It is a strange world that we live in, where trends seem to come and go in a matter of months, if not weeks. Social commerce however is more than a trend; it is a phenomenon whose time has come. When social media began, it truly empowered the internet user who until then had been a passive participant on the World Wide Web. With social media sites, such as facebook, they received a platform to voice their opinions and thoughts. And the last few years have been evidence enough of how powerful this medium has become.
Set up shop
When social media users access their accounts they discuss everything under the sun, and this includes products and brands. They prefer to go with brands that they like. People actively seek out the opinions and recommendations of their friends before they invest a single dollar in a product. They want value for their money, and to this end they prefer to depend on the testimonial of other customers over detailed product descriptions.
If your target audiences are discussing your brand or products that it offers, it is vital that your business offer them on the social commerce. There is no better time to make a sale than when a customer is considering a product or shows interest in it. Set up a facebook storefront with the help of one of the several apps available. Storefront Social is an excellent option to go with. The app is tailor-made to meet the needs and requirements of all kinds of businesses. A business can choose to offer content in a language of its choice; making it friendlier for its regional audience. For a more global approach the app allows customers to pay for their shopping with PayPal and with multiple currencies.
Offer it all
The worst thing that a business can do is to open a facebook shop and then store few products on it. This puts off customers and doesn’t inspire confidence in the brand. They are unlikely to shop at such a store. It is vital that you offer an extensive collection of your products. The design and navigation of the store are two key elements that help customers complete their transaction and make a purchase. It is important that the app you select offers many templates for the social commerce manager to select from. This will ensure that the business gets a social commerce store that truly befits it.
Coordinate on and off social commerce efforts
It is important that social commerce and conventional marketing efforts are coordinated well. This would mean that you use all the resources at your behest to interact and engage with your target audiences. The facebook store should be popularized by means of conventional business communication, such as including social commerce details in business cards and letterheads.
All the information that a business gathers from its social commerce and social media efforts should be put to good use and to refine product development and marketing.
When you are marketing your brand there are a lot of things that work and those that don’t. It is imperative that you understand how social media users react and respond to facebook marketing. You need to remember that they are on the social network to interact with their friends, and brands and businesses are often just a part of this interaction. So, how do you create a social commerce strategy that helps your business succeed?
Keep it simple
The first thing that a social commerce and social media manager needs to understand is that he or she needs to keep content, apps and marketing simple and interesting like Old Spice does. People don’t have time for long drawn contests, games and promotional offers. The offers need to be simple, engaging, and creative.
Promotions that require a lot of time, effort and require facebook users to refer the campaign to a lot of friends are not an effective strategy. This is often the course that brands with big budgets and elaborate websites choose. Many brands like to opt for games on their facebook fan page. What social commerce managers need to know is that if people wanted to play games while they are on facebook, they’d rather play games like CityVille.
Sweepstakes are a waste of time for the business and for the customer. Consider this, why would a person refer the sweepstakes to their friends when it lowers their chances of winning. They have a low conversion rate and more than often attract users who are not really interested in your brand.
If fans and visitors are given the choice of filling up forms and typing their response and the choice to click their response, they will choose the latter. So, if you want information from your target audience use a simple and precise format to collect it.
Keep the facebook fan page simple and clean
Many brands put up too many apps and tabs on their page. A business needs to prioritize and choose tabs and apps carefully. There are four tabs in each row, the first row is visible and the rest need to be opened with a scroll down menu. The tab needs to clearly state the app, and the visual that accompanies it should be appropriate. The photos, facebook shop, likes and offers should be tabs to concentrate on.
Use an app like Storefront Social to create a facebbook shop that showcases your product line. You can select a preferred language and offer navigation that makes shopping simple and fun. Give customers the choice to pay for their shopping with multiple currencies and Paypal.
Don’t ask for more than they want to give
Many facebook fan pages lose traffic because they don’t give access to facebook users until they ‘like’ the page. People don’t like to be bullied, and unless they truly like a page they are not likely to click on the ‘like’ button. Many apps and businesses request for permission to access the user’s information and most facebook users prefer not to share it. While such permissions may help a brand gain demographical information there are better ways to get it.
