Incorporating Social Media in your E-Commerce Strategy

The seed of social media may have largely been planted by some aggressive and hormonal college kids, but the evolution and power of this massive force is now part and parcel of nearly every competitive business today. Not only has social media become expected in business, but it has also become absolutely integral in customer connection and retention. Social shopping, an e-commerce method by which consumers use social media to involve their “friends” or “followers” in their purchases, is becoming increasingly popular and effective for businesses.

Let’s face it: we rely on the Internet and our social media networks for everything from party invitations and movie recommendations to stock tips and political revolution updates – why would shopping be any different? In the past couple of years, social shopping has grown leaps and bounds with numerous daily deal websites such as Groupon and Living Social, location check-ins, and Facebook Shopping. These social shopping methods not only offer limited time deals to consumers, but also make it incredibly easy for their customers to “share” their purchases through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

Cyber Monday giving us a sneak peak at the 2012 social shopping trend?

In 2010, ComScore reported that consumers spent over$1.028 billion on Cyber Monday – the Monday after and the online equivalent to Black Friday – by far the highest online spending day of the year. According to Techcrunch, this year’s Cyber Monday spending was up 30% as #cybermonday flooded Twitter screens all day long, referencing incredible online deals that consumers were happily taking advantage of. When national news headlines feature stories about maniacal Walmartians pepper-spraying the crowd to get at an X-Box on Black Friday, it’s no wonder more and more consumers are choosing the more convenient and, sadly, safer option of shopping online on Cyber Monday.

E-commerce in general allows for immense sales growth – add social media in the mix and you have your fans and followers working for you. Businesses that sell their products via their social networks not only have the ability to communicate directly with their customers, but also learn who exactly their customers are – an absolutely vital piece of information in today’s market.

Top Tips to Maximize Your Business’ Social Shopping Capabilities

  1. Make sure your Facebook and Twitter accounts are up-to-date, attractive and simple – many people will look at your social media profile even before they view your website
  2. Give exclusive deals through Facebook and Twitter – this gives consumers a reason to purchase your products/services this way and therefore increases the likeliness that they’ll “share” their purchase. Lyft does a great job on this with their promo codes. They’ve created a whole movement of brand ambassadors that’s helping them close in on UBER.
  3. Whenever possible, embed YouTube videos in your social shopping campaigns – people naturally relate to visuals and videos make consumers more confident in their purchase

Remember – people shop online because it’s convenient and it gives access to a better selection. Make it simple for your customers to find your products, see your products, buy your products, and especially promote your products.