Put simply, social commerce is using social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to make online shopping more social and generate community, user-based content and increase your product or company’s social visibility.
- The Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons.
- Instagram media campaigns showing your product or service in use.
- Customer ratings systems like those found in most online retailers.
- Forums on shopping sites where consumers can discuss products and build a community based around your brand.
Social Commerce is Important and Here is Why:
Social Commerce Improves Your Brand Visibility
Social media users are connected to the internet up to 11 hours a day. They also follow and engage with up to 11 brands at a time. These users can build a strong base for your products and services.
Social media users also research their future purchases via social sites. Without a social commerce strategy your brand could lose a lot of marketing potential by ignoring these users.
Social Commerce Produces Value
According to the marketing firm Syncapse, every Facebook fan you earn is worth up to $174. A page with 5,000 fans could conceivably be an $870,000 asset. The value of fan worth varies from company to company but is no less crucial to increasing your amount of social media presence.
Social Commerce Increases Site Traffic
Traditional web marketing formats such as banner ads and pay per click are considered a smashing success if they reach a 2% click through rate. The click-through rates on Facebook wall posts and shares can be up to 6.5%. Facebook fans can play a huge role in getting your products and services to new people that aren’t yet fans via sharing. These shares can generate a decent amount of traffic to your site.
Social Commerce increases your SEO initiatives.
With the latest update to the Google search algorithm, social media presence and true, quality links leading back to your site are of utmost importance to the optimization of your search engine strategy.
Social Commerce is Undervalued
Most small businesses still lack awareness of the power of social commerce and social media in increasing profits, customer retention, customer service and gathering potential new customers.
Current small business pollings place social commerce fourth on the media marketing list of importance. The top three were daily deal sites, online advertising and business directory listings. The need for small business to utilize social networks is tantamount. Social commerce should be one of your top priorities in your online marketing campaign.
Social Commerce IS NOT EASY
Building customer relations and strengthening your social visibility is a full time job.
In order to be effective you must engage with your clientele and actively seek out conversations where your product or service is viable. Inundating your social followers with a daily sales pitch is the quickest way to lose their interest. Meaningful communication is the key to creating a successful social commerce campaign.
Active use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ is a must. Use this social media to help people solve problems or offer advice in your field of expertise. Caring leads to sharing and sharing leads to successful campaigns.
Social Commerce Tips
Your social commerce strategy has three important factors: Identity, Conversation and Community.
Identity: This is what you communicate to your customers through conversations. The identity of your brand and your business philosophy needs to be present in every aspect of your social dealings.
Conversation: Good conversations lead to a better awareness of your brand, strengthens brand reliability and helps to develop a loyal client base.
Community: Giving your users a place to discuss your products and services is a great way to increase brand awareness and loyalty. Keep in mind that giving the consumer a discussion space is not enough! You must be ACTIVELY INVOLVED in your brand community in order to keep loyalty high. Develop meaningful discussion in your forums or commenting systems to foster a free exchange of information and interaction between your users. These customers can become an online marketing juggernaut but, only if you give them a reason to support your business.
Review your social conversations daily and keep your client base up to date with developments and meaningful discussion.