Social media is fast becoming the most important medium of online communication between businesses and customers. People no longer use their social media accounts to just interact with their friends. They also actively seek out brands that interest them. One of the best ways to ensure that your fans are tempted to visit your facebook fan page over and again is by ensuring that it offers terrific content. This could be in the form of interesting posts, contests, games or offers.
A facebook shop is a great place to showcase products and sell them while your customers are on the social network. Do remember statistics indicate that internet users spend a majority of their online time on social media sites like facebook. Here is a look at some brands that use social media rather well.
Words do matter
Some lesser known brands like Martell Home Builders use their blog effectively to hold the attention and interest of their fans and customers. This custom homebuilder offers insight on real estate and home improvement issues. The brand uses social media to allow visitors to share the business’ pictures and information with their friends and followers on social media sites.
World renowned designer Oscar de la Renta uses social media to draw out the interest of his fans. Not only do they get to see a sneak peak of a collection that is soon to be unveiled but they can also shop for products that are offered exclusively for facebook fans. The brand uses photos effectively to display its product line and garner the attention of fans and visitors.
Customer Service par excellence
Nike+ uses its facebook page and applications to support its customers. This is a brand that continues to motivate and support its customers long after they make a purchase and leave the store. Every time it posts on its facebook fan page it receives an awesome response from fans. The brand offers several products and apps that improve customer experience with Nike products.
Zappos not only presents customers a wide range of shoes but it also offers them customer service unlike most other brands. In fact, a large section of posts on their facebook fan page are by fans who are thrilled with their purchase, and the courteous and helpful customer service they received. Social media helps Zappos spread the good word about the quality of its products and services. There is nothing better than some good old fashioned mouth-to-mouth recommendations that instill confidence in a brand. What they miss out on is a facebook store where fans could feast their eyes on footwear that would delight them. Here they could buy and share at the same time.
Storefront Social is a great app for business managers who are looking to set up a facebook storefront. The app gives the social commerce manager complete control over the shop. From the language of content, colors used in the page and the currency with which customers can pay, a business can control it all. Navigation is designed so that shopping is made fun and satisfying. Furthermore, customers can share products that they like and tell their friends about what they are buying.
If you want to sell more on your facebook store the first thing that you need to do is ensure that the storefront offers the entire range of products. There is nothing more irritating for a customer than to find a facebook shop that is badly stocked. A facebook store should ideally offer great navigation and the shop should be structured to help customers find what they are looking for. An app like Storefront Social can make this possible.
Improve trust and confidence in the brand
It is important for a business to inspire confidence in its target audience. This can be achieved by improving engagement on the facebook page. The business can design posts that will elicit a reaction and allow fans to share their experiences with the brand. You could create a board or a community for your facebook fans. This gives customers a chance to express themselves. Sometimes you may encounter negative feedback and it crucial to deal with it effectively and to reassure customers that the brand will do everything to regain their trust and loyalty.
Create a dedicated fan following
Your facebook fan page should offer content that is interesting and likely to keep fans tuned in. To improve brand visibility and promote traffic to the page a business can create daily offers. Such offers will tempt customers to check out the page and the shop, and increase sales. The offer should seem urgent and hence should be for a limited time period. This usually leads to more sales during that time.
Analyze the data and use it
It is important for your business to analyze the data related to the best and worst selling products on the facebook shop. This will help your social media and marketing team come up with a better strategy to sell these products. Sometimes the problem may lie in navigation, while in other instances it may be that some products appear to be more visible than others. Use banners on the home page of the facebook shop to let your customers know what is on offer.
Research indicates that on an average over 65% of online shopping carts are abandoned. It is critical to find out why customers do so. If the reasons are related to navigation or shopping cart problems then these need to be rectified. This would improve sales on the facebook storefront.
Customize your store
Storefront Social helps businesses customize their stores so that they are more appealing to their target audiences. Colors and photos can be used to ensure that the target audience identifies with the brand. Businesses can offer content in a language of their choice and allow customers to pay for their shopping with a currency of their choice or with PayPal. If your business ships to different countries this should be clearly stated on the facebook homepage at the store.
Get ready for the holiday season
Most people shop more during the holiday season. Thus, it is imperative for businesses to capitalize on the extended budget for such occasions. A list of holidays through the year needs to be maintained by businesses so that the social commerce team is well prepared for the holiday season.
