Seven small business tips to help you get social commerce right

Want to reach your target audience (and potential customers) where they spend most of their time online? Follow these seven social commerce tips.

These days, eCommerce sites are not the only place you can sell your products online. You can start selling your products on social media platforms and encourage your target audience to complete their purchases without leaving the app or site.

This practice is called social commerce and is becoming an increasingly popular way to drive sales. In this article we are going to share seven tips to help you get started on promoting what you’re selling on social media.

What is ‘social commerce’?

But first, let’s briefly explain what social commerce is, and why it is so important. In simple terms, social commerce is the act of selling your products and services directly via social media.

This means that the entire shopping journey – from a customer finding your product to actually paying for it – happens on social media.

In order for this to happen, you need to use a social media platform with built-in, native social commerce features, such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok.

Social commerce is different to eCommerce, because while a customer may initially find you via social media, in eCommerce the actual shopping transaction takes place on an eCommerce site, online store, or branded app – not on the social media platform.

Social commerce is also not the same as social selling. Social selling involves building relationships on social media to grow your sales prospect list. But again, the actual sale takes place off social media.

Why is social commerce important?

Aside from the fact that the more buying options you create for customers, the more sales you are likely to have, there are some good reasons why it’s worth investing your time in getting social commerce right.

To start with, there’s big money to be made. E-sales are forecasted to exceed $735 billion in the next three years. And people are becoming more used to, and comfortable with, shopping via social media. Research shows that 81% of shoppers research products on Instagram and Facebook before buying, and shopping is a key priority for 48% of people who use Pinterest users.

Shopping via social media also makes sense. People are spending more and more of their time on the platforms, and can easily share their purchases with their friends and followers (which gives you instant free publicity if they choose your products).

It also removes barriers to purchase. We know that for every click we add to a process, we lose people. So forcing people to click away from the social media platform they are on to a different website is jarring and potentially off-putting. By keeping them on the same platform for purchases you are more likely to retain more buyers.

You can also promote your products or services to a more targeted group on social media. After all, who knows more about someone’s interests than a social platform where they spend their time looking for posts related to them, and talking to people about them?

Social commerce enables you to get your products in front of a highly curated audience and gives them the option to browse and buy without ever having to leave the platform. And we know that the easier we make it for people to buy, the more people will buy.

Seven social commerce tips for small businesses

So now we’re clear about what social commerce actually is and why it is important, how can you use it effectively to find and convert more customers for your business? Here are seven tips to help you.

1) Improve your social storefront

How your social profiles look can make or break your sales. As it will serve as your digital storefront, you need to make sure that it’s enticing for your target audience. Keep in mind that you only have one chance at making a good impression, so it’s recommended that you put your best foot forward right away.

So, aside from optimizing your social media profile and providing every necessary detail your customers must know about, you should work on your digital retail shop. You can do this by setting up a shop on Facebook or Instagram.

With this feature, you can create product pages for your items that include their style, material, and shipping details. Doing so will make your social commerce more legitimate, which creates trust and provides value to your target audience.

2) Personalize your service

Customers love brands that make them feel special. To create a more personalized service, you need to learn more about your customers, including their interests and needs, and you can do this by using analytics and collecting feedback.

Once you have the necessary information, use it to create personalized offers or messages that your customers can relate to. This will show them that you care about their preferences and keep them engaged with your brand.

3) Use automated responses

Customers appreciate quick responses, especially when they have a question or concern regarding your products. However, you can’t always be expected to be available to read and respond to their messages, especially during odd hours of the night and busy days.

To ensure that your target audience gets the customer service they need anytime, you can set up automated chatbot responses on your Messenger account. Prepare a set of questions and answers that your customers frequently ask. They may be about the price of your products, payment options, and shipping details.

4) Create promotional posts

Posting promotional content on your social media accounts is a great way to drive sales and boost your online presence. You can create content highlighting your product details, including close-up shots, quick demos, and informational walk-throughs.

You can also add links to your promotional posts to direct users to specific product pages. Doing so will make it easy for your target audience to transition from viewing the post to buying your products.

5) Take advantage of analytics

Analytics is a great tool you can use to track the performance of your social commerce posts as well as measure customer engagement. Knowing which posts are performing best and falling flat can help you determine which type of content resonates best with your target audience.

You can also use analytics to identify what type of customers are more likely to purchase your products. With this information, you can create campaigns specifically tailored toward them and increase your chances of making a sale.

6) Improve your checkout process

Many customers drop out during the checkout process because of how frustrating it can be. Your current process might require them to create a personal account or complete other additional steps, which might be unnecessary and inconvenient for them.

To ensure that your potential customers don’t abandon their shopping carts, you need to make sure that the checkout process is seamless and user-friendly. Keep it simple and include only the most necessary steps to complete the purchase.

Fortunately, this is now possible with social commerce. Your customers don’t have to spend a minimum of 5 minutes creating a profile before checking out because they can use their social media profiles to complete the transaction. You also don’t need to require various forms because you can get your customers’ details from their profiles and through analytics.

7) Try influencer marketing

Influencers play a huge role in the success of social commerce. By having influencers post about your products, you can reach a bigger audience and generate more sales.

When looking for influencers to collaborate with, it’s important to find someone who is passionate about your brand and has considerable influence in the industry. You should also do your research and take note of their engagement rate before making a deal.

Boost your sales with social commerce

Social commerce is a great way to reach potential customers and increase sales. With the tips mentioned above, you can successfully set up your social commerce store and reach your target audience with ease. So, put these tips into practice and start creating a profitable online presence for your business!