It may seem that e-commerce is all about creating an online store and developing marketing strategies to attract customers. But have you ever considered that social media platforms could be an incredibly powerful tool for your business?
Consumers today tend to turn to social media platforms before exploring other sources. Therefore, it has become essential for your brand or business to have a presence on at least one prominent social media site.
Social media platforms have evolved beyond chat and dating sites to become an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the world. They have evolved into integrated platforms with numerous features and tools that provide users with an interactive and limitless sharing environment. In fact, this recent significant evolution has turned these platforms into a digital realm parallel to the real world. This transformation provides a unique opportunity for e-commerce practitioners to reach a vast audience of potential customers who may be interested in their products or services. This has led to the emergence of a new e-commerce model called "social commerce".
Maintaining a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest is essential for e-commerce sellers. This will allow them to tap into the immense potential of social commerce, leveraging the interactive and engaging nature of these platforms to effectively reach and engage their desired audience.
Statistical Insights Illuminate the Influence of Social Media Platforms
Social platforms have transformed from simple communication tools to integral parts of our daily lives, gaining immense popularity and widespread usage. Statistics show that the strength of these platforms is rapidly increasing on a daily basis. As of April 2023, the number of social media users worldwide reached around 4.8 billion people, according to "We Are Social". This represents 56.8% of the global population. Furthermore, this percentage has recently exceeded 60.9%, highlighting the Internet's crucial role as a central hub for communication and information. In just one year, nearly 520 million new users joined social media platforms, further confirming the growing demand for these tools worldwide.
Also, the data has shown that 91% of individuals who use social media access these platforms using their mobile devices. This highlights the substantial influence of smartphones in maintaining our constant connectivity.
In the same context of usage volume, statistics also show that the average person maintains accounts on more than 9 different social networks, regularly engages with approximately 6.6 different social platforms each month, and spends approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes per day using social media. As a result, the world collectively spends over 10 billion hours a day on social media, the equivalent of approximately 1.2 million years of human existence.
In fact, these numbers reflect the extent of power and influence that these platforms hold in our lives, shaping public opinion and disseminating information. They also underscore the importance of using these mediums for marketing, advertising, and brand building. " Data has revealed that global spending on social media advertising has more than doubled since the outbreak of the coronavirus, reaching $226 billion in 2022."
These platforms serve as fertile ground for tapping into the massive and constantly connected user base. By leveraging them effectively, merchants can harness the power of engagement and conversion by taking advantage of the continuous flow of attention and interaction that these platforms provide.
The combination of these numbers shows that e-commerce and social media have a strong connection. Ignoring these platforms means missing out on a vast online market full of potential customers. Having a good online presence on social media is not just a fad; it's a necessary part of modern business.
Social Media Trends
Social media usage varies among users. Certain individuals prefer certain platforms based on their personal needs and interests.
The usage percentages of each social platform vary based on the country, age group, and personal interests. In the Arab world alone, five Arab countries have ranked among the highest in terms of the percentage of social media users compared to their population. The United Arab Emirates took first place, followed by Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, and then Oman.
Young individuals in several countries typically prefer Instagram and Snapchat compared to Facebook. Yet, Facebook still holds a greater user base, particularly among older age ranges, in some countries. It has reached over two billion users.
Conversely, despite currently holding the sixth position among the world's most popular platforms, trailing behind Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, and Douyin, TikTok's fast growth trajectory suggests that it is poised to surpass Facebook's user count by 2026. This projection is rooted in TikTok's exponential expansion since its inception. TikTok has consistently recorded an uninterrupted increase in usage since its introduction, with the app being downloaded over 3.5 billion times since its global launch in 2016, excluding China.
While TikTok has already surpassed Instagram in the United States (according to Hootsuite), becoming the most prevalent social media platform among Generation Z users (born between 1997 and 2012), the platform's user base has crossed the threshold of 37 million users, compared to Instagram's 33.3 million users. It is also anticipated that TikTok will outperform Snapchat within this demographic by the year 2024.
