How Does Social Commerce Help Brands to Expand Their Business?

By Pradeep Dabas

Shopping. It keeps evolving. You’re scrolling down your Facebook feed – a nice dress pops up, you open their page or slide into their DMs to place an order, and they deliver. No middlemen. No checkout store. Simple see, like and order – all without leaving the app. 

We have stay-at-home moms getting their baked muffins sold out on Instagram and corporate behemoths processing orders through TikTok and Twitter timelines. Fashionistas who don’t have the traditional brick-and-mortar store and are moving loads of inventory by uploading status updates with their latest pieces. 

Jewellers make tons of sales in the comment sections of their photos of rings, necklaces and bracelets. Customers see furniture stores upload images of fresh sofa sets and beds, and they place their orders for custom ones based on similar designs. 

Even hotel bookings are done right in the message sections of our favourite apps – in between catching up on what’s trending and making banter with friends and followers.

Welcome to the age of social commerce.

Where Your Next Purchase Is Just A Post Away

Social commerce blends the immediacy of social media with the convenience of online shopping – a trend that accelerated through 2024, with the global market size expected to hit a staggering $1.7 trillion. This represents a significant growth rate of 30.8% from the previous year.

Consumer habits and preferences are changing. Brands are being pushed to get active on social media instead of simply waiting for customers to land on their websites. Your local Mom N’ Pop store can reach clients halfway across the country. Designer clothes and home improvement tools are being sold in the middle of trending topics and memes. One minute, you’re commenting on your friend’s vacation pics, and on the next post is a hotel with an irresistible offer, making you question if you, too, should be taking a break from work and snap up the package before you.

Social commerce basically fuses social media’s connectivity with the dynamism of e-commerce. Sales are not just transactions but engaging experiences that happen within the social media ecosystem. It’s a world where you’re just scrolling through your favourite feed, and something cool that a friend or an influencer you follow just bought or is talking about, and then being able to buy it right then and there. 

This way of shopping works really well because it’s all about what you and your friends like, recommend, and talk about. Brands get to showcase their products right where potential customers are actively engaged – and let’s face it, everyone is pretty much on their phones for multiple hours in a day, be it following news on Twitter, getting updates from Facebook and IG celebs, watching clips on TikTok or immersed in heated Reddit debates.

Businesses have been able to plug into this ecosystem by setting up shop right in the middle of where the online conversation is happening, making it more fun and easy for customers to buy stuff while they’re scrolling through posts and stories. This enhances the customer journey by making it more seamless and integrated. 

Where does your business stand? By integrating e-commerce functionalities directly within social media platforms, you can create immersive, interactive shopping experiences that resonate with today’s digital-first consumers, driving engagement, loyalty, and, ultimately, sales.

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Scrolling, Buying & Brand Growth

The complete shopping experience is on social media—from discovery to post-purchase support. This trend is particularly pronounced among younger demographics, who love how easy it is to go from seeing something cool to actually buying it without ever leaving their app. Posts, stories, and videos transform passive scrolling into active shopping sessions.

Brands are taking note of these changes and are now data analytics to gain deeper insights into consumer spending patterns. These insights allow for more targeted marketing strategies that cater to the nuanced preferences of different demographic groups. For example, Gen Z consumers are drawn to authentic brand engagements and sustainability – like learning how their clothes go from farm to wardrobe. 

On the other hand, Millennials appreciate convenience and customer service – like round-the-clock help for that smartphone or Apple Vision Pro they just bought. Meal kit companies show their followers how to prepare gourmet meals at home with their kits, and tech brands create engaging content that showcases the unique features of their gadgets, like how waterproof their latest smartwatch is or how their headphones cancel noise in a bustling café – it can all be curated to reach the ideal audience.

And here’s the thing: social commerce isn’t just for the big multi-million dollar brands anymore. All those new shopping features popping up on social platforms are levelling the playing field, letting smaller shops get in on the action, too. They can show off their products to the world, communicate directly with customers, and build a community of fans right from where they are. 

Like a small business that roasts and sells specialty coffee beans finding out through their interactions on these platforms that their followers are not just caffeine lovers but also keen on learning about coffee culture and ethics. So they start sharing behind-the-scenes looks at their roasting process on TikTok and Instagram, host live Q&A sessions about coffee sourcing and create guides on brewing the perfect cup at home. It adds to the brand experience.

