Most of us have at least one social media account, while others have many. Whether you use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or more, you have probably started to see opportunities for purchasing a product or service through these platforms. By the end of 2021, there will be more than 3 billion social media users, which equates to about half of the world population. Some of us use social media to post pictures of vacations, connect with friends, waste time, or play games. And interestingly, more and more people are using social media to make purchases. A new report put the global market for social commerce at $89.4 billion this year and says it will reach $604.5 billion by 2027. In the US, the social commerce market is estimated at US$26.9 Billion in the year 2020
Social commerce is the use of networking websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as vehicles to promote and sell products and services. A social commerce campaign’s success is measured by the degree to which consumers interact with the company’s marketing through retweets, likes, and shares.
If you have an e-commerce business, you should consider social commerce. What makes it even more valuable is that customers can purchase your product without going to your website. The customer can see the item on their preferred social site, read comments, see likes and shares, and then complete the sales loop by making their purchase. A recent survey showed that 70% of consumers search for products they need to buy on Instagram and Facebook. You may think your product is too complicated, too expensive, or too exclusive to sell via social networks. But remember, in 2018, Nike, Shopify, and Snapchat partnered up to promote and sell Air Jordan III “Tinker” after the NBA All-Star game. They sold out in just 23 minutes.
To branch into this segment of the market, you need marketing strategies and promotions. In a recent online article, Blazon suggested:
- Inviting consumers to vote on items’ styles and designs
- Applying audio and video content to initiate views and clicks
- Inviting potential consumers to submit comments, photos, and feedback
- Using celebrity influencer endorsements
- Linking products directly to the shopping cart or checkout
- Offering and organizing giveaways or promo packages to clients who share the product on their feeds
Learning the patterns of the customers who purchase from your site helps you create future offerings that entice more buyers to buy your products. What do people want from brands on social media?
- 83% want deals and promotions
- 70% want rewards programs
- 58% want exclusive content
- 55% want feedback on new products
Your posts should meet the desires of the people. Why? To increase sales, of course! And you want customer loyalty, referrals, and positive reviews. Many popular fashion blogs have Instagram accounts that allow followers to like, comment, share, and purchase the offered product. If you are hesitant to try out social commerce, you can first test the idea. Take an item and promote it on social media, and include a link that ties directly to the store’s shopping cart or checkout page. Make sure to track the promotion for clicks so you can track what percentage of clicks turn into purchases.
Social commerce can give your B2B business a boost, too. Your social media audience steadily grows while your social storefront gains new followers. This can turn into higher engagement on your website, which leads to better search rankings. Most of your social media followers are interested in your products and business, which means your engagement and traffic are reliable information. Experiment with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, which cost less and offer built-in selling features.
Another social selling method is influencer marketing. An influencer is someone who has built a loyal following. When your brand uses niche influencer marketing, you partner with influencers who have carved out their specialties online and on social media. The value of influencer marketing is popular. 89% of marketers say that ROI from influencer marketing is almost the same or sometimes even more than other marketing channels. Influence marketing is worth time to consider and research how it can benefit your business.
Keeping up with the latest e-commerce trends and social media trends makes you more relatable to your target audience. Whether the strategy ends up being beneficial to your business is your decision. People tend to trust their friends more than faceless companies. Connect with your customers on a more personal level, and consider a foray into social commerce.