Unlocking Social Commerce Success: Strategies to Stand Out and Profit

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As platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok continue to emphasize automation and algorithm-driven approaches, brands find themselves lost in a sea of similarity, struggling to stand out. In a breakout session at CommerceNext 2023 Ecommerce Growth Show, Josh Tan, Sr. Director, Media Strategy at Rise Interactive, shared invaluable insights on how to craft a winning social commerce strategy that not only drives profit but also ensures efficiency. Read on to dive into the key takeaways from this session and explore actionable steps to optimize your social commerce approach.

Adapting to Change: Key Techniques for Success

The session kicked off with a clear roadmap for adapting to the changing landscape of social commerce. Josh highlighted three fundamental steps that brands need to undertake to remain successful across social platforms:

  1. Structuring for Control: To maintain control over your marketing strategy, it’s crucial to create levers when structuring your accounts. These levers act as tools to fine-tune your approach, allowing you to tailor your marketing efforts to different customer segments.
  2. Leveraging Ad Formats: Different stages of the customer journey require different approaches. Utilize the appropriate ad formats to engage customers effectively at specific points in their purchasing journey. This strategic use of ad formats enhances your chances of driving revenue.
  3. Preparing Data for Automation: Automation is a cornerstone of modern social commerce, but it’s only effective when fueled by accurate and relevant data. Prepare your data meticulously to make it ready for automation, enabling your business to move forward seamlessly.

Consistency Amidst Evolution: Unchanging Customer Journey and Marketer’s Role

While social advertising techniques evolve rapidly, some things remain constant. Customers still navigate through the journey of discovery, consideration and purchase. Similarly, the advertiser’s core responsibility remains unchanged: deliver the right message to the right user at the right time.

However, even with the best practices provided by social platforms, a common challenge persists. Marketers often end up serving the same ads to various customer types due to their unified CRM. This begs the question: what can be done about this?

Structuring for Success: Tailoring Approach to Customer Segments

The solution begins with strategic account structuring. Josh emphasized the importance of creating levers in your account structure that align with distinct customer needs. For ecommerce brands, two primary customer types stand out:

  1. Specific Product Seekers: These customers know exactly what they’re looking for. To cater to them effectively, present them with your product catalog, allowing them to find their desired items quickly.
  2. Exploratory Shoppers: These customers are unsure about their choices and may not even know all the providers in the market. Use dynamic and engaging content like images, motion ads and personalized messaging to guide them towards the right choices.

Maximizing First-Party Data: Enhancing Precision

To enhance your targeting precision, make the most of your first-party data. This data can encompass customer identity, on-site actions, conversation history, purchase frequency and more. Once you’ve tapped into the pool of qualified users who are well-acquainted with your brand, the next step is expanding your reach.

Evolving Audiences: Quality and Partnerships

In the quest to expand, creating lookalike audiences based on existing data is a natural progression. However, the quality of interest data for in-market audiences has shown a decline. This is where third-party partnerships can play a crucial role, allowing you to enrich your targeting data.

Unified Data: A Foundation for Success

To ensure seamless decision-making across your business, it’s essential that every component of your ecosystem operates with the same data sets. Data consistency empowers every team member to make informed choices that align with the overall marketing strategy.

Differentiation Through Sequenced Messaging

With the fundamentals in place, the next challenge is differentiation. Josh introduced the concept of sequenced messaging, a strategy employed by Rise Interactive. This approach nurtures audiences based on their individual profiles and guides them toward personalized purchases. It’s important to note that competition between brands doesn’t solely hinge on market overlap; differentiation stems from how effectively you use your levers.

Budget Allocation: A Tactical Move

Allocating budgets based on current brand objectives, such as conversion versus awareness, is a strategic move. Having the right levers in your campaign setup provides full visibility and control over budget distribution across various strategies.

Future Evolution: Balancing AI and Partnerships

Looking ahead, generative AI presents exciting possibilities. However, the current technology landscape might not fully harness its potential. Partnering with providers who have a solid understanding of your data and can draw meaningful conclusions is a prudent approach to enhancing your strategies.

Actionable Takeaways for Your Social Commerce Strategy

In conclusion, the session left marketers with three crucial takeaways to elevate their social commerce strategies:

  1. Segmentation Review: Regularly assess your strategy to ensure your customer segments are well-defined and accurately targeted.
  2. Creative Resonance: Gauge whether your creatives are still resonating with your audience and whether you have a variety of content to reach diverse customer profiles effectively.
  3. Infrastructure and Visibility: Build a robust infrastructure that provides you with levers for control and complete visibility into your marketing expenditures.

As the social commerce landscape continues to evolve, structuring your strategy for profit and efficiency is more vital than ever. By embracing these insights and integrating them into your approach, you’ll be well-equipped to stand out in the competitive world of social commerce, driving revenue and building lasting customer relationships.