You may call your commerce a social-commerce (since there is an interaction between you and your customer on a common platform other than your website/application). Social selling is a trend to watch out for in 2017. As the user base on internet increases at an astonishing rate, social selling is expected to boom.
It’s time to go where your buyers live: online. If you pride yourself on being where your buyers are, then why aren’t you online yet?
E-commerce is a set which comprises all the elements and strategies in it. In other words, e-commerce is a superset of all the strategies, while trends are the subset of it. We all muse upon those elements (latest strategies), which can be brushed up to upstream sales of our store.
Social selling is one such subset of e-commerce that takes advantage of existing social media, which involves online medium for social interaction, and contribution by the feedback of customers to enhance buying and selling of products and services. In a few well-chosen words, when social selling is used as a trend to magnify the sales of your eCommerce, it can be termed as social commerce.
A lot of them ask to “use” this trend to have the desired conversion rate. But, any concept can’t be used unless it is done. More succinctly, Social selling is all about doing and not using. What counts is the efforts you put in, rather than the efforts you are expected to put. It’s about how you build your online rapport and how you share information on social media which attract customer’s attention and can be beneficiary to your prospect.
Let’s have a look at stats from statista.com about social selling. It states about how social revenue from 2013 to 2015 have surged. In 2013, global social revenue was 14.2 billion euros while in 2015, it touched a whopping stat of 22 billion euros. It also forecasts the global social revenue by 2019 which roughly says about 39 billion euros.
Also, a report from business insider says that “Social is driving much bigger increases in retail traffic than any other online channel. Social media increased its share of e-commerce referrals nearly 200% between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015.”
Social media can be used for direct sales or promotion of your store/product. It really depends on what kind of a path you want to travel. In pursuit of definitive objectives, some really-ambitious merchants opt for both the roads. You can also increase your sales by correct methods of advertisement on social media. The reason being is its vast reach. Facebook already boasts about how it has gathered 2 billion people under one roof. Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter don’t seem to lag much behind.
Let’s take a brief look at how different social mediums have become modems which modulate our business operations and are stitched with the pinch of entertainment at the same time for each one of us.
Facebook: A Platform Which Could Create your Platform
Since the user base of Facebook is more than any other platform. Since it is the titan of most enrolled users i.e, around 2 billion, they are keen to utilize this opportunity in the best possible way. They have already released features that permit users to sell directly on it. This is the best way of capitalizing the existing framework. Facebook has focused on promotional ads as well.
For example, Facebook Says:
- “Facebook will optimize your ads for the best results so you can send more people to your website. Monthly plans start at $24.”
- “There’s no need to guess who should see your ads. We’ll find your potential customers for you.”
- You’ll learn which ads your customers respond to the most. We’ll automatically start showing these ads more often.
This clearly makes Facebook an optimizing and feasible platform for the promotion of your store/product. This could provide wings to your business in a short span of time.
Enough talked on promotional ads, let’s talk about how Facebook can be used to sell the product directly.
The cliched process for sales is to grab someone’s attention on Facebook (either through Facebook marketing, or engaging in conversations, etc), then you’ll need to lead them to your Facebook page, then to your web store, and then sew hopes that they would buy something from you.
It can be oversimplified if you are a bit tech-savvier. Facebook grants you an option of setting your Facebook store on its page. This contracts the sales process to the certain extent. People can purchase directly from your Facebook page without being forced to visit your website.
Instagram: Serves your Business Instantly
Very much like Facebook, Instagram is in the transitional phase from personal to business hub. The power to share photos has led to a tremendous e-commerce success on Instagram.
Several business tools like sponsoring of pages, promotion of pages and freedom to make a business profile have made it much easier for merchants to achieve targeted sale. The business profile gives you an option of how you want your customer to contact you-either by calling, texting or emailing.
You can also integrate Instagram photos in your e-commerce website. Instagram has also added a shop now button, which wouldn’t require your customer to visit your website but would only need them to click on the “Shop Now” button.
Twitter: Gives A Repeated Call for Online Success
The majority of the twitter users are smart users who believe in a deadly combination of wit and humor. Smarter the user, greater the chances of online conversion than the traditional brick and mortar functionaries. This is the reason why Twitter has been consistently used by the merchants to exhibit their products.
Just as Facebook, Twitter also provides the prospect to carry out payment transactions directly through the platform. For the exact purpose, the platform proffers its “Buy Now” button. Twitter catches payment datum. This kills the need for buyers to enter their credentials every time they place an order.
Twitter also gives a feature of drive app download which “Enable users to download or open a mobile app from Tweets”. Also the analytics by twitter helps in finding out the right user for your product.
Pinterest: Pins your Business Interestingly
Smaller user base doesn’t necessarily shape the total social revenue. Pinterest proves the above statement gnomically. It is about 7 times smaller than twitter(in term of user base), yet it derives 16% of the total revenue sale. New buy and action buttons on Pinterest can influence a greater scale of business and sales.
Pinterest has cemented its unique value in the arena of social media platforms. Pinterest focuses more on connecting users by the images they like, by the art they admire rather than building the personal connection, like the “giant three”.
