How Startups Can Leverage Social Commerce

4 min read
Opinions expressed by contributors are their own. Be it a D2C ecommerce brand or home-based startup, social media makes high-impact marketing campaigns possible on a shoestring budget. Social commerce is the implementation of social media to increase a business’s presence through recommendations, collaborations and networking. According to Statista, the social-commerce market is projected to reach $84.2 billion by 2024 in the U.S. alone. With a well-informed strategy, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest can be ideal for introducing and communicating your brand and organically amplifying visibility.

Consistently creating content and communicating its value proposition to your target audience is paramount. Strong marketing teams incorporate design thinking into social commerce, leveraging a content strategy that aligns with those findings. The process begins with creating a blueprint for people, age groups and enthusiasts who would be interested in the brand’s offering.

Related: 15 Mistakes Startups Make on Social Media

We then move to user empathy, which involves finding out the user’s actual needs, usually through primary research and directly reaching out to prospective customers. The goal is to modify the brand’s offerings to target these pain points and fill in the gap that competitors couldn’t address.

Presenting genuine customer reviews is another effective strategy that has the potential to convert viewers into buyers. Modern consumers are too savvy to be seduced by traditional static commercials. Audiences seek answers to their queries, and dynamic creatives displaying reviews by satisfied customers or essential FAQs go a long way in increasing sales.

Even for small businesses, having a platform that provides relevant content is vital to ensure that viewers spend longer durations on your site. Content can be in the form of blogs, videos, interviews or even newsletters that showcase your brand and have added information on the latest trends, statistics and industry experts’ insights.

Regular social media updates act as a constant reminder of what your organization has to offer. Not only does it draw attention to your brand, but being active also increases the chances of your content being put before others, thus giving you an edge against the competition.

According to a 2019 survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, brands made $5.20 for each dollar spent on influencer marketing. Influencers usually directly influence the purchasing behavior of the audience, which readily increases visibility and sales. Their endorsements and posts grab more attention than other channels, and 40% of consumers claim having purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Small businesses can also collaborate with similar brands to jointly market their products in a potential win-win situation. According to Google, when Estée Lauder created a co-marketing campaign with a top U.S. retailer, the average ad click share rose by 70%.

Social commerce is not limited to direct product placements and direct marketing. It’s also an effective way to garner indirect interest through viral campaigns that generate social impact. Procter & Gamble, a multinational consumer goods corporation, drove the conversation around racial bias in the United States with “The Look” their social campaign.

Hammad Rahman, chief executive officer of Nikah Forever, an online matrimony portal, explains how his company “ran a signature campaign to cut expenditure on excessive marriage spending, which went viral and increased our social presence significantly.”

A touch of personalization never fails to deliver, and small businesses are particularly well positioned to crafting products that can suit every individual customer. Something as trivial as a handwritten note to customers can go a long way in connecting personally and helping them get involved in promoting your brand.

Related: Examples of Social Media Business Ideas

Social media has a power like never before. The internet-savvy generation has given rise to a world of learning, developing and socializing that transcends boundaries. Even with rising competition, there are still innumerable opportunities for growth thanks to the corresponding rise in social commerce.

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