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General conception about social media is that it’s a place where people post about who they’re with, what they ate and what they’re wearing. However true, but social media has been very effective in branding and targeting audience. Over the years social media has proven to be more than just a platform where you stay connected with your high school friends or staying updated with celebrities. Arrival of social media has changed how we communicate, how we shop and to some extent it has shaped our principles towards more revolutionary rations. This marked an end for traditional business tenets, and brought forward something exhilarating; I am talking about online shopping. Social media played the most important role to establish trust between sellers and buyers and to strategize the shift towards online shopping.
These days, if you are an online merchant, you can’t afford to be bad at social media. 75% of people admit to buying something just because they saw it on social media, and 90% of people say that they will turn to social media if they need help on a buying decision. Surely I agree, that measuring the ROI of social media can be a bit tricky still it’s far from impossible. Reaching your customers regardless of their geographical location is one of the many gifts of social media.
For determining which social media strategy works for you is important to understand your target audience. Does tweeting work for your business or is posting on Facebook helping your sales? The way you use social media, which platforms, what apps, the post selection varies business to business. Social media gives us the ability to design a customized campaign to reach the target audience.
In this article, we will go through the different social media platforms B2B and B2C platforms are using to achieve their goals. Firstly, let’s talk about why the need of social media rose in the first place.
Why Social Media Is Imperative:
Convenience of the customer is what social networks are all about. Today’s customer is impatient as ever. Internet has brought the world to our fingertips with the technological advancements of the last decade. You can second by second updates of sports, Amazon is offering two-hour delivery, and you can get groceries delivered to your door — why go to stores when the internet can do it faster and easier? These platforms used the power of social media to instill trust between sellers and buyers.
The key important feature for a merchant in today’s time is to make yourself more convenient to the customer. Here question arises, how you can make yourself more convenient. You need to meet them where they are. Don’t expect to build a cool eCommerce website and have people start flocking to you instantly. You have to find them where they are.
So, where can you find people these days? Social networks. Don’t believe us? Let these stats change your mind. Facebook has 1/7th of the world’s population hooked, Snapchat users check their account an average 14 times a day, Instagrammers post about 95 million pictures and videos a day. That’s where the people are–especially Millennials, who, by the end of 2019, are expected to have the most spending command of any generation.
Social media accounts for about 9% of company budgets as of now, by 2022 that number is projected to increase to 22%. This was achieved when companies started to see and understand the potential that social media has to offer for building their customer base and retaining previous customers. You can find new customers in ways that you can’t with any other customer acquisition channel.
You have the power to carefully craft a campaign based on your demographic and interests and implement them in real time. You can also instill loyalty in your existing customers by making them feel like they are important to you and you prefer them. Focus on sharing helpful information related to your niche and building relationships with your audience.
You can use social media to reach your customers in real-time and form an exceptional relationship with them by providing problem-solving solutions. Many companies are using their social media handles to provide time-saving solutions which increases their goodwill. I was once facing issues with my internet connection and I reached out to them on Twitter. In minutes, I was contacted by their team first on Twitter then on phone. The issue took whole day to resolve but their commitment and effort in contacting me, again and again, won me over. I, now tell this story to my friends all the time; how quick they were when I was having problems with their service and how aptly they took care of it. They used social media for customer service and turned me into a walking marketer for them.
There are numerous social media platforms out there. It seems like a new one debuts every week or so. Here, I am covering the main ones that most businesses are utilizing to serve their customers.
This social media giant started out in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room and now has more than 1.4 billion active users. Not a lot people are able to stay away from signing up to the biggest social media site. On average there are 486,183 users accessing Facebook from their mobile in a minute. 66% of the millennial generation (15-34 year olds) are on Facebook. This makes it an ideal platform for B2B and B2C companies. Facebook has the highest conversion rate for eCommerce, at 1.85%.
E-commerce companies using Facebook:
ASOS: Facebook Solutions Engineering designed a cross-platform solution that delivered richly personalized retargeting–and a dramatic increase in sales.
BeauteTrade: This B2B cosmetic portal is having a Facebook page where they keep their users updated about upcoming tradeshows, latest happenings of the cosmetic industry and events to look forward to.
Currently, there are over 319 million users on Twitter, with 500 million tweets being sent every day. It has become a popular channel for real-time news, current events, keeping up on your favorite celebrities and keeping in contact with your friends. Users can send and receive tweets, and direct messages. Twitter has also started selling directly on the platform with their “Buy Now Buttons.” Twitter is a very powerful tool for ecommerce since the number of daily users has been increasing constantly since 2016.
E-commerce companies using Twitter:
HobbyLobby: Hobby Lobby is an industry leading retailer with more than 70,000 arts, crafts, hobbies, home décor, seasonal and holiday products. Their twitter account shares various craft ideas for their followers.
LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook. It allows its 450 million users the ability to connect with professionals from different fields of work and share informative content with their followers. Two professionals join LinkedIn every second. As LinkedIn works beyond recruitment, many big B2B are using it to grow relationships and reputation, gain leads, and stay informed about trends.
E-commerce companies using LinkedIn:
Swiggy: It is a food ordering platform with 55k+ restaurant partners. Their users are active on LinkedIn and often post about their timely service which builds up their reputation in corporate circle.
Instagram is the most popular visual social network site that presently boasts over 500 million members, majority of which are millennials. In 2012, it became a part of the Facebook family when the social media giant bought it for $1 billion dollars. Instagram allows users to posts photos to their site, which can easily be shared to other social media networks. A lot of major B2C companies use it to experience the deafening engagement, Instagram is known for.
AirBnB: For travelers, looking for places to stay has been made easy by AirBnB. For staying up to date with exotic and unique places around the globe, AirBnB’s Instagram channel is a “must-follow”. They feature some amazing pictures of places for their users to stay at around the world.
With a large bulk of consumers actively using social media, and 93% of consumers saying that they turn to social media to review their buying decisions, it is critical for those in the eCommerce industry to keep an active profile on these platforms. Today, your company SM accounts are like the storefronts. They are crucial to show the way you communicate, interact, share information, and showcase your company to the public.
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