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When it comes to social commerce, social networks, social channels, and social media networks things may all appear to be the same but can be quite different for your brand and sales channel to drive the right kind of audience to the targeted landing page.
With the sheer number of social media platforms multiplying each year, it can be difficult to find a social commerce strategy that can leverage each to success, driving customers with your social media efforts from social channels and through the purchase process.
is the use of networking and branding through marketing and micro-influencers on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, through a social network to buy or sell a product. Social commerce Social media strategy is the tactics brands will leverage through campaigns on a social network to drive traffic through the purchase funnel to a landing page to the buy button. For example, a brand can use a technology platform that supports social proof as a social media strategy for social commerce to grow sales, engage, and connect with audiences to build brand confidence and drive customers.
Facebook is the oldest social media platform on this list. Even so, it is constantly innovating new ways to drive consumer interaction and improve user experience. Examples of these services include Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Messenger, original shows, and popular videos through Facebook Watch and Facebook live. Facebook is known for being data-driven and observing user behavior to reach conclusions and strengthen its brand. In particular, Facebook’s social commerce functionalities and marketplace are one area that this company has invested in heavily.
Here is a handy list of social commerce tools available through Facebook.
Instagram is the sister platform of Facebook. Instagram is generally accepted as the trendier platform, catering to millennials and younger audiences. This social media platform focuses on photography and videography. This makes it an excellent place to advertise physical products for the short attention spanned audience.
Here is a handy list of functions available on Instagram for social commerce.
When it comes to sheer size, Pinterest is not nearly as large as Facebook and Instagram. Facebook boasts over 2.6 billion monthly active users. In contrast, Pinterest claims a respectable 322 million monthly active users.
What makes Pinterest unique from the other social media platforms on this list is the fact that nearly 80% of Pinterest content is not original. This means that Pinterest is particularly well suited to content showcasing or demoing your products
Here is a handy list of Pinterest’s social commerce functionalities.
- You can create product listings and have them appear in curated searches when users look for similar items.
- If you create visual content that creatively showcases your product, other users may repin your post. This will naturally introduce your product to a larger market. The repinned post will also have a clickable title that will take them to the original Pinterest store that you set up!
- Pinterest has advanced object recognition software that will automatically recommend your product to users interested in visually similar content.
Social commerce is an additional step that can be added to your marketing strategies to create a more robust system overall. Brands’ identities are especially important for B2B marketing, given that businesses are not as easily swayed by impulse purchases as individual consumers are.
Through social media, you can legitimize yourself through a combination of shoppable posts and posts that provide free value or advice to your audience. You can craft a powerful narrative by surrounding your brand with daily posts. Shoppable posts in particular will incentivize your customers to try out your product.
Social commerce is in some ways the successor of eCommerce. It has many of the advantages that come with eCommerce. It is also even more intuitive for consumers. Rather than just using an email address, this strategy gets consumers to follow or subscribe to your products so that you can interact with them more in the future.
- Organic customer engagement
- Easy customer retention and customer loyalty
- Social proof and legitimacy
- Decreased marketing costs
- Easy to use, hosted on user-friendly social medias
- Interactive content that is poised to make sales
Social media continues to blur the lines between your virtual and physical identity. In the past few years, we have seen a large shift in consumer activities. This shift is particularly visible in spending patterns. In 2017 the top 500 retailers reported revenue of over $6.5 billion from social shopping. This is a 24% increase from the year before. Each year from social media’s inception, there has been an increase in how much money is spent through social media. With billions of dollars being put into social platforms by consumers, the time to capitalize on your social commerce strategy is now.
Social commerce also has a large market size. Facebook has reached an astronomical 2.6 billion monthly active users, and they claim that 70% of its shoppers look to Instagram for product discovery. Even on smaller social media sites such as Pinterest, the company reported that the average purchase on their site was over $50. Even small orders can carry a high order value for your business. With a large amount of native active users and a demographic that enjoys spending money, it’s clear that social commerce is alive and well in 2020.
Although buying on social media is a rising trend in the west, it has already become a societal norm in Asian countries such as China. For example, WeChat has integrated a highly successful shopping functionality into its app for years now. With their ‘app within an app’ framework, many of WeChat’s one billion users have grown accustomed to making payments within and through the app. In other nations, the divide between social media and sales will continue to fade, and purchases made through social media apps will only continue to increase.
At this point, you should have a good understanding of the importance of social commerce to your business. With that in mind, here are our top recommendations for anyone looking to get started in the world of social commerce.
1. Understand your market: Knowing which social channel to focus on is one of the first steps to creating a powerful social commerce strategy. Is your target audience older or younger? Is your target audience more likely to respond to events or promotional material? Answering these questions will help you narrow down which social media platforms are best suited for your strategy.
2. Adapt to new data: When it comes to social commerce, you have a much larger pool of data to work with. Reading comments, responding to questions, and changing how you display new products will improve your conversion rate dramatically. As with any business, listening to your customers is crucial, but it can be especially important in social channels where word of mouth can make or break your business.
3. Encourage user-uploaded content: Content that is uploaded by followers of your brand is viewed as the most organic and trustworthy. You can encourage users to post more content by investing in influencer campaigns or setting up giveaways that reward followers posting content with your product. The authenticity of seeing your product through customer-curated content, rather than in a manufactured photoshoot, will improve your sales.
4. Encourage purchases with fewer clicks: When you are creating content to improve sales, always use the native shopping functionalities of the social media app you are using. If you are creating content for Instagram, be sure that you tag the actual product in each photo where the product is present. This will allow users to tap and learn more in the simplest way possible. If you force users to search up your product after seeing it, you lose out on a percentage of customers who are simply too lazy to put in the extra effort past your landing pages. If you are planning out a social commerce strategy, you should look to take advantage of any functionality that lowers the obstacles preventing the customer from making a purchase.
5. Improve customer loyalty: Sales are important to any business, but cultivating a devoted following is much more valuable. Brands that are always pushing a product and aren’t being relatable will inevitably face backlash. Instead, focus on producing content that your consumers will enjoy and engage with. By doing so, you may have to create a few blog posts or photos that will have no impact on sales in the short-term. However, brands that have a dual strategy of short-term and long-term planning are the brands that foster customer loyalty and longevity.
Now that you have finished reading this article, you should have a deeper understanding of social commerce. You should know what social commerce is, how you can take advantage of it, and why it is essential to your business’ future. You should also know the differences between the three top social commerce platforms, and the tools available from each. Finally, you should know the basics of cultivating your own social media presence. With this knowledge in hand, you are ready to begin on your social commerce journey.
Originally published at https://www.mysocialmotto.com on July 28, 2020.