Social commerce

Social commerce is the future of ecommerce. Word of mouth always traveled quickly, but on the internet, it travels even faster. Social e-commerce is rapidly evolving as platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram become even bigger parts of our lives. It is revolutionizing e-commerce and digital marketing as it integrates virtual stores natively into social feeds or profiles, seamlessly connecting companies to their customers wherever they are online.

Benefits

Social e-commerce has many benefits over traditional, standalone e-commerce “stores.” It turns out that “going viral” isn’t limited to funny cat videos and snarky memes. Social media shares and likes grow exponentially, so you can reach a much bigger audience with just one good post and some well-placed hashtags. Companies that have perfected social selling can get their products in front of millions of people in just a few hours.

Others have already built up big audiences on Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram and want to cash in on their passion project and followers. Social selling is the perfect solution. Capitalizing on an already-existing audience is a great way to promote your product and making enough money to live the life you want.

Integrating e-commerce with social media

If you have an e-commerce store, social media should be a big part of your business strategy in promoting your brand and your products. Take it a step further with social selling by integrating your product sales directly into social media profiles. Your customers will be able to connect with your business instantly through the natural flow of their internet habits. You’re creating a seamless buying experience for your audience.

Ecwid is one of the best options available for social media e-commerce. With Ecwid, social selling is built-in — your whole storefront is embedded natively into your social media presence with share buttons, comments, single product widgets or embedded storefronts. You can focus creating content for your audience and your e-commerce presence is built into your social presence.

Most of your time spend on social media should not be directly related to commerce but in creating unique and interesting content for your niche. You can easily become an expert in the field if you have a store, site and fan pages related to the subject. As you provide useful content naturally some of you products will be the solution to the problems you are discussing. That way you can introduce social commerce into your social media posts and not feel your are always selling.

There are many social media options available and there is likely a perfect fit for your skills and product. Everyone is on Facebook and despite criticism it is the place you should start. Instagram and Pinterest are great for store owners that love to take interesting photos and have a selfie stick on them at all times. Twitter is great for trends, news and quick updates on current events both real and Hollywood created events. Snapchat, Perisope and Facebook live is for the home movie creators and storytellers in the bunch.

Many e-commerce businesses find that a blogging platform like Tumblr, with its high level of customizability, its variety of posts, and its expansive social reach, is the best place to introduce customers to their products. Ecwid is one of few e-commerce solutions to effectively integrate with this platform.

Tips to generate awesome social commerce

Social e-commerce success doesn’t happen overnight. Early on you will do much more work than you seem to get back in traffic and sales so you have to be patient and persistent Social networks are fun and profitable once there is some momentum behind it, but there’s still work involved and some frustration to come.

Check out our tips and read up on some best practices. Every e-commerce business should develop the social media strategy that’s just right for them, but the following are some good general guidelines that will never steer you wrong.

Be compelling

Don’t get stuck posting to the void. The first step is gathering an audience of followers. There are thousands of blogs and accounts out there, so how do you stand out from the noise? Find a social commerce “voice” and platform that works naturally for your business’s brand, content, and products. You’ll attract followers that are interested in your business and are more likely to engage with your posts. This means they are that much more likely to buy your products!

Stay consistent

Most people have a routine and like to consume the same content at the same time. So find the time of day or the day of the week that is best to post your updates. If you have 20 posts one day and nothing for two weeks, then your followers will stop following you. Same with the quality level. If you want to have a professional company then be professional on social media and look out for typos, messy-looking posts, and poor image quality. You can still be edgy, young, fun and full of emoji’s if that’s your brand, but be consistent about it. A consistent voice is key to expressing your business’s personality, but it’s important to keep it polished. Develop a brand style guide for your content and always double-check posts for spelling and grammar. This is especially important if you have multiple people posting to your accounts.

Give a little to get a lot

One of the most effective ways to cultivate a following for your social media e-commerce profile is to provide free information or other services. This might mean sharing interesting facts and motivational messages for some e-commerce businesses, or posting recipes, how-to articles, or engaging videos. Find a niche and stick with it to build your platform and gain credibility.

It might seem counterintuitive to give away your work for nothing, but it’s all about giving a little to get a lot. Invest now in your followers, and they’ll pay you back later.

Don’t just push the product

Your social media e-commerce presence should have personality while still representing your products. But it’s not enough to just be a salesperson — people aren’t interested in pushy advertising on their Instagram feed. Give visitors a reason to click “follow” with your compelling content. That’s how you build brand loyalty.

What about your sales? Here’s where the marketing comes in. Calls-to-action (CTA) will take your content to the next level by directing your followers to purchase a product or share a post. Aim to include links in your posts and your profiles that point to your storefront or product page at least 50% of the time— but just make sure it’s always relevant to the content.

Branch out

You already know to be consistent, to develop a voice, and to build up a big audience on one social media platform — now it’s time to expand your plan. Using multiple social media accounts can help build up brand recognition and a strong following of potential social commerce customers.

But remember: it’s important not to just copy and paste the same content across a dozen platforms. Facebook posts don’t work on Tumblr, and people on Twitter don’t necessarily want to see longform content. If you’re going to invest time and effort in your social commerce strategy, pick two or three platforms that really fit your business goals and tailor each post to that audience.