The profit potential of social media can’t be overlooked.
As eCommerce surpassed $327 billion in the US by 2016, the share created by social commerce continues to grow, and user-generated content (UGC) is emerging as a key growth engine.
That’s because consumers throughout the country are more frequently turning to social media for inspiration, shopping advice, and meaningful connections.
Whether scrolling through Instagram, browsing Pinterest boards, or a liking a Retweet, people are searching for authenticity on major social platforms.
And there’s no better way for a brand to convey authenticity than through UGC — brand loyalists using products in an organic way.
In fact, shoppers who engage with UGC are more than twice as likely to make a purchase than their peers. For consumers browsing your brand’s website, UGC increases on-site conversion rates by 12%.
Before you create this two-way dialogue and organically amplify your brand message, however, there are a few steps you should consider.
1. Recognize the Opportunity of User-Generated Content
The first is recognizing the opportunity and building support internally. Across industries, 60% of small to medium businesses (SMBs) have gained loyal customers through social media efforts and 43% of consumers who learn about a product on social media are more likely to make a purchase.
By ignoring this opportunity, your brand can lose relevance and potentially cede customers to competitors.
There’s also the cost-savings that comes with leveraging social commerce. UGC cuts down on huge investments in creative, while the built-in functionality of many platforms eliminates the need for developers to create new paths-to-purchase.
2. Take Ownership of the Social Commerce Strategy
Next, a team has to be deputized to take ownership of the social commerce strategy. This team will communicate goals, develop content tactics, identify opportunities, and measure KPIs.
They’ll ultimately choose the social media channels that’s right for your brand. Here are a few that they can choose from.
Pinterest boasts a highly engaged audience that’s 83% female, and the average brand Pin can generate two website visits and six page views.
Instagram has 300 million monthly users and creating a social commerce experience on the platform is as simple as posting UGC and dropping a link into your profile that leads to a built-in shopping experience.
Facebook has the largest audience of any platform and allows you to create an in-site storefront on your brand page, as well as drop links into status updates that lead to shoppable galleries.
Twitter, meanwhile, has the most engaged user base and the platform’s stripped-down interface allows for direct referrals to your brand website.
3. Collect and Curate Your Content
Once a social media channel or channels are chosen for their strengths, then comes the fun: content collection and curation through a user-generated content marketing platform, like Pixlee.
To make the most of the social shopping experience, it’s good to use both professional images that emphasize brand values and UGC that conveys authenticity.
Showcasing images from highly engaged customers can validate their interest and show your brand’s investment in their experience. This two-way dialogue can generate word-of-mouth, build community, and is proven to shorten the path-to-purchase.
4. Measure Success
All that’s left is measuring success.
Start small by highlighting user quotes and photos that performed well, and then move onto measuring social growth, conversion rates, customer loyalty, and revenue.
As times goes on, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t. Some platforms might perform better for your brand, or you may find that a particular type of photo drives the most sales.
Either way, social commerce is going to require significant attention, but the potential return on investment is too great to miss.
Social commerce is a key growth engine for online sales. Find out which platform is best for your brand with the new Pixlee White Paper.