If you sell physical products, you’ve probably toyed with the idea of incorporating social commerce into your marketing mix. The monetary rewards of social shopping need little explanation: in 2019, social commerce sales in the United States were estimated at 22 billion dollars.
By providing users with a built-in shopping experience, social commerce closes the gap between product discovery and purchase, driving more sales for your product. And seeing that more and more platforms continue to add shopping capabilities (including Pinterest and TikTok, to name a few), it’s safe to say that social commerce will only continue to grow in prominence.
So how can forward-thinking brands incorporate social commerce into their social media strategy? We recommend that brands take a high-level perspective, staying true to their values and think of how social commerce can align with their audience.
Keep the Customer Journey in Mind
The most successful brands use social media to build and strengthen bonds with their customers. Whether it’s using Stories to show a behind-the-scenes look into your product design process or going Live to host a fitness class, brands should use the tools at their disposal to build an authentic relationship with their end users.
Social commerce is no different. In order to leverage social shopping to its full potential, brands need to think about why their followers follow them in the first place. Is it to get fashion inspiration? Or to connect with like-minded members of a niche community? Social commerce should complete the picture when it comes to fulfilling your followers’ psychological, social, and emotional needs, rather than add to the noise.
For instance, if your followers are already loving the fitness inspo you share, then simply add value by telling them which shoes the instructor is wearing. Do your fans engage with your beauty tutorials? Make it easy for them to shop the look through the platform.
Embrace Video Shopping
Video is the new frontier when it comes to social shopping. Whether through long-form videos like IGTV or ephemeral Stories, shoppable video content offers a seamless product discovery experience. Video content is naturally captivating, inviting users to stop scrolling, watch, and engage. It’s the perfect medium to highlight your beautiful products through visual storytelling.
Instagram is at the forefront of video shopping, and TikTok and Snapchat are fast on its heels. Whether your video content is educational, entertaining, or inspirational, there’s an opportunity to incorporate your brand’s products into the experience.
How to Make Social Shopping Work for Your Brand
If your brand has been waiting to pull the lever on social commerce, this is your sign to get started. Plan how to naturally integrate social commerce into your existing social content strategy. If you’re already giving video tours of your storefront, great! Use the tools at your disposal to highlight which products are displayed. Have you partnered with ambassadors to create sponsored content? Make sure your products are shoppable from their channels.
Empower your team to get familiar with the social shopping features on each of the platforms where your brand has a presence, and regularly keep up with social media news outlets to be the first to hop on the next social shopping trend. Social shopping platforms want their users to explore, save, and purchase from brands like yours. If you leverage new social commerce features before your competitors, you’re much more likely to be featured on Explore pages for your category and have your products discovered by new customers.
If you use it right, social shopping can be much more than a new way to rake in revenue: it can set your brand apart as a delightful shopping destination for your followers, old and new.