Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fashion Rambler meets James Roome of iCom

I got the chance to pick the brains of one of the Social Media boffins at iCom. So I did. Here is what James Roome has to say about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest of the Social world.

Fashion Rambler: How do you envisage Social Media platforms and their ever increasing role in eCommerce unfolding? Will we really be buying fashion in Facebook?

James Roome: Yes I think we will; in fact we already are. Massive global brands like Starbucks and big name fashion brands like ASOS are using social commerce, so I’d say it isn’t going anywhere. Facebook’s massive user base is just too tempting for retailers.

Social commerce is also handy for smaller brands that haven’t had a mobile site or shopping app built, as it helps them to tap in to the mobile market. We’re actually in the process of building an F-commerce tab for one of our fashion clients, so we’re looking forward to getting some more concrete information on how just how lucrative Facebook shopping is.  


Of course, there are hurdles for social commerce to overcome. There are usability issues with the integration of social commerce apps in Facebook such as page load times, and the inevitable security concerns. There are also issues relating to the overhead for the business in managing another distribution channel which may not generate enormous sales whilst the concept of F-commerce is still in its infancy.

FR: What dashboard do you favour? (Hootsuite, tweetdeck etc...)

JR: I use Hootsuite PRO. To be honest there’s not a great deal to separate them, I just prefer the user interface to that of Tweetdeck.

It also offers decent reporting options and I like the fact that I can schedule tweets by uploading a csv. 

FR: Following my recent post on how Scheduling lead to back-lash during the riots (see how Twitter Backfires here) Is Scheduling as convenient as retailers think or will consumers start to switch off to tweet-bots?

JR; I think consumers already switch off to tweet bots. The only fully scheduled accounts that can possibly work are those belonging to already massive brands that don’t have to do anywhere near as much work to build a following online.

Having said that, I do think scheduling has a place in a properly managed social media account. For example, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling a few tweets for a weekend event. In fact, we scheduled some tweets for one of our clients over the recent Manchester Pride weekend.

As long as you ensure that you monitor your account and are ready to reply to your followers’ queries, retweet their content and generally interact, there’s no problem with setting up a few tweets in advance to bulk out your feed.

You just have to be careful that it doesn’t take over; simply setting up a Twitterfeed of vaguely relevant content and auto-publishing to your account is a big waste of time. 

Read more of this interview at The Fashion Network here.

END.