Today, 70% of Generation Zers in Asia are purchasing products directly from social media. In North America, however, social commerce hasn’t kept its pace. Thus, the developers of major social platforms are pushing out new technologies to change that, cracking the commerce code to appeal to young buyers.
Initially, social channels were designed for expression, interaction, and creating connections. Today, most successful brands are looking for ways to join the conversation and push their products to consumers directly on social media. Companies have been utilizing social media to drive traffic to their websites. However, this type of conversion involves a lot of steps, and each action is an opportunity to lose them. Social commerce now shows how brands can sell directly on various social media platforms using Buy Now buttons or checkouts.
The State of Social Commerce
For example, Facebook rolled out Marketplace, and the feature is used by more than 800 million people in 70 countries. On Instagram, users can use shoppable posts to discover products and make a purchase without leaving the Instagram app. About 55% of Pinterest users are using the platform to explore and shop for products. The critical bridge for social commerce is video format – according to Brightcove research, 74% of social video viewers draw a connection between watching a video and buying a product or service.
Also, new formats are emerging in the social landscape – from live stream shopping on WeChat to in-stream purchasing plugins on Instagram. The purpose of these formats is to integrate social video deeper into the shopping journey.
Are you considering incorporating social commerce into your social media marketing strategy? For cracking the commerce code, it’s essential to remember what makes social business different from other social channels. The critical thing is to find ways to make shopping seamless, interactive, and live.
How to Crack the Social Commerce Code
1. Share Your Products/Services in Action
With high-quality visuals (design, photos, videos, and motion graphics), you’ll give your customers an idea of how your products look and feel, as well as help them browse your products without the need to visit your store. There are many scenarios you could use to showcase your products. Keep your audience engaged by adding variety. Always think about your target customers when producing content. Research and understand their behavior – the issues and challenges they face, their needs, how they buy, etc.
2. Add Product Links to Your Instagram Posts and Stories
To assemble shoppable Instagram posts, you need to set up and optimize a business profile. Once you do that, you can add your product line to Facebook with BigCommerce or Shopify. Instagram will approve your submission, and you’ll be able to tag the products in your Instagram posts. That way, your followers can browse through your products and make a purchase.
Also, include mentions and links in your Instagram Stories to make it easier for your viewers to browse and shop. Profiles with more than 10k followers can use the Swipe Up and See More features. Instagram Stories have become more popular than news feed posts as of late. Create a plan to take advantage of this trend.
3. Organize Contests for Content Promotion
Running a contest for products you’ve featured in your shoppable posts will get you more followers buying your products. First, determine what you want to achieve with your contest. Find out what kind of contest fits your needs, set the rules, and limit the time and the number of prizes to create a sense of urgency.
The last step is promoting the contest to spread the word around. Also, create a memorable hashtag so users can find and share it with their peers.
4. Leverage the Power of Micro-influencers
People are moving away from celebrity advertising because they realized it’s no different than branded advertising. They value authenticity and trust more in real people living real lives. Micro-influencers are perceived as more authentic and are a fast-growing trend because they have more targeted audiences. Despite having fewer followers than celebrity influencers, the quality of their audiences is better. They have the attention of a tight-knit and like-minded community of shoppers eager to take their recommendations. Micro-influencers can be integral to your social commerce strategy.
Pick an influencer whose audience aligns to your brand purpose, mission, and style. Reach out and ask them whether they’d like to share their experience of your products and services in exchange for something that would be of value to them.
5. Use User-generated Content for Social Ads
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the distrust in social media and advertising has grown. People are turning more to their peers and other trusted sources. That’s where user-generated content comes into play.
It’s the epitome of social proof because people love and trust content created by their peers. Inspire your customers to post material of themselves using your products or services (along with your branded hashtag.) People love the exposure they get this way. On the other hand, you can use e-clincher to track the hashtag and collect the user-generated content.
Next, adapt and repurpose the content for social ads. This is a powerful way to leverage social commerce.
e-clincher is a social media management suite that allows its users to stay on top on their social commerce game. Schedule and publish your social media posts to promote your offering via a unified dashboard. With the Social Inbox feature, you will keep the communication with your customers one-on-one and provide the best possible customer service and experience. Engage with followers and new leads through Live Social Feeds, and analyze the performance of your posts thanks to e-clincher’s advanced analytics dashboard.
Regardless of what social media network your brand is active on, there are many ways and opportunities to integrate social commerce. That way, you will shorten your sales funnel and allow shoppers to make purchases directly from social media apps.
In the future, experts believe that the world will see an entirely new subset of social sellers. They will be fueled by product customization, personalization, and innovative technology. To crack the social commerce code, it’s time to adapt to the new consumer behavior and the way they shop online products. Get started today! We’re here to help you be successful.