Selling products directly on a social media app is a rising trend. According to Statista, sales through social media channels around the world are expected to almost triple by 2025. As a result, social media platforms are becoming an important selling channel in which brands should invest. In this guide, you will discover how social commerce works, how to use it and how to optimize it.
What is Social Commerce?
Social Commerce is marketing and selling products through social media platforms. With this option available, social media is moving beyond its traditional role of raising awareness and now it also allows users to complete purchases without leaving the social media app. This type of selling model enables people to discover, research, and make a purchase within the same social media platform.
Why should you invest in social commerce?
Using social commerce makes shopping more convenient and user-friendly because it removes friction from online shopping experiences that start on social platforms, such as slow website loading times or complicated user journeys. This is especially important because people discover products they like while browsing social media and, according to 2021 Statista data, 11% of social media users made an immediate online purchase after discovering a product.
78% of consumers say companies’ social media posts impact their purchases. So, one of the most significant benefits of social commerce is the engagement and reach that businesses can get whenever they share content: you will not just promote your products, but you also enable your audience to relate with them. Moreover, users can also read reviews, comments, and opinions from previous customers on these channels. By using this opportunity to engage with prospects, a company can build and maintain relationships that deepen trust and loyalty.
Finally, by using social commerce, brands can also easily measure and evaluate business insights, since social media channels provide metrics for impressions, engagement, and reach. This helps you with personalization and customization since you can group your audiences appropriately, thus, sharing the right content with all of them.
What platforms enable social commerce?
Social commerce is currently available on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. But since social commerce is rising, other platforms are likely to expand and add this option. For example, YouTube has already announced the launch of its own shopping features.
With 2.936 billion active users, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, offering a massive potential to increase awareness, reach potential customers and drive sales.
You can sell your products on Facebook by creating a Facebook Shop which is a very simple process. You first need to create a Facebook Business Page. Then, you access Facebook Commerce where you can set up your shop. You will have to choose the account and then you can add products, create product collections and customize your store’s design to give it a personalized feel.
50% of Instagram users follow at least one business on Instagram, which represents a huge opportunity for brands to invest in social commerce on this platform.
Instagram Shopping is linked directly to your Facebook Shop, so you should first link your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page in order to set up a shop. Once you do that, you can create your product catalog or upload an existing one.
Then, Instagram users can discover and buy your products in the Shop tab, but you can also highlight products from your catalog in your stories and feed posts. Since Instagram is a visual platform, it allows you to create a creative social commerce promotion.
With 433 million monthly active users around the world, Pinterest is another platform with a huge reach that offers the option to directly sell on their app.
Pinterest is the only social media that works as a visual search engine. In other words, people search for something and the results are images, which creates an opportunity for brands to create appealing pins to sell their products and these will appear to users when they are interested and searching for the product.
In order to sell on Pinterest, you just need to set up a Pinterest business account, link your online store to Pinterest and then you will be able to create product and buyable pins.
With 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok keeps gaining new users as a platform on the rise. Thus, it is a great platform for brands to invest in social commerce.
TikTok entered social commerce when it partnered with Shopify, meaning that TikTok Shopping is only available to Shopify merchants with a TikTok for Business account.
So, if you are a Shopify merchant you can add shopping tabs to your profile and showcase a virtual storefront for users to browse.
How to optimize a social shop?
Once we have set up social commerce, it is important to think about how to optimize your social shop in order to reach more potential customers and drive sales. Here are our top tips for optimizing your social shop:
1. Incentivize with special offers
Incentivizing buyers with promotions or other special offers isn’t a new marketing strategy. However, it can be especially successful in social commerce since most buyers on social media are impulsive buyers. This way, a special offer can really help you to sell more.
2. Focus on keywords and descriptions
Make sure your products have catchy descriptions that include all the information the user needs to decide whether to buy the product or not. At the same time, descriptions should include searchable keywords in order to allow your products to reach potential customers when they search for products.
3. Add quality product images
Good e-commerce practices also apply to social commerce. One of them is good quality product photos in which users can perfectly see the product you are selling. Good images not only help the consumer in their purchase decision but also increase customer satisfaction.
4. Create collections or group items
Make sure it’s easy to navigate and explore your store by separating different products into collections. This way it is easier for users to find the products they are looking for. Do not forget that one of the big advantages of social commerce is the ease of buying, so you must ensure that you make the process as easy, fast, and intuitive as possible.
5. Integrate shoppable tags as part of your organic content
Do not forget that users do not use social media only with purchase intent, but mainly for entertainment and to consume content. In this way, you must create content for your brand and add shoppable tags to your content. You can optimize the performance of these tags by creating creative content, with good visuals and compelling copy.
6. Promote content with shoppable tags
If you created organic content with shoppable tags on Instagram and Facebook, you can promote these posts and create ads with product tags or you can create new ads with product tags in Ads Manager. On Pinterest, you can also promote product pins. This way, you can use social media ads to directly sell your products.
7. Partner with influencers
Take advantage of the fact that you are on platforms that are highly used by influencers and partner with them to promote your store. If you choose the right influencers you can increase the reach of your store, because influencers will introduce your product to new potential customers who might not have seen your ads or followed you on social media yet.
To sum up…
Social commerce is a powerful tool for brands to increase their sales. By investing in social commerce, you make the process of buying your products easier: on the same platform, you can raise awareness, engage with customers and sell. Moreover, creating a shop on social media platforms is a simple and rapid process. So, you really should think about investing in social commerce.