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5 Ways to use Social Media for E-commerce Growth

Olivia Fitzpatrick
July 29, 2022
Last Updated On
May 1, 2024
images of beauty products scattered on a pink background representing social media e-commerce

What Is Social Media E-commerce?

To put it simply, social media e-commerce is the process of selling products on social platforms. Social media was once solely considered to be a source of brand awareness. However, in recent years, it has evolved into an all-encompassing sales platform, including product discovery, interest generation, and sales conversions. It is all happening in customers’ social media feeds, with a few taps on their screens.

Social Commerce vs. Social Media E-commerce

Social commerce has changed significantly with the emergence of social entertainment. Audiences on channels such as TikTok are highly driven to discover new products, and both brick and mortar and e-commerce stores alike are seeing sales skyrocket for trendy products. While social commerce is wide-reaching, social media e-commerce is more about using traditional social media to get users to checkout, including using tools like Instagram shopping to make content shoppable.

Social media was once solely considered to be a source of brand awareness. However, it evolved into an all-encompassing sales platform, including product discovery, interest generation, and sales conversions. It is all happening in customers’ social media feeds, with a few taps on their screens.

Finding social media e-commerce success with digital marketing is one of the greatest differentiators for brands, and it has become a proven method of supercharging sales. E-commerce has never been more vital to sustaining growth. Capitalizing on key trends, focusing on online channels, and increasing digital investments is helping brands drive traffic to their websites and find success in e-commerce social media marketing.

Social Media E-Commerce Benefits

Social media commerce offers an array of benefits that can transform how businesses connect with and sell to consumers. By integrating sales capabilities directly within social platforms, businesses can streamline the shopping experience, making it easier and more enticing for users to go from discovery to purchase.

Expanded Reach and Visibility

One of the primary benefits of using social media for e-commerce is the ability to significantly expand a brand's reach and visibility. Social platforms like Instagram and Facebook boast billions of active users worldwide, offering an extensive audience pool that can be tapped into. By maintaining active social media profiles and using strategic hashtags, businesses can attract new customers from various demographics and geographical locations that were previously unreachable.

Enhanced Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Social media platforms provide an excellent avenue for businesses to engage directly with their customers, fostering a sense of community and loyalty. Through regular posts, interactive polls, and direct messaging, companies can create a two-way communication channel that encourages customer feedback and engagement. This ongoing interaction helps to build a strong brand relationship, which can lead to increased customer retention and higher lifetime value.

Targeted Advertising

Social media offers powerful tools for targeted advertising, allowing businesses to tailor their marketing efforts to the exact demographic they want to reach. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer sophisticated targeting options based on age, location, interests, behaviors, and more. This precision enables businesses to maximize their advertising spend, ensuring that their marketing messages are seen by those most likely to be interested in their products, thereby increasing conversion rates and ROI.

How To Use Social Media for E-commerce

It is reported that 72% of social media users use Instagram for research and discovery when considering a purchase. With this in mind, it’s crucial for a brand’s social presence to be top-notch in order to capitalize on e-commerce Instagram growth. Many brands are now turning to artificial intelligence and content segmentation practices to drive online sales.

Optimizing Organic and Paid Social Campaigns

Social media e-commerce tools make it easy for brands to find out which e-commerce campaigns are working well, and optimize paid spend accordingly. Here’s an e-commerce example: a prominent personal care brand used AI-technology when launching a campaign around a beard balm. Its marketing strategy aimed to celebrate diversity and define confidence. On the photoshoot set, they uploaded images to visual e-commerce marketing software, Dash Hudson, in real-time.

With Dash Hudson’s predictive visual performance technology, the team could quickly see which photos would work on Instagram and pivot their content strategy, ‌saving them both time and money. Using the Vision technology, the campaign saw a +60% increase in engagement on Instagram and a +109% increase in followers, making it a huge success for the brand.

5 Tips for Driving Social Media and E-commerce Growth

Using social media for e-commerce may feel challenging at first, but it’s actually extremely easy. Here are five tips that your band can implement today to start using social media for growing your business. 

