‘Social Selling’ has been a buzzword around eCommerce for a few years now and it has a bit of a mixed reputation amongst merchants. So what’s the deal? How can it help your store grow?
From unboxing videos on YouTube (which are ridiculously popular) to influencer promotions on Instagram and Snapchat, social media has evolved.
Promoting your brand and products on social media is nothing new, the savvy have being doing it for over a decade. For successful stores, utilising social is now mandatory.
It’s not hard to see either when you look at the stats;
- Facebook currently has 2 Billion active users
- 30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from a social media network like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat
- 51% of Millennials would be likely to make a purchase over social media
How stores are successfully use social networks is changing. The platforms have woken up to advertising and are now limiting your organic exposure to users that follow you.
The best way to combat this is to utilise all of the features that the platforms offer you and be prepared to spend on advertising to increase your exposure.
Let’s take Facebook as a prime example they want you to choose their platform for your ad spend. So they’ve built numerous features to help you increase your sales. You’re organic and paid posts can include a ‘Shop Now’ button, you can upload your product catalogue directly to the platform and have you’re best selling products pinned to the top of your page.
It’s not just Facebook, the other platforms are clamouring to get your ad spend too. Snapchat is actively working on eCommerce channels, Instagram already features ‘Buy Now’ buttons and Pinterest is developing their own offering too.
All seem a little too daunting? Don’t let it be, you don’t have to use all of the platforms. Find one that suits your niche and put all of your effort into it. Spreading yourself too thin across the networks will be a disaster, stick to 2 or 3 at most.
With the social platforms now offering users to the opportunity to buy your goods directly on their platforms, it’s understandable that some merchants might feel a little unease with the prospect.
Our experience, from working with eCommerce stores across niches, is that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
By appearing on social networks, you are becoming the distraction from them. Rather than the social network becoming a distraction to your site. Sound a little backwards?
Consumers are experiencing more and more distractions across their devices. Abandoned carts have plagued eCommerce stores from the start, but they are getting more prevalent due to the average consumer’s attention span.
By allowing user’s to purchase your items with a single click on a social network (we’re not there just yet, but it’s coming), we’re reducing the friction to purchase. Meaning more sales and more cost effective advertising.
The most powerful tool in an eCommerce Store’s arsenal is retargeting and no one does retargeting better than Facebook.
If you have the Facebook Pixel (a short piece of tracking code) installed on your site, you can track Facebook users who visit your site and then retarget them with ads. Whether that be ads for your store or ads for a specific product that the user viewed, the options are amazing.
It’s not just products views you can track. If a user adds a product to their cart or gets mid-way through the checkout process before abandoning, we can target that user specifically with the product they were going to buy.
Perhaps it was the shipping fee that made them change their mind? No problem, we can post an advertisement to them offering free-shipping.
Retargeting site visitors is fantastic but if you want to get in front of new audiences, the social networks are perfect for you.
Facebook and Instagram offer the best targeting options ever available to advertisers. We mean it, ever.
You can target your advertisements on everything from age, location, gender, income, home value, frequent flyers, job positions and interests. The user’s ‘interests’ are incredibly powerful when trying to find users who may be interested in your product.
Are they fans of your competitors? Do they have an active interest in your niche? The chances are that Facebook knows and they offer you the opportunity to target these users.
As industry, eCommerce still hasn’t woken up to the power of the social media giants. It’s a new and constantly changing landscape.
Our top tip to succeed in this new landscape? Be organic. Post and advertise as a human, understand that social networks are for connecting with people. This is often forgotten in advertising, it shouldn’t be.
Don’t make every post and advertisement a sales push, share fun pieces of information and content. Create a connection with the user, they’ll engage with your post and more people will click on your profile and want to know more about you.
Make no mistake, social selling is a revolution for eCommerce and the revolution is only just beginning.
Author, Dale Hornridge:
Dale Hornidge is the Managing Director of Rogue Digital, a Facebook Ads agency focused on growing eCommerce. Rogue Digital offers solutions for eCommerce companies looking to increase their sales by utilising the power of Facebook and Instagram advertising.