The Relationship Between eCommerce and Social Media
In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, FluidRank is featured as one of our Top eCommerce Marketing Agencies in the United States. Check out their profile here.
Social media has evolved considerably over what is a relatively short amount of time. No longer simply a way for individuals to connect and share ideas, social platforms are a major part of our lives. It’s how we access breaking news, it’s how we know when our kids’ schools are doing a coat drive, and, of course, it’s how businesses of all sizes contact and interact with prospects as well their existing customers.
What do those introductions and interactions mean for your business? They mean you have the chance to use social media for eCommerce, which is now particularly important for online brands and brick-and-mortar retailers alike given the ongoing global pandemic.
What Is Social Commerce in the Digital World?
As its name implies, social commerce in the digital world involves the selling and buying of goods and services over the internet directly through social platforms. With consumers becoming increasingly tech-savvy over the years, social commerce has started to entail more than selling things online using social sites.
Today, consumers want to do their online shopping with organizations that recognize and value them as individuals. Many also want to spend their hard-earned dollars on products or services provided by companies that share their values. If your business doesn’t do these things, consumers won’t have to look too hard to find a competitor that will.
In the increasingly crowded digital space that is the internet, social commerce now involves interacting with people on social sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and, depending on your target audience, other social media platforms. With the vast majority of adults living in the United States having some type of social media presence, it’s crucial for business owners and marketers to identify the social platforms the members of your target audience use most often and establish an active presence on those sites.
eCommerce Social Media Strategies
Of course, being active on thoughtfully chosen social sites doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to leverage your social presence to generate sales. While that’s true, you can increase the odds that your social eCommerce activity will yield bankable results by developing a shoppable eCommerce social media strategy.
Like there are many social networks online, there are a number of social media marketing strategies you may want to consider. For many organizations, the best strategy involves a mix of both organic and paid options.
Organic Social Media Marketing Tactics
Organic social media marketing tactics refer to the things you can do on social networks that don’t cost anything more than your time. Responding to comments or questions posted by your social media followers is an example of an organic marketing technique. Sharing reviews of your products or services and encouraging internet users to leave their own thoughts about the things you sell are additional examples of organic marketing activities.
Social shopping is becoming an integral part of a social media marketing strategy and is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing. From bigcommerce to smaller businesses, developing organic reach requires creating a community around your brand. Quality influencers and effective review management can provide the type of social proof potential customers need to make a decision.
Social listening is one of the most effective types of organic marketing you can employ. Not only can social listening help increase your bottom line, but it can also enable you to identify gaps in your product line or vertical and help you figure out specific things you can do better than your competitors. Social listening can even help you improve the customer service you provide to your prospects as well as your existing clientele.
User-generated content is another type of organic social marketing that can produce impressive results. Many consumers, especially younger ones, put more faith in the recommendations they receive from their peers than they do in messages shared directly by brands. To put user-generated content to work for your brand, interact with your followers, ask them questions, and solicit feedback in video format. Offering an exclusive discount is a great way to incentivize people to create user-generated content.
You have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to attracting active users through paid marketing tactics. For starters, you can pay to have ads appear in SERPs or on websites the members of your target audience visit frequently.
Paying an influencer to promote your goods or services is another paid option that has the potential to boost your sales. If you’re going to engage in influencer marketing, the key to your success will be to choose an influencer who has a following that closely mimics your target audience. It’s also important to select an influencer who is able to rally their followers to respond to a call to action that will add to your bottom line and/or increase awareness of your brand.
Engaging Online Shoppers on Social Platforms
It’s clear that the relationship between eCommerce and social media is—or should be—an intimate one for brands interested in driving traffic to their sites, increasing brand awareness, and boosting their sales. In today’s connected marketplace, a lot of consumers, particularly younger shoppers, use apps on their mobile devices to shop online.
The number of people that use apps to make online purchases is only expected to grow in the years to come. Amazon pioneered one-click simplicity for shopping, and social networks are quick to catch up, often making checkout within their apps easier than ever before without the need to redirect to an e-commerce site.
With that in mind, it’s imperative that you integrate social marketing into your overall digital marketing strategy. If you don’t, it’s quite possible your company’s long-term survivability may be at risk sooner rather than later.
Instagram and Facebook
Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have made it a breeze for companies to engage online shoppers using their social sites. Offering an image-friendly platform, Instagram enables brands to entice shoppers with pictures of the things they sell. Viewers can select the items they want and complete their purchases without exiting the Instagram app.
Similar to the Instagram Shopping feature, Facebook makes social commerce easy for both merchants and shoppers. Facebook has two viable alternatives for brands that want to up their social commerce game, Facebook Shop and Messenger. With Facebook Shop, you can create an entire online store within the Facebook app. Within Messenger, you can employ a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to answer questions or offer discounts to users in real-time.
As a part of your e-commerce strategy, it’s important to do the appropriate research on the hashtags needed to segment your audience for each platform.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a social site a lot of consumers use to research and discover new products. As a result, the site has enhanced its available social commerce options in recent years. Buyable pins and Shop the Look are mere samples of the tools you can use if you sell products using the Pinterest app.
As it relates to social commerce, Twitter is a very different social media channel than Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. With Twitter users typically being more professionally oriented than users on some other social platforms, it’s vital to choose the right items to promote through Twitter’s app. For example, tech, gadgets, and things that can help busy professionals save time have the potential to resonate well with typical Twitter users.
Personalize Your Shopping Experiences with Master Data Management
No matter if you’re using Tiktok or LinkedIn, it’s wise to personalize the shopping experiences consumers have with your brand. The easiest and most effective way to do that is to develop and implement a master data management plan. With an MDM plan in place, you can get a surround-view of your customers’ experiences, which will ideally lead to more conversions and greater brand loyalty.