The advent of social media brought the aspect of personalization to the world of online business. Over the last several years, consumers have increasingly searched for, followed, and purchased from companies and brands that they feel more personally and deeply connected to, stemming from the sense of engagement they feel when interacting with the businesses and brands they prefer to purchase from.
When planning your business’s 2022 social media strategy, personalization and engagement should be at their core. Although planning an effective social strategy is imperative to your business’s success — especially with restrictions and nervousness in some regions — transitioning to a social commerce strategy can vastly increase your brand’s growth and value.
Integrating social commerce into your 2022 strategy
Even though it has been more than two years since the pandemic began, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and brands are suffering. Delays and disruptions in global supply chains resulting from the pandemic have affected virtually every industry and consumer market globally. However, consumers still expect the brands they do business with to meet their expectations—especially from virtual channels like eCommerce. Failing to meet those expectations can severely impact your business’s social media or commerce strategy, especially with many consumers today relying on social media to influence their buying decisions.
Shopping through social media sites — a kind of eCommerce tactic referred to as social commerce — has taken on a new life due to the pandemic. Despite being around as early as 2015, social marketing-generated nearly $500 billion in sales between 2020 and 2021, equating to an approximate 40% jump in sales following the pandemic’s onset. For businesses, leveraging your presence and following on social media is crucial to remaining competitive in 2022, especially when targeting younger audiences.
According to the Status of Social Commerce 2021 report, an overwhelming majority (97%) of Gen Z use social media as their top inspiration for shopping. The global social commerce market is projected to reach $604.5 billion by 2027, making the future of social media marketing look very bright.
Nevertheless, implementing social commerce channels is merely one factor within your business’s overarching social media strategy. Without a bonafide brand presence on social media that consumers perceive as positive, you will be letting valuable dollars slip through your fingers. This is where the notion of personalization and engagement comes back into play.
Engaging with consumers through social commerce
One of the most practical uses of social media for businesses is its ability to find and connect with a larger audience of consumers. Long gone are the days when merely having an account for your brand on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms was enough. In today’s world, your social media presence is a vital tool in attracting more consumers to your brand and engaging with them to convert them into paying customers.
According to industry research, roughly half of all Americans who use social media are more likely to remain loyal to brands who engage with their feedback on social media. This statistic is even higher among millennials, with some 72% of millennials reporting that they are more likely to remain loyal to brands that engage with them on social media. Furthermore, about 50% of American consumers said they would be more likely to recommend a brand to others if its social media and social commerce presence is favorable, even if the product or service they purchased wasn’t.
These statistics show us that engaging with your customers through social media is vital to have them remain loyal to your brand. When looking to plan your social media and social commerce strategy for 2022, look to ways in which you can further improve your brand’s engagement with consumers on social media.
Utilizing the power of influencer marketing
If your business has yet to grasp the full potential that influencer marketing can have on your social media presence and social commerce growth, now is the time to start. According to one report from Edelman, 35% of people surveyed claimed to share the same values as the influencers they follow on social media, which can directly impact a brand’s social commerce. This is especially true amongst Gen Z consumers, who are more likely than other consumers to have their buying decisions swayed by the influencers they follow.
It should be noted that social commerce and eCommerce are not inherently competitive; instead, they are two sides of the same coin. Social interaction provides the best benefits when it can be tied to your business or brand’s existing sales channels, whether digital (such as your business’s online eCommerce shop) or physical (like a brick-and-mortar storefront).
Understanding how your business can best integrate social commerce into its overall social media strategy is paramount for 2022. Doing so successfully will allow you to grow in both customers and revenue. However, overlooking its importance in today’s marketing environment could ultimately spell the difference between landing another loyal customer or losing them to the competition. When planning your strategy for 2022, take a careful look at your various sales channels, find which ones could be improved — or even how one might compliment another — and create an engaging environment for your business on social media.