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Social Commerce: What it is & Why should you include it

Social Commerce: What it is & Why should you include it

Have you often seen the carousel ads on Facebook or an Instagram ad post with a ‘shop now’ button inviting you to start your shopping right away? That is what social commerce is all about.

To define it simply, Social Commerce is a combination of the best features of e-commerce and social media strategy. With an increased number of shoppers browsing social channels to make a purchase decision, these platforms are making the most of such opportunities to encourage a call to action right then and there.

Here are a few good reasons why you should also consider joining the Social Commerce bandwagon.

It is more connected

Let’s admit it, people are more connected online than offline. The shopping communities on social platforms enjoy commenting, sharing, posting, reviewing, and advising fellow shoppers, all within the platform. And when, as a brand, you place yourself within such communities, there are high chances of your visibility.

It is a linear shopping process

User experience is at the core of better conversions and repeats business. And as a retailer, you would do anything to make the purchasing process hassle-free for your buyer. When you use social channels to make your buyer shop therein, you are basically cutting down the entire navigation process from your social media page to the website and then to the transaction. This can dramatically enhance the shopping experience for your buyer.

It generates instant customer responses

Needless to say, there is no better place than social media platforms to get instant reviews and reactions on anything from politics to pet care. Shopping is no different. With consumers already in a conversation on similar products as yours or even yours, you can assess the feedback, implement in your sales strategy and personalize the customer service right then and there.

Besides these, there are a few other reasons that make Social Commerce the need of the hour

  • It provides endless opportunities for influencer marketing.
  • It yields better revenues and directs too.
  • It is more visually appealing.
  • It gives users the validation that they seek.

With the majority of shoppers and users from the social-savvy generation, Social Commerce is shaping up to be the next level of the shopping experience and the future of online retail.

5 ways to be productive on social media

5 ways to be productive on Social Media

Social media marketing can be an overwhelming task. It involves multiple tasks like organizing, planning, and writing, designing, communicating, and analyzing data. Social media management blurs the line between creative, analytic, and management skills. Most often than not, in the process of multi-tasking across so many aspects, one loses out on the productivity, resulting in minimal output from maximum efforts.

To boost your productivity on social media and ensure that your marketing efforts bring real results, here are a few tips:

Plan ahead

Before you start doing anything, create a social media strategy, followed by a calendar which includes your marketing objectives, content theme, number and time of posts, and corresponding creative for each. You can create a monthly, or a quarterly strategy and create weekly calendars so you have your week scheduled. You can also use social dashboards like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule posts.

Know your limits

As much as the social landscape looks alluring, you cannot possibly be present everywhere. While creating your strategy, assess where your audience is and target those platforms specifically. Limit yourself to three or maximum five platforms, which you cannot do without.

Stay updated

Instead of scouting through endless news feeds and trending posts, set alerts for content that are relevant to your industry. Share these as branded content with your business perspective to a generic news.

Be organized

When there are too many task to handle, there are chances you can miss out on something. Being organized remarkably boosts productivity of social marketing. Consider using project management tools like Basecamp, Trello, etc. to collect ideas, coordinate with teams, and set alerts.

Consider outsourcing

When you are pressed for time, outsourcing comes to rescue. With the help of a specialized social media marketing company, you can improve your social productivity. These agencies are always updated with the latest social trends and industry updates, and use their experience to boost your social presence, monitor activities and drive ROI, so you can focus on the other important aspects of social media management.

Do your marketing activities measure up to Social Media success?

Social Media makes for an indispensable part of your marketing strategy. Needless to say, you would do everything possible to make your efforts successful and increase your brand visibility on social media. But how do you know if your strategy is relevant and is working as expected? That is where social media metrics play a significant role.

Here are a few proven ways to measure social media success

Check for the effectiveness of your social media activities
To assess this, you must first set your social media goals and determine what you want to achieve out of your activities. Read, share, reply, click, purchase, or engage? The results of your activities will be effective accordingly.

Decide which metrics you want to monitor
Based on your ultimate goal, you will need to measure awareness, engagement, traffic, followers, and fans, or brand’s share of voice. Accordingly, you will only look at the numbers that matter.
For awareness– see volume, reach, exposure, etc.
For engagement– see retweets, comments, shares, replies, and participation in contests/polls/discussions.
For traffic– see URL shares, clicks, conversions, time spent on your site, activity on your site.
For followers– track contributors to your page/s/profiles and their influence on the rest of the audience.
For the share of voice– track your brand’s mention among your competition

Calculate the metrics that you need
You can look at ongoing activities to measure and monitor all social activities over a period (week/month/quarter). Or you can focus on campaign-based activities for specific results.
Once you know what to measure, look for tools to extract the data and analyze them. You can use the inbuilt analytics tools provided by most social media channels or use third-party tools.

Interpret the numbers that you extract
This is the most important part of your analysis and will determine if your social efforts are bringing any results or not. Compare a) number you got against what you expected, and b) your results against your competitors against related products/campaigns.

Numbers do look great on the monthly report but measuring social media activities can do more than that. It helps you learn about what is working for you and what isn’t, and what can you do to improve your strategy and create a robust plan.

Integrating Content strategy with SEO

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Introduction

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Quality content in the form of images, product descriptions, product specifications, reviews, ratings, ads etc. is a crucial part of the content strategy for an eCommerce website. The main purpose of all these forms of content is to attract, engage and retain customers. The content helps marketers to market their website and attract traffic through search engines. These search engines to a great extent, depend on keywords for attracting traffic.

Over the years, SEO and Content Strategy have each evolved in their own unique ways and we can no longer consider them as two separate entities.

In today’s post, we will try to understand the importance of integrating SEO with your company’s content strategy.

Why should we integrate SEO with Content Strategy?

A well-crafted content strategy must present quality content to the audience without stuffing it with too many keywords.  Here are a few aspects on why SEO is as important as your content strategy.

Search Engines look for quality content

Today, the digitally savvy customers totally depend on Search Engines for any information that they seek. Depending on the keywords that the customer searched for, these search engines present only those websites that have quality content. This clearly shows that we cannot separate SEO and Content.

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Research on the keywords that your customers use often and try to include them in your product description, specifications etc. This helps search engines to feature your website high up in the order when a customer searches with relevant keywords.

Quality content engages readers on Social Media

Quality content engages its readers. For example, if the offers displayed on your website are very attractive for a user, he is most likely to share it on social media. These social media interactions by customers will increase traffic to your eCommerce store and thereby, help in boosting your sales.

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Meta Data Matters Most

Meta data descriptions are most important for your web pages. Make sure you include the keywords in your product page’s meta data descriptions.  By providing comprehensive and concise descriptions, search engines will be able to discover your web pages more often.

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Conclusion

Often content strategy and SEO have similar goals: to increase awareness, get more traffic and improve sales. It is clearly evident that we cannot consider them as two different entities. Next time you set out to develop a content strategy for your eCommerce website or decide to revamp it do consider the following:

  • Understand your customers. See what they are searching for? And what they are sharing?
  • Develop your content around the interests and preferences of your customers
  • Connect with brand influencers like bloggers, celebrities, online magazines etc. and share your content with them.

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