to provide some form of integration with social media on your website. This may be as simple as placing buttons or links to your social media pages on your site or as intricate as a social media-based commenting system, social sharing widgets, and embedded social tools.
3. The third level turns your website into a social site itself. In this way, users are encouraged to interact with one another directly on your site, just as they would on other social media sites. You can develop a community around your products with user-created lists, reviews, ratings, and more.
The third level is obviously the highest, and it will require a bit of site customization to achieve. Many content management systems have plugins that can help you build a social media integrated website and take your customer relations to a higher level.