What is social commerce and how can it benefit you?
Social commerce is the process of using social media to create a dialogue with your customers. It creates an interactive experience that gives them more insight into the product they are buying, what it will look like in their home, how it can be used for entertaining guests or planning events, and so on.
In turn, this builds trust between you and your customer which can result in more purchases and higher conversion rates.
The advantages of social commerce are endless! You have instant access to thousands or millions of potential customers through various channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc., they enjoy seeing new products before anyone else does and there is no need for expensive marketing campaigns because these people are already interested-it can increase product visibility at scale.
70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for shopping and 87% of shoppers say that influencers inspired them to make a purchase.*
Facebook and Instagram offer a slew of features that make it easier than ever to display products on your site or in your feed, share them with friends, build an audience based around specific interests, entice people into subscribing to notification when new items come out and much more.
One Shop, Multiple Sales Channels
Business owners can create a dedicated “shop” section on their Facebook or Instagram page and build out a catalogue of products that visitors can browse, save, share, and even purchase. You can design and manage your shops on Facebook and Instagram from one place.
Visitors have the opportunity to see your product in multiple places - once on your website as well as all over their favourite social media site.
Having the storefront, product tags, live shopping as well as the ability to create collections increases the likelihood they will make a purchase f
Fast and Secure Checkout
The Shop section of your Page or Instagram profile lets customers buy items from your online shop straight through the app without leaving Facebook or Instagram. For now, this feature is only available in the US but we expect it to become available to other countries soon.
Simple Inventory Management
Once you connect your catalogue and sync it with your website, you can manage your inventory easily. If you want to create a dedicated “shop” section on your Facebook or Instagram Page, you need to make sure your products meet all the eligibility requirements. Digital products and services are not eligible at this time.
Contact today if you would like some assistance setting up your Facebook or Instagram shop or figuring out the best way to market it.
* Facebook data http://d24wuq6o951i2g.cloudfront.net/img/events/458142532/assets/1d369938.kaiherzberger-discoverycommerce.pdf
Why hire me as your paid social expert
If you're an established business owner looking for an e-commerce specialist, you may be wondering how to find a paid social expert who will be a good fit for your business. So here are a few reasons to help you make an informed decision before you hire me to help with your social media advertising.
1. I am open and transparent
Transparency is at the core of what I do. When I work with a client, I don't hide anything - I don't hide data, opinions, or results. I regularly monitor the performance of your ads and update you with weekly emails and detailed monthly reports. If there's anything I feel we need to discuss in between our scheduled touchpoints, I will get in touch for an update.
During discovery calls, I often hear from prospective clients who have been burnt by paid social strategists in the past. While they might have been provided with data and regular reports, business owners often tell me they weren't sure what to make of the information. For me, what really matters is not only that you receive the data, but that you also make sense of your campaigns. Because that's the only way for you to be able to make more informed decisions going forward. The data shows you a picture of how your ad campaigns are currently performing, and my job is to help you make sense of it.
That's also why I never talk in jargon. Instead, I always explain things extensively and in plain English. I have no interest in confusing you with terminology or pieces of information that you're not familiar with. For me, it's all about giving you clarity and understanding.
Here's what some of my existing clients said about my approach.
"Isil helped to work with me on-site optimisation, to focus primarily on increasing conversions. Her suggestions were detailed, insightful and also (crucially!) straightforward to implement. I would definitely recommend Isil's site audits." Laura Franklin-Hollier, co-founder at Persephone Beauty.
"Firstly I finally get the data and statistics. Isil explains things in a way that anyone can get (finally someone who speaks my language), she genuinely wants to help and get you the best and most cost-effective results. Thank you again Isil for giving me some much needed guidance where others have failed." Kimberley Barnard, from Kimberley Barnard Coaching.
2. I believe in testing
When running ad campaigns testing is fundamental. Looking at your data helps me to see how your content, your engagement, and any strategies we're employing are working for your product. It's only through testing that we can get a clear picture of what's driving success for your brand and what isn't. Without testing, observing, and analysing the data and tweaking accordingly, you can't make informed decisions. And the best decisions, I believe, are always data-driven.
When working together, I help you test different formats to see which ads are more effective, so you can determine what type of content to use for each type of promotion. When running your ads, we can tweak different elements:
3. I invest in my personal development
When you're working with me as your paid social expert, you are also investing in my experience and knowledge. I have an extensive background in Retail, which can be incredibly useful when working in the e-commerce space. But also, I invest in my own personal development.
This means that I:
As an example, I recently took Facebook’s Media Buyer exam, and I am now certified by Facebook - the Blueprint certification is the highest accreditation they offer. And this is the feedback I received:
“Congratulations on becoming Facebook Certified! Thanks to the time and energy you’ve put in, you have demonstrated advanced proficiency in Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional and are in the unique position to showcase yourself as a Facebook marketing solutions expert.” Facebook.
