There are approximately 7.5 billioniii people on the planet and almost 3 billioniv of them are on social media. From Boston to Bangladesh, people and businesses are using sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube to share ideas, swap stories, gather news, and review and showcase products. Take the FedEx Facebook and Instagram pages , both powerful vehicles for showcasing our shipping services, engaging with our customers, and promoting our offering.
Right now, there are 1.9 billionv people on Facebook and 700 millionvi on Instagram. On top of this, more and more consumers are using the web to shop - 1.6 billionvii (or 22% of the world) to be precise. But that’s not all. Here are some more statistics that highlight just how valuable social media is to business.
- More than 50 millionviii businesses use Facebook
- Businesses on Facebook receive over 2.5 billionix comments a month
- 90% of consumers turn to social media for help making a purchasing decisionx
- 75%xi of people bought a product because they saw it on social media
- 50%xii of Instagrammers follow a business on Instagram
- 56%xiii of those who follow brands on social media do so to browse products
- Customer-related enquiries on Twitter are up 250%xiv
- 90%iiixv of followers reach out to brands through social media
It’s clear from these figures that what customers want is to interact with businesses in a way that’s easiest for them - and that’s social media. Bearing this in mind, social selling seems inevitable. After all, you need to go where your customers are.
So what tools are already out there?
There are a number of social shopping integration and ecommerce apps in the pipeline (Twitter and Snapchat are both said to be developing new apps) and some that are already in use. These include Instagram’s Shop Now button, the Facebook Buy button and Pinterest’s Buyable Pins.
These tools allow social media users to shop for products directly through their platforms, saving them from a time-wasting redirection to a website page. They also offer a richer experience, allowing customers to browse images and read reviews in one place. This is good for them, and good for you.
China is a serious success story when it comes to the social sale. According to the Economist, China’s WeChat social media app allows users to “shop online, to pay for goods at physical stores, settle utility bills and split dinner tabs with friends, just with a few taps. They can easily book and pay for taxis, dumpling deliveries, theatre tickets, hospital appointments and foreign holidays, all without ever leaving the WeChat universe.”
Chinese customers are lapping up social media buying. Add to this the fact that social-driven retail sales and referral traffic are rising at a faster pace than all other online channels, and it seems a no-brainer that customers would be in favour of brands they love embracing social media ecommerce.
More reasons to develop a social media and social selling strategy
On top of the whole ecommerce equation, having an active social media presence is vital in general. It gets you closer to your customers and gives you greater control over your business’ story. If people are already discussing your product, you need to be in that conversation, listening, gaining insight, addressing concerns and connecting with your customers. Just make sure you choose a platform that suits your customer base. The internet offers plenty of stats on the platforms and their demographics.
Essentially what all of this means is that if your business hasn’t jumped on the social media bandwagon, it needs to, and not only for marketing. Not only is the social sale coming, but you should welcome it with open arms. It could revolutionise your business.