From billions of users of every age on Facebook to teeming groups of teens lip-syncing their hearts out on TikTok, the world is going social — and that increasingly includes businesses.
All told, nearly 3.5 billion people around the world (or 45% of the population), count themselves as active social media users. Social media is particularly popular in regions like North America, where 95% of internet users use social media, Northern Europe (95%), and Western Europe (94%), where nearly all internet users also have active accounts on social media networks. In terms of total users, Facebook is still king, boasting 2.2 billion active users, followed by YouTube (1.9 billion users), Asia’s WhatsApp (1.5 billion users) and WeChat (1.1 billion users), Instagram (1 billion users), and Pinterest (265 million users).
Instagram is top dog in that regard, with 72% of Instagram users reporting making purchase decisions based on something that they saw while browsing the app. 55% of Pinterest users, meanwhile, say they visit the site specifically to look for new products to purchase, more than 4 times the number of users who say the same for other social platforms.
So, whether you’re doing business on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, how can you ensure your social selling endeavors are a success? The answer lies in your product information — the assets, content, and data that help customers find and understand your offerings.
A flashy Facebook feed, intriguing Instagram story, or perfect Pin can help catch your potential customers’ attention, but won’t do you much good if your product information isn’t accurate, consistent, and high-quality.
If your product information isn’t up to par, then shoppers won’t convert into customers. They’ll struggle to find your products via search engines or social media apps or other means of discovery, and even if they do make their way to your eCommerce site, they’ll likely abandon the purchase.
It is, therefore, crucial to perfect your product information and convert social media scrollers into loyal customers.
Deliver accurate product information in place
While most eCommerce selling happens when customers are specifically searching for a product, social selling can be quite different.
Often, selling on social happens when products pop up in a user’s feed. They see it because they are following an influencer or perhaps they are following your brand. Suddenly they now to have it. Social media has an effect on impulse buying but to close the deal, your product information needs to be accessible and in context for social sales channels. Take an example from apparel – the first thing a prospective buyer wants to know is if it will fit them properly and can they get it in their favorite color. If they’re not confident in the information they do find, they’ll quickly abandon the prospective purchase. Easy come, easy go.
But you don’t want your customers going anywhere. You want them to buy directly from the social site (or navigate to and stay on your site), complete that purchase, and hopefully come back for more. Ensuring they don’t abandon requires answering their product information questions instantly, by providing accurate, consistent, and emotionally compelling product information in the moment.
Time is of the essence
Social media moves at the speed of light. Seemingly every second, there are hundreds of new posts waiting to populate your customers’ timelines and inspire them with new trends, styles, or innovations.
But just as quickly as these trends dominate the market, they fade away, becoming just another fad. That means it’s crucial to take advantage of every opportunity, seize every new seasonal offering and style, and move quickly, lest you risk being left behind in the digital dust. Each time a new trend makes its presence felt in your market, your organization needs to be ready to seize the moment and take advantage.
But if your team is stuck completing time-consuming, tedious catalog expansion or update process, you won’t be able to keep up with the social selling. The results, however, will be much worse than some lost followers or un-liked posts — say hello to declining sales or even increasing returns, as customers fail to get their purchases before a trend goes out of style.
PIM helps you eliminate this inefficient, tedious, and time-consuming labor. That means your team can focus on keeping up with changing trends and styles, and ensure they’re making relevant connections with their customers via social media.
Contextualize and distribute data
Accurate, consistent, and compelling product information and assets are crucial to social success — and so is speed. But even if those factors are taken care of, all those efforts will have been wasted if you aren’t presenting your product information for the channel shoppers are using.
As we addressed above, social selling customers are different beasts than their typical eCommerce compatriots. They don’t set out on a search for a specific product, and are highly subject to suggestion. All it takes is a peek at an appealing advertisement or a recommendation that piques their interest from a trusted influencer.
What’s more, each social media network offers its own best practices and requirements. Glossy, high-quality images with length captions rule the day on Instagram, hyper-shareable pictures and pins are the currency of the day on Pinterest, and Facebook has its own detailed and complicated web of rules for social sellers.
Use PIM tools that offer ways to pick exactly the content, data, and assets that you want to push to a specific social media network, and pay careful attention to the choices you make. By using PIM to present product information in the proper context, you’re more likely to connect with social media users and make a sale.
Power social selling with PIM
Social media platforms have the potential to be a particularly powerful tool for B2B and B2C organizations alike. These networks allow companies to reach massive audiences of customers and create new opportunities for communication and commerce.
But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, your product information needs to be up to par. Use PIM features and tools like automated business rules engines, validation workflows, export profiles, and more to more efficiently and successfully sell your products via social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.
Power social selling with PIM! Learn how PIM can help your team conquer these new sales channels with relative ease by reading our blog on Turning A New Commerce Channel Into A Success or get in touch today!