You’ll need to make at least one board before you start saving Pins. Every board should have a distinct theme. As you add boards, think about which topics fit best with your business category and brand personality.
Corroborated elements are present in Pinterest which blow away the mists of doubts, and certifies that it is slowly getting transmogrified from social interactive platform to social revenue generating podium.
A large number of social flocks have addressed social selling by social listening. They trace questions like “Where Do I find the best deal for Edifice watches?” Thousands of people ask “Where do I find..?” kind of questions online. Social platforms have started to analyze these key searches. Their analysis could boost up your business easily.
As a merchant, you must be burning with curiosity and a question must be whacking your head. Isn’t it? You must be quizzical about “how to stay in line with social spellings?”. You could stay easily in line with it if you follow few of the requisites.
Ideas by which you and social selling can meet at a junction to heighten your sales
User Generated Content: Will Never Fail to Radiate Its Importance
User generated content would never get outdated. Now you must be wondering about its importance? Here is it’s definition. User Generated Content is best described as the pool of contents such as photos, visual files, blogs, articles, discussion threads, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that are posted by customers or end-users of an online system or service and is publically available to others consumers on the platform.
Make sure that your brand is discussed among the general public on social media. If the official brand contents are talked about, brand value and conversion increases.
For example: Some bargain hunting websites feature user-generated content, such as Ben’s Bargain, Slickdeals, Gottadeal.com and FatWallet. They allow users to post and discuss contents on their forums. This is an indirect effective way to be involved. Since it is done through social interaction, these sites fall into the category of social commerce and it can be phrased that “They have done the social selling, rather than using social selling”.
Reviews and Feedbacks: Parentage to Right Conversion
With multifarious products on a single platform, decision making for consumers are bound to get tough. What could be the simplest way to untwine their issues, which could give them a little confidence for proper selection? Dart! Feedbacks and reviews.
You can’t get an easier solution than this. Reviews continue to be an inseparable part in effective social selling. The number of online review readers is increasing. According to the survey of Forbes.com, around 88% of the review readers have started to trust on it. It also states that it not only improves the conversion, but also enhances the online visibility in organic search rankings.
In another survey by the same group, it was found that social media drove 31% of the referral traffic in 2015, a slight hike from 22% in the previous year.
As a merchant, you shouldn’t be dubious while integrating your store, social media and review forums.
Video Advertisements: Continue to Clinch the Customers
We all loathed textbooks which didn’t contain pictorial representations. Didn’t we? You can draw parallelism with online customers. Gigantic digital world is based on two simple bits i.e, 1 & 0. Exploit the most of it on digital media. A lot of merchants have started to harvest the benefits of social media and its ability to attract people based on showing visuals. Visuals tend to kill any kind of doubt and escalate the decision making power of users.
Youtube has launched a service called pre-roll ads which influence the customer to buy directly from the active window. And the best thing about these pre-roll videos is that they give a user a chance to skip ad-videos and land directly to their main video.
According to the Forrester Research, a video is equivalent to 1.8 million scrabbled words. Video triggers the conversion and more importantly saves the time of both(the user and the merchant).
Time Slot of your Post Decides your Time in the Market
Timing and frequency of your post matter a lot as the organic reach on Facebook and other mediums have decreased. Organic search refers to the number of people you can reach on facebook/other mediums for free. It is a phenomenon which is being diluted due to the access of smart phones and ease of updating news feeds.
With the rate at which Facebook is growing, on an average, you could encounter more than 2,000 stories every time you log on. This makes your visibility tough. Hence, it results in limiting of organic search. This makes harder for your story to gain exposure. What could be done to make sure that your story is exposed to the maximum number of the customers?
We all know that we don’t access social media untimely. Based on human behavior and mood to access, a specific pattern can be graphed which could give you an idea about highest traffic at a specific time. Thus, by posting your content on right time and right frequency might give you your desired conversion.
Forbes.com published a post which said about best time to post on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Twitter gets grossly engaged between 9 am and 3 pm, from Monday to Thursday. Again, it loses grip at night and on Fridays. Whereas traffic peaks at mid-week(wed-Thurs) from 1 pm to 3 pm, a bit later than Twitter does. It is advisable to post around 11 is, though it starts getting peaked by 9 am.
Socialize your Product: Wit and Humour Could Help you
The whole idea of social selling revolves at a pivot of “being interactive/social”. And a duck soup method to create a good social interaction is humour. E-commerce humour is a catalyst to better interaction and indirectly to conversion. Social media are banking their dominance on humor and wit. Post contents which are humorous and catch instant attention.
For example: “Your films will last forever on youtube. It is the champion address on internet”.
Native Selling: Travel their Native Place (Platform) to Sell your Product
By the term native selling, I mean to say that future of e-commerce lies outside the traditional website sales. You will have to travel the native place (platform) which users access the most. What it does is, it reduces the sales funnel and shrinks the chain of purchase. Giving users an opportunity to buy from their favourite networking site might give you a better conversion. Prioritize your platform and make a complete use of it.
Social selling is a subset of e-commerce which is getting magnified at a rapid pace. The referral percentage through social media is all time high and is expected to grow in near future. Catch the pace of this subset, maneuver its elements, place them at right places, and control your superset e-commerce store.