My agency has also become a Facebook Marketing partner, which is awarded to companies who meet the highest standards of performance and service. This means I get access to some cool tools and benefits to fuel my clients' growth.
Also, below are some kind words that one of my clients shared about me:
"Facebook is such a fast-moving and ever-changing platform, and Isil was on top of all the latest developments, which was exactly what I needed to get up to date with. I highly recommend her as a social media specialist and all-around friendly and professional person to work with." Melanie McDowell, Conference Producer at Business Forums International UK.
4. I give you your time back
Speaking to clients, I know that running your own ads can feel stressful and overwhelming. Putting your ads together, testing, looking at the data, and optimising your campaigns is time-consuming. But if you're not familiar with the platforms or ads manager functionality, these tasks can also feel frustrating and confusing.
Prospective clients often tell me they're tempted to give up on advertising. And when you've tried to run ads on your own and ended up feeling anxious and stressed - wondering if you were wasting time and money - that's understandable. But it doesn't have to be this way.
When you hire me as your paid social expert, you have the peace of mind of having a dedicated consultant fully taking care of your ad campaigns. Because running your own business is busy enough as it is - you certainly don't need running ads added to the mix. By leaving ads management to me, you get to free up more of your precious time to take care of the things that really matter in your business. Let me do what I do best, so you can focus on the things you do best - running your business.
5. I get you results
I run a boutique agency, which means I only take on a limited number of clients. When I decide to work with you, I am fully committed to you and your business. I treat your budget as I would treat my own. And I do that because I'm determined to get you results and a return on your investments. I dedicate the time and effort required to make your advertising successful because I'm committed to your growth and want to see you achieve the best possible results.
Building strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect with my clients is fundamental for me. I don't see myself as a one-off advisor who will step into your business only to disappear a month or so later. Instead, I consider myself as a long-term partner for your company. And I like that all my existing clients see me this way.
It's why I tend to work with established e-commerce businesses for a minimum of 3 months and often longer. After all, being your paid social expert for a month or so wouldn't give us enough time to test and tweak. The real results come month after month. Only when we build more data around your campaigns, we start to understand what really moves the needle for your brand. Every business and every product are different, but I can help you figure out what works for your specific audience.
Would you like some help with your social media advertising? If you are an established e-commerce business and are looking to hire a paid social expert to run ad campaigns for you, you can find more about the way I work here. I also offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call to help you decide if I could be a good fit for your business.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
It came from the realisation and frustration that platforms like Amazon were not considering the impact they were having on the planet, the packaging they use, how the products are made, who makes them and at what cost in both human and planet terms. So the idea to create a platform where all products and businesses listing have a shared set of values, that the products are ethically made and sourced, that they have minimal impact on the planet and are sustainable and that they are vegan or come from a vegan range. This also means they are aligned with Choose Conscious as a business. This provides consumers with an alternative. Interestingly recently like many companies Amazon are having a really good go at green washing themselves, any improvements are important and should be applauded but consumers need to
look beyond the surface.
What's a typical day like?
No day is the same, I like many founders have to wear many hats, so anything from social media planning, to contacting new business to discuss listing on the platform, to bookkeeping and so on!
What is the best part of having your own business?
The flexibility around the working day, work life balance, the freedom to create the business I want. Creating a business for good. Working with sellers that are likeminded.
What's the hardest part?
Always making all the decisions, decision fatigue is real!
What’s your bestselling product?
There is a wonderful array of different vendors listed on the site, from toilet brushes to Vegan Leather trousers but the best seller this month has been a Vegan Candle range.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do your market research and always listen to your gut, oops that’s two!
Let's talk tech. Which software do you use in your business? ( Online store, email marketing, scheduling tools, video apps, accounting & banking apps etc) If you're on Shopify, I'd also love to learn your favourite apps.
I use Dokan and WooCommerce, Xero for accounting, Stripe, Mailchimp, HubSpot for CRM, Canva and Sprout Social. I’m always looking for anything that can help automate a process, so I have more time to actually run the business.
Which social media platform works best for you?
Instagram, along with Instagram shop.
What business book/podcast/courses would you recommend?
I’ve not read a business book recently, I should make time, the last one was Freakonomics probably 15 years ago! In terms of courses I’ve also not done any for years but if you are considering it remember how valuable your time is and invest only courses that fill in your skills gaps.
Where can people find you?
Are you an established e-commerce business with previous experience in running social media ads? If you're looking for some help with your social media advertising and are considering hiring someone to take the stress out of the process to help you reach your sales targets with high-performing social media ads, I can help. In this blog post, I outline the exact process I follow with my clients when it comes to my Facebook and Instagram ad management service.
