How on earth do you transform a like, a tweet, or a pin in sales? This vexing question has been the main source of frustration among many business executives who already have a presence in the social media, but still don’t know how to go about it. Social networking sites have been around for almost a decade, with AOL being among the earliest adopters, and then the likes of Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter followed suit. With that being said, social e-commerce is not an entirely new thing. Amazon and eBay had already laid the foundations for a social-based sale strategy during the early and mid-1990s. At its core, social e-commerce is the process of generating sales through the use of various social networking sites. Mind you, generating profits from the ever-evolving landscape of social platforms is easier said than done. However, that has not stopped businesses, be it startups or large companies, from boosting their sales through the use of various social networking platforms. With more and more people using social media and with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, how can you afford not to take advantage of the immense opportunities social platforms offer? Now, don’t get me wrong. You might already have a page on Facebook, an account on Twitter, a presence on LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social networking sites. Point is, how do you go from just having an audience to generating revenues from your fans or followers? Short answer, by adopting right tools offered by the social sites themselves or by third parties. Traditional marketing is expensive and time-consuming and cumbersome. Social e-commerce, on the other hand, is less expensive, time-saving and quite efficient. Wondering what are the benefits of social e-commerce? Below are some the advantages of embracing social commerce:
– You will rank much higher in the search engines.
Have you ever heard of a successful business or organization that appears only in the 5th or 6th page, or say, the10th page in a generic Google search? Unless you have been living in a parallel universe, where Google and the world as we know doesn’t exist, chances are high that what you were searching for featured in the 1st page. Having said that, social media traffic can improve your ranking. Use of social media means more links, more referrals, likes, tweets, pins and much more. A more engaged audience leads to more traffic in your website, which in turns greatly improves your ranking.
– You will forge mutual trust with your customers, which means more loyalty to your brand.
There’s an old saying: “People like to do business with people they like”. While this is a no-brainer, getting your customers to like you is no piece of cake. Shopping has always been a social experience, there’s no getting around it. Before deciding to make a purchase, a user will make an extensive search about the product, read reviews, watch presentation videos about the product, etc. What do you do before making a purchase? Most likely, you ask your friends. If they bought the product you are looking for and they are satisfied with their shopping experience, then you are most likely to buy that same product. That is social proof in action. It is perhaps one of the strongest drives in human psychology. Using social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or whatever social site you might be using, turns “likes”, “tweets” or “pins” into sales. Social commerce through social proof- that’s a great weapon of mass expansion!
– You will turn social networking sites into a word-of-mouth marketing strategy.
With social platforms generating more and more sales, you only need to choose the right strategy that best works for your business. Whatever the industry you’re in, you always get to benefit from them. While Facebook dominates in industries such as photographic services, sports and & recreational products, jewelry & watches, food and beverages among others, Pinterest dominates in the industry of antiques and collectibles, Youtube reigns supreme in the digital products and Twitter has the upper hand in home & furnishings, gifts or home decoration services or products. More fans and followers means more engagement, which in turns accelerates interaction and boosts social proof. Hence, your brand gains more recognition and your own fans & followers helps your company go viral.
Social e-commerce is here to stay. If you want to be at the top of the game, you need to learn to play like a pro. What are you waiting for? Go and take the plunge!