Businesses making use of social website marketing services need to do more than just focusing on selling when establishing a presence on sites such as Facebook.

This is the view of Ben Staveley, writing for Econsultancy, who said while it is tempting to concentrate purely on commerce, companies that are seeing success are "using the social web … to add value to their customers' shopping experience".

In order to do this, it is important to engage with buyers and "give them a reason for communicating with you", he observed, adding: "Get this right and the sales will come."

Mr Staveley explained that prior to establishing a social network presence, enterprises should check their analytics data to establish current traffic and conversion rates, as well as do research into how their customers use social media.

Jo Causon of the Institute of Customer Service recently noted the majority (78 per cent) of consumers trust recommendations they receive via social media, highlighting the potential importance of such platforms for building brand loyalty and increasing sales.

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