Understanding How Social Media Makes You Money
There is a new kid on the social media lingo block: social commerce. It's the hip offspring of e-commerce and it's how you can use your existing social media presence to help you sell.
If you've been reading my blog for more than a few weeks, you probably know that the cornerstone of good social media is providing valuable content to your audience and getting them to trust you by engaging and showing that you are a person behind all of the business. But there is another step - the technical - how do you get people to buy once you've improved their lives in some small way and thus gained their trust?
The newest development in online business is social commerce. This is where social media companies work with e-commerce platforms to create a new shopping experience for the users. The result of this combination is that e-commerce transactions can now be carried out directly on social networks. Have you ever been on Instagram or Pinterest and come across an image with a 'Buy Now' button on it? That's what we're talking about here.
This is similar to electronic commerce (e-commerce) but instead of driving people to a website to buy, social commerce is a method of buying and selling fueled by interactions between users on various online and social media networks.
In November 2005, Yahoo! became the first to use the term social commerce. It was used in identifying various shopping tools which promoted products by giving advice as well as information on the product. This includes features like user ratings and pick lists, which are now pretty standard everywhere online.
The best example of a company successfully using social commerce is Nike. Its marketing team comes up with captivating campaigns across all of the biggest social networks, tailoring the content to fit each platform perfectly. It is much more than vouchers and codes (though those are always appreciated!); it is complete audience engagement and next level branding.
There are a lot of networks with social commerce features: YouTube and Pinterest have a ‘Buy’ button; Instagram has shoppable posts; eBay now has Daily Deals which appear on Facebook, showing that multinational e-commerce companies are catching on.
The Facebook mobile app lets users access the eBay Daily Deals, which also has a helpful ShopBot. The ShopBot helps narrow down your search to prevent you from getting lost in the hundreds billions of listings available on eBay.
Ever wonder about the thought process behind Facebook's 'Marketplace'? There are some 450 million personal users every month who access buying and selling Facebook groups, so they decided to make it a formal feature of the platform. This service, which was released in October 2016, is similar to what Amazon and eBay offer their users.
With most of the social media platforms evolving into commercial platforms and e-commerce platforms also adopting social features, the growth of social commerce has been on a steady rise.
The infographic below shows how platforms for e-commerce are gaining popularity and are starting to get more social. What could you be doing to make it easier for your audience to buy your products and services?