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Social commerce: a card to play for your holiday campaigns

Christmas 2021 will undoubtedly mark the peak of social commerce. Indeed, since 2020, the pandemic has led to an explosion in the use of social networks and has considerably modified the customer's purchasing path.

Succeed in your end-of-year campaigns thanks to social commerce
Succeed in your end-of-year campaigns thanks to social commerce

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 60% of People Say They Discover New Products on Instagram. We are now facing an ecosystem where purchases are facilitated by an engaged community and effective recommendations. The end of the year is approaching and you are concerned about the performance of your campaigns? Think “social media”, it has become an essential business lever for your company. Find out the explanations in this article.

Social commerce: the trend for the end of 2021

What is social commerce?

Social commerce, social shopping or simply connected commerce are the terms used to translate the use of social networks for the direct sale of products or services. As soon as you use a social platform such as Facebook or Instagram to buy or sell, you are in the social commerce scheme. First used in China, it has grown exponentially in recent years in France. Today, the vast majority of merchant sites (93%) are present on social networks. Indeed, brands need to create links and maintain relationships with their audience.

What is at stake?

While online commerce has long served the needs of consumers whose goal was to search for a specific product, with social networks, the trend has been reversed. It has given way to a “discovery commerce” that favours emotional buying. A subtle alliance of social networks and sales, purchases are thus interfering in the social network of users. The objective of the platforms is to offer a complete purchasing path, from product discovery to purchase, while favouring quality after-sales service and a long-lasting customer relationship.

Brands can no longer ignore this trend. They are therefore increasingly integrating social commerce into their marketing strategies. It is clear that social networks have taken on a predominant role in the act of purchasing and represent a major competitive advantage for companies that take this on.

Overview of social commerce platforms

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube and even the new kid on the block, TikTok, are all in a frantic race for social shopping. Each platform has its own way of working and is redoubling its imagination to offer a unique and user-friendly shopping experience. At the same time, their goal is of course to make it easier for brands to set up campaigns by constantly developing new features. For example:

  • As the first social network to trigger purchases via the app, Facebook has many features, including the integration of a buy button. It is possible to create a free customisable Facebook “shop” from which purchases can be made;
  • A social network for mobile commerce, Instagram highlights your products and favours a strong visual identity. It is the ideal platform to highlight your know-how. Thanks to Instagram shopping, internet users can buy your products directly in the application. No need to redirect them to your website. Recently, a new feature was introduced: the addition of link stickers in stories for all users (previously reserved for influencers with over 10,000 followers). What is the point of this change? From now on, professional content creators will be able to share affiliate links with their community;
  • The Chinese social network TikTok is launching product purchases directly from its platform. Only available to merchants registered on Shopify and TikTok for business, TikTok Shopping now offers the possibility to buy products directly from its application.

Even brands are investing in the creation of their own platform. This is the case of L’Oréal with Replika Software, the American social selling platform. “The rise of social commerce is a great opportunity for our brands to reinvent the customer experience in beauty around the world”.  

Influencer marketing at the heart of social commerce

This practice, which aims to use the recommendation potential of influencers to promote a brand, should no longer be overlooked in 2022. More and more brands are calling on the most recognised bloggers in their field, the most followed social network users or established Youtubers. Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing lever and should be integrated into your communication strategy.

Social proof as a purchase trigger

Social proof is at the heart of the purchasing act! When we decide to buy, our first reflex is to consult customer reviews. Very often, our choices are guided by a recommendation from our social circle, a positive comment from an Internet user, etc. All this social proof encourages consumers to choose a particular product and this generates more sales. A study showed that 61% of 18-34 year olds said that web influencers had guided their decision.

Authentic influence marketing

The role of the influencer is to inspire trust and create a strong link with his community. Today, successful brands have understood the benefits of communities. They choose to partner with creators to reach new audiences. But the number of influencers is growing all the time, so it’s important to choose the best partners based on their community and engagement rate. The key is to work with influencers who already love your brand and products, who are a good fit for you and your company. This way you can create a real relationship with them for authentic, quality and engaging content sharing. The objective is to create a symbiosis between the legitimacy of your brand and the influencer to gain notoriety.

Influencers adopt the codes of social commerce

Even if all the networks are developing shopping features on their platform, Instagram and TikTok are the two platforms to focus on. Indeed, they have most recently developed social commerce features. For their part, influencers are also adapting and appropriating the uses of social commerce by offering :

This clearly shows the convergence between social commerce and the use of influencer marketing. Clearly, the number of influencer posts with calls to action to purchase is increasing.

How to integrate social commerce into your campaigns?

In other words, what are the best practices for developing your business on social networks? It all depends on your level of maturity on the subject.

Define clear objectives and adopt "Test & Learn”

Who are my potential customers?

What are their needs?

On which platform are they present?

These are all questions that need to be answered before setting up an appropriate communication plan. Then the “test & learn” technique will be essential, so don’t hesitate to carry out numerous tests. You will learn over time which types of content and which partners are the most effective in achieving your objectives. Success is not always immediate, you have to know how to observe, measure and adjust.

Creating relevant content

This requires regular, sincere and transparent communication. You can use the AIDAR method, for example, which uses neuromarketing, a communication method that involves all the senses and where the use of emotion is a powerful lever:

  • Attracting Attention ;
  • To arouse Interest;
  • Stimulate Desire;
  • Move to Action;
  • Build loyalty to Recommend.

Be creative!

Measuring your results

The final step is the monitoring of performance indicators, also known as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). It is indeed necessary to monitor the actions carried out in order to determine their performance and analyse what worked and what needs to be improved.

Within the framework of an influence strategy, the KPIs to be observed will be globally identical to those of a classic social media strategy, i.e.: measure the notoriety, the growth of communities and the interactions obtained by the publications on each of the social networks used. It will be imperative to measure the impact of influencer campaigns according to your brand’s marketing objectives:  

  • Reach of publications: followers, engagement rate, impressions, traffic ;
  • Engagement: clicks, likes, shares, comments, mentions;
  • Sales: sales performance, tracking and conversion rate.

Finally, to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and the impact on your sales, the “conversion tracking” method is ideal for measuring the direct and immediate purchase path.

This involves setting up “tracked” links to measure the SOCIAL ROI (results of campaigns on social networks). The link is a line of code that makes it very simple to calculate the revenue generated by the campaigns and this is materialized by :

  • The installation of a so-called universal tag: a tracking technique that all social networking platforms offer. It is said to be universal because it will be applied to all the pages of the site;
  • The provision of a “promotion code” to influencers.

The calculation of the ROI – Return on Investment – makes it possible to know the most profitable operations and to reinforce the weak points. But ROI assumes a financial return. It only answers the question “If I bet €100 on an action, how much will it bring me back?”

Take care to also measure ROE – Return On Engagement – an indicator of the quality of community engagement – it is not calculated, but observed. This indicator simply identifies the type and level of relationship with the community: a way of measuring satisfaction in comments, reactions, shares… Having positive financial returns is an objective, but having a “positively” engaged community is another guarantee of success for the brand!

So are you ready to launch a social commerce campaign to end the year on a high note? Contact our experts who will guide you in defining your needs.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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