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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 02, 2011

The role of social in ecommerce

The media space is becoming more fractured. Where once there were print and broadcast mediums, today brands have online and mobile offerings as well as the traditional outlets. All of that fracture can lead to brand messages becoming lost or simply not being 'loud' enough. Which is pushing more brands into even more alternative ad mediums - like apparel.

by Kristina Knight

Over the last year Spreadshirt, an apparel marketing platform, has seen an 80% increase in use, and not from mom-and-pop retailers. They've achieved the notice of celebrities and huge brands including Nissan and Foster Grant - all because the platform offers a different way to spread branded messages.

Spreadshirt has direct to customer offerings - for family reunions, for example - as well as a white-label platform allowing brands to upload unique designs for tee-shirt printing. This not only spreads the branded message but creates a turn-key merchandise revenue stream.

"Brands are looking for ways to parallel their campaign, and apparel is one way to do that," said Mark Venezia, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Spreadshirt. "We're also seeing a huge segment within video, specifically in YouTube, because it allows people to follow content creators - those followers are engaged with that type of content, with that message."

So engaged, that many are buying products these content creators 'advertise' - from tees designed by the creator or branded content. Celebrities are also creating their own social channels, within Twitter and Facebook. NFL wide-out Chad Ochocinco hosts promotions within his social networks in which he'll design shirts and donate the proceeds to a charity.

"Social is definitely pushing ecommerce traffic," said Venezia. "With YouTube, for example, before people didn't have an area to express themselves with video. There are now people who are making videos and are making revenue from that. YouTube links up to Facebook, and it spreads. Most of the social networks have ways to link to one another and that automatically increases the reach of that person, that brand, that product."

Tags: social commerce, social marketing, social trends, Spreadshirt

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