A Fresh Approach to Marketing
One of the greatest advantages of social media platforms is their ability to enhance direct interaction with the audience. You can publish diverse, engaging, and captivating posts that target the specific interests of your audience. Additionally, you can promptly respond to their comments and inquiries, making them feel valued and acknowledged.
Another important aspect is the development of your brand identity. Social media platforms can serve as an ideal tool for presenting your store's narrative, vision, and values to customers. Utilizing images, videos, and stories, you can effectively convey your message in an appealing manner.
In general, social media platforms inherently represent an unparalleled window for innovative marketing in the e-commerce world. They grant merchants the opportunity to reach a massive audience through engaging content that captures consumer's attention. For instance, the power of live videos on platforms like TikTok and Snapchat can be harnessed to showcase products in an intriguing way. Meanwhile, Instagram and Pinterest can be used to display unique and inspiring product images. These platforms are open canvases to activate your imagination and showcase your products in their finest light.
Leveraging Social Media Platforms to Achieve a Fresh Marketing Vision relies on harnessing the capabilities of these platforms to engage with the audience and disseminate effective messages. We propose a few steps that can assist you in achieving this:
1. Audience Analysis: Before embarking on any marketing strategy, It is crucial to have. a deep understanding of your target audience and define your brand or product vision. What values do you want to convey? What problems can your product or service address? These are some of the critical considerations to initiate your journey.
2. Selecting Appropriate Platforms: While there may be numerous social media platforms, it's not necessary to be present on all of them for the same purpose. Choose platforms primarily used by your target audience, based on your business activity, target demographic, and marketing plan. Your platform selection should align with these factors.
3. Creating Fresh and Innovative Content: Present content that captures the audience's attention and sparks their engagement. Utilize a blend of images, texts, videos, and stories to disseminate your message creatively. Among the most impactful and effective types of marketing are the following:
- Storytelling Marketing: Engaging and captivating stories have the potential to captivate the audience's attention and foster an emotional connection with the brand. Short videos or animated images can be employed to narrate stories that mirror your brand's identity, values, mission, and the products or services you offer.
- Comprehensive Content Marketing: Create content that covers different aspects of the customer's life. Extending beyond products, for instance, if you specialize in fitness, you can offer guidance on nutrition or exercise routines.
- Live Streaming: Use live streaming on social media platforms to interact with the audience in real-time. You can host "chat" sessions, unveil exclusive product showcases, and conduct live workshops to attract attention.
- Interactive Content: Employ opinion polls, surveys, questions, and challenges to encourage the audience to participate and engage with your content. This helps increase interaction and engagement on the platform.
5. Using Hashtags: Incorporate relevant hashtags related to your field to enhance your presence in ongoing conversations across social platforms.
6. Collaboration and Partnerships: Collaborating with influencers contributes to expanding your reach and building trust in your brand. This has become known as influencer marketing.
7. Targeted Advertising: Social media platforms allow precise targeting based on criteria such as age, gender, interests, and geographic location. This facilitates delivering marketing messages to individuals more likely to connect with your store's products or services.
8. Measurement and Performance Analysis: Employ social media analytics tools to measure the performance of your campaigns, identifying what works and what doesn't. Analyze available data to adjust your strategy based on results.
9. Continuous Innovation: Social media platforms evolve constantly, requiring you to be prepared to leverage new features and consistently experiment with innovative ideas within your strategy.
Therefore, if you seek sustained success in the world of e-commerce, effective integration with these platforms is essential. Build your strategy based on a clear understanding of your audience and objectives. Provide valuable and meaningful content to your audience, and maintain continuous interaction with their comments and inquiries. Remember to analyze data and use it to evaluate your campaign performance and identify areas for improvement.
Invest in developing your presence on these platforms and relish a blend of creativity and effectiveness to achieve rapid success in the realm of e-commerce.