Social media platforms have outgrown themselves. From being a place for sharing photos, updating statuses and following celebrities, social media have now become a place for shopping. And, evidently, consumers prefer it over traditional shopping now.
E-commerce can benefit a lot from social media. Here’s what the stats say:
- Instagram helps 80% of its users to decide whether to buy a product or a service. This is based on Instagram’s Discover page, on which users can find suggested posts selected according to their interests.
- The features that social platforms have introduced, can help e-commerce businesses boost sales. For instance, 90 million Instagram users engaged in shopping via Stories hours after the platform launched this feature.
- More and more people are buying online. Reportedly, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z prefer to shop in online stores over visiting department stores.
All these stats prove the value of social media for e-commerce businesses. Nevertheless, getting the full benefit from social media might be trickier than it seems.
For instance, how can you figure out, which audience follows you and your product the most? Are you sure that you’re advertising to the right audience at all? And how can you be sure that your product will definitely appear, for instance, on Instagram’s Discover page?
Social Data will Give you the Answer
Social data includes information that social media users share publicly in the form of the metadata (location, language, hashtags, likes, shares). Social data is the big data of social media, it presents big volumes of information, which, if used correctly, can be helpful on every stage of a marketing campaign.
Now, let’s dive into some instances of the practical application of social data to help you launch a successful e-commerce business.
Selecting the Platform
To launch an e-commerce business, the first step is to select the right platform. This step is based upon the analysis of social data from each social media platform of your choice, analysis of the audience that is most active on these platforms, and making your choice based on the data you obtain.
Let’s say, you are interested in opening an e-commerce business to sell women’s clothes. You’re considering three platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Here’s what social data, obtained from these platforms, says about their audiences:
- Facebook has a prevailing male audience, with 57% males and 43% female active users;
- Instagram has mostly female users, with 52% women and 48% of men being active on this platform;
- And all Snapchat users are predominantly females, with 61% of women and only 38% of men using this platform.
As you can see, for an e-commerce business that will target mostly females, Instagram and Snapchat are the two most obvious choices both for sales and for marketing purposes.
To choose between these two, however, you should also take into account the specificity of the content, supported by each of these platforms. For instance,
- Snapchat Stories only remain visible for 24 hours. You can post both videos and photos, use pretty filters and attach a Swipe Up feature, but this platform is more suited for short campaigns and regular updates rather than the more static content.
- Instagram has the same Stories feature, which works the same as the one in Snapchat, but there are more opportunities for creating and posting static content, like videos and photos of your profile. The most beneficial feature for online shops is a carousel, which allows you to post photos of the same item, but from different angles and in different colors.
In terms of audience, social data can be really helpful for you to choose the right platform to launch your e-commerce business. But there are also different aspects to take into account.
Collaborating with the Audience
To launch a successful e-commerce business using social media platforms, you need to know how to create personalized content. Puzzling, isn’t it?
It is quite hard to determine what content your target audience would be most excited about. And the easiest way to figure it out is to ask them. Their answers will provide you with enough social data to come up with ideas for personalized content.
How exactly can public opinion be collected?
Surveying and doing polls is the best way to collect feedback from your audience. You can either do it via intermediary websites like Survey Monkey or Google forms or go to social media platforms and use tools offered to you there.
In practice, it is easier and quicker to collect social data from surveys on social media. You get direct access to information, all the reports are automated and regularly updated, and it’s a very creative way to survey your audience. For instance, Instagram has stickers which you add to your story. There are different formats, including:
- quiz, etc/.
Image credit: Instagram
As you can see, polls, conducted directly through social media, can supply you with enough social data to help you figure out, what kind of content you’ll be putting on social media platforms, once you launch your e-commerce business.
Creating an Outreach
Launching your e-commerce business cannot be successful without using proper outreach tools. While you can always buy traffic to your social media platforms, it is important to pay more attention to organic traffic, generated through things like high-quality content, regular posts on the platforms, and proper hashtags.
Using different hashtags is a proven strategy for creating more outreach. It’s also a great strategy to generate buzz. When Flatfy, an international real estate company, was just a startup, they used their branded hashtag along with more common hashtags that showed better performance.
They paired #Flatfy together with #startup. Social data, mined from hashtag performance analysis has shown, that #startup has very high rates, thus, being a great option for a social media campaign:
Image credit: Hashtagify
As a result, it gave their branded hashtag a significant boost. You can do the same for your e-commerce business. Browse the list of the most popular hashtags to get the general idea of what users on a certain social media platform are looking for in order to increase your outreach.
The Bottom Line
Social media platforms opened up a range of great possibilities for launching an e-commerce business. Not only can you boost your e-commerce website through social media, but also launch your business right there on social platforms.
Social media provide you with tons of social data, which is constantly updated and always relevant. Using it to your benefit, extracting important information for audience analysis, content analysis and outreach will help you launch a successful e-commerce business that everyone will be talking about.
Now, you can easily integrate your business applications under one single platform to automate the business process!
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