Facebook offers businesses a wonderful opportunity to interact with their target audiences. They can use this platform to tell their brand story, build and cement the brand identity. Every business has to work hard at keeping a finger on the pulse of its target audience, and facebook is essential to achieve this.
About the profile
The profile can be used effectively to tell a brand story. The Coca-Cola facebook page offers information on how the product was first developed as a fountain beverage, by mixing carbonated water with coca cola syrup. This page also offers a historical timeline of the brand. This is an excellent idea for businesses that have been around for several decades. The page focuses not just on the company but also the collection of stories about how the brand has come about.
Post your stories
While the profile and About section focus on how a business came into existence and its core values, it is the stories it posts that focus on what it considers important. International brands that have a presence in multiple countries need to post stories in several languages and choose suitable content. It is crucial that a brand connects with its customers and successfully engages them on the facebook page.
With the Storefront Social app businesses can create customized facebook stores. They can choose a language of their choice and even offer customers the choice of paying for their shopping with multiple currencies and with PayPal. A business can showcase its product line and give fans and visitors an opportunity to shop without leaving the social network. Customers can share their shopping or their wish list with their friends. Thus, promoting the brand with time tested word-of-mouth recommendations.
While some brands may run an advertising campaign on facebook to garner attention others prefer contests and games on the social media site. The latter too focus on the business’ story. The Skittles Greatest Fan in the World contest has evoked a lot of interest and reaction, with fans posting their photos and allowing the brand to use them. Not only has the contest created a stir amongst Skittles fans but the business has found a unique and fun way to promote the brand through its loyal following of fans.
Facebook is an excellent platform for small businesses to create a brand identity and keep their fans and customers informed about new offers and deals. Big brands such as Nike use it to keep fans informed and entertained with the latest stories in the world of sports. The brand is about everything athletic, and this is apparent in its stories.
The Petco facebook page is ‘the’ place for pet lovers and has a fan following of a whooping 2 million. The page is used to promote relevant causes, generate interest in pets and even to post pictures of lost animals. The brand encourages fans to post their pictures and stories and this greatly improves the level of engagement on the page. Overall, the facebook fan page is successful in promoting the brand as one that truly cares for animals and pet lovers.
Sharing is an ancient practice, perhaps as old as mankind. People like to tell stories, retell incidents and pass information to friends and family. The type of information would have been dependent on the generation and what it considered important. With the advent of the internet it became easier to find information. However, with the coming of social media, people truly started to share. In many ways social media has empowered people and given them a platform to express themselves.
What are they sharing?
People like to share all kinds of information and these can be broadly classified into groups.
- Entertaining and valuable information. This may include a funny story, an amusing quote or a piece of entertaining news. They also like to share information that would be useful to others.
- Then there are the shares that define the person. These are topics or issues that the person holds dear. This could include posts that support a good cause.
- Some shares strengthen relationships. These may include a quote that expresses emotions or perhaps a picture of a Starbucks coffee that they are hoping to share with a friend.
- People love to share information about a new or interesting product that interests them. They also like to talk about a great deal that a brand is offering.
While some people like to share so that their friends know that they keep up with the latest trends and fashion, others share when they find something interesting. The share button has kind of become like the water cooler at the office. Word of mouth recommendations are the best way to cement the brand identity of a business and to ensure that it is easily recognized.
Do fans click ‘share’ on your page?
The most important thing to remember about social media is that this is your grand chance to reach out to your target audiences. It is not the best place to bombard them with marketing messages. If you want to ensure that fans are motivated to click on the share button you need to keep some things in mind.
- You need to ensure that you post stories or information relevant and important to your audiences. If your products are aimed at teenagers then parenting stories may not be the best way to hold their attention. However if your brand sells child care products you need to offer information that would be useful to parents.
- Fun stories are always popularly just as long as they don’t offend the sensibilities. You could also focus on stories that are relevant in the local area that your business may focus on.
- Keep your posts simple, with a touch of humor. If you are sharing information about a product or an offer, they add a touch of urgency to it. You should keep it exclusively for fans and for a limited period.
