Put very simply, social commerce is using social media networks to complete or increase a purchase transaction. When a business embarks on social commerce they recognize the new tool of social media to increase their bottom line. There are many activities surrounding social media commerce such as:
These activities can take place via social sharing, user-generated content like lists, social media advertising, blogging, and more. Just like you have onsite SEO and offsite SEO, you now have onsite social commerce by adding share buttons to your site, and offsite social commerce that takes place on the social media networks.
To be successful implementing social commerce into your business, it’s important to set specific goals that you want to reach with your efforts and then set up a daily task list to implement in order to reach the goals you set. You don’t have to actually sell something right on a social media account to be engaged in social commerce. You may already be a participant without even realizing it.
Social commerce, when you get right down to it, is happening all around us. It’s in your content on your blog or website. It’s there in your community interactions when you recommend xyz product to your network. It happens in all your conversations and connections via social media every day – whether that is by sharing something you found interesting, or allowing others to share your content via your share buttons.
In order for commerce to be “social commerce” there needs to be a feeling of reciprocity among the community. For instance, if you share something important, they will share it further down the chain and vice versa. If you never share anything nor communicate and engage with the community (be that on Facebook, Pinterest or some other social media network), then it stops being social, and you will be ignored by the community. In other words, to be social commerce it has to be interactive.
That can happen simply by placing share buttons on your blog posts which include engaging content that speaks to your target audience and includes a call to action of some kind. If you don’t include a CTA, your audience won’t do anything at all. Ask them to “like” your blog post, or your product or service, ask them to provide a testimonial, ask them to purchase your product and share it with others that they did so – then it becomes social commerce. It’s a conglomeration of the social proof and authority needed to move people to buy your products and services gained by participation in social media networks.
After all, the entire point is that social media is a tool that helps consumers choose products and services more wisely, enabling you to truly listen to your ideal client so that you can provide exactly what they need when they need it. It’s the ultimate connection to your audience because you’re right there with them every step of the way.