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    What is Social Retail?






    “Let your store associates be active on social. “Friendorsers” are more important than paid models in showing our clothes—social influencers, but also our store associates, who are 100% our customers too.”

    — Emily Watkins 

    Social retail is a new marketing concept that combines social media interaction with traditional and digital outlets to engage with consumers and sell. The idea behind social retail is simple: reward individuals for sharing items they like. The popularity of social commerce has skyrocketed in recent years, creating the potential for unprecedented growth over the next decade. This article will explore the basics of social retail and how you can use it to drive sales for your business.

    What is Social Retail?

    Social retail is a new form of marketing that uses social media to simultaneously engage with customers and sell across physical and digital channels. This simple concept makes social retail so powerful; by enticing customers with rewards for sharing products they love, businesses can create a word-of-mouth marketing campaign that is both highly engaging and cost-effective. Additionally, social retail platforms allow businesses to connect with their customers more personally, fostering loyalty and customer retention.

    The Basics of Social Retail

    Percentage of U.S. population who currently use any social media from 2008 to 2021

    Source: Statista

    E-Commerce Sales as a Percentage of Total Retail sales

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau

    Social media reaches a large and growing number of consumers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, E-commerce has increased from 5% to 15% of total retail sales in the U.S. between 2012 and 2021, and this trend is expected to continue. Additionally, as of 2021, 82% of Americans participate in the use of Social Media. This growth provides retailers with a massive opportunity to connect with consumers and drive sales through social retail platforms.

    Global social media access

    According to Statista, In January 2021, 4.2 billion people were using social media worldwide. The most popular social network globally is Facebook, which has 2.74 billion accounts as of January 2021. With roughly 2.3 billion users, YouTube is the next most popular social networking site, followed by WhatsApp and Instagram, with approximately two billion users each. It means that social media is a powerful tool for retailers to connect with customers worldwide.

    Physical and Digital Channels


    Physical retail Environment

    Physical and digital channels are two essential aspects of social retail. Physical channels are the physical retail store locations where customers can touch, feel, and try on products before purchasing.

    Digital Retail Environment

    Digital channels, on the other hand, are online platforms where customers can browse and buy products. In a social retail setting, businesses use both physical and digital channels to sell their products.

    How to use your social media campaign to drive sales

    When using social media to sell products, it’s important to have a marketing plan. A plan will help ensure that your business reaches the right customers and achieves its desired goals. A solid marketing plan should include strategies for online and offline channels, detailed budgets, and timelines.

    Build your marketing plan around these five questions:

      1. Who is your customer, and which social media do they use?
      2. What are your social media goals?
      3. Which Channel are you going to use to sell and distribute your product?
      4. Which social media tools will be most effective in achieving your desired result?
      5. Define what success looks like and design ways to monitor and measure your results.

    Utilize Social Retail Tactics

    Using the right social tactics is essential for success when it comes to conducting an effective social media campaign. Here are a few examples of tried and true tactics:

    Pick a platform

    Choosing the right social platforms for your business is vital because each platform has a different audience. For example, Instagram is popular with younger users, while LinkedIn is popular with professionals. Therefore, businesses should use a platform that fits their target audiences’ interests.

    Post at the Best Times

    Posting at the best times is essential because it ensures that more people see your messages. Each of the social platforms experiences higher and lower levels of traffic based on the day of the week and time of day.

    Use multiple hashtags

    Hashtags are a great way to connect with other users interested in the same topic. When you use multiple hashtags, you’re more likely to reach a wider audience.

    Find your niche

    When it comes to social media, it’s crucial to find a niche because this will help you target your audience more effectively. In addition, finding a niche allows you to create specific content relevant to your target audience.

    Join a network for influencers

    Influencers can sell products effectively because they have large audiences following their social media. When an influencer promotes a product, their followers are likely to see the message increasing the chances of converting a sale. Influencers can be particularly effective if they have built a strong report with their audience.

    Boost your engagement rates

    Higher engagement rates mean that more people are seeing your posts. As a result, higher engagement rates increase your chances of closing sales.

    Do product Giveaways

    Product giveaways are a way to increase brand awareness. When a business gives away products, it’s an opportunity for customers to learn about the company and what it sells. Giveaways also allow businesses to connect with customers personally, which builds trust.

    Develop a Social media network

    Social media networks allow sellers to develop connections with like-minded individuals interested in the same content. When potential customers see relevant content, they’re more likely to take an interest in the product.

    Utilize Online Tools To Drive Sales

    There are several online tools that businesses can use to facilitate social media campaign. For instance, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow sellers to share product images, videos, and descriptions with followers.

    Officially produced advertising content

    Officially produced advertising content is material that is created by the advertising or marketing department of a company with the intention of persuading or convincing consumers to buy a product or service. It often takes the form of commercials, billboards, or print ads.

    In the context of social retail, officially produced advertising content supports sales by providing a platform for businesses to share information about their products and services. This content can help connect sellers with customers personally.

    User-generated content

    User-generated content is any content created by users, as opposed to businesses. This can include posts on social media, videos, or images. Additionally, user-generated content often includes reviews or testimonials about products or services.

    Positive reviews can help to promote sales by increasing brand awareness and trust. When potential customers see that other people have had a positive experience with a product, they’re more likely to buy it. Conversely, negative reviews can detract from a product.

    Social retail is a powerful form of marketing that businesses should consider using to connect with customers. Social retail platforms can create engaging and cost-effective word-of-mouth marketing campaigns by enticing customers with rewards for sharing products they love. What’s more, social retail platforms allow businesses to connect with their customers more personally, fostering loyalty and customer retention. Have you tried social retail for your business? What were your results?


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