In an ideal world for most people, the way we buy and sell as a business or consumer, would never change. I, however am not most people and believe that change is a great opportunity to learn more about the technology world and improve the way our businesses function. Two words that have been floating around the web for some time now have a purpose and meaning. Social Commerce is here, and it won’t be disappearing anytime soon.
Mark Zuckerberg was right when he said “If I had to guess, Social Commerce is next to blow up” back in 2011. Social Commerce is the combination of social media and digital technology to sell both products and services online.
Social Commerce will be a driving force for online sales because of the art of storytelling. What better way to connect with an online customer than giving them a reason to connect with YOUR business? Every business has a story and a personality trait which is social media worthy. If you can connect with your customers on a personal level through story telling on social media, you will build your clientele which in essence will translate into a social commerce transaction.
There are 1 billion people on Facebook with around 75% of those users “liking” a brand’s Facebook page. The Facebook users that like a fan page are ultimately saying they will buy from that business IF that company engages with them in the right way. Did you know that a Facebook share (when someone see’s a post on your Facebook fan page, “shares” it with their community who then follows the link back to your page, visits your website and purchases from you) is worth £2.60? Even more surprisingly, Twitter can generate a massive £21.04 in sales through a share. Think Social Media is a waste of time? Think again.
When I hold a keynote seminar, I always ask the same question. When you are inside Facebook and see one of their advertisements down the side of the page, do YOU firstly click on it, and THEN purchase that product? 99% of the time, no more than three hands are raised out of around 50-60 people. Why? Because we no longer trust advertising more than we do peer to peer recommendations. Andrew Mason, Groupon founder said the following; “Middle-class people sit around, trying to think of how to spend money. One of the most powerful ways to figure that out is looking at what your friends are buying – these are the people you trust”. This, I definitely agree with.
It has been estimated that by 2015, Social Commerce sales will reach around $30 billion a year with 50% of online revenue coming from social media. We are seeing well known brands like Mercedes selling 666 cars in the space of 8 hours with their “Three Point Twitter” campaign and Adidas selling around £2,500 worth of products via in-stream Facebook and Twitter. Brands are making magic and it’s not just a myth anymore, there is a lot of money to be made if you utilise the tools available to combine social media and digital commerce.
The best way to sell on social media is to in fact, not sell at all. For your followers to really trust your business, you need to take a step back and realise why you are even a part of a social network. The intent is not always a purchase, it is to share great content and to engage with a community. Once you have built this foundation, you won’t need to force your products or services onto those who are connected to you, they will naturally, become brand advocates.
Social Commerce is here to stay and it’s time for you to look at the future of connecting with your online consumer.