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Social Commerce: $50 Billion in 2020

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Facebook, Groupon and Living Social are just the beginning of a very important new social commerce business for marketers and media companies.

Social Commerce. It's the hottest new marketing opportunity for marketers, media companies and agencies. Group deal sites Groupon and Living Social have become hot properties, valued at more than $6 billion and $3 billion respectively. Last year social marketing was only a $1.2 billion business according to Jack Myers Media Business Report  – consisting primarily of word-of-mouth advertising, online blog sites and conversational marketing campaigns. By 2020 Jack Myers Media Business Report  forecasts that marketers will invest almost $50 billion annually in social marketing and commerce, much of it coming at the expense of traditional print coupons and retail trade promotion.

Facebook is positioned to be a primary beneficiary of this huge growth trend. Seventy-five percent of retailers report they plan to use Facebook to drive their social commerce business and nearly 50 percent plan to use Facebook in place of their own websites for product launches and promotions. Hyper-local sites and apps are positioned to be the connecting commercial link between national marketers, local merchants and consumers.

You probably receive thousands of coupons each year through the mail and newspaper free standing inserts. With newspaper circulation declining and with mail costs increasing, companies are shifting budgets to online and mobile distribution of their coupons and special offers. Suddenly every marketer realizes they can reach out directly to consumers when they are ready to make a purchase decision.

And now, coupons and special offers are appearing on the websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and mobile apps of TV programs, radio stations, celebrities and films. When you visit the American Idol website or text your vote, Coca Cola will respond with a coupon offer. Visit a local neighborhood website or Restaurants.com to find a restaurant, there will be special offers waiting for you. Just had a baby or moved to a new community? Register online and product samples and coupons will be downloaded instantly to you.

Social commerce is the most important new business opportunity for marketers and media companies. Facebook, Groupon and Living Social are just the beginning of a very important new business. For detailed forecasts on social marketing and commerce, subscribe to Jack Myers Media Business Report.

Jack Myers can be reached at Jack@mediadvisorygroup.com. JackMyersThinkTank is free and underwritten, as part of MediaBizBloggers.com, by subscriptions to Jack Myers Media Business Report (www.jackmyers.com). Subscribe free to all MediaBizBloggers reports at www.MediaBizBloggers. For Jack Myers Media Business Report subscription information visit www.myersreport.com or contact Jack Myers at Jack@mediadvisorygroup.com. Jack Myers and Media Advisory Group provide details on all underwriters and companies in which we have an investment at www.jackmyers.com. This commentary was originally posted at www.jackmyers.com