Social E-Commerce: Using Social Media Effectively When Selling Things Online

Social media is a powerful tool to use when marketing for e-commerce not only to effectively get word out about the products and services you have to offer, but also to provide a space for you to interact with them and get a pulse on their current behaviors and needs.

But there are ways you can end up losing customers instead of gaining them with the way you market on social media, which happens when you think solely about getting your product out there rather than building a good relationship with your customers first.

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More than ever, people are tired of being marketed to through invasive advertisements online while they’re surfing the web or browsing their social media networks. They’re tired of feeling like they can be bought through sponsored posts that get into their feed. They’re tired of seeing influencers posing with these products that they most likely don’t use anyway.

And although people turn to social media to search about certain products and services they’re interested in, only a small percentage actually end up being motivated to push through with their purchase.

So what’s the answer? Be more authentic.

Melanie Mohr of shared during a webinar hosted by IGNITE that the most effective way to utilize social media with e-commerce is by making content that’s authentic and trustworthy through word-of-mouth means.

She cites the following statistics from Nielsen: 92% of buyers rely on the recommendations of friends and family, while 74% trust word-of-mouth in their purchasing decisions, and 68% are convinced by online opinions of other consumers. Real-life testimonies are vital in getting your brand out there and should be where you should base your marketing strategies.

In the International Journal of Market Research, M. Nick Hajili wrote: “Trust, encouraged by social media, significantly affects intention to buy. Therefore, trust has a significant role in e-commerce by directly influencing intention to buy and indirectly influencing perceived usefulness.”

Not only will you be able to get people talking about you, but you’ll also be able to grow your sales without spending so much on ads, while also growing a community of loyal customers and repeat purchasers.

Where to begin?

Start by creating the BEST first experience you could give to a customer!

The best way to do so is, first and foremost, having a great product or service. William Bao Bean, a general partner at global venture capital firm SOSV, emphasizes the need to be unique and different. There are so many things offering similar experiences online that people can end up comparing them or treating them as “alternatives.” So, have an unfair advantage and strive give something no one has seen or heard of before.

Next is to tap influencers who are relevant in your industry. Research from Twitter and Annalect claims that 49% of people rely on influencer endorsements when making purchase decisions. Get people who you know will actually try your product and give honest and valuable comments about it, instead of choosing those who merely have high following.

Also go the extra mile and understand your chosen influencers—the causes they support, how they engage with their audience, and problems they may have that you can solve. That’s one surefire way to get them to be loyal advocates of your brand!

Lastly, always stay on top of trends! People’s needs change over time. What’s popular today won’t be in the next few months. So, always alter your strategy to adapt to these ever-shifting trends!

Remember: it doesn’t matter if you’re a big company or a small start-up. With a quality customer experience, you can definitely become a big player in the game.

(ALSO READ: The next normal for education will be a blend of online and traditional learning, experts say)

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