By Marc Shields, Head of Social Ecommerce, Loud Mouth Media
Social media has come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic and has grown in line with new expectations and demands that have come off the back of COVID-19 restrictions. Social platforms have always been a powerful communication tool for users all over the world, and are great for digital expression, information gathering, brand research and more. However, in the dawn of the first lockdowns, the influence of these global platforms became very apparent. Now two years on, their potential is still evolving – something that is especially true for ecommerce brands.
Social media ecommerce has many benefits, with one of its main attributes being that it has access to an audience of more than four billion people, which is 54% of the global population. YouTube’s potential advertising reach also reaches 2.562 billion and on Facebook alone, UK users click on nearly double the global average of ads.
The power of social media
Research has calculated that users spend an average of two hours and 27mins every day on social media, and with analytics and pixel integration on Facebook, the platform can unlock access to powerful tracking data on buyers and audience behaviours. A huge portion of social media users also use platforms as a tool to research brands and products before making a purchase, with around 28% of UK users using social media to find out more about the brands they want to buy from.
The growth of these platforms isn’t slowing down, with DataReportal analysing how advancements from 2021 alone equate to an annualised growth of 10.1%, or an average of more than 13 new users every single second. At the start of 2022, the world’s most used social media platforms ranked as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat and TikTok, with TikTok likely to move up this list in a matter of weeks.
But as these platforms develop and their audiences grow, new innovations in UI, UX and CX are becoming common ground. And what does that mean for ecommerce brands? New opportunities are appearing all the time, with the latest trend for Instagram, the fourth most used social media platform on the planet, being live stream ecommerce.
A powerful communication tool
We’ve all had notifications that someone we are following is starting a live stream, and they immediately take the first spot in the Stories ranking and include an eye-catching frame graphic that is designed to lure you into clicking and watching. These three features are just some of the reasons why it’s worth exploring streaming for your brand, with Instagram leading the way for live users. Just sending a notification to all your followers ahead of a live stream can be a powerful communication tool for engaged buyers.
Live streaming is like an elevator pitch; it gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and your brand, ideas and products to a targeted audience that is highly engaged. They are in the moment, listening in, and wanting to know what value you can offer them. This could be in the form of influencers unboxing merchandise, who are then enhancing interest and increasing the brand awareness for you. It could also be a shoppable stream where you showcase products and services and drive traffic directly to payment pages or the promotion of competitions to boost engagement and increase your followers – the list is endless and the opportunity is immense.
Unlocking new audiences
According to Wordstream, a great example of engagement comes in the form of Jeff Moriarty, marketing manager of jewellery brand Moriarty’s Gem Art, who started doing shoppable Facebook and YouTube live videos in 2021 to allow viewers to see products, ask questions, and of course, buy merchandise.
The result? The brand achieved 1,500+ viewers watching its show each time, not only helping it to stay connected with its customers via social media and YouTube but also by generating a huge amount of sales for its business. In November 2021 alone, Moriarty’s made $30,000 from its livestream show.
So, we know audiences spend three times as long watching videos as they do other forms of media, and there are more than four billion users on social media. Consumers are more active on the platforms post-covid when it comes to actively researching brands and products to buy. To utilise these numbers, live streaming could be the way to unlock new audiences for your brand and increase spending.
These trends are not slowing down, and new ones are arriving all the time. To keep up with what consumers want, brands can’t risk falling behind, so need to consider adding live stream ecommerce to their Paid Social strategies for 2022.