Is Social Media the New Black for eCommerce?
The future is still a bit uncertain as to how critical the role social media will play in the world of eCommerce. What we do know for sure is that social media, directly and indirectly, drives sales.
Let's look at the numbers
According to Mary Meeker, whose annual Internet Trends report is the most anticipated report in the digital world, social media's influence over eCommerce sales is gaining momentum.
Social media platforms accounted for 6% of all eCommerce sales' referrals in 2017, up from 2% in 2015. While that might not seem like a lot, take into consideration that part of that mix included Amazon at 49% and search engines at 36%. As far as social media platforms, Facebook dominated the market in terms of product discoveries at 78%, followed by Instagram at 59%, Pinterest at 59%, Twitter at 34% and SnapChat at 24%. Of the users who discovered products on social media, 55% went on to make a purchase with 44% of them making that purchase immediately.
[ Related: Marketing for Fashion Brands: Facebook and Instagram ]
How do you leverage social media platforms for growth?
Developing a multi-platform, social media strategy is an efficient way to increase your products' chances of being discovered online. Each platform is inherently different, so choose two or three that best align with your customers' demographics. Once you find your sweet spots, take action on as many of the following trends that you can.
1. Stop thinking about influencer marketing and just do it
Look around for micro influencers who naturally are a good fit for your brand. Use social media searches and filters to your best advantage and seek out influencers and bloggers that have strong following rates and engagements.
2. Use paid advertising
Social networks offer lots of different options for advertisers all of which are highly targetable and measurable. If one type of campaign isn't working try other. Keep testing until you find the ones that yield the best ROIs.
3. Create short videos of your products
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have all invested heavily in their platforms' architecture to support video. Both paid and organic video posts/tweets get more reach. Use Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, IGTV and Instagram Live to create new and exciting content.
4. Interact with your customers online
Encourage your customers to submit photos and videos of them using your products and share them on social media. User-generated content is free, highly trusted and one of the fastest growing marketing strategies.
5. Optimize your social media presence for mobile
Mobile phones are supercharging the accelerated growth of both eCommerce and social media. Mobile shopping is rising year after year so it is vital to ensure all your content is mobile friendly.
The partnership of social media and eCommerce is well suited for extended success. As social media continues to transform buyers' behaviors, the success of a brand will be more dependent on their ability to leverage social media in innovative ways.