Social commerce: what it is and how to apply it to social networks

Do you use social networks as part of your online marketing strategy ? buy youtube views Do you have an ecommerce to sell your products (or services) on the internet? If the answer to both questions is yes, you can not miss one of the great digital trends of 2018: social commerce.

Social networks and online sales have been around for years and are widely accepted, but there are still not many brands that combine both tools efficiently. Those that do have much to gain, so let’s see what exactly social commerce is, what it can contribute to your brand and what are the “top” networks to get it going. 

What is social commerce?

The social commerce is to use social features such as social networking, social proof and contributions from users to open new sales channels and improve online customer experience. At first glance, we can think that it is simply “sell on social networks” and, although we would not lack reason, the truth is that there is much more.

For marketers, social commerce is a way to generate synergies and in turn the strategic conception we have changed both online sales  as the social edes .

In the face of online sales, this trend involves opening new channels and making the purchase cycle more flexible. In “traditional” ecommerce, the user arrived either through a proactive search of the product or through digital advertising (social ads, search engine ads, display …). Instead, here the connection occurs through the social relations between users.

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With regard to social networks, marketers have spent years and years using them as a channel to spread our content and generate brand visibility and awareness, but it is time to change the chip and see that we can also use them to sell. In turn, this helps us to know precisely the ROIthat we are achieving with this channel, since we will have a much more direct link between investment in social networks and sales.

Examples of social commerce strategies

There are many ways to incorporate social elements into electronic commerce, and since this is a relatively recent trend, we expect to see many new developments in this regard. To date, these are some examples of how brands are using the social to boost their sales.

Shopping through social networks

This strategy is based on taking advantage of the purchase impulses that users can feel when they are using a social network, creating a much more direct purchase process and therefore reducing the number of withdrawals.

Depending on the social network in which we are, we have different resources to link our ecommerce; In the last section of this article we will see some of them in more detail. In general, for this strategy to work, we must present the product in a contextualized environment that reinforces the values ​​of the brand and users and create a purchase process as clear and simple as possible.

Social test (user evaluations)

This strategy makes use of one of the most known and universal tricks of marketing psychology: social proof, that is, the influence that other people’s opinions have on us.

Seeing comments from other users about a product or service makes us identify with them and generates more confidence than if we just read the brand messages.

There are many ways to incorporate social proof into our social commerce strategies, but I would like to highlight the importance of having this factor in mind when designing our online store . For example:

  • Leave comments in the tabs of each product open, with a message encouraging users to share their impressions.
  • Incorporates a system to assess each product, for example, the typical “five stars”, and make it well visible.
  • It allows each product to be shared independently in different social networks and encourages users to do so by placing the share buttons visible.
  • Promote reviews on Google or other websites including links from your own page.

Influencers and microinfluencers

For years, brands have been using prominent users on social networks or “influencers” to promote their products. Given that this strategy takes advantage of both social networks and social proof (in this case through the opinion of celebrities or experts in a given subject), it is easy to see how it can fit into social commerce.

However, lately the phenomenon “influencer” suffers from some wear and tear due to its inflated prices and its crisis of credibility. Some celebrities in the networks have abused the sponsored content and that means that they are no longer perceived in a genuine way.

In response, advertising with microinfluencers arises , that is, users who have a much smaller number of followers but have a much closer relationship with them. Often, they are experts or fans of a very specific topic. As they have not been professionalized in the same way as influencers, they enjoy greater credibility and much more reasonable prices for brands. Of course, in return we will have to earn their trust.

7 advantages of social commerce for brands

According to a recent study by IAB Spain, no less than 73% of Internet users are online shoppers and 85% use social networks, so it is almost certain that you can impact your customers with social commercestrategies .

