Social media is always adapting, changing, and evolving with consumer trends. Over the years, it has shifted from simple text-based posts to increasingly visual content. The user base on social platforms has also changed. With an increasing number of brands adding it to their strategy, social networking has moved from communicating with friends and family to marketing and sales. From casual connections to social commerce.
We have all seen social commerce in action in one form or another. As you scroll through Instagram, you may come across a sponsored post related to your interests. This post likely has a “View Products” tag that takes you to a product page with pricing, details, and other information. You select your color, size, etc. and tap the “Buy Now” button. A few taps later, your purchase is complete and you go back to your scrolling. All of this without leaving the Instagram app.
That is social commerce. The sale of products directly through social media platforms, with the ability to view products and checkout in the platform itself. This differs from e-commerce in the sense that, while it is still online shopping, e-commerce is driven by ads, social media, or other marketing strategies and ultimately takes the consumer through the full sales funnel. Social commerce, on the other hand, meets the customer where they are (in the social platform) and reduces the steps it takes to get through the sales funnel. This is important because while 92% of active users access the internet through their mobile devices, 86% of those mobile users have abandoned carts. By streamlining the sales funnel, social commerce reduces friction points to create a seamless shopping experience.
If you are looking to add social commerce to your marketing strategy, there are four main platforms to consider: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest. While they all have similar features, it is important to think about where your audience is based and what they are most likely to interact with when it is natively displayed in their feeds. For instance, Instagram shopping allows you to create shoppable posts with tagged products as well as product stickers to include in your stories. TikTok allows for shoppable posts as well as livestream shopping.
With 70% of consumers indicating that they discover new products through Instagram – or 77% through Pinterest – incorporating social commerce into your marketing strategy is a great way to boost your brand awareness and increase sales. You can do so by focusing on your more popular, lower cost products. When scrolling through social media, users are not likely to make large purchases, so use what you know sells well. Another great strategy is to partner with micro-influencers. They have an established audience that engages with, enjoys, and is influenced by their content, so their followers are more likely to trust their recommendation over a native post by you. Regardless of where and how you decide to add social commerce to your marketing strategy, don’t forget your call-to-action! Let the customer know what you want them to do with the products you place in front of them. This can be as simple as a button that says “View Products” or “Buy Now.”
If you need help with your marketing strategy or want to learn more about social commerce, reach out to us today!