Storefront Social is a unique app that can help you set up a facebook storefront that will showcase your product line. You can control the language in which the content is offered and your customers can buy products and pay for them with multiple currencies as well as with PayPal. They can also share the products they like on your facebook store.
Social media is where the buzz is. Anyone who doubts the power of social media needs to only look at centuries of human history and the manner in which people interact with each other. From time immemorial people have communicated and interacted to share information. Such information is often related to products and services. People have an innate need for approval from their peers, and a need to fit in. Before the advent of social media the internet user had little contribution to the content available online. Today, this is no longer true.
How facebook helps businesses use the demographics
The reason why facebook demographics are important is because businesses need to know about the people who use this popular social media site. Social commerce takes businesses where their target audiences lie instead of waiting for customers to search out brands. Insights on facebook demographics can help a business fine tune its social media strategy and offer appropriate content on its facebook page.
There are many new facebook features that make use of facebook demographics. For instance targeted facebook posts allow a business to ensure that certain posts can be targeted to fans that fall under a certain category such as age, location, language, interest, educational and relational status. So instead of keeping the setting at default social media managers need to choose an appropriate setting that will allow them to focus on their target audience. Promoted Posts are also useful to this end. You can set a budget for the duration of the post and specify the demographics of the audience that will view it.
Another interesting feature of the social network’s self serve ad tool is that it allows businesses to specify the criteria after the post has been published. This is seen as an excellent way to promote the facebook page and brand without having to spend more money on facebook ads.
When a business decides to invest money for facebook ads it needs to keep it focused on its target audience. The facebook ads allow business managers to consider the facebook demographics and target their audience. This makes the ad more effective and is likely to elicit the required action.
Facebook stores for all businesses
It is important for all businesses to invest in a facebook shop. Such a facebook storefront will showcase your products. This ensures that when fans and their friends talk about your products they are able to identify them on facebook, and if they wish to, they can shop too. There is nothing worse than losing out on a sale simply because your business doesn’t have a facebook shop to sell from when fans are excited about your products. Storefront Social is a useful app for all business. It helps a business manager create a facebook store and customize it to meet the needs of the business and those of their target audiences. The store can offer content in a language of choice and payment for purchases can be made with multiple currencies and also with PayPal.
This is the age in which businesses have to fight strong for their place in the market. Whether yours is a big or a small business, it needs to stay in touch with its target audiences. It is crucial that your business is able to connect with its customers and inspire brand loyalty. There are many ways to sell products and businesses need to explore all avenues. The rising need for social commerce is based on the consumers need to ensure that they get value for their money.
The social experience
People like to talk to their friends, neighbors and colleagues about the things that they wish to buy. They like to get a good understanding of what kind of a product they may end up buying. Consider how people end up talking to strangers at supermarkets and malls about the brands and products they would like to buy. Social commerce helps customers collectively interact and converse so that they can stay informed and buy products that interest them.
There are many reasons for the rise of social commerce and why it is here to stay. The need for acceptance and approval is believed to be one of the top reasons why people promote social commerce. It is the only market place where people can buy and share information in real time. They can even shop with their friends and make the shopping experience truly social. There are many facebook offers for group buying. These are are profitable for the group of customers. Shopping together promotes a sense of solidarity which is often missing when people shop by themselves on an online store.
The power of influence
Social commerce empowers customers and gives them a power that was until now unknown. Brand loyalty is one of the most important ways to ensure that you have and can maintain a strong customer base. Engagement through social media is an excellent way to stay connected with your fans and customers. Facebook is a great way to keep customers informed and entertained. The key to ensuring that your facebook fan page gets a steady flow of traffic is to ensure that the space is not used only for marketing efforts but to genuinely connect with fans.
Social commerce makes customers feel closely connected with their favored brands. What makes this medium especially powerful is the fact that they can post their comments, request and complaints and businesses can respond appropriately and promptly. A negative experience can also be transformed into a positive one. It is also an opportunity to tell your customers that you value their business. Exclusive facebook offers often prompt people to shop and encourage their friends to follow suit.
Businesses need to showcase their products on a facebook shop. This ensures that people can see, find and buy the products that others are talking about, instead of needing to move to another site. Storefront Social is an excellent app that can help you set up a customized facebook store in little time. The social media manager can control the store as required. And content can be displayed in a language of the business’ choice. Customers can pay for their shopping with multiple currencies. This means that irrespective of where your business is based, New York or Norway, you can create and earn from social commerce.
