Social media continues to innovate in how we connect with people, communities, brands, and companies around the world.
At the same time, e-commerce continues to grow as more and more customers use their mobile devices for shopping. And now these two transformative forces come together naturally: social commerce.
With a solid foundation of an established social media platform, billions of embedded followers and potential buyers, and an influx of new technologies and innovations added every year.
Social commerce has the potential to be a viable sales channel for your small business if it isn’t already…
Not only do you have the opportunity to identify the right target audience, woo them with your product and then make an “in-app” deal with the sale, but also with the “social” part of social commerce.
You also have the added benefit of trust and inherent cultural influence. on this platform. If you’re ready to start your social business journey, here are some basics to keep in mind.
Get started with Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are two logical platforms to start with when increasing your social commerce because of their size and scale, and by sharing a parent company (Facebook) they create efficiencies that will further increase your media investment.
As the world’s largest social media players, Facebook and Instagram have invested millions of dollars in developing tools that make it easy for small business owners to get started with their social marketing easily and efficiently.
- Both allow you to create posts with the ability to purchase branded products that can lead to in-app purchases or link to your e-commerce website.
- Both allow you to use the Buy Now feature to create and optimize highly targeted paid ads. Not only do they create social marketing units that will reach the right audience, but they also provide shoppers with a seamless way to learn about and buy products with one piece of content.
- The new Store feature lets you customize and create dynamic virtual presentations that run seamlessly between Facebook and Instagram.
- Live shopping combines the best of video streaming and commerce. Think of it as your TV shopping channel for your fans and target group. With direct shopping in your social marketing mix, you can showcase products, talk to your customers, and answer questions in real-time.
Experiment with innovative players in social commerce
Snapchat and Pinterest continue to play their major strengths in introducing exciting and innovative social commerce tools for small businesses.
Snapchat as a digital camera company and Pinterest as an online inspiration board stay true to their original position as they find ways to transform their own unique brand from shoppers into purchasers.
And before you thought the list was over, TikTok has entered the field of social commerce.
- In addition to the everyday essentials available for purchase, Snapchat’s built-in augmented reality capabilities allow shoppers to “try on” everything from clothing to jewelry. For anybody who wants to see what a new dress, watch, or hat seems like before they buy, Snapchat makes it possible with this amazing and very practical technology.
- Pinterest lets you turn your entire product catalog into Shopping Pins at once and seamlessly integrates with Shopify. Pinterest also allows retailers to create “shop the look” pins that they can use to tag up to 25 items for purchase on a single photo.
- TikTok capitalized on the fame of its viral videos and started moving to social commerce with simple plugins and connectivity with Shopify.
Optimize your organic social commerce reach
Apart from unlocking some of the reaches of paid advertising and special features from the top five social commerce players, there are also things you can do to strengthen your existing organic social media footprint.
- Make sure you link to the e-commerce website in your account.
- Analyze your commitments. If you find some products are doing well in organic, expand that love with paid media pushes and “buy now” social marketing calls.
- Use your organic social media to talk to your customers, ask questions, and gain insights. Well-placed comments can reveal unmet consumer needs, leading to product innovation and new sources of revenue for your social commerce
No matter which social commerce platform you choose, there are some best practices they share. Perhaps nothing is more important than thinking “visually first” because social media is a very visual environment.
The most important requirement for selling goods, whether presented in stores, in catalogs, or in social commerce, is to look as attractive as possible. The catalog analogy is correct.
These are images that evoke an emotional response and attract you, not words that describe the product. To do so, here are some ways to type your visual game in terms of your social commerce.
- Make the product a hero and flaunt it in a prominent place in your social shopping ad units.
- Consider investing in a product photographer who will make your product shine.
- Do a little research online to buy your own equipment to create your own mini product photography studio.
- Imitate brands that do well on social commerce. Learn about their photography styles and learn how they create collections, carousels, static ads, videos, and more. After all, social media is a world of inspiration available to you.
Make influential people your sales force in social commerce
Nowadays tastemakers in the world of social media and social commerce are always looking for partners and products to promote brands. After all, influencers have to influence something and in the end, all this content usually leads to a purchase.
As a small business owner, you don’t have to fight to be a superstar. Micro or nano influencers who fit your profile may be easier to work with and more willing to engage with potential buyers on a deeper level.
- Inspirational content is the motto. Give your influencers the materials they need to keep the experience entertained, interesting product facts, and creative ways to show how your products can make their lives better (post-purchase).
- If possible, include any exclusive promotional codes or discount codes they can offer their fans and followers that you can use to track your performance.
- One size doesn’t fit all. Get to know your influencers’ unique style and approach and give them the freedom to be authentic while serving your social-commercial goals.
With these powerful social commerce tools at your fingertips, you can now target, reach and convert millions of potential buyers to your social feeds. Social commerce will no doubt continue to grow as platform technology improves and consumer confidence in the environment continues to grow.
Think of this article as a brief introduction to finding solutions in the world of social commerce. The real experience will come after you dig a bit, explore the wealth of tools available, and get to know yourself more closely and personally with the world of social commerce for your small business.