Social commerce

Social commerce is an ecommerce term for the buying and selling activities that take place on social media networks. Social commerce encompasses global and local marketplaces that include large businesses selling products to millions of social media followers to individual buyers and sellers hoping to leverage their nearby networks. Activities can include various aspects of ecommerce from learning about a product through direct messages to sellers to making a mobile payment via a social app.

Examples of social commerce:

  • Chat boxes to inquire about products and services
  • Groups and forums for buying and selling items
  • Electronic payments via social networks
  • Facebook Marketplace to list and purchase products in local areas
  • Product Pins with prices displayed on Pinterest
  • Buyable Pins to buy products directly from Pinterest
  • Google Shopping ads under YouTube videos
  • Coupon codes and links to products on Instagram

How Do I Measure Social Commerce?

Brands and individual sellers can monitor the performance of their social commerce activities through built-in features offered by social networks or through third-party analytics tools made specifically for social media marketing. There are a variety of ways to measure social commerce, from growing follower engagement numbers surrounding products and services to tracking conversions directly related to promoted ads. Additionally, social media networks often record data related to social commerce activities & features for easier performance tracking.

By monitoring social commerce metrics, brands gain insight into the factors that contributed to their success in reaching users and compelling them to buy. For example, poor social commerce numbers like click through rates on carousel ads may be the result of lackluster product photos. Through analyzing social commerce data, brands are empowered to improve their social media campaigns surrounding ecommerce activities to grow engagement, traffic and revenue.

Metrics to measure social commerce include:

  • Clicks on Product Pins or Buyable Pins on Pinterest
  • Click through rates on carousel ads on Facebook and Instagram
  • Uses of influencer coupon codes posted on Instagram
  • Uses of branded keywords on social networks
  • Number of direct messages about products
  • Number of comments on sponsored posts for products or services
  • Conversions via Google Shopping ads on YouTube
  • Conversions via Promoted Tweets on Twitter

There are also metrics related to social proof that have potential to influence social commerce, such as the number of positive reviews on a brand page.

Pros Of Social Commerce

  • Engage with consumers throughout the buyer’s journey. Interact with social media users during every step of the buying process, from increasing brand awareness to promoting your products on paid ads to accepting payment via social apps when they’re ready to buy.
  • Take advantage of buying/selling features. Social media apps have several convenient features that allow users to learn about, purchase and pay for goods and services in the same network. These range from Facebook Marketplace to Buyable Pins on Pinterest.
  • Create a personalized shopping experience. Brands can customize the types of products promoted on social media to suit audience demographics, interests and more.