How to Use Social Commerce to Boost Your Business?
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is a form of eCommerce where a business’ market and sell their products and/or services via social media platforms. Social media platforms usually have in-built eCommerce functionalities and tools for advertisers to utilise to attract consumers.
It’s considerably different from a traditional social media marketing strategy. Usually, users assess a brand’s social media content before deciding to browse their website for the purpose of shopping. Instead, social commerce allows consumers to simultaneously research brands. In addition, it also enables companies to appraise their products and perform transactions within the social media application itself. No external website necessary.
The Different Channels of Social Commerce
With that, let’s quickly break down the four most prominent social media channels. Specifically, where you can launch an effective social commerce campaign.
In 2020, Facebook launched an initiative known as Facebook Shops. This is a mobile platform where businesses can create complimentary online stores. Upon setting up your Facebook profile, you will have the option of establishing your very own Facebook Shop. Furthermore, you can draw attention to your products by tagging them in Facebook Stories, ads and other posts.
At your Facebook Shop, users can do everything all in one platform. They can browse various categories, read product descriptions, and place orders within the Facebook application.
Instagram’s eCommerce feature allows users to utilise a wide variety of avenues for businesses to market and sell their products. This feature is also known as Instagram Shopping.
Features include: Establishing a personalised eCommerce store that consumers can access directly from your Instagram Profile.
- Catalogue offerings according to genres, locations, age groups, genders, demographics and other miscellaneous categories.
- Tag one’s products and items in photos, images, videos, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, live streams and advertisements.
- Allow users to checkout via the app itself.
- Automated reminders and notifications for new product launches, drops and restocks
Furthermore, a distinct advantage of using Instagram is its versatility. Instagram users can combine different forms of content to best market their services and products. Be it short videos, images or live streams; there are multiple ways you can market on Instagram. With that, you can tag your products in any form of social media content before sharing them with your audience. These posts stay up permanently on your Instagram Profile as well. Through this, it allows your followers to have unfettered access to your Social Commerce posts. As such, your social commerce-centric posts have maximum longevity and potentially even reach after postings.
TikTok is the latest flavour of the month that brings new social commerce capabilities for retailers to leverage. Having integrated with Shopify, Tiktok merchants can create business accounts and can add a Shop tab to their profile. This is made possible by syncing it with their product catalogue. With that, merchants are able to tag products in organic TikTok posts. This then enables viewers to access the shop and buy directly from their store. In addition, they can click a tagged product in the video and go to the online store and checkout. Alternatively, businesses may host live Tiktok shopping campaigns.
TikTok users can also run ad campaigns in order to target specific demographics. These include ad groups, tendencies, and an assortment of other factors. In addition, users are able to take advantage of Tiktok’s analytics and tools. These are helpful in monitoring ad performance and implementing the appropriate measures to optimise their ad campaigns.
TikTok’s immense reach and influence also makes it an outstanding option for businesses to launch a social commerce campaign on. Tiktok has over a billion users and a staggering 35% of them are purchasing products that they are exposed. Because of this, businesses should seriously consider Tiktok’s viability despite being the trio’s youngest social media platform.
What Are the Benefits of Social Commerce?
Through social commerce, brands get direct feedback and data from their consumers. Along with this, consumers get quick information about new products, promotions, and discounts. As such, any of the above mentioned social commerce channels are potential treasure troves. With that, here are some ways that social commerce can positively impact your bottom line.
Seamless, Rapidfire Sales
Social commerce allows for fast-paced, uninterrupted transactions. Users are able to complete transactions within the social media platform itself. This reduces the possibility of customers regretting their purchase, being confused or comparing prices with competitors. As an added bonus, convenience may subconsciously influence clients to be more decisive.
Generate Buzz and Hype
Social commerce generates buzz for your products and services. Sharing stories and posts on Instagram and Facebook and tagging your products is a surefire way to stimulate conversation and excitement about your new offerings. Additionally, these fans may then share the stories with their friends and family. This adds a considerable amount of hype over new product launches.
Extend Your Reach
You can capitalise on the vast array of social media platforms available to implement your marketing campaigns. In fact, social Media allows you to add touches of your personality and flair to your products, thus possibly improving their attractiveness to customers.
Controversy aside, social media platforms are known for collecting user data- which is incredibly useful for business owners. With customer data in hand, business owners can gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviour. Using offline and online data, merchants can effectively profile their customers’ retailers.
Frequent appearances in your customers’ social media feed help increase your brand awareness. This enhanced visibility enables your brand to stay at the forefront of your customer’s minds. As such, they are more likely to purchase products from your store or even recommend them to friends and family. Last but not least, social commerce allows for an inherent two-way medium of communication between buyers and sellers- thus facilitating customer support.
What Are the Challenges of Social Commerce?
There is no surefire, foolproof means of attaining success. This principle also applies to social commerce.
