Social Commerce: What It Is and How to Use It

Remember back in the “old days” when we relied on tv commercials and magazines to keep us in the know about the latest and greatest products? Nowadays you’re way more likely to see something on your feed and think “I need that” than you are to see it on tv.

In the beginning of social media, companies would just post about their products or services and hope people would go to their website and buy them. Enter social commerce. Social commerce is a term used to describe the use of social media platforms to facilitate transactions. This can be anything from product recommendations to buy buttons to in-app purchases.

Where Social Commerce Began

While it may seem like a recent phenomenon, social commerce actually dates back to 2004 when Amazon introduced its “Gold Box” feature which allowed users to purchase limited-time deals directly from their feed.

Since then, social commerce has evolved and grown to include many different platforms and features. One of the most popular social commerce platforms is Facebook. In 2015, they introduced their “buy” button which allows users to purchase products without ever leaving the site. This allowed companies to put a link on their posts that would take people directly to their website where they could purchase the product. And since then, other platforms have followed suit.

In 2016, Instagram launched shoppable posts, which allows businesses to tag products in their photos, and people can click on the product and be taken to the website to purchase it. Snapchat got in on the action with their Snap Store, Twitter has Buy Now buttons, and even Pinterest has buyable pins. TikTok has also gotten in on the social commerce game with its new shopping feature that lets you buy products without leaving the app

 All of these platforms have made it easier than ever for people to find and purchase products they see on social media.

What Makes It So Effective?

There are a few things that make social commerce so effective. First of all, people are already on social media, so it’s a great way to reach your target audience where they already are. Secondly, social media is a great way to build trust with potential customers.

When people see that their friends or people they follow are using and enjoying a product, they’re more likely to trust the product and be more likely to purchase it. Social proof is a powerful thing. And lastly, and probably most importantly,  it makes purchasing super easy and convenient.

Who Can Benefit From Social Commerce?

Any person or company selling products or services can benefit from social commerce. A great example of a company taking advantage of social commerce is Nike. They use shoppable posts on Instagram to showcase their products and make it easy for people to purchase them.

An example of a single person taking advantage of social commerce is an influencer who uses their platform to sell products they love and recommend. Social commerce features are available to anyone with a social media account, so anyone can use them to sell products or services

Before You Get Started

If you’re interested in using social commerce, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, make sure you’re using the right platform for your product. You wouldn’t want to use Snapchat to sell something like furniture because people would need to see it in more detail before purchasing. Secondly, make sure you’re using high-quality photos and videos to showcase your product.

This is especially important on platforms like Instagram where visuals are key. If you sell clothing or jewelry, Instagram is a great platform to use because you can show off your products in creative ways. If you sell a service or a course, Facebook or Twitter might be a better platform for you because you can use them to drive traffic to your website where people can learn more about what you’re offering.

How To Use It

Now that you know a little bit more about social commerce and have figured out which platform Is right for your product or service, here’s how you can use it to sell products or services.

Step 1

Set up a business account on the platform you’ve chosen. This is important because it will allow you to access all of the features and tools that are available to businesses.

Step 2

Create high-quality content that showcases your product or service. Remember to use visuals if you’re using a platform like Instagram or Snapchat.

Step 3

Use the social commerce features of the platform you’re using to sell your product or service. On Instagram, this means tagging products in your photos and using shoppable posts. On TikTok, this means  using the new shopping feature.

Step 4

Promote your product or service on your other channels. If you have a website or blog, be sure to link to your social media accounts so people can easily find and purchase your products.

Step 5

Monitor your analytics to see what’s working and what’s not. This is important for all businesses, but especially important when you’re selling products or services on social media.

Keep in Mind

There are a few things to keep in mind when using social commerce. First of all, make sure you’re providing value to your audience. If you’re constantly selling products and not providing any other content, people will get tired of seeing your posts and will eventually stop following you. Nobody wants to feel like all they are is a dollar sign in the eyes of the company.

Secondly, make sure you’re using high-quality photos and videos. The best way to sell your product is to let the image speak for itself! People are more likely to purchase a product if they can see it in detail before buying.

Lastly, make sure you’re monitoring your analytics so you can see what’s working and what’s not. This is important for all businesses, but especially important when you’re selling products or services on social media.

Is Social Commerce for You?

It’s no wonder that social commerce is on the rise. By providing a more seamless customer experience, companies can increase not only their sales but also customer loyalty. Have you tried incorporating social commerce into your marketing strategy? If not, now is the time to start!

Need help creating content that converts to more sales for your business? Click here to schedule a free consultation with NLC today!