Social commerce continues to grow. In 2016, 60 percent of retailers implemented buy buttons on social, and that number will almost certainly grow by the end of 2017. Brands who don’t have social commerce efforts on their radar will see their relevance suffer as this trend picks up.
When shoppers share branded content, like photos and blog posts, to their own channels, they endorse that brand to their followers. These posts are important for eCommerce brands because organic social reach carries more weight with consumers than branded posts. According to a study from Bambu, 81 percent of people would rather see a friend’s social post instead of a brand’s post, proving that organic shares are more valuable than content directly from a brand.
When it comes to social strategy, there are several steps a brand can take to encourage social shares that drive sales:
Invest in a luxury unboxing experience.
Studies have shown that upscale eCommerce packaging is a great way to get happy customers buzzing about your brand on social. Packaging that’s pretty enough to share motivates shoppers to document the unboxing of their order and share with their friends, giving the brand exposure to potentially thousands of followers. While this content isn’t sourced directly from the brand itself, it is still shown to increase brand awareness. According to our 2015 eCommerce Packaging Study, one in three shoppers have watched an unboxing video before.
Produce quality web content and product photography.
According to our 2015 eCommerce Packaging Study, 39 percent of online shoppers have shared a product image or video on social media. Why not increase the likelihood of these social shares by making it as easy as possible for viewers to engage? Include embedded share buttons on product pages and invest in quality eCommerce photography to make your landing pages are as eye-catching and share-worthy as possible. Quality product photography is key to driving sales so investing in it will have positive results for your business.
Be mindful of differences in social channels.
Put time, effort and resources into your brand’s social media strategy and content. Part of your strategy should include brand guidelines that define appropriate channels for each type of content shared. For instance, photos of quotes and other branded images work well for Instagram. More in-depth content, such as blog posts, are better suited for Facebook or Twitter, where many consumers actively look for reading material. Being cohesive across channels while still offering the right content for the right social media platform will effectively engage shoppers and encourage them to share, especially when they can identify with the lifestyle your brand promotes on social.
Find the right networks.
Focus on gaining shares from a social network that makes sense for your brand. If your product and target audience fit well within the career and business world, LinkedIn is a good bet. If you tend to target millennials with your product, Instagram could be a fit, as its largest demographic of users falls in the 18- to 29-year-old age group. By focusing on the most impactful channels, you increase the chance that the content you work hard to create is being absorbed by the right people.
Establish a healthy cadence.
Communicate to your customers and targeted prospects often enough for them to take note of your brand but infrequent enough that you’re not annoying anyone. Posting with the right frequency increases the chance your content will resonate with your target customer base, leading to heightened loyalty and more social shares. It’s a fine line to walk, though, as posting too much is proven to turn off your audience. According to Sprout Social, 58 percent of social media users become annoyed at brands for posting too many promotions.
With social commerce only continuing to increase in importance, now is the time to bulk up your brand’s online presence to influence customer social shares. Connecting with customers through social media and offering them content they feel reflects their identity will lead to happier, more loyal customers and skyrocketing brand awareness.
For more tips on how to drive brand interaction on social media, check out our whitepaper, Fulfillment and Unboxing Excitement.