Traditionalists may still adhere to their habits
Loyalty is its own reward, and you will find that many individuals prefer to stick with brands that they recognise and trust. As such, many such individuals refuse to try the products of other brands. While a minority, there is a significant amount of individuals prefer to shop physically. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you should neglect social commerce; rather, it emphasises the effectiveness of adopting an omnichannel approach.
Simultaneously launching a social commerce campaign while building up a modest brick-and-mortar store could be an effective, all-encompassing strategy. A multi-faceted approach which incorporates both social commerce and a conventional physical approach could bring in sales from all locations.
Social Media is saturated
Social Media is a highly saturated environment. To differentiate your business and products from competitors, you must create distinct, personalised and engaging content. With that, information is crucial. Retailers can seek to rank higher by implementing a product content management system. This helps generate informative product descriptions. Through this, customers are more likely to be attracted to a product they know more about it. With that, being transparent goes a long way in winning over the hearts of your customers. It also helps distinguishe your products from counterparts of inferior quality.
Allocating your finite resources to the wrong platform
If your business resources are finite, you could potentially waste considerable time and resources with the wrong platform. Alternatively, if you spread your resources too thin while trying to cover every social media platform, results may be lacklustre. Thus, business owners must research their target demographics before settling on a specific social media platform. For example, if you desire to attract Millennials, Instagram would probably be the ideal platform for you to advertise your products on. This is because Instagram is incredibly popular among Millennials.
How Can I Get Started With Social Commerce?
Having mentioned the benefits of social commerce, you may be thinking of establishing your business on social media platform(s). To facilitate your transition, here is some advice on how you can go about commencing the process.
Step 1: Select an appropriate social media platform
The first and most important step is to choose the right social media platforms. It is vital that you decide on one that will provide you with the biggest customer base. However, this depends on your target demographics. This is because some platforms are more receptive to your social commerce strategies than others.
Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook are tremendously popular with people from all corners of the globe. More importantly, they have in-app purchasing features allowing users to shop without having to be redirected. With strategic usage of product tags, individuals can discover your products and shop via stories, posts or reels.
For Meta’s properties- Instagram or Facebook- retailers can access the Commerce Manager. It is an incredibly useful tool that helps retailers have direct control over customer purchases, payment processing and inventory. Additionally, you will also be able to manage both Instagram and Facebook transactions with this one all-purpose tool.
Step 2: Build Your Reputation and Customer Base
After creating your business accounts, your primary objective is to draw in organic traffic. To accomplish this, you must strengthen your brand identity and improve brand awareness. In doing so, you will be able to attract much-needed attention to your social media content. Once you have them hooked, you can eventually hook them interested onto your products as well.
It is also important to post frequently on your new social media account using your creativity and imagination. Be certain to tailor your content towards the target demographic of your choice. If your business revolves around food, you can post aesthetically-pleasing food pictures or provide guides/ recommendations.
Additional measures you can take to enhance the quality of your posts are:
- Upload only high-definition images
- Engage sincerely and consistently with your viewers
- Strategic usage of hashtags
Furthermore, encourage your viewers to share your posts for increased reach and publicity. This will help with potentially expanding your audience. Consider seeking partnerships with influencers and leveraging their popularity to promote your channel/page to their sizable fanbases.
Step 3: Actually Advertising Products
You now have an authentic fanbase that genuinely appreciates your brand’s content and identity. With that, your next step is to start releasing social media posts centred on your products. Such posts could manifest as images, photos, live streams and videos. Having a variety is always a safe option. Because Instagram is known for its versatility, it allows users to produce different forms of media that are directly linked to your product page. Therefore, viewers can assess your product via Instagram and purchase it without leaving the platform.
Furthermore, we would recommend that you schedule your posts. This failsafe grants you some leeway if you cannot consistently devise creative content within certain timeframes. To spice things up, retailers have the option of launching advertising campaigns to generate hype and buzz.
Lastly, organising giveaways may attract a large influx of viewers and potential influencers to engage with your store. With that, it is vital to capitalise on this popularity surge to advertise your products to new viewers. You may also encourage organic influencers to endorse your shop to their fans. In addition, it is vital that you ensure your store and products reach your target demographics. This can be done by establishing eligibility guidelines. Attracting kids and adolescents to an item marketed towards middle-aged individuals would be woefully ineffectual in improving sales.
Utilize Social Commerce Today With Verz Design!
Today, Social Media is no longer limited to being just an advertising tool. It can also function as a standalone, lucrative, full-fledged eCommerce platform. Additionally, it could potentially be a valuable tool for businesses that desire to target a growing market segment. Furthermore, companies can also engage effectively with their customers via social media channels. With Verz Design, we can help produce content that addresses your customer’s needs, desires and habits better. Contact us at 6841 1680 or email us via [email protected] to to fabricate the best user experience possible for your customers.