1. Discovery and research
The initial phase is all about finding out more about you, the client. After an initial discovery call where I find out about your business, your goals, and any previous experience and success you may have had using social media ads in the past, I send over my proposal. In order to give ourselves enough data to make informed decisions, I generally recommend we work together for an initial period of three months.
Following your approval of the terms of us working together, I share a detailed questionnaire for you to fill in. This helps me find out more about your business and your targets and goals when it comes to marketing and advertising.
This then allows me to complete further research and analysis and understand how your competitors run their ads, for example. But it also helps me analyse what has worked or not worked for you in the past and why you may not be getting the best return on your investment. Thanks to my digital marketing and retail background and my experience of working with established e-commerce businesses, I can help you understand why your website isn't converting, for example. Or why your bounce rate might be high or why people might be adding products to their baskets but not going through to checkout.
With the information I collect during the initial questionnaire, I pull together various customer personas to test who is interested in your products and at what cost. In summary, I help you look at your e-commerce store as a whole. What's key is that we tackle any issues before we start running your ads. That way, together, we can get the best value for your advertising budget.
2. Audit and strategy
Before I start running your ad campaigns, I will ask you to provide me access to your Business Manager account.
This allows me to:
Once I've gathered and analysed data from your account and your previous campaigns, I will share my findings and discuss the relevant next steps with you. Depending on your budget, I will also advise on an ongoing social media advertising strategy.
3. Campaign setup and execution
As soon as I have your go-ahead, I am ready to start creating, running and managing your ad campaigns.
In order to do this, we will need:
Decisions and recommendations should always be guided by data, which is why I test different sets of audiences, creatives, and ad copy for you. This allows us to understand what give the best best results and make informed decisions.
If you want to find out more about what makes a good social media ad, head over to my blog post: How to create the best Facebook ads for your e-commerce business.
4. Campaign management and optimisation
Managing your ad campaigns can be time-consuming for business owners and entrepreneurs. But in order to achieve optimal results, regular management and monitoring are necessary. This is why as part of my commitment to you, I access your account on a regular basis (often daily) to ensure your campaigns are working.
If I find that any ads are underperforming, I will remove them. I will also test new audiences and provide recommendations to enhance performance. In other words, if your ads aren't working as well as they could, I will either rectify the situation or contact you if necessary.
I pride myself on being open and transparent. I run a boutique agency with a limited number of clients, so I can give your business the attention it deserves. This is why I will treat your ad budget as if it were my own. If I find any bottlenecks (such as issues with landing pages, seed audiences, or budget limits) I will pause the campaign. My aim is to discuss any issues with you at the earliest opportunity.
5. Insight and reporting
Alongside campaign management, reporting is at the core of what I do. To ensure that you are making the most of your advertising budget, I provide monthly reports as well as weekly email check-ins. I include valuable campaign metrics and results to keep you updated on how your campaigns are progressing.
If I identify any issues that require discussion before one of our scheduled checkpoints, I will arrange a call with you. That way, we can talk through any next steps and actions required.
Are you interested in my Facebook and Instagram ad management service?If you are an established e-commerce business owner and are considering working with me, you can find more information on my Facebook and Instagram ad management service here. Or, you can book a FREE 30-minutes strategy call here.
If you'd like to find out about any of the other services I offer, you can head over to my Work With Me page or download my Price Guide. Please note that prices may vary, depending on your available advertising budget.
Facebook and Instagram advertising have been popular with all sorts of e-commerce and product-based businesses for a few years now. Brands all over the world have successfully been taking advantage of these social media platforms to reach their ideal customers and grow their businesses. But what about 'younger' platforms, such as Snapchat and TikTok? Could these be right for you? In this article, I take a deep dive into the world of Snapchat to help understand whether you should consider using Snapchat ads to promote your e-commerce business.
What makes Snapchat stand out? When it comes to social media platforms, Snapchat is quite unique. Augmented reality, engaging filters, and fun face swaps are certainly part of the attraction.
But a key element that makes Snapchat stand out is the fact that it has no 'vanity metrics'. Surprisingly, it's a world free from likes and follows. And for most users, this means it's a safer and more comfortable place to express themselves.
According to Search Engine Journal, "at a time when many people feel anxious or overwhelmed by social media, 95% of Snapchat users—more than any other app tested—say the app makes them feel happy."
And why, as a business owner or advertiser, would you miss an opportunity to reach out to an audience of people who are feeling positive when using a digital platform?
But who exactly is on Snapchat? And will you find your future customers there?
Who uses Snapchat?If you've been overlooking Snapchat in favour of other long-standing social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, it's probably because you don't think your ideal customers will be using the platform. Or perhaps you're not familiar with it yourself, and you're hoping to find new customers through Facebook or Instagram.
While this may be true to an extent, if you've decided not to include Snapchat in your marketing and advertising strategies, you may have been leaving opportunities on the table.
