Leveraging Social Commerce to Boost Small Business

People today don’t go on Facebook and Twitter to just connect with other people anymore (Source)

People today don’t go on Facebook and Twitter to just connect with other people anymore (Source)

Author: Zafar Rais, CEO, MindShift Interactive

It’s evident from the past few years that having a social media presence gives a brand a significant advantage, but the ability to communicate with consumers directly on platforms they were already using is bringing in a lot of interaction. Brands are using the same platforms to not only connect  but also as a way to better their consumer service. As more and more companies have initiated to open Facebook and Twitter accounts, conversations on these platforms have shifted from interpersonal communications to shared opinions and experiences about brands.

People today don’t go on Facebook and Twitter to just connect with other people anymore; they also use these platforms to browse and read news, develop experience and even shop. Social media plays a significant role in shaping what and how consumers will buy, hence more investments are being made in order to formulate social media marketing strategies to fascinate consumers and make product sales possible.

With the new and forthcoming social commerce tools, the biggest change for social media marketers is a shift in spotlight from branding to lead generation.

Social commerce tools are increasing the risks of social marketing, but they also simplify the sales process by providing ways for companies to effectively interact with customers. The digitalization of shopping also means that consumer data is abundant, and with the right technologies, companies can examine their online customers’ behavior and use that information to improve social marketing approach to complete sales via social media.

A popular method of direct social selling is introducing e-commerce links in tweets, pins and Facebook posts featuring the product image. If your finances allow for it, promoted posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are another great way to increase your shopper reach and consciousness, which could lead to potential sales. Introduction of buy button will become another tool that retailers and brands can begin to propose a division of their consumers who know what they want and are contented with these types of communications. It certainly won’t work for everyone or every product, but it can be a beginning towards building an association with an existing or new consumer. This “Buy” experience could conclude with a personal shopping discussion or product demo as well, which is surely a way to get more people believe in the company as a choice when they are ready to make a buy.

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Large businesses may have significant budgets to spend on social commerce and marketing, however small-size companies too can use this trend to drive increased revenue. Consider these few approaches to boost sales:

Personalized experience:  Social media is a place for real-time interactions with customers and  these conversation results in devoted, long-term customers quite often. Apart from promoting products, brands can use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share non product-related narrative and visuals that will suggest positive emotions and lead to SHARE.

Well-organized customer service: In order to avoid any negative brunt on your brand, staying on top of consumer matter by taking action to all queries within 12 hours and then assisting with a rapid resolution is required by a brand. In case of a resource crunch, investing in social media monitoring tools would be the right option. Additionally, when a customer shares a favorable experience, consider re-sharing it across your brand’s social media channels.

Mobile Power: Be it small or big, no business can ignore the significant impact of daily mobile use and mobile purchasing. With over 1 billion monthly active users, the Facebook mobile app is the perfect stage for reaching a high volume of buyers on the go. Facebook allows you to schedule posts with product deals which can be accompanied by compelling visuals, promo codes and direct links for purchase. 

By using above strategies, brands can make a significant impact on small business sales. With an understanding that small business may not have the sizable budget unlike larger businesses, these moves will provide the seamless purchasing experience that consumers are looking for, and brands will have the opportunity to reach a broader range of consumers who may become your most loyal customers over a period of time, with effective and strategic use of social media marketing.

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