Even the social media scene itself is getting shaken up. Sure, Facebook and Instagram still lead in user engagement and sales conversions, but newer players like TikTok are rapidly gaining ground by offering innovative shopping formats that resonate with a content-hungry audience.

Key Platforms Driving Social Commerce

  • Facebook continues to be a powerhouse, with a staggering 65.7 million social commerce buyers as of 2023. It’s got something for everyone, really. With all its users and nifty ad tools, businesses can find just the right crowd. Facebook has honed its marketplace and shopping features, enabling businesses to create personalised shopping experiences directly within the platform.
  • Instagram follows closely, boasting 43 million shoppers in the same period. It’s all about the visuals here – perfect for brands that want to showcase their products through high-quality imagery and engaging stories. The platform’s “Shoppable Posts" feature lets users buy that must-have item directly from their feed, reducing the steps from discovery to purchase.
  • TikTok is showing the fastest growth among all platforms. Its unique algorithm and short-form video format have captivated a younger audience, making it an invaluable tool for brands targeting Gen Z and Millennials. TikTok’s “Shop Now" buttons and integrated e-commerce features offer a seamless path for impulse purchases, tapping into the platform’s highly engaged user base.

So, in a nutshell, Facebook’s user base and shopping features give it breadth and depth; Instagram’s all about the look and you can turn it into picturesque storefront for your brands; and the short form TikTok videos make it an asset for marketing strategies that rely on quick, catchy content to drive sales.

Impact on Brands and Businesses

Ads on these social sites are no longer just about showing off products anymore. They now need to tell stories that people can connect with. That way, they can build a real sense of community.

Then, there are the influencer endorsements, bridging the gap between brands and consumers. With their loyal followings, they serve as trusted voices, and their recommendations are like getting personal advice from a friend. It’s easier to buy something if it’s been backed by a personality you look up to.

With sharing features, social media users can push content within their network. This amplifies the brand’s reach. It’s like ‘peer-to-peer’ marketing, or the conventional ‘word-of-mouth’, capitalising on the inherent trust within social circles, significantly impacting purchase decisions.

Moreover, the real-time nature of these platforms enables brands to engage directly with consumers, respond to queries, gather feedback, and adapt offerings in response to consumer preferences. is back-and-forth, makes customers feel included, and can turn them into loyal followers and advocates of the brand.

How To Get Ahead

To effectively leverage this opportunity, brands must adopt a strategic approach fine-tuned to the nuances of social media:

Create Engaging Content

The material you post online should make people want to interact with it. React, comment, share – it needs to get their attention and keep them hooked. This includes vibrant images, compelling videos, and interactive posts that get people talking. The more that happens, the wider your reach expands organically.

Team Up With Influencers

They can amplify your brand’s message and bring authenticity to your products. Of course, not everyone makes the cut. You want influencers who align with your brand values and have a genuine connection with their followers. Not volatile bigwigs who land you in political hot soup or large accounts that are spammed by bots.

Make It Mobile-Friendly

Everyone’s glued to their phones. So, make sure that shopping from your social media feels as easy as their normal activities on the platform. This includes having a responsive design, easy navigation, and a seamless checkout process directly within the social media platform.

Show Off Happy Customers

Social proof, such as customer reviews and user-generated content, can significantly influence buying decisions. Encourage your customers to share their experiences and photos using your products, and feature these testimonials prominently on your pages and in your ads.

Engage with Your Audience

Social commerce is not a one-way street. Don’t just talk at your followers; talk with them. Respond to comments, ask for feedback, participate in conversations, and hop on the occasional trend. It makes them feel like they are part of you, building a strong community around your brand. See how those businesses whose fun employees do dance challenges and go viral? Easy marketing right there.

Post Frequency and Content-Type

Don’t go bombarding your audience. According to insights, 74% of consumers prefer seeing 1-2 brand posts per day. Keep your content coming regularly without going overboard. Mix it up with different kinds of posts to keep things interesting – behind-the-scenes looks, product launches, and even customer stories.

Transform Your Social Handles Into Sales Channels

At Salt Marketing, we specialise in social commerce services that are tailored to your unique needs as a business. Our goal is to increase your brand visibility, drive engagement, and boost those sales numbers – all while making the shopping experience smooth for your customers. Want to talk? Drop us an mail at info@saltmarketing.ie.

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