Harnessing the power of social media to sell your products or services online.

Social Commerce involves using platforms such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook as vehicles to sell products and services.

Social Commerce embraces digital marketing to the extent that the entire shopping experience, from product discovery and research through to the buying and checkout process all takes place via a social media platform.

Social Commerce differs from E-commerce in that the customer makes their purchase within the social media platform whereas E-Commerce refers to a shopping experience via a dedicated website or app (such as the Samsung online store or Amazon, etc.).

Shopping on social media makes the experience more interactive in that consumers can like, share, comment and so forth. It also speeds up the buying process as users can literally see something, click it and buy it in a matter of seconds.

As consumer tastes have evolved and the buying power has shifted to Millennials and Generation Z, Social Commerce has come to the fore as these shoppers are digital natives who use social media more than any generation before them.

From a business perspective, there are some significant advantages to adopting a Social Commerce strategy. You don’t need to have lots of physical shops, the potential target market is much bigger and your audience is global. Buyers are also online 24/7.

There is also a vast amount of customer data available such as Social Media usage statistics, demographic or segmentation data and so forth. This makes it much easier for businesses to target the right customers at the right time.

In order to develop and implement a Social Commerce strategy successfully, you will need to do your research and be prepared to experiment with different platforms.

You will need to understand who your target audience is, what they like and dislike, how they tend to buy products and services (online versus in person) and which social media platforms they tend to use. The good news is that there is plenty of data available from the leading social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. There is also a lot of material available online to guide you through setting up a Social Commerce platform.

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