For brands, incorporating social purchasing strategies into our repertoire presents a lot of advantages:

  1. It allows to increase the traffic to the online store, the percentage of conversions and the value of the orders . The times in which we thought that social networks only served to converse are long gone. Statistics show that users are willing to use this channel to buy, so it would be a mistake not to take advantage of it.
  2. It allows to diversify the strategies . Do you know the popular saying “do not put all your eggs in the same basket”? Well, with the online sale the same thing happens: betting everything to a single channel is very risky and can lead us to give us the bump. Through social commerce, we can generate another way of traffic and conversions to our online store.
  3. Integrate customer service . For some time now, users have used social networks as a channel of customer service, demanding brands to solve their problems. And if we compare it with other methods such as call centers, the truth is that it makes a lot of sense. Well, with social commerce we can take a step to integrate customer service and sales.
  4. It builds confidence . Although leaving so many doors open to comments may seem risky, the truth is that it gives a very favorable impression of transparency. Naturally, consumers trust brands that dare to expose themselves to the opinions of users. And in turn, having them gives them the guarantee that they can trust the brand.
  5. Engagement generates long term . Social commerce is not only a way to generate sales immediately, but a long-term commitment. In the end, we are generating a set of opinions and comments about our brand that will be accessible to future users and that will gradually increase our visibility.
  6. It allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition . Whether due to ignorance or fear of negative opinions, the truth is that there are still few brands that dare with social commerce, but it is an accessible strategy even for small and medium enterprises. Betting on it will help us make a clear differentiation and connect more easily with our ideal customers.
  7. It is the whiting that bites its tail . The more social companies generate more comments and interactions around them, which in turn reinforces their social image. In short, it is a cycle that continues to improve visibility and results in the short, medium and long term.

The most popular networks to do social commerce

At this point, you may be wondering why network start to implement your own social commerce strategy. The truth is that there is no universal answer, because in the end the best network is where your target is. But to be able to orient you, we are going to give a review to the main sales resources with which the great social networks of today count.


Facebook is perhaps the most prepared network to implement social commerce strategies, since it has several options to integrate electronic commerce within your fan page:

  • Showcase (Storefront): This option displays a static version of your product, that is, it can effectively expose like a catalog or a storefront. From there, we can direct traffic to our website to continue normally with the purchase process.
  • Store : as its name suggests, this functionality is an online store that is integrated into our fan page through a special tab. Here we can add products and related information, select the inventory, communicate with customers, obtain recommendations and consult statistics. US-based brands can also sell and manage orders directly from the page, including cancellations and refunds.
  • Smart store (Smart Facebook Store): smart store applications are a step further, as they improve the user experience. The products in the store are shown to users similar to those who have already interacted with it.

In addition to these options, we can also take advantage of Facebook’s targeting capabilities with Facebook Ads. These ads include several formats and goals specially designed to encourage users to buy.


Another very powerful network for social commerce, since its visual nature makes it very appropriate to show the products in context. Also, thanks to Instagram Shopping, it is very easy to directly link your publications to sales .

How? Very simple: tagging your products in the images you publish to complete the sale in your online store. A very effective way to take advantage of impulses like “I want it!”

To launch Instagram Shopping, you need to have a fan page and an ecommerce and have a company profile on Instagram.


Since its inception, Pinterest has been a network closely linked to shopping, since its main themes (fashion, beauty, decoration) lend a lot to it.

This network has a mainly female audience and a good purchasing power, which makes it even more interesting.

The simplest strategy to link Pinterest to your ecommerce is simply to create “pins” for your different products and associate them with the corresponding link. Keep in mind that the positioning within Pinterest is organic, so it’s worth investing in a job well done.


Twitter itself does not have specific social commerce functionalities, but that does not mean that you should discard it in your strategies. To link your tweets to your ecommerce, you can use applications such as Chirpify, which allows you to include a “Buy” button and link to your online store from this network.


As with Twitter, YouTube does not have special features to encourage online purchases. But with a little creativity, you can use it to show the products and services in context and create ways to direct your users to your ecommerce.