Social commerce cracks the biggest challenge that is faced by online and offline retailers. Many shoppers are unsure of what to buy. To have their product ‘discovered’ is something that is invaluable to any business. When a person buys a product, and is satisfied with it, he or she becomes a champion of the brand and the product. It is obvious for them to share their recommendation with their friends and to motivate them to buy the same. Thus, social commerce actually offers businesses the ultimate medium of selling products.
While conventional marketing techniques inform and educate the target audience social commerce convinces them in a way that no other medium could. When a person buys something from a facebook store, they are likely to talk to their friends about it and they are likely to check out the facebook storefront. This improves traffic, brand loyalty and sales.
What makes social commerce different?
There are many who wonder what social commerce has over online shopping, after all many big brands have chosen to close their facebook stores and sell only through their websites and online stores. Social commerce is the process of taking the marketplace to the target audience. Social media offers an online space where users can express themselves. Word-of-mouth recommendations are sacrosanct and considered more important than lengthy, well-worded product descriptions.
Empower your business with a facebook shop
When you create a facebook store with an app such as Storefront Social you offer your fans and customers a product line that they can share with their friends. If customers have any doubts about products they can contact the business, read product testimonials or speak to their friends about it. The business doesn’t have to do much to sell its products other than engage its target audiences and offer them on a well designed and structured facebook shop. It is best to choose an app that allows the social commerce manager to offer content in several languages and lets customers pay for their shopping with multiple currencies and with PayPal.
Stores can use buttons such as ‘Like’, ’Share’ or ‘Wish List’ along with the ‘Buy’ button. This keeps friends informed of what products the person likes or buys. People are strongly affected by what their peers and their friends are buying. Social commerce takes social shopping to a whole new level where people can express their opinions about brands and products, and also help others make smart shopping choices.
Social media is an immensely versatile tool in the hands of business managers. It can be used to sell products, inform and educate the target audience and to interact with them. A brand identity can be built and cemented with social media far quicker than it can be done with conventional methods of marketing. This makes social commerce important for all kinds of businesses, big and small. Irrespective of where a business is based, with social commerce, it can sell to its target audiences.
Millions of people use social media daily. And we are talking about people who have money to spend and are a part of your target audience. When social media was in its infancy, people thought that it was a passing fad that was of interest to teenagers and young adults. Over the last few years it has become apparent that social media is a unique and powerful tool for business managers.
Research indicates that 65% of facebook users are over the age of 35. Therefore, businesses need to keep their finger on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They can use social media in versatile ways. Engaging the target audiences on social media is a great way to hold their attention and improve brand visibility. People like to buy brands that they like and feel emotionally connected to. With facebook you can makes these important connections with your target audiences.
Why social media counts?
- Businesses need to know what customers think about their brand and need to make a strong connection with them. This can be achieved with facebook. Not only can the business choose to educate and inform but it can also offer its products on a facebook store.
- Social commerce is fun, quite simply because people can shop on a platform that is shared by their fans. Most people like to share their opinions on products and brands, and what better way to do so than on a social media site. When you have a facebook shop, fans and visitors can see what you are selling and talk to friends about it. The importance of word-of-mouth recommendations cannot be undermined, nor can the power of a friend who wishes to share news of their shopping. Storefront Social is an app that helps businesses create customized facebook shops that suits the needs of the business and its target audience.
- Customer service is quicker and more effective with social media. The social media team can placate an unsatisfied customer in real time and help build faith in the brand. They can also respond to requests and queries in a timely fashion. Social media is also a great platform to announce the launch of new products and services, and the news has a chance to go viral.
- Social media should be used along with traditional methods of marketing. A business’ social media accounts should be mentioned on all business communication including business cards. This ensures that customer and partners know that the brand is visible.
- There is no better way to make a personal connection with customers than with social media. Content is of the utmost importance as it keeps fans and visitors coming back to the social media account regularly. The facebook store should offer excellent navigation and should be designed to offer a smooth and convenient shopping experience. Ideally the stores should offer customers the choice to pay with multiple currencies and with PayPal.