According to data shared by Fetch&Funnel, in the U.S. alone more than 30% of people on Snapchat are not active on Instagram or Facebook. Also, research conducted by Snapchat shows that the platform "reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-old's and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds in the US."
When looking at these age brackets, these numbers speak for themselves. And they suggest that Snapchat may be your best bet to make your brand noticed within these demographics. After all, if you're not on Snapchat, you're probably not influencing these audiences.
And while it's important to reach out to your existing customers and continue to build brand loyalty on other social media platforms, exploring the Snapchat waters may help you find new customers who could become your loyal fans and brand advocates.
But let's look at the Snapchat demographic in more detail.
Snapchat is the way to reach Millenials and Gen Z-ers
According to data shared by Fetch&Funnel, "51% of Snapchat users are 25+ years old" while "Snapchat reaches 75% of 18 to 34 year-olds. The breakdown below, courtesy of Hootsuite, shows similar percentages and includes shares of female vs male users.
With 249 million daily active users in Q3 2020 alone and 4 billion Snaps created on average each day, Snapchat is the go-to platform to influence Millenials and Gen Z.
And why are these generations important? Because they have direct spending power and are also responsible for heavily influencing their parents' buying decisions.
As digital natives, they're open to online shopping and being influenced online. At their age, they are still forming their preferences and exploring the kinds of services and products they want to engage with and buy from. This makes them willing to try new brands. And let's face it, in sharing their choices, they are also directly influencing their family and friends.
It's also worth mentioning that older demographics are becoming more engaged on the platform, as content has doubled year over year among those over 35 (source SocialPilot).
In case you're wondering, Snapchat is not just a US phenomenon. It's also popular in the UK and other European countries, predominantly France and Germany. As of October 2020, the UK had 19.5 million users (source Statista).
The graph below from Hootsuite shows Snapchat usage and figures per country.
Snapchat users are engagedRemember when we said that Snapchat users tend to be happier social media users? When you think about this, it's no surprise that Snapchatters are said to be more engaged and willing to take action compared to users of other social media platforms. It's why brands that experience success on Snapchat, report excellent conversion rates when trying to increase leads, downloads, and sales.
Data from Search Engine Journal shows that "a typical user opens the app 30 times a day".
They also state that:
If that isn't the definition of an engaged audience, I don't know what is!
Snapchat is all about videoAnother factor that sets the platform apart is that Snapchat is (and always has been) all about video. It's no surprise to read that the pandemic has increased the amount of time spent watching mobile videos. Data shared by Search Engine Journal states that 82% of Millennials and Gen Zers report watching more mobile video content after the pandemic hit the UK.
Also, "74% of Snapchat users say that vertical video is more personal and immersive than other forms of video". And "seven in ten Snapchat users say they would rather engage with a lot of shorter videos than get completely immersed in one longer video" (source Search Engine Journal).
So if you're going to invest in creating more video content this year, short-form vertical video is the way to go.
This is great news if you are considering Snapchat ads, as you have plenty of formats to choose from, including Snap Ads, Filters, and Lenses.
When it comes to setting ads up on Snapchat, the Ads Manager is an easy and intuitive tool to use. Once you have a linked business account, you don't need a lot of third-party editing services to get the job done, and you can create single-image or video ads in less than 5 minutes. The Instant Create workflow even allows you to input your business URL and will pull in photos directly from your website to help create your ad.
With similar functionality to the Facebook Ads Manager, you get to decide on your goals before creating your campaigns. So whether you want to create:
If you're unsure as to how to get started, you can test the platform out with a small daily budget (as small as $20 a day). With Snapchat analytics, you can then measure the performance and results of your campaigns in seconds. To make the most of your advertising budget, you can install the Snap Pixel, which allows you to collect information on actions taken on your website.
By using the Snap Pixel, you can:
While Snapchat may not be right for everyone, if you're operating in niches such as food, fashion, skincare, subscription boxes, digital products, etc. I hope this article convinced you to look into Snapchat ads to promote your e-commerce business.
Sure, what may work for one business, may not work for another. But with a minimum budget spend of $20 a day, the doors are left open for small businesses of all kinds. Start small and set daily budgets and spend caps and keep an eye on your results. By looking at data, you can tweak and adjust your ads to increase conversion without breaking your limits.
In summary, as long as you optimise towards your goals, you don't need to be a big international brand to advertise on Snapchat.
Would you like some help with your social media advertising? Adding Snapchat to your advertising strategy can help you find new customers, build loyalty with existing ones, and reach Millennials and Gen-Zers at scale. Will you take this opportunity?
If you're an established e-commerce business owner and would like some help with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok advertising, get in touch. I offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call, which is perfect for you if you want to find out how I can help you run and manage your ads and make the most of your budget.