Online retailers turn to social networks for holiday profits

Online shopping becomes more social as big retailers turn to Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Buying things has always been social.

That's the thinking at Zappos.com, one of the largest online shoe and clothing stores. And that's why the Nevada-based company turns to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to answer customer questions and complaints, and to tell fans about their funky company culture.

It's also why Zappos executives have tried to make the site itself more social and by investing time, money and staff to grow the company's presence on Facebook and Twitter.

According to Nate Luman, Facebook marketing lead for Zappos, all of these social efforts have been paying off - especially during this holiday season.

"We definitely see social networks as a source of traffic to the Website leading to sales," said Luman, adding that Zappos has had more social networking-driven traffic this year than ever before. "We recognize the importance of Facebook and see a lot of opportunity driving traffic and sales, as well as facilitating top-of-funnel brand interaction. Over the course of the year, we structured our team to support the growth of these efforts."

The marketing and sales teams at Zappos aren't the only ones working hard to tie their online sales in with social networking.

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