  1. Entertain Your Audience

Audiences are now driven by entertaining content above all else, particularly on channels like TikTok and e-commerce features like TikTok shopping. Make sure that your content does not look like an ad, and try to put forward funny, inspirational, or educational content to make your case for why people need your product.

  1. Measure Success Beyond Virality

Remember that going viral is not a strategy. Brands that are winning on social channels now are measuring and optimizing the entertainment value of their content, using metrics such as Dash Hudson’s Entertainment Score to rank and benchmark how entertained users are by their content in order to better optimize their social commerce strategies.

  1. Utilize Tools Made For E-commerce

There are multiple ways of going about e-commerce, including shopping tags and a link-in-bio solution that drives users to your website. Dash Hudson recommends that you use as many tools at your disposal as possible to maximize the number of options your audience has to go to checkout.

  1. Optimize Your Paid Strategy

Good organic and paid strategies work in tandem. Your audience knows what content it likes best, not the other way around, and optimizing your paid strategy based on the performance of your organic content leads to stronger results. Read our case study with Rare Beauty to learn about their secret to TikTok success.

  1. Invest in Creators

Creators are vital to building word of mouth. Consider partnering with creators on new content to build your audience, and also consider acting more like creators in your everyday content, including having social media managers front and center in your videos.

Understand the Metrics Behind Social E-commerce Channels

Innovative skincare brand, The INKEY List, also understands the importance of putting your best content foot forward in your social media e-commerce strategy. Using Dash Hudson’s Content Segmentation Boards and social media reporting tool the team can group posts from each campaign or content pillar into categories to see topline metrics and understand what content is working for their social channels. Since putting a focus on content, social media insights, and using Dash Hudson as an Instagram e-commerce solution, the brand has seen +598% growth on the channel.

Social media is a beauty brand’s best friend when it comes to driving e-commerce Instagram sales. To gain further industry insights on how retailers are using Instagram and social media reporting tools to fuel e-commerce growth, read our case study with ba&sh.

Measuring Social Media E-commerce Success with Dash Hudson

Being able to measure the success of social media e-commerce efforts has always been one of the most challenging things for brands to capture and communicate with stakeholders. Until now. 

With Dash Hudsons Campaigns solution, users can see the aggregated performance of both their owned and earned content across all of their social channels. Brands can easily obtain results for single-focus campaigns, as well as from UGC and influencer marketing partnerships. 
To really gain an understanding of the success of e-commerce initiatives, users will also have access to the Google Analytics integration that makes cross-channel campaign revenue tracking easier than ever and gives real insight into which channels are driving revenue.

Social Media E-commerce FAQs

Which social media is best for e-commerce?

It is possible to have an e-commerce presence on any social media platform, although each channel has its own unique set of best practices for reaching potential customers and using strategic content marketing to drive sales. In terms of which platform is the best for social media e-commerce, it would have to be the ones that have built-in shopping capabilities like Instagram or link in bio opportunities like TikTok.

How does social media promote e-commerce?

Many social media channels have integrated e-commerce into the customer experience, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. The best way for social media marketers to maximize potential reach for their target audiences is by utilizing multiple social media e-commerce methods at once, such as using link-in-bio solutions and product tagging wherever possible.

How do you make Instagram shoppable?

There are several ways to create an Instagram shopping experience that is integrated with your social media e-commerce platform.

The first is a link-in-bio solution, such as LikeShop, that allows you to drive traffic from your social media channels to your website. This solution allows you to get granular in tracking the customer journey from social platforms, to product pages, to sales results.

The second is using product tags on your Instagram, Reels or Facebook Shop. If your brand is eligible, you are able to start using product tags by:

  1. Converting to a Business or Creator Account
  2. Connecting your Instagram account to a Facebook account
  3. Upload a product catalog through Catalog Manager or a certified e-commerce partner, such as Shopify or BigCommerce
  4. Wait for Instagram and Facebook to review your account
  5. Once approved, turn on the functionality and start tagging

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