During the early beginnings of the global pandemic where many were advised to stay indoors and avoid human interaction as much as possible, consumers found a savvy way to escape the bounds of their homes and roam free on the everlasting pages of social media platforms. Since many places of in-person commerce were forced to halt their operations, consumers sought refuge on online social media applications such as Instagram; consequently, transforming applications as such into the new shopping malls of the 21st century. Even now, as in-person commerce is slowly starting to make a comeback, the roots of online shopping have grown so deep, that the only real way to prosper in this modern eCommerce era is to make sure that your business does not remain bound to traditional modes of marketing outreach.

Why You Should Care About Social Media and eCommerce

Regardless of your own personal presumptions surrounding social media platforms, one thing is for certain, they aid in the production of optimal eCommerce results. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, total eCommerce sales from 2020 were estimated at $791.7 billion, which is a 32.4 percent increase from 2019. Perhaps the reason why commerce performs so well within the online realm is because social media platforms help build brand awareness and create loyal audiences. By having a strategic online social media presence, your brand will more likely show up during a user search and therefore, will become easily accessible by a wide array of users.

A front-runner in social media marketing is Instagram, an application that allows brands to showcase their identity, aesthetic, products, and/or services through posts, essentially allowing them to curate a meaningful brand story through a series of squares. As stated in Forbes, a plethora of direct-to-consumer businesses are running their ads on the platform because the Instagram ad experience is not only measurable to the last cent, but it also allows brands to carefully craft all their ad content, making their ads highly personalized and visually stimulating. In fact 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile each day, 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services, and 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month. With statistics like these, it’s no wonder why many brands are finding it profitable to establish themselves within the application.

What is Involved in Social Media eCommerce?

However, even though displaying your ads using social media giants like Instagram will likely improve your revenue, strategic brand positioning takes a lot more than simply pressing, “post”. In order for your brand to truly thrive on platforms that are already brimming with ads, your team needs to cunningly plan when to post, and what to post. Figuring this out can be done by utilizing a social media content calendar which will help you and your team post content on the most optimal days and during the most beneficial times.

Aside from organizing ad content within the means of a social media calendar, there are also four other ways that your brand can generate actual eCommerce sales through Instagram. They are as follows:

  • Batching
  • Create high-quality content for your followers in bulk during one sitting
  • Schedule a month’s worth of content in advance, using a social media calendar
  • Put time aside to respond to follower comments and tagged posts
  • Ease of Purchase
  • Integrate hyperlinks into content captions to guide users directly to purchasing pages
  • Add your website link to your bio
  • Tag products within posts
  • Contests and User-Generated Content
  • Post behind-the-scenes content regarding your products/services
  • Promote content created by other users on your page
  • Run a contest and give out exclusive discount perks to winners
  • Recruit Influencers
  • Collaborate with influencers via sponsored posts

Solutions for eCommerce Social Media Marketing

Achieving prominent revenue from your social media presence is no easy task, but there are diverse solutions that can help guide your team on what is best for you and your target audience. Some of these solutions include, allocating your time and resources effectively, getting creative with feed content so posts feel customized and personal, subtly scattering hyperlinks that guide users directly to purchase pages, and enlisting the help of Instagram famous users to gain popularity and generate buzz.

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy for social media platforms like Instagram but learning how to maximize the benefits you can reap from each post is a key concept that will solidify your brand’s position in the eCommerce realm.