A few years ago, many people thought social media was all about fun and frivolity. But now, it is used to market billion dollar brands and some social media have become transactional platforms. Having an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking sites is a necessity, as is optimizing your website for social engagement. Social media is increasingly moving toward commerce. For retailers, it is another revenue channel. By integrating social media and shopping, called social commerce, you can significantly increase your online store sales.
Social commerce uses social media platforms to improve the shopping experience, create buying opportunities, and boost revenue. Social commerce helps companies engage customers with their brands according to the customers’ social behaviors. Examples of social commerce include customer ratings and review, user recommendations, social shopping tools, forums, and social media optimization.
There are a few bare minimums every online store should have in terms of social commerce. Having a few profiles on social media sites, and posting often, have shown to boost sales. In a study on Receiptful, they found that 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired their customers via Facebook. They also noted that 51 percent of Facebook fans and 67 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands they follow or are a fan of. By increasing the likes on your pages, you can potentially bring in more business.
Setting up a Facebook page is simple, and by using scheduling programs like Hootsuite, can only take a few minutes a day. Before you embark on your social media journey, determine which social commerce platform will work best for you and your company. Twitter and Facebook are considered the social media big guns, but consider adding profiles on Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, Youtube, Polyvore, and other sites.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by what to post on your page, remember that social media is a sphere that rewards creativity and experimental ideas. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to social media posts, so you should experiment to see what works best for your page. Evaluate your target market and investigate what kind of content they like to engage with. Photos and videos tend to do well, as does reminding your customers that there are humans behind your brand!
Facebook and other social media sites are a great place to show that you are a popular and likeable business to connect with. You could post a consumer review with a link to the product they bought. To encourage customers to share reviews and feedback, offer discount codes or other rewards for every honest review posted.
Social media users respond well to posts that evoke emotions, so be sure to share any customer stories about your product or industry.
Social media is a great way to improve your customer service. It’s important to listen and respond to online reviews and mentions. If someone tweets out a negative response about your business, get back to them quickly to remedy the situation. Consumers respect brands that communicate with them on a personal level. Frequently search your brand name on Twitter and Facebook to find these mentions, both positive and negative.
For true one-stop-shopping, make social commerce easy by utilizing a “Buy” button directly on your social sites. Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter all offer this feature, that allows users to make purchases directly in the app or site. This way, when customers see a product they like, they can easily purchase it without having to search on your site.
There are hundreds of ways to increase engagement through social media that can lead to sales. Work with influencers to promote your product on their page or yours, offer flash sales and discount codes, promote top-sellers, or share images of customers using your products. Creating intriguing, shareable content will not only get your company name out there, it will also eventually translate to more revenue. Social commerce is great way to monetize your business!