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GUEST COMMENT Top ten tips on how to get ahead with social commerce

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Ten ways to get ahead in social commerce

1. Use your online audience as your marketers

Customers trust people they know above brands, so it is important to encourage your target market to share your product content with the people they know. For example, you can incentivise people to share special offers by automatically entering them into a competition if they do so. This works across all social platforms, whether that be sharing a Facebook post, tweeting the offer using the company Twitter handle, or tagging the company in an Instagram post.

2. Generate engagement

Make your customers feel important by placing them front and centre of your brand. Ask them to post photos of themselves with your products and share them on social media using a specific hashtag. Sharing the best posts with your followers, demonstrates you care about your customers and that your products are well loved.

3. Reviews

Reviews can vary from a tweet or a post on Facebook to an in-depth article published on a blog. Either way, reviews can often be the most effective way in driving sales and brand awareness for your company. For example, you could encourage your customers to leave short reviews after they purchase something and reward them with a special discount on their next order.

4. Brand ambassadors

Bloggers are a great way to get your product in front of the customer. Bloggers considered influential within the industry and who have a large following should always be reached out to. However, this should only be done if the blogger is suited to your product or service. You could risk putting off potential customers if you use a brand ambassador who is not representative of your company or brand.

5. Loyalty is everything

Reward customers who are repeatedly reaching out to you on social media and who interact with the company across the various platforms. This can be done by simply replying to customers with a bespoke message or rewarding them with a special discount or offer. This will create a strong relationship between yourself and your brand followers and encourage them to continue engaging with you.

6. Make use of the social buttons

Many of the social platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are now introducing ‘buy now’ buttons which allow customers to make purchases through the platforms, as opposed to being directed through a link to a website. This heightens the customer experience whilst generating sales for businesses. However, brands must ensure that buy buttons are only being used where appropriate and this should be determined by the customer and where they choose to spend their money.

7. Exclusivity

This is a word which instantly attracts attention. Providing exclusive content via the social channels will generate followers, likes, click-throughs, reach, awareness and ultimately sales.

8. Be subtle

Avoid aggressive selling. Social media is there to connect you with your customers and form meaningful relationships which may or may not lead to sales. If your target audience feel like they are being pressured to make a purchase, or bombarded with sales messages, then they will most likely avoid your brand in the future. Generating trust and loyalty should always be the priority over making a quick sale.

9. Create a visual impact

Research indicates that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Furthermore, 40% of people respond well to a picture when compared to text. To improve engagement by over 65%, businesses should use photographs and videos to communicate with their target audience.

10. Remember it’s SOCIAL Commerce

To sell successfully through social channels, brands need to remember the social aspect of social media. The idea is to use ecommerce to enhance the social aspects of your social media presence – namely the personality you’ve created behind your brand. People are more likely to become loyal customers if they identify with you, find what you talk about interesting and relevant to them. So don’t forget to ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘comment’, ‘retweet’ and ‘review’ alongside your s-commerce as often as you can.

Rene Looper is the founder of social media training company Tuminds Social Media Ltd.

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