For nearly a decade, retailers have been trying to analyze, quantify and predict the impact of social media in the commerce space. At one time it was believed that Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers equated to customer loyalty and bolstering of the bottom line. Yet, as Retail TouchPoints’ fourth annual survey on social commerce demonstrates, social commerce has evolved over the past few years and retailers are trying new tactics to engage shoppers and drive them to eCommerce sites, as well as brick-and-mortar stores. According to Retail TouchPoints’ survey of 97 merchants across product categories, 93 percent of retailers have, or plan to implement, a social commerce strategy. Let’s take a look at how those retailers are increasing their focus on social commerce. Measuring the Effectiveness of Social Networks and Metrics Retailers struggled in the past to determine whether published messages and shared promotions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter led to tangible sales. New social media analytics solutions and advertising models are helping retailers better measure their social media efforts. Buy buttons on social networks and solutions like Like2Buy and Soldsie are helping retailers drive sales and collect tangible metrics. Promoting Social Commerce Across Channels Most retailers are implementing strategies to build a large and active base of social fans and followers across channels. Most use their email newsletters and promotions to generate likes and follows, while others use their eCommerce sites, mobile sites or apps, and print ads to generate awareness and engagement. Providing Compelling Calls-to-Action to Drive Social Engagement In order to keep fans and followers engaged, many retailers post compelling and relevant content. Some retailers are taking it a step further by providing exclusive offers or incentives to social followers to reward them. Many are finding success by offering discount codes or coupons for liking or following a brand page, while others are delivering limited-time offers to consumers who share content on social networks. Investing in Social Advertising Social networks are rolling out new advertising models to help retailers generate engagement. Although only one-third of retailers are currently using paid opportunities, those that are investing in social media advertising are experimenting with a variety of methods. Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories are the most widely adopted, but adoption of Instagram and Pinterest continues to grow. — So the question remains: Has social commerce reached a tipping point? It seems the answer is ‘no.’ Social commerce is simply evolving – and doing so at a rapid pace. Retailers need to evolve along with it and experiment with all the new social tools and strategies that continue to arise. Check out Newgistics on Twitter and Facebook.