How to turn your followers into customers in the social commerce era
As the social commerce era continues, it's more important than ever to learn how to turn your followers into customers. Billions of people worldwide engage with social channels every single day. Your customers spend hours browsing through their social feeds, engaging with friends, family and increasingly, with influencers and brands.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is the act of capturing, nurturing and converting customers, all on their favorite app. Plainly, social commerce is commerce that happens on social media.
With more and more platforms encouraging this kind of behavior through their algorithm and features, brands are having to ditch the traditional journey of always driving people off apps and onto your site. A headless, omni-channel structure keeps interested parties right where they feel most comfortable. It's frictionless, relevant and most of all instant.
Also, it's the future. Whether you jump on the bandwagon now as a pioneer or as a rookie later in the game. Social commerce is predicted to grow 3X as fast as traditional eCommerce, more than doubling from $492 billion worldwide in 2021 to $1.2 trillion in 2025.
The platforms that support social commerce
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, you name it, if it’s a social or even a messaging platform (cough WhatsApp), they are integrating and releasing features that allow you to sell without having to send off-app. This trend is a win-win-win for everyone involved, you - the customer -and the platforms. Customer’s want a shortened journey. You want more conversion. The apps want more time spent on their platforms. And guess what? Everyone get’s just that.
Social Commerce Strategy & Features
Low-hanging Fruit 🍓
- Swipe up the purchase
- Store link in bio
- Tag your friend in the comments, etc
- User Generated Content (Stories)
Medium Effort 👍
- User-Generated Content
- Influencer Shoppable Posts
- Instagram Checkout & Store
- Live Experiences
- Instagram Direct Messaging Subscriber List
- Personalized, time-sensitive discounts and offerings
- VIP treatment like early access to releases, sales and behind the scenes content
- Membership Clubs with exclusive content, drops and IRL experiences
- Headless journey AKA doesn’t have to go to your “site”
How to capture & nurture customers on social
It’s not all about creating shoppable posts though! Social commerce is rooted in socializing and is all about growing and maintaining community. From hosting live events to user-generated content, if the end-goal is making a sale than it’s social commerce. One of the most overlooked aspects of social commerce are the conversational aspects. Specifically, the DM. It’s where all your audiences spend most of their time connecting to their own community, why not start there? Facebook long ago opened up their Messenger API to allow automations. This sprung a whole slew of features from booking appointments to personalized mental health care. It’s younger sibling, Instagram, has done the same, but it’s ecosystem and audience have a different set of behavior and habits. With brands so focused on their Instagram output, it’s only natural that they are taking their followers to the DM for a personalized, conversational and 1:1 brand experience. From sharing behind the scenes content to early collection releases, capturing your audience in your Direct Messaging list grows community, connection, and loyalty, while never having to move off-app.
How to convert followers into customers on social
Taking it a step further, how do you make that conversion with social commerce? No matter your industry, Live Events, Luxury, Design, etc, your end goals are similar, and can all be completed on social. By adding this element of conversation, within Direct Messaging, brands can personalize their offerings to exactly what each consumer is looking for, creating an instant and frictionless experience. If someone expresses interest in the VIP tickets for your festival, send them an early access code through DM. If someone expresses interest in your collaborative drop with Stranger Things, give them first dibs on the drop. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea!
Tips for social commerce success
- Go for social commerce launches that are rooted in pure engagement and fun.
- What’s valuable to your community? Serve that up through social commerce.
- Don’t make things complicated, especially in the beginning when your audience is learning your new social commerce stance. Roll out one thing at a time.
- Always think, how could I make this more personalized? The journey shorter?
- A fully fleshed social commerce strategy wouldn’t never mention “the link in bio.”
- When sending people to your DM please please don’t use overly complex keywords.
- Leverage high-stakes moments (coveted releases, collaborations, sales) to capture your audience into your owned, social commerce channels.
- Continually A/B test messaging, and listen and observe what your audience is best responding too.
- Boost your best performing social commerce initiatives with paid ads. Watch your CPL drop.
- Last but not least, always be true to your brand, your voice, your community. Just because social commerce automates messaging doesn’t mean you have to ditch your identity. Be you.