Your Guide to Getting Started With Social Commerce

May 27, 2020 Fiona Quinn
getting started with social commerce

First things first. For you to successfully start with social commerce, you have to know how different it is with social media marketing. That way, you have a specific goal in mind.

In social commerce, consumers make direct purchases through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is merely advertising a certain product or service which directs buyers to a specific landing page or website where they can actually make the purchase. With that in mind, let’s get into more facts.

According to Business Insider, a social commerce market report in 2018 showed global internet users spend an average of 142 minutes per day on social media as compared to the 90-minute result it had back in 2012. It also mentions how social media has become an important source and influence in making product choices. Facebook even says 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery.

Knowing how much time users spend on social media and how big of an influence it is to consumers’ purchasing habits, these alone would support the fact that social commerce will be a thing even in the next 5 years.

If you are thinking about engaging in social commerce, 2020 is the year to do it. Here’s how.

Set goals, identify platforms you want to sell on

Once you have your niche and business in place, you have to identify a social commerce strategy by picking out your target market and find out what specific platform they use.

For example, Hootsuite says 1 billion people use Instagram every month. The gender mix is pretty even at 52% female and 48% male. It also shows 75.3% of US businesses will use Instagram in 2020. Sprout Social, on the other hand, says there are 2.4 billion monthly active users. But usually, users are 65 years old and above with fewer teens using the platform. With these in mind, you’d already know what platform is the best for your niche and your business as a whole.

In this step, you also set goals for your strategy. Suggestions for key performances would be:

  • Social awareness – number of followers, profile views, number of insights
  • Purchase – number of social storefront sales
  • Social Loyalty – the number of repeat purchases

Build your presence online, content variety is key

When you have identified a specific platform for your social commerce strategy, you now move on to social commerce content which is now a whole different story. But the key here is great content and a variety of it.

Make sure you have high-quality photos of your products and curate them into a shoppable gallery. You could also include User Generated Content (UGC) meaning those from your customers that are already posted across social media. UGC drives sales and increases online conversation and amplifies brand message organically. Keywords and hashtags are also factors in creating content.

Create a two-way conversation with potential costumers

Social media platforms have this unique feature of making a tweet or an Instagram post turn into a dialogue. This is what makes these platforms an effective marketing tool and is ultimately the goal when it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM). If done right, this can be the deciding factor for customers to actually make the purchase or not.

Customers enjoy interactions on any social media platform whether they be mentions, retweets, or shares. If a customer mentioned your brand and asked questions, you could also mention them and answer questions in detail.

It’s these little things that do the real magic.

Convert shoppers into paying customers

Funneling people to check out is the biggest challenge in social commerce. Costumers may like your content and how you communicate with them but still end up not checking out with a purchase.

We may be overthinking this at times. We think that there’s a software or easy tech solution that will take away that challenge.

Remember this—the only thing you need to make a successful purchase is a product that your consumer actually needs or one that would solve a consumer’s problem. The second is a streamlined purchase journey.

The process by which consumers buy your product has to be seamless! If they find it difficult to do so, they ultimately lose interest in the product.

Buffer made a comparison of using traditional websites and stores versus using social commerce in selling products and services. The final results show that social commerce would still give a higher number of total purchases as compared to using websites with 10,000 initial visitors for both avenues.

The difference lies in how websites would work with using emails to push sales with only 25% opening it as compared to social commerce that uses messages and chatbots to push sales with 48% clicking through. Again, the key is making purchases easily accessible to consumers.

With this guide, you are sure to pick up strong. Start now and close those sales with an effective social commerce strategy. Good luck!

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