Think how many times you have made a purchase online. Now remember those occasions in which these acquisitions have been made from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. This is Social Commerce: the online sale of products or services without leaving social networks.
Networks are no longer just a communication channel, they are also being a very powerful sales tool.
At Empresa Actual, we have previously commented on the need for brands to have online platforms and what their possible business models are . There is no doubt that the pandemic has caused new habits in consumers and that the change to digital is already a reality.
Within this transformation, the use of social networks is increasing rapidly. According to the Digital 2021 report on global statistics for October, compiled by Hootsuite and We Are Social, the number of social network users has grown by more than 400 million in the last year and, currently, there are more than 4.5 billion members in everyone.
These data emphasize the importance of including Social Commerce as another online sales strategy, since networks are fully integrated into the daily lives of consumers, people who can become customers of a brand with a good digital marketing strategy.
In the first place, we must take into account that, as revealed by We Are Social , the world average of time dedicated to the networks is 2 hours and 24 minutes a day, that is, more than a third of the total time that a user is on the Internet spends it on social platforms.
In this way, Social Commerce consists of taking advantage of the time that users are on social networks to build connections with them. In this way, a relationship of trust can be established that, later, will convert users into customers.
Applying this marketing technique has multiple benefits as it improves the customer's shopping experience, giving them the opportunity to purchase a product or service while interacting with the brand's content.
This generates greater trust with the company and improves its credibility, thanks to interactivity options such as comments or direct messages. And, although there is a physical distance, it is a much warmer environment than making a simple purchase through a web page.
The visibility of the company also grows since social networks have a massive reach and with a single publication you can reach millions of people anywhere in the world. In addition, it makes it a feature that differentiates them from their competitors.
And how can it be done? Next, we explain three basic keys for Social Commerce to be successful.
- First of all, it is vitally important to know the target and correctly choose the network or networks in which you want to be present. Although many of them can sell, it is necessary to choose them well according to the target audience and the message and type of communication that interest us.
- Customize the purchase process as much as possible. It can be achieved by offering discount codes or individualizing the answers to the questions generated by customers, since one of the reasons why consumers enter a brand's social networks is to ask about its product.
- Exploit all the visual resources offered by each platform. Photos, videos, gifts, stories, reels, boomergans ... In this way, the brand's communication will be used to the maximum and its products or services will be better disseminated.
Likewise, it is important to highlight which are the most used social networks. According to the aforementioned Digital 2021 study, Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp are the platforms with the most users in the world and TikTok is the network that has grown the most in the last year.
But this does not mean that they have to be the most suitable networks to carry out Social Commerce. As it is already known, the first thing a brand should consider is to carry out its marketing strategy and, from this base, promote the correct content on the appropriate platforms.
Let's now see some examples of platforms that facilitate the purchase of products and services and that you should know.
It is the forerunner network to introduce sales on social networks through the possibility of creating your store. Although it has continued to incorporate different innovations, such as the Storefront or showcase, which allows products to be displayed statically by adding a title, description and price, as if it were a catalog, or the Smart Facebook Store, a more advanced option that personalizes the purchase process showing products that the user has already searched for.
To activate this function it is necessary to have a commercial account, that is, the profile must be a company one. Thus, you can tag the products in the photos or videos that are published, both in the feed and in the stories , and directly access your purchase. In fact, it has become such an important option that in the new Instagram updates the “Shop” function is part of the main menu.
In this case, your most recent efforts are directed towards e-commerce within your platform. This latest Twitter feature, focused on e-commerce and known as Twitter Shopping, comes with a new “Purchases” or “ Purchases ” tab, which can be found in the profiles of some users of the social network in the United States.
This tab, in beta version, shows a history of purchases made within the application.
Instead, Twitter has succumbed to live shopping , the set of features focused on purchases in livestreams .
For all that has been explained, Social Commerce is one of the biggest trends in electronic commerce and becomes a magnificent opportunity for growth. Don't let her escape.