What is social commerce?
Social ecommerce is when social media platforms are used to make a more personalized and targeted in-app experience shopping experience for customers. Simply put, it brings eCommerce functionality directly into social media platforms. When customers are satisfied with your business, social media makes it easy for them to share and recommend your brand. Because of its very nature, social media is a place where content goes viral. These channels therefore play a very important role in your word-of-mouth marketing.
Examples of social commerce platforms and social commerce sites include Facebook business retail store pages where users can browse and shop without leaving the platform, or buy buttons on Twitter and Pinterest.
Many people wonder if social eCommerce will work for their business. In fact, it offers a myriad of business benefits for your brand. From increasing sales to driving traffic, to increasing customer engagement and website traffic.
Here are five business benefits of social commerce:
1. Consistent audience growth
Every day, thousands of new users join social media sites around the world. Millions are already active on it. According to Statistia, Facebook has over a billion active users each month and many new users join every hour. One of the most important considerations for any business is how to reach and sell to its target customer audience. For companies that use social commerce, their followings are continuously growing and accessible.
2. Higher search engine ranking
Engagement on social media can lead to more than just direct transactions. It has been proven that social media commerce actually increases traffic to your website, which will eventually influence your ranking on search engine results (though nobody can agree on the exact weight of this search engine ranking factor.) Sharing links to content on your website through social media is an excellent way to drive traffic from social media users. It also allows your audience to engage with a comment, like, or share to reach an even larger audience.
3. More authentic engagement and traffic
As already stated, actively working to grow your social media audience is a great first step in eventually making conversions. One of the most significant benefits of social commerce is the engagement and reach that businesses can get whenever they share content. By showing up in a follower’s updates feed on a regular basis, you’re participating in a powerful branding opportunity. People who have regular contact with a company are more likely to recommend that company.
Social commerce encourages people to connect with a business through two-way communication. This allows customers to not only engage with your business, but also gives them the opportunity to use social media as an efficient customer service channel where it’s possible to solve problems. Social media word-of-mouth (sharing/reposting) helps with audience building, as well as increased engagement and website traffic.
4. Customer loyalty and retention
In using social commerce for your business, you are aiming to sell and promote your products/services, but you are also aiming to build good relationships with people. By using this opportunity to engage with prospects, a company can build and maintain relationships that deepen trust and loyalty. This, in turn, creates customers who are happy/satisfied with your service, who will likely remain clients who make repeat purchases. Make sure to treat first-time buyers just as well as you’d treat repeat purchasers – they’re both incredibly important!
5. Business metrics from social
With any part of your business marketing, you should be able to analyze your efforts, and see if the results provided a positive ROI. Starting a campaign that you cannot measure or evaluate is a waste of any tangible effort. The objective you decide upon should be kept in line with company key performance indicators (KPIs).
Social media commerce makes it easy to measure and evaluate performances. Facebook pages, Instagram business accounts and tweets on Twitter have built-in metrics for impressions, engagements, and reach. In addition, most social media posts allow for measurement of traffic to your website through website click counts. Other basic measurements to determine a positive ROI might include your total number of fans/followers, likes, and the overall sentiment of interactions.
Social media commerce will only be beneficial for your business if it’s done right. Formulate a solid plan, and don’t be afraid to take the risk and invest a reasonable amount of time, effort, and money – social commerce companies agree that it’s more than worth it! If you’re looking for an easy way to use social commerce trends to your company’s advantage, consider Pixlee’s [now Emplifi] Shoppable Instagram tool. Shoppable Instagram makes it easy for Instagram users to buy items they like in Instagram photos, reducing the path to purchase. It integrates with your eCommerce platform for easy ROI tracking. If you are interested in setting up social commerce for your business, download the guide below for free!