Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12 to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn more
Driven by Gen Z and millennials, social commerce is predicted to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce, to an expected $1.2 trillion by 2025.
This comes as no surprise to experts. The viral hashtag and phenomenon #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has 28.6 billion views, including ads, influencer content, and reviews. This involvement has skyrocketed brands like CeraVe, The Pink Stuff, and elf Cosmetics, and led to full-blown sales of items like the Revlon one-step hair dryer and the Lululemon bumbag.
Brands have made an effort to embrace new social platforms such as Be real“a photo-sharing app that allows users to post one photo a day to show their followers what they’re doing in real time,” used primarily by Gen Z. For example, Chipotle has experimented with sharing coupon codes, and Eleven Cosmetics used BeReal to show the ‘inside’ of their offices.
In short, social commerce is no longer a suggestion, but a crucial part of ecommerce sales planning. An excellent social program can make or break a brand’s image or engagement; there is a difference between doing it and doing it well.
Here are three best practices for your social commerce strategy.
Know your audience and get to work
Use the power of data to find out who your audience is. By knowing your audience (gender, age, location, preferences), you can create content that not only captures their attention, but also drives sales.
You may know your audience, but your work isn’t done yet. You have to keep an eye on the trends, influencers and popular culture. For example, the social media rebranding of singer Harry Styles’ beauty company Pleasing has garnered attention for targeting Gen Z consumers and revolving around more “real” and trend-based content. Users suspect that viral TikTok influencer (and friend of Meghan Trainor) Chris Olsen runs the brand’s page, driving more engagement.
This example explains the importance of not only knowing your audience, but interacting with them the right way to continue driving loyalty and awareness. Messaging tools enable a brand to engage with consumers’ concerns, feedback, and reviews.
Quick, smart, humorous or exciting answers show the consumer that the company is present and focused on the customer experience. In addition, social media can be a great way to provide customer service for concerns or problems. Responding quickly to a solution can bring a customer back to your brand.
Stay updated with new features
Social media is constantly updating and releasing new features to adapt to user behavior and desires. Instagram updated to focus on more video content with Reels. Facebook has adjusted shopping functionality. TikTok changed the video length to accommodate long content and took over the sponsorship from YouTube VidCon this year. This is how these apps remain popular. So your social presence and commerce must follow by embracing change.
Shop-the-look and visual discovery are good examples of new technologies that can attract customers to your website. Visual discovery allows customers to see new ideas, complementing Instagram’s 2022 swipe-up feature for brands to inspire and convert sales. By testing which features work best for your brand, you can drive customers to your eCommerce site and increase your brand’s presence.
Offer high quality content
The secret sauce to the perfect content can be surprising. On paper it sounds simple: good product, high resolution recording and voila! Realistically, it’s the content that should provide value to the customer and drive a click through to your site or product.
Successful content varies by brand. For example, the language learning app Duolingo has increased its brand awareness by featuring its mascot in short trending videos and partnering with other well-known (and surprising) brands like Scrub Daddy.
They took the number of followers from 500,000 to 2 million in less than six months. Other brands focus on telling stories and emotionally connecting with customers. Ulta openly supports social issues such as trans rights and proudly sponsors influencer Dylan Mulvaney. This sparked an outpouring of brand loyalty, with users stating they will be shopping exclusively at Ulta this past holiday season.
Social commerce is also a great way to create quality content that shows your customers how to use, style, or experience your products. A 2021 Nielsen study found that people find ads on TikTok more fun, real, honest, reliable and authentic. The survey also found that 60% of users feel a sense of community on TikTok.
By partnering with influencers, you can make the content feel more authentic and generate interest to click through. Social commerce is an indispensable addition to any marketing strategy. It can increase sales, boost traffic, improve brand image and increase customer engagement. By opening up your brand to current and new audiences and trends, you can completely transform your business.
Zohar Gilad is co-founder and CEO of Quick Simon.
Data decision makers
Welcome to the VentureBeat community!
DataDecisionMakers is where experts, including the technical people who do data work, can share data-related insights and innovation.
To read about advanced ideas and up-to-date information, best practices and the future of data and data technology, join DataDecisionMakers.
You might even consider contributing an article yourself!
Read more from DataDecisionMakers